TTi's Mobile Video Recorders (Buddy) Examined

By John Honovich, Published Apr 10, 2011, 08:00pm EDT

In this note, we examine a new low cost entrant [link no longer available] to the mobile video recording market. The company, TTi [link no longer available], is targeting 'school bus operators who have very little budget for video surveillance' with their Buddy [link no longer available] offering.

Unlike traditional mobile DVRs, the offering embeds recording directly into the camera using an SD card, eliminating the stand-alone DVR. TTi offers 3 series of mobile camera/recorders - a 720p model [link no longer available], a 720p model with IR [link no longer available] and a 1080p model [link no longer available]. All models support H.264, audio recording, SD cards up to 64GB and power via vehicle charger. The prices range from ~$300 to ~$500 depending on the model and the amount of storage.

To view video, the SD card needs to be removed from the camera and placed in a supplied SD card reader unit to watch on a PC. TTi says they are developing future versions with remote access and WiFi support. For units with GPS tracking, when the video is played back, the GPS coordinates with be displayed on a synchronized Google Maps next to the video.

TTi said they were focused on small camera count offerings with limited budget. Using a 3 socket power adapter splitter [link no longer available], they say that 3 cameras can be installed in a bus or vehicle providing broader coverage.

Compared to traditional analog mobile DVRs, the Buddy system has significantly higher resolution. That noted, a number of HD cameras are coming on to the market.

There are a variety of dash or vehicle cameras on the market that can be compared to TTi's offering. For instance, see DOD GS60 [link no longer available], Stuntcam Dash cams and CarBlackBox. HD H.264 and GPS support appear common in all offerings. We do not have sufficient experience to determine which products are superior or how well any of these products work. However, the low cost and integrated capability of this product class could make an attractive alternative for lower budget automative applications.

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