The Dashcam Viewer (DCV) made by Earthshine Software is a downloadable software that allows you to review, manipulate and analyze dash cam footage on your computer. Typically the dash cam manufacturer will provide some software that they recommend using. Often times, this software is buggy, lacks functionality and is limited to their own models.
Dashcam Viewer is compatible with dash cam footage from dozens of models and are more than happy to add your camera to that list if not available. If you are on the fence on purchasing the software, I’ll take you through my experience with DCV and give you my honest review on how easy it was to use.
The dash cams I’m using today are the BlackVue DR900X-2CH, VIOFO A139 and Nexar Beam.
Once installation was complete, which was easy, quick and seamless, I was finally able to open the program. The software opens up several individual windows, each that can be manipulated and resized. Positioning is straight forward. The software doesn’t have the most sleek UI. It is simple and gets to the point, but you can tell it is a bit dated.
I work in a lot of video editing software and this layout got the job done, but took me a little bit to understand each window’s function. If possible, I would like to have a larger timeline or movie scrubber, perhaps accented to stand out.
There was a bit of a learning curve in terms of how to import files. I had to search around to find how to import files, but once I did, the issue never resurfaced. It is one of those things that you need to do once and it’ll stick with you forever.
You can select either an entire folder, or specific video files. Most likely selecting the entire folder is going to be the most beneficial to you even if you are trying to search for a specific event.
With my BlackVue DR900X-2CH, importing files was fine and DCV was able to read my files perfectly, bringing in GPS, speed and direction data. On my BlackVue model, G-Sensor data was NOT picked up. I understand that newer models encode the data so it will be harder for a third-party software like DCV to pick up.
With my Nexar Beam, I was able to import my footage, but none of the underlying data was readable. No location, GPS, or speed data was picked up. I’m sending this footage to the owner who I’ve been in contact with to see if this camera’s data is readable. Be sure to make sure your model is compatible with the software before making any purchases. I recommend downloading the free model first.
This display is probably the coolest display that Dashcam Viewer provides. It is able to extract coordinates out of your footage, along with speed, time, direction and even G-Sensor data.
Being able to extract these data points and visualize them is a big plus and primary reason why users download this software.
In the map display, your routes are automatically graphed on top of Google Maps or MapQuest. There are a couple notable features here. One is that the route line is color coded dependent on speed. Really good looking feature. I also enjoyed being able to toggle between the different map backgrounds from satellite to street view. You can also add geotag markers on your route if you want to highlight any areas of interest.
Audio Event Detection
Audio Event Detection essentially searches for any loud noises on the dash cam’s microphone that may resemble an accident. You have the option to adjust the sensitivity of the event detection and rescan your footage. Thankfully, my footage didn’t contain any accidents and nothing was picked up. This is useful if you want to immediately find a clip of an accident. Be sure to have your dash cam’s microphone on or this feature is useless.
DCV has an option to export video and even an option to export an image sequence. In this case, this window wasn’t as intuitive as one would think. There’s a start time and a stop time and also a duration box. The start and stop time have a “Min” and a “Sec”, referring to minute and second in the footage.
This is confusing because I wasn’t exactly sure what part I was exporting, nor did I know the duration. I ended flipping back and forth from this window to the main window to figure it out. The good thing about the Export Video window is that the start time matches the time on the main window footage, so be sure to have the video footage at where you want to start exporting.
Another drawback I found is that when exporting video, there was no option to attach all the cool sensor information as an overlay. Meaning, all of the map, speed and G-sensor data wasn’t viewable on the export. For me, one big use case is sending footage to police if there’s ever an accident. While this software does help me view the GPS data, I have to go through a few extra hoops if I need to show my location or speed.
If there is a use case why you need the raw GPS data, then this is the perfect software for that. You can easily export GPS data in a varying number of formats.
Here’s a picture of the software packages that are available.
Who’s it for?
If you work with dash cam footage a lot, especially from different cameras, the DCV software is needed. I can see this being used a lot by companies who are in the transportation business or maintain large quantities of vehicles. Taxi drivers, tow trucks or shipping trucks would all benefit from being able to review footage and scan for any incidents in seconds.
For the normal day-to-day driver, the use case becomes a bit slimmer. Sure, if you are a dash cam geek and love the ease of use of the software and reviews footage a lot then DCV is for you. If you’ve been in an accident and need to find the footage, you might consider this software to easily find where vehicle incidents occurred without having to shift through hours of footage. Otherwise, I think being able to add the data overlay to the footage when exported would increase the adaptability by a lot of consumers who are looking to send their footage to police or even post online.