21 black box products for cars receive poor grades

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21 black box products for cars receive poor grades


More than half of the black box products for cars sold in the consumer market were found to have fallen short of the Korean Standard (KS), according to the Korea Consumer Agency.

In particular, Hansol Online is accused of violating the Wireless Telegraphy Act by not having Korea Certification (KC) marks on its products. According to the Wireless Telegraphy Act, manufacturers must attach the KC mark in order to manufacture or import related products.

The black box products record data such as vehicle speed, parking, motion detection and the identification of license plates. As consumer interest for the devices has increased, the market has grown rapidly, recording sales of 1.5 million units last year, up from 250,000 units in 2010. However, the number of related consumer complaints is increasing.

The state-run Korea Consumer Agency (KCA), under the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), tested and evaluated image quality, video performance and durability against vibration, shock and high temperatures of 31 black boxes to provide consumers with reasonable product-selection information.

According to the comparison, 21 of the 31 products were under the KS in terms of their identification of license plates, viewing angles, frames per second and durability against vibration.

The KS standard for black boxes for cars is 80 degrees horizontal or more, 50 degrees vertical or more for viewing angles and 20 or more for frames per second.

The MHD-K12, which is imported and sold by Hana Engineering, fell short in terms of identification of license plates, viewing angles and vibration durability. Modus Korea’s 350HD model was below the standard in terms of identification of license plates and viewing angles. HDB Information Communications’ P3 model was under the standard in terms of viewing angles, frames per second and vibration durability.

Of the 13 products made in China, four did not have or had unstable functions of parking recording, shock detection and motion detection, and nine products had no automatic feature to switch between driving and parking.

The price and quality comparison of black box for cars will be provided to consumers through smartconsumer.go.kr.

On the other hand, six products of the five companies Pittasoft, Cowon Systems, Thinkware, Itronics and TG Sambo Computer were rated relatively excellent in terms of image quality, brightness adaptability and identification of license plates, according to the KCA.

Furthermore, no abnormality was found in the internal durability against vibration shock and high-temperature operations in these products, and they had low memory consumption.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]
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