– Dual channel dash cam
– Max. resolution: 1080p front, 720p rear
– Price: see eBay US / UK / CA / AU
– Operating temperature: from -20˚C to 60˚C (-4˚F to 140˚F)
– Speed, time, and date on video
– Supports up to 32GB MicroSD card
– Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor
– Buffered parking mode
– Voice menu
– Max. resolution: 1920×1080 @ 30fps
– Bit rate: 6 Mbps
– Small size: 118.5mm length x 36mm diameter
– Weight: 120g
– 2 MP CMOS sensor
– Angle of view: 137° diagonal, 108° horizontal, 80° vertical
– Max. resolution: 1280×720 @ 30fps
– Bit rate: 2 Mbps
– Ultra small size: 67mm length x 28mm diameter
– Weight: 30g
– 1MP CMOS sensor
– Angle of view: 139° diagonal, 116° horizontal, 61° vertical
UPDATE : BlackVue have released an update for this camera, called DR650GW-2CH, with significantly improved video quality, bug fixes, and added features.
The BlackVue DR550GW-2CH is the dual channel version of the highly successful BlackVue DR500GW-HD. Released in September 2013 by the renowned Korean manufacturer Pittasoft, this camera records the view through your windshield at a resolution of 1080p, while the view to the rear is recorded at 720p. Similar to its predecessor, it comes with more advanced features than most other dash cams, including GPS and Wi-Fi.
Video quality of the front camera is very good at day, but only a little above average at night time. If you check out the videos below, you will see that signs and license plates are easily readable. Unfortunately, video quality is not always stable and sometimes the high video compression leads to pixelation issues (artefacts).
The rear camera records mediocre video at day and at night. The lower resolution of 1280×720 pixels results in fuzzy footage. Rear video is good enough to keep track of what is going on behind you, but license plates can often only be read when cars are very close to you.
The front camera has a bit rate of 6 Mbit/second and the rear camera streams 2 Mbit/second, making for a total of 8 Mbit/second. While this is low for a dashboard camera, it allows for transmitting the video via Wi-Fi at a reasonable speed. BlackVue’s Wi-Fi feature is one of the things that really sets them apart from other dash cams. It allows you to connect wirelessly to a computer or smart phone: Apps for video viewing are available free for PC, Mac, iPhone and Android operating systems.
Like its predecessor, the DR550GW also comes with in-built GPS, and of course it has all the standard dash cam features including auto on/off, loop recording, G-sensor, parking mode, and date/time/speed stamps on the video. A voice menu allows you to operate the camera easily even when not connected to any Wi-Fi device, which is a comfortable solution considering this camera doesn’t have a screen.
Sporting BlackVue’s characteristical cylinder shape, the two cameras are quite small in size, the front piece measuring 118.5mm (4.7″) in length and 36mm (1.4″) in diameter, while the rear cam is only 67mm (2.6″) long and 28mm (1.1″) wide.
At 137° and 139°, respectively, the viewing angles of the front and rear cameras are a bit lower than the DR500GW’s whopping 156°. This is owed to the need to keep the camera’s bit rate in check. However, few dashboard cameras have an angle of view greater than 140°, so the DR550GW is still situated near the top of the spectrum in this regard.
While the DR550GW has a lot of useful and innovative features, we recommend you consider the DR650GW instead which greatly improves video quality and also addresses some other issues that users have been reporting, such as pixelation and overheating problems.
Video Samples for the DR550GW-2CH
For full original video quality, make sure to watch on full screen and select maximum video resolution (use the cog icon in lower right corner). You may have to rewind the video after changing the resolution.
Day Time, Front Camera
The DR550GW’s front video is very good at day time. Details are clearly defined, and signs and license plates can easily be read even at medium distance while driving.
Day Time, Rear Camera
Rear view quality is only average at day time. The footage looks blurry and distorted, and license plates are only readable when a car is standing immediately behind you.
Night Time, Front Camera
Night video quality of the front camera is only slightly above average. There is too much glare from lights, but illuminated areas are well visible and license plates can still be read.
Night Time, Rear Camera
Night video quality of the rear camera is only average. The footage is good enough to see what’s going on behind you and to read license plates from up close, but the camera does tend to get “blinded” by the headlights of cars following at some distance.
Where To Buy
The BlackVue DR550GW-2CH dual channel dash cam is available from the following vendors: