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    Thread: DashCam Guide and Review - Livue LB100 HD Vehicle Drive Recorder

    1. #1
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      DashCam Guide and Review - Livue LB100 HD Vehicle Drive Recorder

      This review has been sitting a long long time in the drafts section since I got "busy with other things" (lame excuse for being lazy). Let me try to get this out before the technology itself becomes extinct. But before we get into the actual review, lets get some basics right.

      What is a DashCam/Car Camera/Vehicle Video Black-box?
      DashCam is an emerging technology specifically developed to record and store the events while driving. A Dash Cam is designed to sit inside your car and automatically start recording the view through the windscreen once you start the car and stop recording after a predetermined time once you stop the car/engine. The main intention behind having a Dash Cam is recording any traffic incidents and using it as a video evidence, but its use is practically unlimited. Storage of the video is usually done to an internal non-volatile memory like SD cards.

      Even though these cameras are usually mounted to windscreens to capture driver's view of the road, nothing prevents you from using it for other views. At some point of time, I was running four video black boxes in my car for evaluation purposes. There are Black-boxes which can record from multiple sources/views as well.

      Now that some basics has been laid, lets go through some desirable car camera features next.

      Typical Car Camera Features:
      • Automatic Start/Stop: Start recording when key is inserted, Stop recording after a certain duration once vehicle is OFF.
      • Loop Recording: 1-X minute segments. Once the storage media is full, the oldest segment is deleted.
      • Seamless Video: Good dashcams exhibit no loss of video between video segments but in cheaper dash cams, a few seconds of video is lost between the segments.
      • G-Sensor: Some times called a Gravity sensor or just a shock sensor. It is used to detect and trigger recording or marking events like accidents. Good G-Sensors can detect various levels of acceleration and deceleration, Jerks or violent swerves and trigger accordingly. Good cameras even offer video lock on G-Sensor trigger for later review. In Indian road scenarios an adjustable G-Sensor Sensitivity is highly desired to cater for our moon-surface road conditions!.
      • Motion Detection: Useful when the car is parked. Records videos whenever motion is detected in the vicinity of the car. This often requires Non-Switched Power to be supplied to the camera but even some works on backup battery for a finite amount of time. Good Dashcam models will employ power management to ensure that the vehicle battery is not drained beyond accepatabvle levels during long storage periods.
      • Battery backup: Its highly desirable to have a camera with some sort of power backup. It could be an internal battery or a SuperCap providing a few tens of seconds of storage for gracious File-Write of the last video segment and then shut-down.
      • GPS: Supports Accurate Position and Speed log, provides accurate clock timing and GPS Route storage for later review.
      • WDR: Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) is an attribute of an imaging system that records greater scene details from shadows to highlights than normal systems without WDR. This is all the more important in DashCams since they are naturally subjected to a myriad of lighting conditions.


      Apart from the above desirable features, there are a few basic things to lookout while selecting a Dash Camera.

      • Image Sensors & Native Resolution: I'd suggest 720p minimum. Ensure that the sensors have 720p or better as their native resolution. Low quality DashCams tend to quote upscaled and interpolated resolutions - be ultra careful there. There are a variety of sensors as well: CCD/CMOS/ExMOR...Each has its own merits and demerits. More on this later...
      • View Angle: Its desired to have a very wide angle lens, but the wider you go, the larger the fish-eye lens effect.
      • Encoding: H.264 MPEG-4/AVC Recording is highly desired. Cheaper dash cams tend to use MJPEG which tends to produce very blocky videos.
      • Night Vision IR LEDs - Useless under most conditions. The power from the LEDs are simply not enough for any sensible night illumination.
      • Memory Card - Most good cams support SDHC cards which are getting cheaper by the day. Look for feature that can format the card inside the camera which is quite helpful and desired.
      • Viewfinder: It is desirable to have an optical or LCD view finder for the camera. Helps while setting up and later for quick review during playback.
      • Size/Weight Considerations - Smaller the size, the higher the covertness (if desired). Also lighter cameras tend to handle vibrations a lot better than heavier cameras.
      • Thermal Considerations: Indian weather conditions are not very forgiving. Select cameras which offers the widest operational and storage temperature range.


      'Nuff with the boring theory - Let's see some wares!

      Livue LB100 HD Vehicle Drive Recorder

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      Quick Identifiers
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      What came in the box! - Package Contents
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      1. Instruction Manual - It's in Korean and some parts in Korean-English!
      2. Ball-Type Windscreen Mount
      3. Livue LB100 Camera
      4. Micro SD Card and SD Card Adapter
      5. 12V Power Lead - 4m long and plugs into the cigarette lighter socket



      Optional Accessories
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      * 6. Permanent Wiring Lead
      * 7. Composite Video Out Cable
      * 8. Windscreen Mount with GPS

      Different Mounts (GPS mount is optional)

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      CODE6.IN | DigitalVampire.com | XENG.net
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    2. #2

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      Thanks a ton for this thread DV. I am planning to get this after seeing this in your car. Lots of usage and a must have for we auto enthusiast
      Never Say Never Again :)

      Specially for Photography Section - If i post any pic in photography section, Please click and view in full screen for correct resolution and clarity. Thanks !!

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      Quote Originally Posted by Digital Vampire View Post
      Let me try to get this out before the technology itself becomes extinct.
      Hope the videos if shot any don't become extinct...

      Also doesn't this come with the regular suction mount? Why 3M?

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      Technical Specifications
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      A look at the recording times!
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      What Lies Beneath!
      Like most electronics enthusiasts, I'm never satisfied until I see what is ticking inside! So lets open this Korean baby up!
      Once you find a few cleverly placed screws and latches, opening this DashCam was a breeze. Its a very well put together design and miles ahead of the usual Chinese crap that we are getting used to these days.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      Click image for larger version. 

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      Click image for larger version. 

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      LB100 uses the CLM 5520 F2 Multimedia Processor from Core Logic and the lens used is a TCBW A203 2M 1/3″.

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      Core Logic CLM 5520 F2 Multimedia Processor Block Diagram

      A quick glance at the processor block diagram reveals that the feature set supported by the processor is under-utilized in this design. The design could have easily supported USB, HDMI connectivity and an LCD viewfinder, but all those seems to have been dispensed in the interest of simplicity and cost.

      The ODM of this DashCam is WinyTech and the hardware design is identical to that of Winycam V300HD DVR.
      It looks like Livue used a new design for the enclosure which in my opinion is far better than Winycam's original design.
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      Video Footage






      Watch videos in HD to see the full clarity.

      As you can see, the video from the camera is pretty good but not without issues. What is good is that the CMOS sensor and the image processor handles motion artefacts quite well - I've seen cameras worth 3-4 times than this camera (including the expensive GoPro which is not essentially a DashCamera but an Action Camera) struggling when it comes to motion handling and cause huge jello effects. Kindly excuse those slight artefacts which was the result of editing and Youtube's compression - I can assure that the original video is devoid of those issues. On the negative side, there is a bit of colour blooming when we come near to the bridge, but that's completely acceptable for a CMOS sensor.

      The night time video quality is also very much acceptable. Since I'm unable to find the old video archive, I'll have to make do with a night video from youtube using the same camera.

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    6. #6

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      Thanks for the detailed explanation. I have considered to install Raspberry pi with camera as Dashcam but your post is very useful to decide between Pi and standalone device.

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      Thanks Very Much DV Timely thread.. I am picking this up in another month when I come back here...

      This is the one right Digital Vampire ?

      Amazon.com: LIVUE LB100 HD 720p 8GB Car Dash Camera Video/DVR Recorder: Car Electronics
      "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."
      -Calvin

      Dai!!!

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      Quote Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
      Amazon.com: LIVUE LB100 HD 720p 8GB Car Dash Camera Video/DVR Recorder: Car Electronics
      I think its available for 119$ in eBay

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
      Amazon.com: LIVUE LB100 HD 720p 8GB Car Dash Camera Video/DVR Recorder: Car Electronics
      Livue LB100 HD 8GB Car Dashboard Camera Vehicle Recorder Dashcam DVR 1CH New | eBay

      Reliable seller. Use of premium shipping is suggested.
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    10. #10

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      Quote Originally Posted by Digital Vampire View Post
      Reliable seller. Use of premium shipping is suggested.
      DV, did you get it shipped to India? If so, was any duty charged?
      I am thinking of picking up this: SmartCam HD 2, Camera and now you have gotten me confused

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