[ Wednesday - May 25, 2011 ]

What comes to mind when the number... 1080 flashes in front of you.  Well, it could be any number of things until you add a 'p' to the end of it.  Yes, 1080p.  It's that distinctive number that is normally associated with high definition video.  What so special about 1080p?  It's been out for a long time now and it's a common specification.  Yes, it has existed in the consumer electronic world for quite some time now.  What so special about it?  Why it's better than 1080i due to the progressive up date instead of drawing every other line of video regardless of whether there are signals to update or not.  But really, this has nothing to do with the video standard.

In this particular instance, it's associated with a VIO Point Of View camera system.  The POV.HD (http://www.vio-pov.com).  It's VIO's latest introduction to a long history of quality video systems.  As usual it's top notched and very well engineered.  Up until today, I've been using the POV.1 for three years straight, rain or shine, commute to and from work.  I also use the video system to record the occasional long trip(s).  After three years of abuse, the POV.1 is pretty beat up.  One of the 8 screws that holds the front plate on is missing, one of the two battery panel latches is broken, and the cable between the camera and recorder is kinking.  Still, the unit functions flawlessly.

The POV.HD comes in a inconspicuous black carrying case with the VIO logo stitched to the case.  Opening the case reveals all of the thought that goes into this product.  There are a number of mounting systems that comes with the unit.  You can either mount the camera via a star mount, with sticky back hook and loop material, or use the slip-on goggle strap mount.  In my case, it's the start mount with hook and loop at the top of the helmet.

Looking at the camera head on, it's much bigger than the POV.1.  This is mostly due to the POV.HD's wider field of view.  At 1080p, the camera is able to capture 146 degrees of angle.  The 720p setting grants 95 degrees of view, which is inline with the POV.1's 98 degrees field of view.

Star mount, camera, remote recorder pad, and HD recorder.

The new HD recorder.  It's the same size as the POV.1.

As always, up is marked with a white line to prevent confusion and frustration.
Ultra transparent lens cap still on.

The recorder has been improved compared to the POV.1.

As usual, there are a plethora of possible video recorder setting.  1080p at 30 fps, 720p at 60 fps, 1080p at 25 fps, 1080p at 24 fps, etc.  For me, it's 1080p at 24 fps... for now. This new recorder also allows you to take single pictures.  Treating the POV system like a digital camera.  Hm... I think this is going backwards, but I'm sure the capability will come in handy some how.  Limited battery life is one possibility that comes to mind.  Of course, one can purchase the vehicle power adapter for the POV and power won't be an issue.  Then again, 1080p at 25 fps on high resolution setting will only allows for 1 hour 25 minutes worth of an 8GB SD card.   It looks like it's time to invest in some 32GB SDHC cards.

With the camera mounted on the helmet, it sits a bit higher than the POV.1.  Then again I was using my own custom mount for the POV.1 so there was really no mounts to content with.  I basically Velcro'ed the camera onto the helmet.

The star mount is really cool.  VIO provides 6 extra strong magnets that you're suppose to install into the top and bottom parts of the star mount.  Just make sure the polarities are opposite of one another otherwise the mount halves will repel one another as oppose to attracting.  The bottom part of the star mount goes onto the helmet, while the top part of the star mount has the camera attached to it.  This is a really nice arrangement because it allows for the camera to be easily removed from the helmet and then re-installed without much fuss.  Now I can lock my helmet to my bike and take the camera with me while I'm stopped to eat at a restaurant.  If VIO keeps this up, I might start mistaking them for BMW.  In other works, they think of everything.  BTW, the magnets are so strong that the top mount leaps out of my hand and onto the bottom mount when I get close enough in proximity.  This ensures the camera isn't going anywhere at freeway speeds.

Here is the POV.HD camera mounted on the helmet.

The silver circles at the three tips are the magnets.

Top half partially connected to bottom half.

Bottom half only.

It's a stubby little camera.

Tomorrow is the first test ride with the new HD system.  Let's see how many road embedded pebbles you can spot in the video.  Don't lose count now...

[ Thursday - May 26, 2011 ]

Wow!  The quality is impressive.  Click on the video to see for yourself.  For some it's too expensive.  For me, it's worth the $600.  The thing that sucked a little is the fact I had to upgrade my video editing software to be able to edit the 1080p.  Oh well, it's all part of the technology game.

No audio.  It's just a bunch of wind noise anyway.
(Dumbed down to 720)

If the video doesn't stream for you, you might want to consider downloading and using Mozilla Firefox 4 and Apple Quicktime.

[ Friday - June 10, 2011 ]

I had a chance to ride the same stretch of road again.  Here is the equivalent footage from the raw device with a slight reduction in 1080p resolution.  Turn down the volume before watching the raw footage.  It's loud.

The date and time is incorrect.

Written on: May 25, 2011
Last modified: June 10, 2011