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Old May 22, 2007, 11:03 PM
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Downlink DVR / Helmet Cam recorder

In my quest to develop a decent helmet camera system I am trying to find a solid state DVR unit that will record video from a bullet cam in a format suitable for converting to DVD. When not using the helmet camera I would also like to use the same recording unit to view and record my video downlink for AP.

I realise that this is not entirely an AP question but thought that since there are so many techno savy members here already using DVR's to record their video downlinks, someone might be able to give me some advise on the best possible recording option.

I currently use a DV camera to record my video downlinks and the quality is fantastic. However, this is not exactly a lightweight option and I can't just attach it to my TX to view while walking around. So, for now, the DV cam is out.

I figure that using solid state technology to record directly onto a multimedia media card (ie. SD/CF cards) I would not have to deal with the inherent problems faced when using a hard drive recorder in a high impact environment... such as head vibration leading to recording interuptions and eventually hard drive failure.

There seem to be a lot of options out there for solid state recorders, most of which record in Mpeg-4 (.AFF) format. My minimum requirement would be the ability to record in at least 640 x 480 @ 30fps.

Here are a few products that I've found could be viable options, both for helmet camera and video dorwnlink recording.

Mobibox Recorder



Positives:
Phyical Size (pack of cards) & 96grams with battery
Records 640x480 @30fps
Records to SD card

Negatives:
Suggestions that company is being liquidated – No warrantee
No remote
Image quality (bitrate) unknown

Archos Range



Positives:
High resolution (Full PAL) avaialble
Nice small footprint / Lightweight

Negatives:
No good: Hard drives – Not solid State (bad for shock resistance)

PV-500 Recorder



Positives:
Small and lightweight
Records 720X480 @ 25 – 30fps
LCD display

Negatives:
Price: US$389

Aiptek R-MZDV



Positives:
720x480 @30fps
Cheap at only $189

Negatives:
Unknown battery life
Slightly larger than PV-500
Don’t need the cheap CMOS camera/lens

RC-TEK's upcoming DVR



Positives:
Full PAL in Mpeg 1/2/4!
Small/lightweight

Negatives:
No LCD
On the expensive side

Has anyone had experience with any of these products? Are there any others that I may have missed?
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