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Police cars aren't the only vehicles being fitted to record video. Increasing numbers of service vehicles including trucks and buses as well as private automobiles are being upgraded to record their travels using multi-view cameras linked to an onboard digital video recorder.
The backing-up view (above) aids parallel parking, but when you add front and dual side views, drivers can have their entire trips covered and saved in case anything happens.
A company called Rear View Safety makes a pair of mobile DVR enclosures with multiple inputs that you customize with accessories according to the amount of storage you want, number of cameras (up to four) you want to attach, and whether you want to plug in a small LCD screen. (Some customers prefer no display in the vehicle at all, and the DVR is used purely for archiving.) The 4-Channel Mini Mobile DVR is meant for installation in a private or smaller vehicle. The slightly larger and tad more expensive 4-Channel Mobile DVR features a locking door, so the operator needs a key to remove the hard drive. That way, for example, a fleet driver can take the drive with him when he reaches the terminal and plug in another one when headed out on the road, but prevent unauthorized access or tampering. Though the rear panels are configured differently, both models are capable of multiplexing feeds from up to four cameras.
|Mini Mobile DVR||Mobile DVR with lock|
Both models incorporate MJPEG compression. If you're using one camera, the picture is saved at the full 704 x 480 resolution and 60 fps. However, the resolution and frame rate are divided by the number of cameras feeding the DVR. Each model contains a bay that accepts a 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drive. The DVR can be set to record continuously, or for a particular event.
If you're using an optional display plugged into the video output, the DVR lets you watch the quad pictures or a selected view, enlarged to full screen. A USB port enables you to copy video to an external flash or hard drive. Both mobile DVRs run on your vehicle's 12-volt direct current and are meant to be hard-wired into the vehicle's power system. Each model comes with a remote as well as a complete set of A/V cables.
Now, it's easy to review any trip in a virtual rear view mirror along with the driver's front view and side views, too. When a journey is too important not to archive, Rear View Safety has your back—just in case you or your company needs to take a look.