Blackvue DR550GW-2CH

Blackvue DR550GW-2CH

The Pittasoft BlackVue DR550GW-2CH is a new dual channel dash cam with WiFi capabilities that was released in mid 2013.  This is the first dual lens camera manufactured by Pittasoft.    The front camera records at 1080p, 30fps at a low bit rate of 6 Mbps.  The rear camera records at 720p, 30fps at an extremely low bit rate of 2 Mbps.  Like the related 1 channel model, DR500GW-HD, this dash cam comes with GPS, G-sensor and parking mode.  The camera is based on the HiSense Hi3516 processor and Sony Exmor CMOS sensor.  Both cameras are small with the front camera measuring 118.5 x 36mm and the rear camera measuring 67mm x 28mm.

While the size and features are very attractive, the biggest drawback is the video quality.  The front camera has good video quality during the day and average video quality at night.  Rear camera is worse during day and night as expected.  The low bit rate causes blockiness / pixelation in situations requiring processing a lot of information (i.e. trees).   It is believed that the low bit rates were used to allow video to be transmitted via Wi-Fi at a reasonable speed.

The 1 channel DR500GW-HD had a claimed viewing angle of 156° which caused many users to complain it was difficult to read details like license plates.  Pittasoft seems to have listened to customers and have reduced the viewing angle.  The DR550GW-2CH has a viewing angle of 137° for the front and 139° for the rear.

Russian owners are currently developing a custom firmware to address some of the issues with this camera such as low bit rate and the ability to use micro SD cards larger than 32GB.

Known problems

Not many problems have been identified since this camera has been recently released.

Macroblocking / Pixelation

The main problem is macroblocking or pixelation.  This is due to the very low bit bate for the cameras 6Mbps front 2Mbps rear.  Future firmware updates or custom firmware may rectify this problem in the future.

Mounting the Camera

Blackvue DR550GW-2CH Mount 1 Blackvue DR550GW-2CH Mount 2

Sample Videos

Day Video – Front

Day Video – Rear

Night Video – Front

Night Video – Rear

Should I Purchase?

The design and features for the BlackVue DR550GW-2CH are excellent.  However the main problem is the macroblocking / pixelation issue.  With a price tag of $370 to $450 depending on where you purchase from, this camera is difficult to recommend.  Unfortunately there are very few good multi-channel cameras available at the moment.

Where to purchase for lowest price

Amazon, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de have it for sale as well

Firmware

Recently Pittasoft has started putting firmware updates on their site, a positive change from their previous policy of only sharing to dealers.  The latest English firmware can be downloaded from the BlackVue site.

Converting to English Firmware

If you have a camera that does not have English firmware and you would like to convert it, please follow the instructions in this forum topic.

User Manual

You can download the manual here.

Specifications

 BlackVue DR550GW-2CH
Price$410
Read Review
ManufacturerPittasoft
CountryKorea
Specifications 
ProcessorHiSilicon Hi3516
CMOSFront: Sony Exmor
Channels2
Screen
GPS
G-Sensor
Wi-Fi
Parking Mode
Lock FilesAuto
Video 
Max ResolutionFront: 1080p 30fps
Rear: 720p 30fps
Max Bitrate (Mbps)Front: 6
Rear: 2
Video FormatMP4
CompressionH.264
Diagonal Viewing AngleFront: 137°
Rear: 139°
Recording 
SD Card TypeMicroSD
 
Max Size (Spec)32GB
Max Size (User)64GB
Other 
Size (mm)Front: 119 x 36
Rear: 67 x 28
MountAdhesive
Power Supply12V
Operating Temp-20˚C to 60˚C
BatteryCapacitor
Release DateJun 2013
AppsPC, OSX, Android, iOS
Unique FeaturesBuffers video in parking mode (saves 5 seconds before impact / motion detection and 55 seconds after)
Rating 
AdvantagesGood form factor
Buffers in parking mode
DisadvantagesPixelation problem when lots of moving objects
Expensive
Video Day
Video Night
Reliability
Size / Discreetness
Price
Available Support
Overall Rating
Final WordA feature packed camera but low bit rate is disappointing for the high price.

Published: October 2, 2013