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VIO POV.1: The Holy Grail of Helmet Cams

POV1 from VIOWell, here it is, the holy grail of the helmet cam world (for now) -The POV.1 from VIO. We have been waiting for the POV.1 since the inception of wearable video. The POV.1 is a fully integrated, fully digital, DVD quality helmet cam system. We have a POV.1 in-house, and are so impressed with this system we have moved it to the top of our recommended helmet cam list, and to our inventory over at the The Shop @ Helmet Camera Central. Also, based on our hands-on review of the POV.1, it has met most of the specifications for our dream helmet cam system.

VIO has invested quite a bit of time and money into designing this product from the ground up, and it shows. A lot of thought must have went into the hundreds of design decisions behind this unit. So far there seems to be good reason behind each issue I have with the unit. Keep reading as I discuss usability, pricing, quality, the good and the bad. Fast forward to the end for a deal on the POV.1 as well!

Some highlights of the Viosport (VIO) POV.1:

  • The whole system is waterproof to 1m (3ft)
  • Built in LCD screen on recording unit to view live video and review video
  • 98 Field of View Wide Angle Lens with Infinite Focus
  • DivX MPEG4 AVI Compression, 1GB at 720x480@30fps = 40 Minutes
  • 24P and 30P Progressive video ready, up to 720x480
  • SDHC card storage up to 8GB (6 Hours), USB 2.0 connectivity, and Analog video/audio output
  • No digital to analog conversion - digital from camera to compression
  • Wireless remote - start/stop record and nice TAG feature
  • 4 AA batteries powers the recording unit and camera
  • 1 cable from recording unit to camera
  • Waterproof in-line microphone integrated into camera cable
  • Lightweight (About 1 lb (375 grams) with batteries and camera) and power efficient
  • Includes POV Manager software to quickly edit and post to web

Table of Contents for Review of the POV.1
  1. Pre-Review Information
  2. Full POV.1 Review

Pre-Review Information

Digital vs Analog
First, a brief update on the current state of traditional camcorder based helmet cam systems. Traditional analog based helmet cam systems use an off the shelf camcorder with video input capabilities (aka A/V jack) to connect to the "helmet cam". What's scary about the analog systems is that Sony and others are completely phasing out camcorders with A/V inputs. In fact, none of Sony's current camcorder products have simple A/V inputs on them! This leaves analog based users scrounging around on eBay for older used & refurbished camcorders. All the helmet cam vendors know about this trend, and most of them are working diligently to find new solutions.

There are two core parts to a helmet cam system. The Recording Unit and the Camera. All of the systems on the market today can claim they use a "digital" recording unit because all camcorders ultimately record onto "digital" media. They can also claim the cameras are also "digital" because they use digital CCD (some are CMOS) imagers to capture the image.

The PROBLEM with traditional helmet cam systems (not the POV1) is the cable between the camera and recording unit is NOT DIGITAL. The digital ccd image must first be converted to an ANALOG, INTERLACED video signal and transmitted via the standard A/V cable to the camcorder where it is converted back into a digital signal, compressed, and stored onto tape or some other digital medium. The Digital-Analog-Digital process creates quality issues in many areas, I will briefly touch upon two core quality issues.

The first quality atrocity with traditional helmet cam systems (not the POV1) is interlacing a perfectly crisp digital video stream. Have you watched video footage on your computer that was captured directly from a camcorder and noticed those shaky lines in the footage (especially during motion)? If you have read anything about High Definition video, the big buzz is "Progressive Video". I will not say any more about this, except that Progressive Scan video is WAY nicer than Interlaced video. Check out the WIKI pages on Progressive Scan Video and Interlaced Video for more information and great visual examples.

The second atrocity with traditional helmet cam systems (not the POV1) is converting all that great digital color information into an analog signal. Once a signal is analog and travels along a length of wire information is lost. So, information is lost in the conversion and also lost in the transmission - once it's gone it is gone. When you couple this loss of information, along with the fact that many helmet cams on the market today are simply security cameras sold as helmet cams - the end result is poor color quality.

The SOLUTION is to not covert the pristine digital video stream into analog. Guess what? The POV1 has solved this, albeit somewhat expensively, by engineering a fully digital cable between the recording unit and the camera imaging sensor. VIO calls this cable the "LDVS Cable", rightly so, since it is based on the widely used LDVS Standard. Low-voltage differential signaling, or LVDS is used behind the scenes in many high-speed data transfer protocols such as FireWire, Serial ATA, SCSI, and more.

That being said, the digital connection between the camera and recording unit on POV.1 contributes greatly to the overall color and quality of the video produced from this unit. The Viosport POV1 is the first to market with an affordable 100% digital helmet cam system targeted at the consumer market. Kudos VIO - thanks for taking the first leap.

Fully Integrated vs Pieced Together
Again, a brief update on the current state of traditional camcorder based helmet cam systems. The typical helmet cam system on the market in 2007 is generally a hodgepodge of equipment pieced together into a "system". The hodgepodge generally consists of a recording unit, power system, external camera, microphone, and remote control.

The recording unit is generally a Camcorder with A/V inputs, or more recently, handheld DVR's such as the various Archos products. These recording units will have their own batteries to charge, power switches, video inputs, and remote control inputs. As noted earlier, many camcorder manufacturers are actually doing away with video inputs all together, which means the market will be forced into the DVR space. The core issue with using camcorders and DVRs in helmet cam systems is that they are not designed to be used in the many ways helmet cams are used. Here is a short list of issues we have encountered with traditional helmet cam systems:

  • Tons of freak'n wires everywhere! A wire from the camera to the recording unit, a wire from the camera to the camera battery, a wire from the recording unit to the remote control, a wire from the recording unit to the microphone - ARGH!
  • Broken A/V connectors and wire connections that fall out or disconnect - duct tape is a typical ingredient in traditional helmet cam systems, and so is LOST footage of amazing escapades
  • Moving parts are bad - tape based camcorders do not like their recording heads to shake, and hard drive based DVR's do not like shock either

The actual Helmet Cam piece of the system is generally an off the shelf security cam with some simple cable adaptations to connect to various recording devices. Almost all of the cameras out there have extreme low light ratings - this is not because the helmet cam market likes to film in the dark! The external cameras connect into the recording device using standard A/V 1/4" connectors. These A/V connections on the camcorders where never designed to be "plugged into and stuffed in a backpack". Hence, the often frustrating loss of video due to broken A/V jacks or simply the connector popping out. Of course, this can be easily remedied with some duct tape. Doh! Lastly, where does the external helmet cam get it's power from? Not from the A/V jack on the camcorder - These cameras require an external battery to power them. This contributes to the crazy wire mess generally associated with helmet cams.

The standard Remote Control for helmet cameras today is based on the Sony LANC interface. This is a protocol that Sony developed years ago to allow people to control camcorders via a wire based remote. To use a Remote Control on a camcorder based system today requires the camcorder to have a LANC jack (which is another feature that is VERY hard to find on low end camcorders) - hence another wire and connector to duct tape and break. I will mention that there are a few DVR based helmet cam systems on the market today that have integrated the remote and power INLINE with the camera cable, but generally you do not want the remote tied to the camera cable since the cable is travelling towards the recording unit - which is stuffed in a pack somewhere. These DVR based systems also suffer from under engineered connectors that are prone to breaking as well.

Let's throw in the microphone too. The microphone needs power as well, and usually draws power from the battery powering the camera. This means the microphone wire has to tie into the camera power AND tie back into the recording device as well. Basically, more wires.

Again, the SOLUTION is to engineer a complete system that is "Fully Integrated". A fully integrated helmet cam system would have meet the following requirements:

  • An easy and efficient user experience
  • A recording unit designed around the uses associated with weareable video. Shock, temperature, water, long recording times.
  • One power source for the whole system, preferrably inside the recording unit to protect it from the elements. This means the camera draws power from the recording unit.
  • Strong and waterproof connectors designed to be beat up - aka duct tape not required.
  • A remote control that interacts with the recording unit and camera.

That being said, the POV.1 has been engineered from the ground up to be "fully integrated." This is one of the most exciting aspects of this helmet cam system. All of the elements were designed around the same goals and objectives: filming events in extreme conditions. VIO is not the first to market on a fully integrated system, but they are the first to produce fully integrated system that is durable, waterproof out of the box, and has a wireless remote control.

Full POV.1 Review

The PDF Manual for the POV.1
First off, we recommend downloading and taking a peak at the actual POV1 manual. There's lots of good information and pictures in the PDF version of the POV.1 manual. It's a great companion to this review as well. Download the full manual here.

VIO LogoThe Manufacturer
Keep in mind that VIO is a rebranding effort from Viosport and the brother company of Viotac. Viosport is a top notch helmet camera manufacturer with great products and excellent customer service. Viotac is targeted to Military/Police/Fire and in fact, many of the POV.1's specifications and design features were requirements derived from Viotac customers. VIO has a great customer service track record and we are confident that VIO will stand behind this relatively new product. If anyone can deliver on a solid DVR based helmet cam system, it's V.I.O. - aka Viosport, aka Viotac.

POV1 Package ContentsBranding and Packaging
The marketing around the POV.1 is new and somewhat refreshing. They have taken the core concepts of helmet cams and consolidated it into three verbs: Shoot, Tag, Share. The whole premise behind this system is ease of use and larger market appeal. It seems that they are trying to capitalize on the whole "video sharing" internet buzz as well.

The retail packaging for the POV.1 is the best to date for any commerical helmet cam system. The box it comes in is professionally designed and will look good in a glass case next to digital sporting equipment such as GPS units, rifle scopes, avalanche transceivers and hands-free radios. When you pick up the box the contents feel solid and there's no rattling or open space inside the package. Open the box, and slide out the streamlined carrying case which contains everything you need to start filming. There is no packing material, or plastic bags - just the carrying, recording unit, camera, wireless remote, SD card, batteries, quick start guide, software CD, and some basic camera mounting options.

POV1 Package ContentsWhat You Get
I was pleased when I opened the box - I did not even know the system came with an all-in-one carry case. It's about the size of a CD carrying case and has handle on it as well. Inside the zippered case is everything you need to get going: Camera, Recording Unit, Wireless Remote, Digital Camera Cable, 4 AA Batteries, 1GB SD Card, USB Cable, A/V output cable, Quick Start guide, CD containing Manual & POV Manager software, and a mini camera mounting kit.

The CD case doubles as the Quickstart Guide. It's not obvious to the spastic first time POV1 user (that would be me) that you should open the CD case for instructions on how to hook things up. I was a bit excited when opening the product (to say the least) and proceeded to hook up the camera wrong, and struggle with putting the batteries in. Here's a bit of advice - READ THE QUICK START GUIDE first! Even better - download the manual here and read it before you do anything! It would be nice of VIO to include a printed, yet compact version of the full manual in the packaging.

POV1 Recording UnitThe Recording Unit
The POV1 has successfully replaced the aging Camcorder solution with a durable, attractive, waterproof, USA engineered, digital video recorder (DVR). This is not vaporware, it is here, and it's real, and yes - it's made in China. Also, keep in mind that several military requirements went into the design of this unit. Allright, let's get into the details.

The recording unit is 6.5" Long by 2.5" Wide by 1.5" High and weighs just under 1 LB. The shape is a welcome change from the traditoinal short and fat approach to recording units. The unit sits well in the hand, slides easily into stuffed backpacks, and integrates well with military vests and police belts.

The durability of this unit is apparent when you start using it. It feels very solid, especially compared to the many consumer bsed DVRs and camcorders out there. Dropping this should not be an issue and there are no internal moving parts such as hard drives, etc. It would be difficult to crack the casing, smash a button, or break the screen.

One of the exciting features of this system is that it's rated "Waterproof" not "water resistant" - right out of the box. To test this, I connected the camera, turned it on, started recording, and dropped the whole system in the lake in about 2 feet of water. I was able to see the LCD screen laying on the bottom, recording, and existing happily along side the camera! When I pulled it out of the water I shook it off, and wiped the lense on the camera with my t-shirt and we were good to go. This bodes well for wakeboarders, windsurfers, kiteboarders, kayakers, fisherman, and more!

The waterproof specifications state that the camera head and the recording unit is submersible 1m (3ft). So, if you are going scuba diving and taking the recording unit deeper than 3ft, then you will still need a high-end pelican case for the recording unit. For the rest of us, we can slide the POV1 recording unit into a backpack/hippack and go whitewater kayaking! No silicone sealant, pelican cases, etc.

NOTE: VIO has a blurb on their site asking users to NOT remove the camera lense as it might compromise the waterproof integrity of the camera. At some point I will be changing the lense when their wide angle version comes out, so we'll see how they address that. There is not much documentation from VIO on the do's and don'ts of water use. I'm sure people will find ways to get water inside this unit - I'm thinking iPod in the washing machine. It will be interesting to see how VIO responds when that starts happening.

POV1 LCD Screen - not a fancy picture The LCD has great color and is very bright (adjustable). What a joy to have quick, easy access to what the external camera is seeing! Repeat, what a joy to have quick, easy access to review previously recorded clips. The POV1 comes with a clear adhesive protective covering for the LCD screen as well to reduce scratching. The LCD screen shows live video from the external camera, and also allows playback/delete of existing clips on the unit. Additional information on the LCD shows: Unit Status, Record Mode, Available Recording Time, Battery Status, and Keylock mode.

POV1 User Interface The user interface is very easy to use and informative. When holding the unit in your hand, your thumb is the tool of choice to interact with the simple buttons and user interface. The settings menu lets you configure the Remote, Speaker volume, MIC level, Time and Date, Framte Rate, Video Resolution, Video Quality (compression level), Record Mode, Loop Record Time, LCD Sleep Timeout, Power Off Timeout (includes Never), Display Brightness, and Analog Video Output Type (NTSC/PAL for hooking up to a TV). There is an LED in the upper left of the unit that shows status: Orange=Booting Up (2 seconds for boot up), Green=Standby, Flashing Red=Recording, Flashing Orange=Warning/Alert Condition.

Overall, the user interface is pretty v1.0 - it is easy, it works and gets the job done. The good news is the POV1 has updateable firmware. This is great since new user interface features can be delivered via firmware upgrades. Manufacturers such as Archos and Sony can update firmwares, but they don't care about Helmet Cam users (and never update their firmwares)! I would imagine that VIO will be listening to us for our enhancement requests. Read the Nice To Have's section for some of my thoughts on UI improvements and new features.

POV1 Battery Hatch There are two "hatches" on the POV1. One is for battery access and the other for SD Card, USB, A/V Out, and a secondary MIC input. Both have a strong water proof seal setup with a unique interlocking rubber gasket system.

The battery hatch has a unique "wing level" system. At first glance the wings appear they would unlock and then "pop" the battery hatch off for you. This is NOT the case. Just lightly pop the wings out, which is easy (no prying nec. Then, you remove the battery hatch manually, which is not that easy. The interlocking rubber gasket system actually creates a locking seal, so it takes a bit of practice to remove the battery hatch. I have found the easiest way is to get a fingernail under the "red arrow" in the picture and pry up. My softy computer fingers struggled a bit -- a mountain man or a good military woman with some real hands will probably just fling the hatch without even thinking. The batteries go in quite firmly as well, which in turn requires additional finger nail force to remove. A nice to have here would be the trusty ribbon strip that folds underneath. They may have scrapped that idea for fear the ribbon would occasionally get pinched between the waterproof seal and make in susceptible to water intrusion. I've been using some Duracell rechargable AA's, and they are even tighter fitting than regular AA's. Tight is good so that the batteries don't jiggle around, but in cold weather it will be more of a challenge when hands are cold - but definitely doable.

POV1 Memory Hatch The SD Card hatch is easier since it has the small turn screw with a little loop handle. Unscrew it and pull firmly out. Inside you find a stanard SD card slot with the push & click lock mechanism. The SD card is easy to put in, but takes a little practice to get out. It's hard to say how often the SD card will be changed in the field - most likely will depend on your activity. Overall, the hatches are well designed and durable - no weak hinges or cheap plastic here.

Note: The downloadable manual has walk-throughs for all of the various features - recommended reading.

The Camera
POV1 Camera Head The POV.1 has a completely redesigned camera head that is new to VIOt. This is their first venture into the world CMOS imagers. I'm not going to get into the technical details behind CMOS vs CCD, but I will chat about what I do know. CMOS technology has been around for awhile, but only recently has it appeared in the video marketplace. Example, several Sony video cameras now use CMOS sensors, especially their High-Definition model and Twenty20 helmet cams have been CMOS since 2006. Initially, getting a killer image out of a CMOS sensor has been tricky. Two key benefits of CMOS are: Much lower power consumption (read longer run times) and it handles direct sunlight much better (no streaking).

The lense on the POV1 ships standard with a wide angle 98 degree horizontal field of view (110 degree diagonal). A few good links on FOV and Focal Length: Go here for more on Field of View and Go here for an interactive Focal Length demonstration over at Canon's website. The Lense is removeable, but do not take the lense off just for fun it. It's always good to keep the factory seal!

My experience with this camera is this: Great color, Low power consumption, great wide angle and excellent response to varied lighting conditions. One of the struggles we have always had with helmet cams is filming outdoors during sporting activities. Traditional CCD based helmet cams have a hard time dealing with lighting conditions that rapidly change from bright to dark. The POV1 handled these situations very well. Straight shots at the shot showed NO streaking or power banding. Swinging the camera from dark to light and back to dark was handled smoothly, instead of the classic jumpy white balance adjustments that come out of traditional helmet cams. My guess is that there is some programmed algorithmic logic to handle the white balance in such a smooth fashion. More kudos to VIO.

POV1 Camera with C Clamp mount Here are the specs on the imaging sensor: Advanced CMOS sensor, Electronic Global Shutter, Dynamic Range of 75dB to 110dB, 5 lux color (Sub 0.1 lux monochrome sensor), and a 32 Bit MIPS processor with 12 bit imaging. I have not seen inside the camera housing, but the electronics inside must be doing some advanced image processing on the fly to deal with the general "jumping through hoops" nessecary to make CMOS images look good. I say this because the images coming out of the POV.1 look good! Overall, the images are sharp and the color is good. With a LUX rating of 5 this camera is not designed for nighttime stealth missions. Traditional helmet cameras have LUX ratings < 1. Lux ratings this low reflect the Security Camera roots of helmet cams. I'm actually pleased to see a helmet camera that has been designed with normal day light use in mind. The LUX rating on the POV1 again sends the clear message that this system has been engineered from the ground up to meet the requirements of the helmet cam community. VIO has not forgotten about the low light either - they have a night vision camera head in the works for their military customers.

Angle of view

Video Quality
I'm going to lay it right out there. DVD Frame Size? YES. DVD Quality? Pretty darn close. Better than the other DVR's on the market today? Definitely. The video quality of this unit is great, but when delving into the quality frame by frame there are more compression artifacts than you would find on a "dvd". Will the average video watcher complain about the quality - no way. Would a video phile pick it apart? Sure. It appears that engineers and manufacturers are still doing the delicate dance between cost, performance, storage, and energy consumption. There are links to downloadable RAW POV.1 Video clips just following this section - You decide.

Here is my experience: Filmed some footage, brought it home, dragged the clips into Sony DVD Architect, clicked Burn, brought into the home theatre, put it up on the big screen using my 800 x 600 LCD projector and... It looked great! Nice sharpness, great colors, and good motion. You will be very pleased with the overall quality of the video that comes out of this unit. Take a look at the raw mpeg4 sample video clips and the raw frame gallery below to see for yourself.

The POV1 is quite flexible when it comes to video settings. There are several frame sizes to choose from: 720x480, 720x400, 640x480 (default), 360x240, 360x200, or 320x240. Again, big Kudos to VIO for FINALLY providing us with a true 720 x 480 NTSC compatible frame size for video editing! Frame rates are also configurable: 30, 25, 24, or 15. There are 3 compression settings: High, medium, low. The manual states: "A high setting produces a sharper more accurate image, but takes more space on the memory card. A low setting saves space but sacrifices color accuracy and detail." Personally, I've been using the POV1 at 720x480 @ 30fps in High quality mode. One of the nicest video quality features of the POV1 is that everything is Progressive Frame video. I went into detail on this in the "Analog vs Digital" section above. This greatly contributes to the overall video quality.

MPEG4 Video Codec Specifications
To see the video compression codec details for the POV.1 configured in 720x480 @ 30fps in High Quality mode, click on the last image in the Frame Grab gallery below to see a screenshot from the GSpot Codec Appliance. The basic codec settings for the POV.1 when recording in 720x480 @ 30fps in High Quality mode are as follows:

  • Video: MPEG4 @ 720x480 @ 30 fps @ 3113 kbps using the industry standard XviD Codec
  • Video Codec Download for PC and Mac's: http://www.xvidmovies.com/codec/
  • Audio: MPEG-1 Layer 2, 32000Hz, 64kb/s, Monophonic


Actual Raw MPEG4 Video Clips from the POV.1
( Please let us know if these links stop working, Thanks. )

Actual Video Clips from the POV.1 Compressed via YouTube

Actual Raw MPEG4 Frame Grabs from the POV.1, and Codec Settings

POV1 Raw Frame: image 1 of 7 POV1 Raw Frame: image 2 of 7 POV1 Raw Frame: image 5 of 7

POV1 Raw Frame: image 6 of 7 POV1 Raw Frame: image 7 of 7 MPEG4 Specs via GSpot Codec Appliance

Recording Modes
The POV1 has two different recording modes, both of which are configurable via the Settings menu. The first mode is the standard Start & Stop recording mode. In this mode you press REC and it starts recording, press STOP and it stops.
The second recording mode is new and quite interesting. It's called Loop Record mode. The Loop Record mode is definitely ground breaking in that it's ALWAYS recording, so you will never miss that crazy moment - unless of course you forget to TAG it! I'm not going to get into it in much more detail, but here is the description from the manual: "Loop mode allows you to save a video segment of a pre-defined duration by hitting the TAG soft key on the POV.1 Recorder or the REC/TAG button on the remote control. Loop mode makes it easy to leave the POV.1 in recording mode all day, and just save the best hour or two’s worth of video on the SD card. In Loop record mode the POV.1 records a continuous loop of video clips that are all of the same duration. For example, if the POV.1 is set to record 3 minute loops, it will record a series of 3 minute loops for as long as the unit is in Loop record mode. Then, when something happens that you want to save you simply press TAG or REC/TAG to save that loop."

Recording Capacity
The POV1 comes standard with a 1GB SD Card and is able to use up to a 2GB SD card. Here are some examples of recording times based on different frame sizes, rates, and quality settings just to give you an idea:

POV.1 Record Times

Most people are used to getting a maximum of 1 hour of video on a DV tape, so squeezing up to 6 hours of DVD quality video on a 8GB SD card is fantastic! As of fall of 2008, SD card prices for a 8GB SDHC card are around $50 each. Remember, you can use them in your digital still camera and a SD based handheld video camera too! The POV.1 is currently limited to 8GB SD cards - so don't go buying the 16GB+ cards just yet.
One of the major downsides of Camcorder DV tapes is that 1 hour of footage requires 1 full hour to transfer to a computer for editing (not to mention 12GB of disk space). With the POV1, 60 minutes of video footage requires about 4 minutes to transfer to a PC using a 50X speed SD card (7.8MB per second). Also, the overall storage savings on your hard drive is significant. DVD quality MPEG4 footage uses about 1.5GB per hour.

Battery Time
The POV.1 uses 4 AA batteries to power both the recording unit and the camera.VIO chose AA batteries for a few reasons: they're inexpensive, and the military specifically requested AA batteries. I'm quite pleased with the choice of AA's. The POV.1 will free us from expensive & proprietary lead-acid, nimh, and lition-ion batteries that a variety of older helmet cam systems use. You will not have to mail order batteries for the POV.1 anytime soon, that's for sure.

As with most digital devices, the POV.1 is good at eating up batteries. First thing you should do is set the LCD timeout to 15 seconds as this will save a ton of battery juice right out of the gate. A fresh set of middle of the road akaline batteries will record for about 6-7 hours (with LCD timeout set). Keep in mind that is RECORD time, not just idling, which would last longer. We highly recommend rechargeable AA's for the POV.1. A 2500 maH set of rechareable Energizers will run the POV.1 for up to 10 hours! Note: The POV1 by default will not automatically shutoff, so if you leave it on it will run the batteries down for sure! Also, there is a configurable auto shutoff setting in the preferences menu.

The Cable
Notice how I said, "The Cable" and not "The Cables". That's right, the POV.1 has only ONE cable! The cable is about 5 feet long and both ends have male connectors. The cable itself is a little on the stiff end, but the more I use it - the softer it is. In talking with VIO, the cable needed to be a little stiffer to protect the integrity of the LDVS based digital pathways contained within. This cable is unique in that it has been specifically engineered for the POV1. The cable provides a fully digital pathway between the recording unit and the camera imaging sensor. VIO calls this cable the "LDVS Cable", rightly so, since it is based on the widely used LDVS Standard. Low-voltage differential signaling, or LVDS, is used behind the scenes in many high-speed data transfer protocols such as FireWire, Serial ATA, SCSI, and more. This digital cable contributes significantly to the overall great image quality in the POV1. It is my understanding that engineering and manufacturing this cable has been costly. I would suggest to VIO that they open up their LDVS implementation to other vendors in hopes that wide scale adoption will drive down costs! One interesting thing to note is that this cable is UNI-directional. This means that one end specifically goes to the camera, and the other to the recording unit. The end that goes to the camera is determined by a small, raised VIO logo on the cable, as noted in the picture below by the red circle. If you hook it up backwards, the POV1 screen will present a "Imager not connected" message when powered up.

The Connectors
POV1 Cable Connector The connections on any helmet cam system are critical. They are connected and disconnected often, and generally take a beating. In the case of the POV1 they also need to be waterpoof. The connectors on the POV1 are stainless steel, threaded, durable, and waterproof. These are burly connectors for sure. The cable connections are "keyed" in a way that it makes it very difficult to misalign the pins. That being said - BE REALLY CAREFUL WHEN CONNECTING THE CABLE! The male pins inside both ends of the camera cable have 8 fragile pins. It is possible to hose the pins up royally, and the cable is expensive. Before connecting, take a good look at the male pins to ensure they are intact, and look at the keyed alignment system. You can't push the connector together until the keys are lined up. Once the cable is connected and seated, screw the threads down until tight. Once you do this, it's easy as cake. I would suggest being patient and not rushing this step.

The Microphone
POV1 Inline Microphone A durable & waterproof microphone has been embedded approximately in the middle of the cable. A simple "blow on the mic" wind test has confirmed that this microphone will do what most mics do in the wind - it will static out. Adjusting the MIC level to its lowest setting reduced the wind noise significantly. If the microphone is in a backpack or hippack wind noise should be minimized, and in those situations I would suggest increasing MIC level to pickup ambient sound better.

The Wireless Remote Control
POV1 Inline Microphone The Wireless Remote Control is a major step forward, and a few steps back as well. I really like the wireless approach since it eliminates cable clutter and allows the remote to be mounted in a variety of locations. The remote works within "close proximity" to the POV1. I found that if the POV.1 is out in the open you can get 6ft, but if you place the POV.1 in a backpack you might get 3ft. The remote can also be configured to operate on different channels. This will allow multiple POV1's to operate in close proximity to each other. If you wanted to, you could leave the POV1's all on the same channel and start/stop record multiple units with one remote.

This remote took a few steps backwards in terms of usability. For starters, you cannot power the POV1 on and off using the remote. The power on/off feature has been standard in the LANC protocol for years. If you are really concerned about conserving battery time, then you need to be powering the unit off when you are in between filming sessions. The second step back, is that the communication between the remote and POV.1 is one-way. The remote can talk to the POV1, but not vice-versa. So, the only way to know if the POV.1 is recording when you press REC is to listen for the BEEP that comes out of the POV1. Granted, the beep on the POV1 can be turned up pretty loud - I'm used to looking down at my LANC remote and seeing a flashing Red light when recording. If you place the POV1 in a backpack where the unit is not visible you will have to listen for the BEEP when starting and stopping recording. Also, the LED on the remote does light up, but only when you press the buttons. To provide myself with some comfort, I quickly got in the habit of pressing and holding the REC/TAG button for multiple seconds just to make sure that the signal got through.

VIO acknowledged the usability issues with the remote and they are aware of what the ideal remote feature set is. In the end it came down to cost and engineering. The wireless remote requirement was apparently more critical to the overall usability design, than have it tethered to a cable. I'm assuming the POV.2 (??) will most likely have a bi-directional wireless remote.

Usability
On a scale of 1 to 10, the POV1 gets a 7. For the most part usability on this systems rocks: Cable clutter has been reduced to one wire, live camera video can be viewed on the unit with ease, easy playback & review of recorded clips, simple user interface, good ergonomic design, easy & fast transfer of video to computers, and slides in & out of packs easily. The POV.1 lost 3 points in the following areas: Battery hatch is tricky to open & the batteries are hard to pry out (- 0.5 point), Lack of Power On/Off from Wireless Remote (- 1 point), and Lack of visual feedback & unit status on Wireless Remote (- 1.5 points).

Warranty & Support
VIO provides a 1 year manufacturers warranty on the whole system, plus a 30 day money back guarantee. They are doing a great job backing this product up. Their tech support and overall customer service have been great. Warranty issues start with contacting your dealer and/or VIO to get a Return Merchandise Authorization. The customer is responsible for shipping the unit back for warranty work, and VIO will pay return shipping the same way it was sent. So, if you send it back next day air, they will repair and return via next day air. If you crash and smash the unit - you are out of luck.

POV Manager Software and Video Sharing
Something completely new in the helmet cam space is the included POV Manager software. The software is a rudimentary video editor specifically designed to interact with the POV1 via USB, save & edit clips, and click a button to upload & share them on the internet with friends. It's a good idea and plays off of the whole viral video marketing approach. The product is pretty version 1.0, but functional. Perhaps more detail in another review at another time.

In Summary
The video quality of this unit is great, and when coupled with the overall usability, good recording capacity, out of the box waterproof status, major reduction in cable clutter, built-in LCD, and durability - it makes for a superb wearable video system. This is truly the first helmet cam / wearable video product to get it all right for the consumer market. The packaging, the marketing, the quality, and the usability. It's just like a camcorder, you buy a box at the store, take it home, and it works! If this product succeeds it means cheaper and better helmet cam systems for everyone. Helmet Camera Central highly recommends the POV.1 from VIO / Viosport.

Pricing

Helmet Cam Central Price:
$549.95 + Free 4GB SDHC Card + Free Universal mount + Free Shipping.

Visit
The Shop @ HelmetCameraCentral.com to order one up today.


We Review AND Sell Helmet Cam Systems. Wha-Wha-What!?!

Some history on us, the blog, and The Shop.In the Fall of 2005, Helmet Camera Central was born as a result of our helmet cam experiences from our video consulting business Two Brothers Video. Helmet Camera Central is a simple resource designed to help people find objective and pertinent information about helmet camera systems. Over the past few years we have tried to review helmet camera systems with an unbiased and objective point of view. Generally, we focus on the functional and usability aspects of helmet camera systems. We have run the gamut of helmet cam systems and know what works and what does not.

The type of reviews we produce are a by-product of our day to day experiences with helmet cam systems. Ease of use, reliability, and quality are at the top of our priority list. The helmet camera systems that we chose to Recommend and Sell at The Shop were chosen for a very good reason: They rock! If a review seems biased, it is only because we strongly feel that particular product is worthy of our bias! There are quite a few systems out there, and the ones we recommend generally provide the most elegant solution and the best return for your investment.

We are always here to answer your questions and help you purchase a helmet camera system that meets your needs. If one of our recommended systems is a fit for you, we hope you will find that The Shop is a trusted storefront to supply your helmet cam equipment. If our recommended systems do not fit your needs we will not hesitate to put you in contact with the right vendor to find a solution.

Change Log
11.14.2008 / Chadical / Version 1.5
** Updated for new 8GB support, free 4GB card and lower pricing.
05.01.2008 / Chadical / Version 1.4
** Updated for new standard Wide Angle.
02.01.2008 / Chadical / Version 1.3
** Price drop from $749.99 to $679.95
01.09.2008 / Chadical / Version 1.3
** Price drop from $799.99 to $749.99
10.29.2007 / Chadical / Version 1.3
** Added new RAW POV1 video clips
10.20.2007 / Chadical / Version 1.2
** Added Warranty and Support section
09.27.2007 / Chadical / Version 1.1
** Added table of contents, typos, a few rewords and clarifications. Free Shipping.
09.26.2007 / Chadical / Version 1.0
** First major draft posted. I'm expecting corrections and additions. View this change log in the future to determine what has been fixed/added/or changed.

154 Responses to “VIO POV.1: The Holy Grail of Helmet Cams”

  1. vrecksler Says:

    Price?

  2. chadical Says:

    Yeah, the price! $849.99 MSRP…

  3. Transgarp Says:

    POV.1 is great, fixed on the front of my Triunph Bonneville 1967 in the forest roads

    Good real image, good real sound

  4. camcam Says:

    How can reviews be unbiased when you now have a store and this is the only product in it? What is the markup to help this decision?

  5. chadical Says:

    1. It’s simple – this is the only product we feel is worth selling. There are a few new product offerings in the marketplace that are still in development. If these new “fully integrated” system are worthy, we will try to get them in our store as well.
    2. You can only run a website for free for so long – at some point you either need to ditch it or find a way to make it worth everyones time.
    3. The full review is almost complete – and the unit does have it cons, which we will discuss. It’s not all rosy, but the unit still comes out on top in my book.
    4. Biased / unbiased – if it’s a good product, it’s a good product!

  6. Jonthan Says:

    Is there a microphone built-in to the camera?
    If so, does this system have an input for an auxiliary microphone, in case I want to bypass the built-in microphone?
    (On a motorcycles there is usually a lot of wind noise with microphones that are built in to the camera, so I prefer to have a microphone elswhere).

    Thanks.

  7. Transgarp Says:

    The POV.1 main unit can be mounted anywhere that provides enough cable
    length for the camera head to be placed where you want it. If you have the
    camera attached to your head or body a typical application would be to
    attach the POV.1 unit to your belt, vest, or place it in a backpack.

    Keep in mind that the built-in microphone on the POV.1 is located on the
    digital A/V cable, in the small square block that is located roughly halfway
    down the cable from the camera head. If you want to capture your voice on
    the audio you should place the mic part of the cable away from any wind
    noise and as near to your head as possible.

    You can adjust the sensitivity of the mic using the Settings menu.
    1. Press the SETTINGS button on the POV.1
    2. Press the NXT soft key until MIC LEVEL is shown in the display
    3. Press SELECT
    4. Use the PREV and NXT soft keys to choose the appropriate setting (0-9)
    5. Press SELECT to choose that setting

    For some applications you may find it helpful to use an external
    microphone. The mic input connector is located at the bottom of the POV.1
    unit, and to access it the Input/Output Port cover must be removed (as
    described earlier in this manual).

    If you are using an external mic while recording in the field, make sure to
    protect the bottom of the unit since this is where the SD memory card is also
    located. The unit is not waterproof when the Input/Output Port cover is
    removed.

    I am owner of ATC2K and POV.1

    The sound of ATC2K is noisy and not adjustable, the sound of POV.1 is fully adjustable (0-9)

    Not just the sound is noisy with ATC2K, also video on handlebar of motocross bike :)

    ATC2K is ok if no vibration.
    POV.1 is perfect in spite of vibration or no.

    My Triumph Bonneville 1967 is ultimate test for helmet cam of all type, because hard vibration in MX run.

  8. Transgarp Says:

    the text explaining the procedure of adjustment of the sound of Pov.1 comes from the handbook of service of Viosport :)

  9. Kayak4Fish Says:

    “The full review is almost complete – and the unit does have it cons, which we will discuss. It’s not all rosy, but the unit still comes out on top in my book.”

    Well let’s hear it, I am on the fence right now as far as purchase and need the full review. This will be for use on a kayak if you have other recommendations.

  10. chadical Says:

    The review is quite a piece work… I’m trying my best to get it out…

    Based on hands-on use:
    1. Video quality is GOOD.
    2. Fully waterproof out of the box, dunked the whole system in the lake while it was
    recording. Was able to watch the LCD underwater as it was recording.
    3. There are definitely some cons and usability issues, but at this point the Pro’s
    outweigh the cons.

    What specifically do you have questions on?

    -chad

  11. markusnorton Says:

    “What specifically do you have questions on?”

    I have one: what about editing the MPEG4 compressed vid. is this format not really a broadcast format and not designed for editing – i.e. the quality suffers quite some bit when you start editing?

    Thxs

  12. Transgarp Says:

    I use VirtualDub to edit the files compressed DivX coming from POV.1 and I do all that I want like type of edition.

    The bitrate used by POV.1 is 3000, then it largely higher than the average of 780 is used by the majority of people.

    Studio 11 of Pinnacle is also a very good tool to edit the files of the POV.1

  13. yoda Says:

    thanks to transgarp for answering a question for me.
    i mailed vio to ask what the recording bitrate of
    the pov.1
    they could not tell me.
    so please may i ask how you know its 3000.
    i am using a unit that records at 2000 and i do not
    like the stuttering effect.
    i tried a hard disc drive model with a bitrate of 4000
    nice and smooth video, but skipped to often over bumps
    and took ages to recover.
    i do like the look of the pov.1 (no messy cables)
    but the bitrate needs to be a minimum of 4000kb/s.
    and i think a bit shortsighted of vio not to have
    a dc/in socket.
    dear mr transgarp. any chance you could send me neat
    unedited footage from your pov1. about 15mb worth.

    footage from your

  14. chadical Says:

    I’m almost done with the review. These are good questions.

    1. MPEG4 edits just fine in Premeire, Vegas, Final Cut, etc. What do no want to do is edit and compress, edit and compress, edit and compress… over and over. Edit it… and compress it, your done. Minimal generational loss. If you are a serious video editor, you will want to convert the MPEG4 from the POV1 into a more lossless codec after filming for editing. I just use it as is.

    2. Using GSpot, the raw video from the POV.1 reads like this:
    Video: MPG4, 3113 kbps, Qf:0.300, Pics/s 30.000, Frames/s 30.000, 720 x 480, 3:2
    Audio: MPEG-1 Layer 2, 32000Hz, 64kb/s, Monophonic

    3. I’m not finding a need for the DC input on the POV1. It runs forever on batteries, and I’m getting 4 hour RECORD times on 2400 mah rechargeable batteries. I’m sure the lack of a DC jack was an overall design/cost decision. Lastly, the POV1 can be powered via the USB cable! So, you don’t need batteries in it when you are at home connected to your computer.

    4. Finally, A RAW video clip for everyone to see!
    Simple clip – Water and Sun
    http://www.mediafire.com/?br7w9ul2dte
    (Viewable with DIVX or XviD codecs)

    Keep the q’s coming!

    -chadical
    helmetcameracentral.com

  15. Transgarp Says:

    Hello Yoda,

    All of my unedited files of POV1 have between 120 Meg and 600 Meg

    124 Meg file > http://transgarp.dyndns.org/Div/20070916_Jean-Gauvin_POV1.avi

  16. Kayak4Fish Says:

    “There are definitely some cons and usability issues,”

    So what are the cons and being on a kayak usability is very important.

    I am currently using a canon GL1 as my boat based camera and want to add a POV camera onto my kayak for different angles and cut ins for our kayak fishing videos. Is there any difficulty in editing between the two. I have Pinnical editing software. These are used on line but are mostly for producing DVD’s for my clients. Here is an example
    http://one.revver.com/watch/76413

    Thanks for the help.

  17. Kayak4Fish Says:

    Thanks for the call and giving me the run down on the unit. I am even more interested now, this sounds like it will really do the trick for us. Being so compact, with minimal wires and waterproof sounds like the perfect setup for our kayaks.
    Thanks again.

  18. chadical Says:

    Ok, v1.0 of the review is up. It’s late, I’ll proof read more tmrw. Please contact me if you see issues or questions.
    -chadical

  19. yoda Says:

    many thanks for the video clips people,
    i have now made up my mind to buy the POV.1
    based on their quality.
    only problem now is to get the mrs to let me
    spend £595 (uk dealer price)

    again, thanks for the clips.

  20. chadical Says:

    Here’s the clips from the above review:

    Actual Raw MPEG4 Video Clips from the POV.1
       
    ( Please let us know if these links stop working, Thanks. )
        1. Water and Sun, RAW POV1 Video Clip / 17MB
        2. Triumph Bonneville 1967 out for ride / 68MB / Thanks Transgarp!

    Actual Raw MPEG4 Frame Grabs from the POV.1
    POV1 Raw Frame: image 1 of 7 POV1 Raw Frame: image 2 of 7 POV1 Raw Frame: image 3 of 7 POV1 Raw Frame: image 4 of 7
    POV1 Raw Frame: image 5 of 7 POV1 Raw Frame: image 6 of 7 POV1 Raw Frame: image 7 of 7

  21. Kayak4Fish Says:

    I just had the time to read the full review, great job and very informative. I was wondering how the video screen was as far as ability to see it in bright light ie out on the water with direct sun and a lot of glare.

  22. Kayak4Fish Says:

    Do you know if there is a polarized filter that can used on the camera?

  23. chadical Says:

    The LCD should handle bright conditions well. No polarized filter available as of yet.

  24. cactusjackslade Says:

    Nice review Chadical,

    Another POV1 review and info posted here with comment about the video quality:

    http://www.helmetcamreview.com/POV1Review.htm

    CJS

  25. chadical Says:

    Hey CJS-
    Thanks for the props. Thank You for providing highly functional review as well.

    Could you create a free account over at mediafire.com and upload a RAW/Untouched 15-20 second mtn bike clip? and post the link here?

    thx / chad

  26. tushar Says:

    Do you think this system could be used to get surfing footage, either through a helmet or board mount?

  27. chadical Says:

    Will be totally killer for surfing – but you really need to have POV.1 in a drybag of sorts to protect from the salt water and intense water pressure from waves.

  28. folletto Says:

    is there anyone out there that has tried the POV1 in the snow. I know it would be pretty recent, but I heard of some big storms in Colorado. I’d really like to see how the device work with bright conditions and vibrations on skis and boards. whenever you have one, please post it here

    thanks!

  29. zmetl Says:

    This looks like an impressive setup but I’m waiting for the ability to use a larger SD card (possibly SDHC). If they hit that sweet spot then this will be part of my overseas kit.

  30. MattL Says:

    I was quite excited when I saw this post. I hadn’t been to the site in a while and thought I would stop in. I see this post and just about lost it. It just seemed to good to be true. Then it hit me “4.5mm effective focal length.” Oh No!!! That was the first thing I replaced on my viosport advcam3. I went from the stock 3.6mm to the 2.9mm and loved the difference. With so many great features this is the one thing holding me back. :( I want this thing bad…

    I too would also like to see some skiing or snowboarding footage, as that is what I mainly use my current setup for.

  31. chadical Says:

    Update…
    1. I brought the POV1 out in the snow this week in bright sunny conditions. It did GREAT! I’m on the road traveling, and will get the footage up asap.
    2. Trying to get an actual date when the wide angle lens for the POV1 will be available. I’m hoping for January. The wide angle lense is number 1 on their customer request list.
    3. Feedback from POV1 customers has been overwhelmingly positive!

  32. chadical Says:

    The crew over at TrackXperience (http://www.trackxperience.com/) picked up the POV1 a few weeks back. Here’s some youtube footage of the POV1 in action at the motorcycle track day at Willow Creek – Please Note: Youtube compressed for web viewing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8geltTze4Og

    They are very pleased with the usability and the quality too! They ordered a 2nd unit last week. Their students love the near real time video feedback they get after a few laps on the track.

    They are mailing us a DVD with raw POV1 footage. We’ll get some links up to the untouched footage soon.

    -chadical

  33. R3d2 Says:

    I wrote to vio. I bought the camera on Friday and on saturday I used to use it.
    I got trouble with fixing on my helmet. Catching the right angle. I did’t had a time to adjust. Was rainy. Then lot of offroad with mud. Camera worked perfect. Picture was bright and clear. My frend had ATC2K and the movies are much worse. Later will be video in “wrong” angle :)

  34. KBSRacing Says:

    Hello,
    I have a few questions about this cam.

    1) Can the raw footage be loaded into a movie maker program like Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 11 for editing and video production ?

    2) Is this cam “water proof” or “water resistant” ?

    3) What kind of warrenty is there with this unit ?

  35. chadical Says:

    1) RAW POV1 AVI files will drag & drop right into any modern video editing system. Users may need to install Divx from http://www.divx.com. Try downloading one of the raw clips in the video section in the review and using it in Pinnacle 11. There have rumors flying around that the POV1 footage does not edit in Adobe Premier – some older version of premiere need some updates to get it functioning. Basically, any video editors that were released in the last 2-3 years are fine.

    2) The entire system is rated “Waterproof” to 3 ft.

    3) 1 year warranty, and 30 day money back gaurantee.

  36. Transgarp Says:

    Answer 1)
    I use VirtualDub, Pinnacle Studio 11, Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0
    To use Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0 with the video sources of POV.1, I must use VirtualDub to save video in mode Uncompressed (RGB/YCb/Cr) if not the image is reversed bottom upwards.
    Thereafter I transfer the film in the form of my choice, avi, mov, wmv, etc…

  37. KBSRacing Says:

    Thanks for the reponces to my questions, I think one of these is in my future.

  38. folletto Says:

    Thanks a lot for posting the video on snow. It seems that POV works great in unusually bright conditions. I was particularly concerned about the snow/sky transition which can make the sky look gray sometimes.

    I just watched the new video posted. The POV guy was mentioning plugging-in GPS receivers to the cam to georeference video clips. Can any body give me any link where I can search for how-to-dos about this?

    In the meantime I’ll go ahead and buy the cam. I’m really excited!

  39. R3d2 Says:

    I got to trouble with fitting on bike helmet. Helmet is not flat, is it as a ring!!!! Ordered ADHESIVE MOUNT (it helped a lot of with tape ;) ), and DBL HOOK-LOOP MT and RT ANG H-L MOUNT for mounting on dirt bike.

    It works perfect in poor weather. Except with cloud 80 – 100%. Camera is not focusing more. Closest objects are perfects.

    I want to have spare window, with often cleaning of it.

    With snow was no problem. Picture was bright.

    Be carefully with I/O PORT COVER. I used to order another.

    I made by self recording device mounting on the strap on the bag.

    It’s a lot of stuff which I need, but system works as it use to be.

  40. KBSRacing Says:

    Can someone Plz tell me what size the camera head is ?

    I’m looking at diffrent mount’s and I need to know the size.

    Will a mount with 19 to 21mm of ajustabilaty work with this camera ?

  41. chadical Says:

    The region of the camera designed to mount with is about 19mm wide and about 35mm long.

    -chad

  42. R3d2 Says:

    Annoying is date:time adjust on every batteries change!!!

  43. DOOIT31 Says:

    Did we get a anwser to the GPS question? If so re-cap please.

  44. KBSRacing Says:

    Thanks Chad

  45. MattL Says:

    I still have yet to see any snowboard or skiing footage from this unit. Is there any out there, somewhere??? Any word on the FOV yet? Also, when they do finally have the ability to change the FOV will it be like the adv cam 3 where we just change the lens out or do you think we will have to buy a new cam unit?

  46. chadical Says:

    Sorry everyone – The holidays were crazy!

    1. I have 2 videos in the works and should be online soon. Snowboarding and Snowmobiling – both using very interesting camera perspectives.

    2. The Wide Angle POV1 Camera Head should be available soon (1st quarter of 08). VIO is moving away from swappable lenses because it introduces vapor moisture into the camera housing which can cause internal fogging. The Wide Angle will be available as a completely separate camera head for around $150.

  47. chadical Says:

    Click here to view some fresh snowboard footage with the POV1.

  48. MattL Says:

    Thanks Chad, Looks like I might be getting one of these soon.

  49. airplay Says:

    What would anyone suggest you carry this unit in? I have a lowe pro camera case for my current DVR, but I’m guessing this unit will be too tall for my case. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  50. baja1000 Says:

    A good carrying case for the POV1 is a micro Pelican case. There are alot to choose from, depending on the dimension. This is an enclosed case, so you will need to drill a small hole on the side to run the video line out, then seal hole with silicone.

    http://pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1060

  51. NisekoFeb07 Says:

    Hey guys,
    I am snowboarding in Niseko, Japan this Feb (-10 degrees Celsius) and want to know if the POV1 would be a better option than the ATC-2000 given that the power source can be kept close to the body and hence warm. It also sounds like the POV1 would be better image quality, however still not sure what exactly this means? i.e. sharper? less grainy/noisy, true colours? The POV1 is a lot more expensive so want to be convinced that it’s worth it.
    Honest reply MUCH appreciated!!

  52. chadical Says:

    The POV1 does GREAT in cold weather. Battery life on the ATC2k is pretty weak to start, and when it gets cold it’s even shorter. The POV.1 has been seeing run times in the 10+ hours. I had my snowmobiling a few weeks ago – just directly exposed to the elements (though not -10C) – and it lasted 6 hours.

    The Image quality is MUCH higher, better motion, no strange rippling motion artifacts, great color. The POV1 also allows you to review your video footage as your filming. This huge because it takes a bit of practice to get good at filmining with a helmet cam. By reviewing footage you can adjust your filming style as you ride, instead of waiting until the next day or outing.

    Price drop on the POV.1 last week to $749.99…

    -chadical

  53. connelly29 Says:

    I’ve had the POV.1 for a couple weeks now. Overall I’m very impressed.
    I have a few questions/issues:

    1) Is there a firware update available? Occasionally when doing SD card
    operations, the unit shuts off (even with fresh batteries). Sometimes
    when I power it on again it gets “SD card read error”. I lost quite
    a bit of footage the first time this happened. Arrrgh.

    2) Like others, I’d really like a wider angle lens.

    3) What format is the audio? For some reason VitrualDub can’t do
    “full processing” on it, event though I have the DivX pro codec.
    I have to use the divx encoder to re-encode it and then use
    virtualdub. Weird.

    4) The video straight from the unit has no keyframes. So trying to
    fast-forward to say, the end of a 30-minute clip, is PAINFUL.
    I’d really like it to have a way to add keyframes along the way.

    5) Would be nice to have more than just 2X fast forward on the unit.
    This is probably a limitation due to #4 above.

    6) I’d really like to have an “automatic loop” mode, where it records
    several sequential segments without having to hit “rec/tag” on the
    remote. I like the smaller files, but riding a dirt bike it’s hard
    to physically hit “rec/tag” every X minutes. I could do 30 minute
    loops but that sort of defeats the purpose.

    7) In cloudy/overcast conditions it has a bit too much contrast… the
    sky is almost white and the ground gets very dark. I had to post-
    process the video to reduce the contrast from a dark/cloudy day.

    8) Too bad quicktime pro can’t read dixv files. Would reduce the
    amount of time it takes to produce an H.264 mov file. This isn’t
    a problem with the POV.1; it’s more a problem with different video
    format vendors.

    Any ideas folks?

  54. chadical Says:

    Great questions and suggestions – see answers below.

    1) Is there a firware update available? Occasionally when doing SD card
    operations, the unit shuts off (even with fresh batteries). Sometimes
    when I power it on again it gets “SD card read error”. I lost quite
    a bit of footage the first time this happened. Arrrgh.
    ** Sounds like a defective SD Card!

    2) Like others, I’d really like a wider angle lens.
    ** End of March

    3) What format is the audio? For some reason VitrualDub can’t do
    “full processing” on it, event though I have the DivX pro codec.
    I have to use the divx encoder to re-encode it and then use
    virtualdub. Weird.
    ** Audio codec for VirtualDub:
    1. http://helmetcameracentral.com/codecs/pov1/qmpeg_mp2.zip (Right-Click -> Save As)
    2. Extract the zip file, and Right-Click on the QMPEG.INF and click the Install option.
    ** Also, we have learned that the preferred video codec for the POV.1 is the XviD MPEG4 codec:
    1. http://helmetcameracentral.com/codecs/pov1/XviD_1.1.3.exe (Right-Click -> Save As)
    2. Run the installer, during the install DESELECT the ‘Generic MPEG4′ playback option…

    4) The video straight from the unit has no keyframes. So trying to
    fast-forward to say, the end of a 30-minute clip, is PAINFUL.
    I’d really like it to have a way to add keyframes along the way.
    ** Agreed. Will submit as feature request.

    5) Would be nice to have more than just 2X fast forward on the unit.
    This is probably a limitation due to #4 above.
    ** Agreed. Will submit as feature request.

    6) I’d really like to have an “automatic loop” mode, where it records
    several sequential segments without having to hit “rec/tag” on the
    remote. I like the smaller files, but riding a dirt bike it’s hard
    to physically hit “rec/tag” every X minutes. I could do 30 minute
    loops but that sort of defeats the purpose.
    ** No comment…

    7) In cloudy/overcast conditions it has a bit too much contrast… the
    sky is almost white and the ground gets very dark. I had to post-
    process the video to reduce the contrast from a dark/cloudy day.
    ** It would be nice if their WB algorithm could deal better with this.

    8. Too bad quicktime pro can’t read dixv files. Would reduce the
    amount of time it takes to produce an H.264 mov file. This isn’t
    a problem with the POV.1; it’s more a problem with different video
    format vendors.
    ** The current version of Divx should be compatible with QT Pro…

  55. connelly29 Says:

    >> ** Sounds like a defective SD Card!

    This happened with two different, brand new SanDisk Ultra II 2GB cards.
    I don’t think it’s the cards. I haven’t been able to rebliably
    reproduce this situation. I just happens every once in a while. Weird.

  56. Louis Says:

    Had the POV.1 for a few weeks now. Using it to record Enduro off road motor cycle riding.
    Wonder if you could help please.
    I notice that clips transferred off the POV.1 use the XVID codec.
    But if I edit these clips using the V.I.O. POV Manager and place them in the story board section, when I save them they use the DIVXMPG4 v3 codec.
    When watching the edited videos in Windows media play the video is very jerky/staggered, the audio is fine.
    Why do videos edited with V.I.O. POV Manager use the DIVXMPG4 v3 codec and not the XVID codec?
    Is there a way to make the V.I.O. POV Manager rather use the XVID codec when saving movies from the story board?

    Thanks.

  57. chadical Says:

    Louis-

    First, Download this additional codec update… Media Player prefers to play the POV1 raw footage using this codec.
    1. http://helmetcameracentral.com/codecs/pov1/XviD_1.1.3.exe
    (Right-Click -> Save As)
    2. Run the installer, during the install DESELECT the ‘Generic MPEG4′ playback option…

    Secondly, when you save an edited video using the POV Manager it recompresses in a web viewable format using the Divx Mpeg4 codec. This version has higher compression, and is intended for sending over the web.

    -chad

  58. Louis Says:

    Thanks for the answer and link to the updated codec.

    From your second answer I would say the POV Manager uses the Divx codec by design, so I should rather use VirtualDub to edit my clips as I can then control what codecs are used when I save the edited files.

    Thanks for your help.

  59. Transgarp Says:

    I noticed that the image in background over 6 feet becomes blury in bottom of -10°C and when the sun is about to lie down

    http://transgarp.dyndns.org/clip0001.avi 2h00PM, -10°C
    http://transgarp.dyndns.org/clip0002.avi 4h00PM, -20°C

    Transgarp – sounds like a defective camera head. Give us a call and we can get an RMA going.

  60. torinhill Says:

    I am trying to create a behind the ear mounted camera for wireless use for teaching. Hoping to find a good camera that can be connected to my MacBook pro and feed video like a high-res webcam.

    How would you all go about that?

  61. Transgarp Says:

    Ooops, bad directory.
    Anyway, the problem of blurry image does not seem to worry you, considering the message is not published.
    I like the solidity of system POV1, on the other hand the head camera seems to have the same problem as Hubble when the weather is cold and little sun :)
    The principal fault of the head camera is that one not adjust manually the focus one and no play of lens with different focal distance exists.

    http://transgarp.dyndns.org/div/clip0001.avi 2h00PM, -10°C
    http://transgarp.dyndns.org/div/clip0002.avi 4h00PM, -20°C

    TransGarp, sounds like you have a defective camera head, you should get a warranty exchange going.

  62. ese4543 Says:

    I am hoping to use the POV1 to record surgical procedures. Can anyone tell me if we can upload the video from the POV1 into iMovie on a MacPro for editing?

  63. kondovski Says:

    Thank you for the review, it is very detailed and clear. I own a Hoyttech helmet cam and have it connected to a Sony camcorder. I have had a lot of the similar issues you discuss in this review. Sometime it works great and other times not so good. When it works, the picture and sound are incredible. However, like so many others, I am tired of playing the “hit and miss” game. My friend just recieved this unit as a demo as he is a photographer/writer for motorcycle magazines. He loves it so far.
    My question to you or anyone else is have you had any experience with a V-twin engine motorcycle. My Ducati causes quite a bit of vibration and I have been told that this is what causes either the camera or the camcorder to shake itself free. I have an Archos AV500 and it does the same, hit or miss. This unit sounds like it can take some serious punishment but a V-twin engine at 10,000 plus RPM does more than a hard bump once or twice a minute. Have you had any expereince with this?
    Also, in one of your comments, you replided with a date of March or April 08 for a wide angle lense. Being that you must have a connection at Vio, any idea of a version 2? Should I wait for bigger and better brother??
    Thanks again for this info, its great.

  64. chadical Says:

    The POV1 handles the vibrations just fine. Make sure you mount the camera well. The frame of the bike is generally isolated quite well from the engine vibration.

    Wide angle lense is now targeted for end of March 08.

    We have not heard of any POV.2 plans yet.

    -chad

  65. cbrougham Says:

    I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my POV.1, that I ordered just today–many thanks again to Ryan for the chat and honest advice regarding this and other wearable video units. I’m curious what rechargeable battery solutions you guys recommend for this unit–I’m trying to be green as possible, and I’ve got other production gear that’s “double-A-dependent” as well. Ideally, it’ll be reasonably priced, charge quickly, last a decent length of time, and withstand plenty of recharge cycles. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    colin

  66. chadical Says:

    We are really close to going live on HCC.com’s new storefront. We will be offering the Energizer rechargeable AA/AAA line of products.

    We recommend any Duracell/Energizer rechargeable battery setup. You can get them anywhere, ranging from a trickle charger setup with 4 batteries for around $25 up to $50 for more elaborate rapid charging systems with car adapters, etc.

    Always get batteries with the highest milli amp hour ratings, we suggest at least 2500 mAh AA’s for the POV1. We have sent 8-10 run times on rechargeable AA’s.

  67. Evol Says:

    This is a great review. Thank you!!

    Would anyone have any video (uncompressed if possible) samples of mountain biking or motocross in and out of trees (to see how well the POV.1 reacts to changes in light)?
    I am a downhill mountain biker looking for a high quality helmet cam. Terrain is pretty rough most of the time. I would also be interested in mounting the cam to the frame to get shots of the suspension fork doing it’s job. (I’m not sure just how much vibrations there would be)

    Also, any word on the possibility of using SDHC cards? As I already have an 8Gb SDHC Class 6 card for my photo camera.

    Thanks again. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    -Tony

  68. bruceleasure Says:

    I love loop mode — but have noticed one annoying problem. When adjacent-in-time loop segments are saved, a few frames are dropped between the end of the first segment and the start of the next. I was expecting to be able to edit adjacent-in-time segments together – since the POV1 automatically saves adjacent segments if you are near the start or end of the current segment. How can I stop it from dropping frames in this situation?

  69. chadical Says:

    Bruceleasure-

    Interesting comment – I have not seen or heard about this. I’ve forwarded to VIO for comment. When I hear back I’ll update here…

    You should be able to stack the loop clip together for sure…

    -chad

  70. gopher Says:

    anyone else Tried to upgrade to the new POV.1 Firmware 1.1 version yet? …my unit shuts down when attempting the Upgrade… i was emailed the Upgrade and Instructions from VIO today, but also found it on some of the EURO VIO Websites…
    here is a link: http://www.vio-pov.eu/uk/download.html

    just wondering why i can NOT get it to work, My DVR shuts down when i press the SETTINGS BUTTON and the POWER BUTTON to attempt the Upgrade. Anyone else tried this yet?

  71. maxfacta Says:

    I can confirm this loss of frames whilst changing loops. It’s easy to test for yourself; just drop the loop duration to the lowest (20 secs) and Tag during the last third of the first loop, recording yourself talking.

    Another usability issue that got me for the first little while is that the REC/TAG button on the remote will NOT start recording if you have not first hit REC on the main unit. For example, I was regularly reviewing footage whilst out riding (due to excitement and playing with camera positioning). But leaving the unit in the “review” mode left me unable to record any more. Simple enough once you figure it out, but it seems that a REC button ought to initiate recording!

    My real beef with this unit is unrecorded footage due to the wireless signal not triggering a TAG. This (and other things) has plagued me for the 3 weeks I’ve had the unit, but I’ve finally got it sussed and tonight’s ride showed me that the wireless signal is just not getting through. I’m missing a fair numer of loops. Of the loops that I did capture, I can see that not all TAG signals were recieved – I have now formed a habit of hitting the REC/TAG button 3 or 4 times. Reviewing in the POV Manager showed 2 little triangles at most to signify the TAG event.

    Actually, typing this has triggered some extensive testing right now on the bench, and I can consistently fail to generate a TAG event from within 2 feet, with nothing between the sender and receiever. Perhaps I have a weak battery in my remote unit? Anyone else experiencing these kinds of troubles?

    Other than that, I am super impressed with the quality of the footage and the robustness of the both the main unit and camera. I have had 1 serious crash involving crushing the unit in my pack between my body and the ground, and also had the camera torn off my helmet by a tree branch. No ill effects whatsoever.

    Also, someone was requesting mountain bike footage footage? Here’s some , this link should work for a while (large, ~ 200MB).

    Sorry for the monologue!

  72. maxfacta Says:

    Oops, looks like I goofed on the link. It works, anyway.

    I was also going to ask if any mtn bikers (or anyone, really!) had any hints as to mic positioning/sensitivity. It seems that if I want to pick up voices, I have to accept immmense wind noise. To reduce the wind noise by dropping the sensitivity results in no voice etc.
    Any clues/hacks regarding positioning of the mic and so forth?
    Cheers, and thanks for a great review site.

  73. Soundstoofishy Says:

    I was wondering about the SD cards people are currently using. Is there a recommended…

    Brand?
    Write Speed (some vendors list write speeds some don’t)?
    “Extreme Card” that is durable enough for rough treatment?
    Cards that work better under hot/cold conditions?

    Thanks, and what a great website!

  74. chadical Says:

    Our testing has shown the POV.1 is not picky about SD cards. All of the standard entry level SD cards (which is about 50x) work fine in the POV1. The write speeds of the least expensive work great. We have not heard of any SD cards not working in cold temperatures. The only reason to buy faster SD cards is to accelerate the copying of files off of the SD card onto a computer. With the entry level SD cards it takes about 5 minutes to copy 2GB’s worth of data… a 133X would take 2-3 minutes.

    Thanks for the compliment!

    -chadical

  75. gtrabant Says:

    I plan on purchasing the POV.1 as soon as the wide angle lens has been released. When ordering the POV.1, will I have a choice of which lens to get with it? Or will I be forced to take the normal lens with it and have to purchase the wide angle separately?

  76. chadical Says:

    Wide Angle Lense Update:
    Our understanding is that the Wide Angle lense will be available in the first week in May as the standard camera in the POV.1 package. It will also be available as an add-on.

    -chad

  77. thejet Says:

    Would this camers work mounted on shotgun.

  78. Transgarp Says:

    The problem of my blurry head camera is now corrected. The image is now clear and focus.
    Time that I it sending and the recoive one after correction of focus was 4 days.
    Viosport gives very good service after sale.
    To give you an idea, video of a snow storm in Quebec taken 8 March 2008, -10°C, wind 60mph
    http://transgarp.dyndns.org/maison/20080305/01.avi 26Meg, 1 minute long
    http://transgarp.dyndns.org/divx_9/moteur/Impala/480p/AVI/20080305_Beauport.avi 500Meg, 22 minutes long

  79. Transgarp Says:

    Also in Windows Media Video version
    http://transgarp.dyndns.org/maison/20080305/01.wmv 12Meg, 1 minute long
    http://transgarp.dyndns.org/divx_9/moteur/Impala/480p/WMV/20080305_Beauport.wmv 245Meg, 22 minutes long

  80. C_DaleKilla Says:

    Has NE1 actually tried a 4gb or 8gb card? Several devices claim only to support up to a certain capacity, but in reality “work” with much more.

    A hand full of 2gb cards and a few AAs is still better than most of the alternatives I’ve looked at. I don’t want to be tethered to my quad, and I don’t want to have to stop recording because my internal rechargable battery is dead.

    I’m thinkin this is the way I’m gonna go. Any one ??

  81. vivelafrance Says:

    Hi,

    This looks to be EXACTLY what I want, except for the lack of the wide angle lens option.

    Reading back through the comments, I see first it was promised for Jan 2008, then March, then May… do you have a concrete date? Is it not after all just a different lens in the same camera head? It can’t be difficult for them, they already make analogue camera kits with wide lenses.

    thanks

  82. cbrougham Says:

    I asked the company (VIO) directly about this, and they also said May. It’s not simply a different lens; it’s a whole new camera head, so there’s some more complicated engineering that has to go into it. Obviously more expensive than just a swappable lens, but the rationale is that it will better preserve the waterproof-ness of the camera itself. I tend to agree with this approach, as I’ll be using the camera in quite a few “wet” setups.

  83. vivelafrance Says:

    Thanks a lot for the information, I also like the sealed camera idea, but don’t want to buy the standard one just to have a camera head lying around that I’ll never use after I’ve got the wide one. I also will be sometimes using it in very wet conditions if not directly under water. Fortunately I don’t need it until August so plenty of time yet.

  84. cbrougham Says:

    Look at this way: you’d have a “whoops-I-smashed-the-camera-on-a-rock” backup :D Actually, that’s what I really like about the modular vs. the all-in-one approach to these newer helmet cam setups. Should a part get busted on a modular unit, you can replace just that part, instead of the whole setup. Perish the thought of such a catastrophic event, but it is a consideration when dropping a fair chunk of change of a helmet cam…

    Better yet: don’t crash!

  85. zero Says:

    Hi,

    thanks for very detailed review, this is very helpful!

    I’m trying to find out what the differences to SUV-Cam / SUV-Cam PROFESSIONAL are? What pros/cons I’m getting with SUV-CAM systems compared to VIO POV.1? Are you planning to review the SUV-CAM systems?

    Thanks

  86. thejet Says:

    Will this camera work mounted on a shotgun for filmimg hunts from the guns view. Thanks Josh

  87. henadeneil Says:

    Hello

    The VIO is too expensive for me. What would you recommend in light of the following criteria:

    -I need it to attach to a motorcycle helmet
    -<£100.00 budget
    -Reasonable but not perfect quality video, i.e. good for playback on a PC monitor, a bit better than youtube quality is preffered.
    -I don’t want to depend on non-rechargeable batteries such as AA or AAA’s. A good few hours battery life and then the ability to charge it would be ideal.
    -No problems with vibration
    -Not Dependant on a separate recorder/camcorder unit would a bonus, an all in one 2GB SD card is great
    -Limited cables is a bonus, handsfree = great
    -If it attached via suction pads to another part of a bike that would be a bonus
    -If it attached to a handlebar mount that would be a bonus
    -USB connectivity to laptop as standard and easy to upload footage to laptop

    I have researched this and would use the affordable ‘ATC2000 Action Helmet Camera’ however this product depends on AA’s and the battery life is meant to be appaling:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oregon-Scientific-ATC2K-ATC2000-Action/dp/B000F5FKHI/ref=wl_itt_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1CLBG1AI0ZF7Y&colid=32PCBQ514171T

    It is however a standalone all in one gadget, records, encodes, saves and is independently powered. I would have bought suction pads for it if the helmet strap didn’t fit.

    Your suggestions would be much appreciated, cheers

    Neil

  88. Sapper951 Says:

    I’m heading to Afghanistan in a few months to do some explosives clearing work and intend on using the POV1 for my tactical camera system. Any ideas on how to camoflage the cable/camera and fittings so that there’s no shine or flash that could make me a more noticeable target? Would it be prefferable to paint the system or to sheathe it in something?

  89. maxfacta Says:

    Update on TAG failures: I went back to my supplier, who tested my unit alongside another and agreed that the performance was sub-optimal, and exchanged my unit. No more lost footage :)

  90. DGM-1968 Says:

    Great job on the review
    well dedtailed

    I seen you mentioned about a night vision camera head in the works,
    you have any news about it yet?
    and the date of release?
    about the POV2, any news about creating it?

    Camera head and recording unit
    is there any spec on max and min operating temperatures?

    the camera head, the glass on it, it is a normal glass or some type or unbreakable material?

    thx for your time

  91. DGM-1968 Says:

    Sapper951 try the sleeve for the camel pack hose that is cadpat from cpgear.com
    it might do the trick

  92. skiingandbiking Says:

    Someone else already asked but I don’t think I read a reply for this: “any word on the possibility of using SDHC cards?”

    I’m also interested in finding out the difference between the POV.1 and the SUV-CAM as well.

    “Zero Says:
    March 17th, 2008 at 1:58 pm
    Hi,

    I’m trying to find out what the differences to SUV-Cam / SUV-Cam PROFESSIONAL are? What pros/cons I’m getting with SUV-CAM systems compared to VIO POV.1? Are you planning to review the SUV-CAM systems?”

    Thanks for the great review and looking forward to hearing the answers. Thanks!

  93. plasticman Says:

    Excellent article- well written and thoughtful. I sincerely hope VIO takes some of your suggestions to heart. This looks like a great product, and I was wondering if you heard anything about WHEN a VIO.2 will be coming out? It sounds like you have had some direct contact with this company- can you provide us with an anticipated release date for a second generation unit or any information about that? Thanks!

    Also, you have a few typo’s in one section- you refer to the “LDVS” cable, but later call it “LVDS”.
    VIO calls this cable the “LDVS Cable”, rightly so, since it is based on the widely used LDVS Standard. Low-voltage differential signaling, or LVDS is used behind the scenes in many high-speed data transfer protocols such as FireWire, Serial ATA, SCSI, and more.

  94. Transgarp Says:

    Certainly that a Sony DSR450WSL 2/3″ 3CCD DVCAM Camcorder of $15,000.00 give a better image than the POV1, but I be not certain that it endure the treatment that I make with my POV1 on Triumph Bonneville 1967:)

    Hard vibration, hard weather, dust, water, etc…

  95. Ape Says:

    Hello,

    I purchased the VIO POV one month ago, and I am still testing, but I had some good takes.

    Now I have a question: I purchased also some other stuff like the POV.1 12in. Flex Mount, but It seems that it is not usefull at all, because I could not fix it to the cam or use it with the other accessories in the VIO POV pack. Can anyone give me some advice about how to use the flex mount?

    Thanks a lot.

    Greetings from Switzerland

  96. chadical Says:

    Greets-

    The flex mounts screw into the base plate of the standard camera mounting kit included with the POV.1. It’s the flat plate, with the threaded hole in it. The Flex Mount threads into that.
    -chad

  97. AdventureGuide Says:

    Can anyone send me a link to an uncompressed sample of POV1 footage? Simply walking around outdoors with a VIO on a helmet would be fine. Walking from a meadow/clearing into a wooded area would be even better.

    I can provide an FTP site for the upload. I need to see how well/if the VIO footage will integrate with my pre-existing footage.

    Thanks!

    Jim
    “jim at mccrain dot net”

  98. vivelafrance Says:

    I have it! One of the first wide angle POV.1 in my country, it’s really great. Two criticisms, first is that it seems to adjust the brightness of the image in visible steps, but you really only notice that when you’re not moving, and why would you be filming yourself not going anywhere… second the beeper is just not loud enough to hear that it has started recording when using the remote. That said, it seems to work reliably with the remote so just give it a good press and hope for the best.

  99. Tod11 Says:

    I got my POV1 a couple of weeks ago and have been playing around with it on the dash of my car. Not until I was able to use it for the reason I bought it (flying my Powered Paraglider) was I able to experience what a phenomenal camera this really is. The picture quality is superb on my Macbook and 42″ plasma TV. On the Mac the video is superior to that even produced by my Sony HVR A1 camcorder that I had been lugging into the air. I mounted the camera to the top of my helmet and the “feeling”of action this creates in the video is something I couldn’t achieve with a fixed position camcorder. I now have to learn to slow down my head movements to smooth out the shots. Really well done Guys & Gals. Oh I have the wide angle lens which really is useful for the terrain shots.
    You can see 3 videos I shot with the POV1 on YouTube. Just search for my username WAVEZIFE2.

    Thanks
    Tod

  100. surgin Says:

    i am waiting for 1080 hi def. when will VIO POV have it available?

  101. turk1866 Says:

    I have been using a hoyttech sony cam with a mini dvr. I bought the v.i.o. pov 1 from here and would have sent it back to get my money back, but some 1 kick the case out of my truck at the dunes. The idea of this cam was great, but the recording does not compare to the dvr. so if any 1 wants to buy mine let me know. I have a new hard case for it. thanks jimmy

  102. AssafL Says:

    Just bought the POV1. Took it for a couple of bike rides, car rides and other activity. Overall it is a nice package, work nicely, at a relatively okay price. Few observations:

    1. Excellent, responsive support organization.

    2. Good quality video.

    3. Nice packaging, useful mounts.

    4. Plugs are not keyed, so I spent the first 5 minutes figuring out the camera cable was connected wrong.

    5. Remote is good and nearly useful for loops, but battery clip has tendency to lose contact of battery. Manufacturer placed little rubber cube under the spring, which may need additional help. Caig gold of course helps here… (lack of warning of battery status and memory status, couple with SD only support means that remote is only useful if you have full view of the main system).

    6. Remote doesn’t notify if card is full or battery is nearing death, so main unit must be exposed and cannot be placed in backpack (as I would like). A top tube mount for the main unit would have been nice to alleviate the need for better feedback (at least for me). I will probably make one.

    7. According to V.I.O. support SDHC will never be supported. So we are limited to 2GB or roughly 80 minutes of HQ video time. This might be enough for very short rides, but I maxed my card out on fremont older (in loop record mode). Odd that a company would design a video product for SD cards and not SDHC (which are the correct choice for video). I also found their website misleading purporting that support for higher capacity will be developed (it won’t).

    I purchased the device for a very remote and damp wilderness area (with no power outlets), so it is probably the only applicable device for me. However I do think that it is transitory, and until they resolve the SDHC issue and the non-ambiguous remote response, will remain that way.

    Too bad since the main cost of such devices is not the electronics, but the waterproofing, plastics moulds, shock mounts, etc. In this case the electronics certainly were not on top of mind for the developers and that fact is now standing in the way of making it a really successful, recommended product.

  103. VIO POV.1 Adventure Video Camera (Motorsport Applied) - BMW.SG - The BMW Singapore Community Says:

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  104. danielc Says:

    I’m planning a 570 mile bicycle expedition across Alaska. I’m currently looking into ways I could document the trip by video. Do you know how this product will handle extreme cold? It could be 40 degrees below 0, or even colder.

    Thank you.

  105. erik Says:

    Danielc:

    As long as you keep the POV.1 recording unit insulated (inside a backpack or your jacket) and maybe throw some hand warmers on it, then it *should* be fine. You’re one brave man, I gotta tell you, sounds treacherous!

  106. Helmet Camera Advice... - Snowmobile Forum: Your #1 Snowmobile Forum Says:

    [...] I bought a VIO POV-1 last year and am very pleased with it. It’s durable, light, waterproof, and easy to carry. VIO recently upgrades their firmware so and quadrupled the recording capacity. I can’t find any faults. The camera is separate from the recorder and is barely noticeable on your helmet. I’ve only used mine in my airplane so far. I’ll start some snow-go videos as the Alaskan days get longer. Maybe a combo ski flying and snow-go video. We’ll see. Helmet Camera Central is the best source of gear and information that I’ve found. That’s where I bought my system. VIO POV.1: The Holy Grail of Helmet Cams | Helmet Camera Central [...]

  107. vrecksler Says:

    Can someone confirm the new firmware allows for a larger size card to be used? I have been holding out for the Gen2 version of this cam, for firmware updates as well as addressing any of the reported minor issues.

    Thanks!

  108. vrecksler Says:

    OK, the VIO site confirms it.

    Next question: are there any upgrades happening in the somewhat near (<6 months) future? I sold my older helmet cam setup and feel naked without one, so if VIO has no immediate plans of releasing a better version of the POV1, I will pull the trigger. But if waiting 6-10 months will allow me to pick up the next generation, I will be patient. :)

    Thanks!

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    [...] 1. After watching the video, read our full review of the POV1. [...]

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