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Thread: Review of FPV-Japan DVR

  1. #1
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    Review of FPV-Japan DVR

    Notice to purchasers of knock off products

    If you purchased the DVR-SD4 DVR from FPV-Japan it will have the words "DVR-SD4" and "Copyright FPV-Japan 2011/2012" on the start up screen as well as our "Empowering FPV" logo on the shut down screen.
    If you do not have one of these original DVR please kindly refrain from posting in this part of the forum.
    We ask that you seek support from the vendor that you purchased from.

    Kind regards,

    Ren

    FPV-Japan


    (what started as a review of the FPV-Japan DVR has now turned into a support thread, which is great. If you are looking for support that might be unique to your situation such as problems with a particular order, you might contact Ren directly at: support@fpv-japan.com for a faster response)


    I ordered a DVR from FPV-Japan:

    http://fpv-japan.com/item/fj-dvr-sd4/lang/en/

    in part because the owner, Ren, has been incredibly helpful with respect to the Dragon OSD.

    He worked out some bugs with the shipping and now it ships EMS with tracking. I think it took a little over a week to arrive. The batteries drop-ship from the US with a separate tracking number. They arrived at about the same time.

    The unit itself is very small and portable. It has one-touch recording for those 'oh s$!t' moments when you are in the air and realize you forgot to start recording.

    The firmware is designed by Ren so there are no blue screens. I synched against another camera (aiptek) that I know doesn't drop frames, and the two were within 5 frames of each other after 20 minutes. This is likely due to slightly different clocks so there are no issues with dropped frames.

    The recording rate is 8.37 mbits/second, which is WAY overkill for NTSC. The highest resolution is 720x480 and a 1 minute video is 65 meg!

    There are various adjustments to control the bitrate if you want less.

    It comes with a separate remote that someone clever could put on a fibre optic line so the device itself could be buried in a ground station pack.

    Sample video can be downloaded in raw form from here:

    This is output from the GoPro live out feed:

    http://129.79.193.155/~busey/AirplaneMovies/FPVJapanDVRExampleFromGopro.AVI

    This is output from an inexpensive Ebay board camera:

    http://129.79.193.155/~busey/AirplaneMovies/FPVJapanSampleVideo.AVI

    The only slight negative is the lack of a second audio channel, so if you have the engine on one channel and a vario on the other you will have to choose which gets recorded.

    I'm very pleased with the dvr, and it is less than half of the price of the Lawmate PV500 dvr:

    http://www.team-blacksheep.com/products/product:9

    I've not tried both so I don't know what a head/to/head would look like, but I think that the differences will be minimal given that the NTSC signal is so degraded anyway. Onboard gopro will always beat NTSC regardless of the groundstation DVR.
    Last edited by FPV-JAPAN; 14th June 2012 at 11:50 PM.
    About to maiden my Fascination...

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    Review of FPV-Japan DVR

    About to maiden my Fascination...

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    Awesome, thanks for the review.

    Mark

  4. #4
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    Ren needs to get back on here! I may give one of these a shot - I take some long flights though - so I wonder if the videos will be too heavy to upload to vimeo/youtube or into an editing program?
    "I Like Waffles" : FPVLab on Facebook and FPVLab on Twitter

  5. #5
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    Just reduce the bitrate settings. The beauty of this is that you can pick what you want, set it, and if there isn't one that you see that you need, ask Ren and he can have a different firmware built. That's the beauty of having a dedicated FPV vendor developing it for you.

    I forgot to mention in my review that the screen has no lag to it so you could also use it as an emergency to fly home if your goggles go dark (my headplays did that once- I let the battery go too low).

    I use this to record:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820161396

    which gives me a recording time of 250 minutes at the highest setting. You would definitely have to downsample that 16 gig video before sending it to youtube!
    Last edited by BloomingtonFPV; 12th June 2011 at 07:42 PM.
    About to maiden my Fascination...

  6. #6
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    I also ordered a second battery, but there is a 5v input for charging so I may just add a bec from my GS battery to make sure I don't run out of juice. I've not timed it but based on the battery level on the OSD the battery would last for several trips to the flying field before it needed charging.
    About to maiden my Fascination...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SENTRY View Post
    Ren needs to get back on here! I may give one of these a shot - I take some long flights though - so I wonder if the videos will be too heavy to upload to vimeo/youtube or into an editing program?
    The good thing is the higher the quality of the original recording the smaller the file will be after you edit and process it. The worst thing about our ground recordings is the slight static or lines that we get and then the compression software has to try to compress each frame differently but in reality the frames could be nearly identical.

    Mark

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    I actually found that my mini-dv recording (which interlaced things) took out a lot of the static when I de-interlaced in software. If it wasn't such a PITA to record using that (half the time it would turn off when I put it in my bag) I would stick with the sony mini-dv.
    About to maiden my Fascination...

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    Hi guys,

    thankyou for the nice comments and write up BloomingtonFPV.

    Apologies to Sentry and all for being absent for way too long.
    I won't deny the last few months have been a struggle. Mainly do to the small scale of my business and the level of customer care that I strive for
    But also in part to minor supply or logistic troubles that I've been trying to smooth out some not unrelated to the recent tragic events in Japan (component shortages etc). Not to mention trying to develop my own products at the same time.

    One thing to clear up here is that I didn't write the firmware although I did crack a whip at the developer who at times had trouble understanding exactly why I wanted what I specified. I did have my hand in designing/preparing some of the graphics in the UI. I'm currently working on a Japanese UI for the local market too.

    Batteries ship from the US globally. The DVR ships from Japan.
    This is because Japan refuses to ship international air but allows domestic air despite its policy being that set out in a UN guideline, referencing it with official numbers too
    A few returned shipments and a few days of phone calls and one adapts to the flow.

    Please note the DVR is intermittently affected by component shortages and the next batch will not be available until the end of this month.
    Last stock count 2 left (I think) so if any of you fine gents do want one put on hold please let me know.

    Ren

  10. #10
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    I added a link to a recording made from the live output of a gopro camera. I feel it is a better example of what this unit is capable of.
    About to maiden my Fascination...

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