SD DVR – Digital Video Recorder for FPV – Stop Blue Screen

Recently I bought a Hobbyking SD Digital Video Recorder to record my FPV video, and surprisingly, this SD DVR also stops the blue screen on my FPV monitor as well. You must be aware, getting a non-blue screen monitor can cost more than $100 these days!

This DVR works okay on my FPV ground station. The resulting files are in .ASF format, which is playable in Windows Media player and can be easily converted to MP4 or AVI. I am using the best quality/resolution (D1 settings, 704×576 at 30 FPS).

I simply place this device between my video receiver and FPV monitor (or Goggle). Get yours from here.

Pro

It’s very easy to use, plug and play, and it’s cheap.

Again this recorder prevents your FPV monitor from going blue screen when video signal is weak.

The wide input voltage tolerance makes it so easy to power it (5V to 30V), I can just use a 3 cell lipo to power everything, including the video transmitter and monitor.

The recording file size is really small, a 8GB SD card can probably record 4 to 5 hours of video at its best quality. You are also given some recording options, for example loop recording (erase oldest video when SD card is full) and schedule.

If power is gone, it will save the video file automatically before shut down.

You are given a AV-in and AV-out port, so you are given a choice of running this SD DVR device either in parallel or in series with your video equipment.

Con

The OSD text can’t be turned off nor changed on how it’s displayed on your goggles or monitor.

You will have some latency when using this device in the video output, especially when it’s recording. When not recording, the delay is very little, but you will notice the difference. When it’s recording, the delay is about 0.2 to 0.4 seconds. You probably wouldn’t like it if you are doing some really precise FPV flying.

There seems to be manufacture fault with this product generally, it doesn’t save the time/date I set after reboot. I read there are some other people having the same problem with not saving settings. I wrote to Hobbyking about this, and they want me to send it back to Hongkong! I cannot be bothered since it would take another 2 months before I can get another one, and I have already soldered connectors on the cables. I am not using time stamp on the video anyway so that’s fine for me.

I don’t really like the idea of using a remote control, I would prefer to have buttons on the actual device. If you forget your remote, then you won’t be able to change any of the settings. Therefore it would make sense to turn on the setting “record at power up”.

SD Card For this DVR

I have used 8GB class 10 SD card on it and it’s working fine. I also tried 4GB class 4 on it, it appeared to have frame loss when recording at best quality, but fine when I lower the quality (lower resolution). Therefore faster cards, such as class 6 or higher are better.

As for the size of the SD card, it has to be 32 GB or smaller. In the best quality mode, you’ll generate about 25MB of file per minute of recording. At this rate, an 8GB card should provide you with 4 to 5 hours of recording, however, I recommend automatically breaking up your recordings into smaller chunks using the DVR’s built-in menu. This way you get files which are much easier to deal with later, and they go back together seamlessly if needed.

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