Won's Thinkware U1000 Thread

Won Hunglo

Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
2,326
Reaction score
1,160
Not a complex review but rambling about my Thinkware U1000 install.

The situation:

Vehicle: GMC Sierra K2 with lane departure and front collusion avoidance options. Also self dimming chromatic RVM. (Yes, these options mattered in this install.)

My really old IBT-100 in one of my other vehicles crapped out so I moved my daily driver K2 GMC Sierra IBT-250 camera to the older truck and bought a Thinkware U1000 for the K2 Sierra. First order was to swap out the windshield as it took a rock and got a crack in it. Did not want to stick a new camera on the glass knowing it will soon need to be changed out as the crack grew. Got that done this week. Installed the camera today. I run my cameras to a 12V power outlet so I can unplug them as needed when parking extended periods. Wiring was uneventful. Remove the old and install the new cable. Now where to install the camera. This is where I started cursing the Thinkware U1000. It is just so dang big. Because my truck has lane departure and front collusion avoidance the space around my RVM is taken up. No problem. I will just go below the camera. Nope! there is a sensor in the bottom of the camera for the self dimming option that would be blocked. The previous IBT-250 was compact enough to mount next to the lane departure camera so these problems are all new. In the end, I mounted that big honking Thinkware U1000 on the passenger side of the windshield next to the lane departure camera. Had to go under the toll tag that takes up that space. Video looks OK on the app when aiming the camera. That was it for the day. I have yet to pull video off the card to review video. Also, the rear camera is still sitting in the box. Not sure if I will install it or not. Never had a rear camera and not sure it I really want it installed as my rear window tint is very dark. I will update in the next few days and add a picture of the install.
 

PHILBERT

left lane, behind your [email protected]$$ ugly SUV_ MOVE OVER!
Intermediate User
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
444
Reaction score
950
Not a complex review but rambling about my Thinkware U1000 install.

The situation:

Vehicle: GMC Sierra K2 with lane departure and front collusion avoidance options. Also self dimming chromatic RVM. (Yes, these options mattered in this install.)

My really old IBT-100 in one of my other vehicles crapped out so I moved my daily driver K2 GMC Sierra IBT-250 camera to the older truck and bought a Thinkware U1000 for the K2 Sierra. First order was to swap out the windshield as it took a rock and got a crack in it. Did not want to stick a new camera on the glass knowing it will soon need to be changed out as the crack grew. Got that done this week. Installed the camera today. I run my cameras to a 12V power outlet so I can unplug them as needed when parking extended periods. Wiring was uneventful. Remove the old and install the new cable. Now where to install the camera. This is where I started cursing the Thinkware U1000. It is just so dang big. Because my truck has lane departure and front collusion avoidance the space around my RVM is taken up. No problem. I will just go below the camera. Nope! there is a sensor in the bottom of the camera for the self dimming option that would be blocked. The previous IBT-250 was compact enough to mount next to the lane departure camera so these problems are all new. In the end, I mounted that big honking Thinkware U1000 on the passenger side of the windshield next to the lane departure camera. Had to go under the toll tag that takes up that space. Video looks OK on the app when aiming the camera. That was it for the day. I have yet to pull video off the card to review video. Also, the rear camera is still sitting in the box. Not sure if I will install it or not. Never had a rear camera and not sure it I really want it installed as my rear window tint is very dark. I will update in the next few days and add a picture of the install.
My new U1000 just arrived yesterday. About to open the package. Going to try and install front and rear today.

It was a close call on the VioFo A129 Pro Duo. I like many things about VioFo, but it came down to increased rear camera image quality, less glare at night and better parking mode. Things I'm not so excited about are 1 minute videos (I like 10 minutes), and all the stupid "chatter". I'm hoping that can be addressed in the future.

Phil
 
Last edited:

Won Hunglo

Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
2,326
Reaction score
1,160
Went ahead and installed the rear camera. Much easier to run the cable than I expected. Just tucked it between the weather stripping and head liner. Put the extra cable in the A pillar away from the air bag. Pictures coming soon.
Post automatically merged:
 

Attachments

Last edited:

glock19er

Learning to Drive
General User
Joined
Jan 24, 2016
Messages
29
Reaction score
21
I just installed my u1000 today as well.
Is there any way to turn off wifi so that it's not trying to connect to my phone every time I get in the car?

Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
 

Won Hunglo

Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
2,326
Reaction score
1,160
I just installed my u1000 today as well.
Is there any way to turn off wifi so that it's not trying to connect to my phone every time I get in the car?

Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
No idea. Mine does not do that.
Post automatically merged:

Day 1 absolutely sucked. Almost threw this dang thing out the window 15 minutes into the drive to work. Every little bump in the road triggered a beep-beep event alert. Drove me insane all the way to work. Finally discovered how to turn the event alarm to a much higher setting before the event is triggered while parked at work. Since then much better. Been too lazy to download video to see how everything looks. I did make the videos lighter as they were too dark on the phone. That is all for now.
 
Last edited:

PHILBERT

left lane, behind your [email protected]$$ ugly SUV_ MOVE OVER!
Intermediate User
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
444
Reaction score
950
I got my U1000 Dual setup in last weekend. Tested it out a bit late Sunday, but too dark to get any meaningful video. Been too busy at work to drive the personal car. And this weekend is all rain, but maybe I'll have some captures from my wife's driving to view when I pull the card after breakfast.

Speaking of pulling the card, everything on the sides of the main unit is reversed from where I would like it. Since my car has it's own camera on the right side of the RVM, that space is taken, and I won't go below that. The left side is where you want it for easy access of the buttons, but the memory card is on the wrong side, and so are the connections. OK if you are in Europe...I guess. I hope I can get it out with tweezers, as I don't like removing the whole thing every time. Not good for the mount or connectors. I'll post some installation pictures when we get some dang daylight. It's very overcast here today.

The WiFi stuff was/is a pain in the ass. It keeps wanting to go to Hotspot Mode, even when you are trying to get AdHoc Mode to connect to it for viewing. I understand the whole "cloud uploading" takes priority for emergency incidents, but the timeout on connecting to the phone for viewing is way too short. And the Cloud App is a pain in the ass to navigate. It's almost like it doesn't know what mode to be in to do what you are wanting to do. I'd like to use it more, but it's too cumbersome. And yes, the long "chatty" stuff is a bit much. Short and "to the point" would be much better.

I too had to "up" the G Sensor for potholes and bumps. I think I have it good now. That one is for a "continuous recording" collision, where you might be injured and can't press the record button yourself to save the footage. At least you can adjust it. I think all the adjustments for shock and motion will take some time to dial in. The most important for me is parking mode. That I set to max, and parking motion seems to be good. I reduced that by one step so squirrels or distant cars don't trigger it. EDIT: FORGOT TO MENTION...Motion detection does indeed work on the back camera, as well as the front. THAT was something no one mentioned in reviews. And that is just as important.

And as far as battery life on parking mode, in the cold here I don't get a lot of recording time before it cuts off. I have a hybrid, so starting probably comes from the high voltage battery. The 12v battery I believe is for small stuff like lights and radio when the car is not running. 12.1 volts was way short, and 11.9 volts better, but not great. I just don't want to damage the battery.

So hopefully I can get some proper evaluation time with it today. From what I have seen in YT videos and reviews, this is quite the top notch camera.

Phil
 
Last edited:

Vortex

Making Videos
Observer
Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
19,112
Reaction score
43,889
Location
Washington State
Really good insights and impressions Phil. I agree with you on them. I’ve never been a huge fan of Thinkware’s interface, cloud, or audio alerts. Cranking up the G sensor sensitivity or turning that feature off to avoid the annoying beeps really helps.

The U1000 kind of reminds me of the R7. Great video quality, but it can be annoying out if the box so it’s helpful to dial in the settings once you get it. :)
 

PHILBERT

left lane, behind your [email protected]$$ ugly SUV_ MOVE OVER!
Intermediate User
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
444
Reaction score
950
Really good insights and impressions Phil. I agree with you on them. I’ve never been a huge fan of Thinkware’s interface, cloud, or audio alerts. Cranking up the G sensor sensitivity or turning that feature off to avoid the annoying beeps really helps.

The U1000 kind of reminds me of the R7. Great video quality, but it can be annoying out if the box so it’s helpful to dial in the settings once you get it. :)
Absolutely...and thanks. I just reviewed a bunch of video of my wife's shopping trips. Very good video quality! 4K is tac sharp. Parking Mode G sensor was so sensitive that a loud "coal roller" truck passing by in the parking lot set it off. I might bump it down a notch, but parking mode works very well, so maybe leave it as is.

I have a couple of problems viewing the footage. On the phone WiFi connection, the Thinkware Cloud app times out when scrolling through the list of recordings and drops the connection to go back to Hotspot Mode. This is really bad. They need to fix that. Better yet, let me force what wireless mode I want to use until I change it. The other problem is viewing on my computer. Windows 10 said I needed a new codec to view the files (even at 2K 60 fps). After demanding 99 cents to download the codec, video in either 2K 60 fps, or 4K 30 fps runs half speed (or less). The audio runs full speed, so audio stops when video is half way through (out of sync). It could be a computer hardware limitation, or maybe a bad codec. I will download Thinkware's Viewer and try that, but no fun for us to view our "enthusiast" action at half speed!

Time to get out some, but here are some install pics of the new U1000 and R7 mounting setup. I like the symmetry!

U1000 Front Center.JPG
U1000 Rear Center.JPG
R7 and U1000 Front and Rear.JPG


Phil
 

PHILBERT

left lane, behind your [email protected]$$ ugly SUV_ MOVE OVER!
Intermediate User
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
444
Reaction score
950
So, now that we have had our U1000 installed for a while, what are your thoughts?

I'll share mine. Image quality is not nearly as good as I expected. Granted, I do not have the monitor, or processing power to properly view the files, so I uploaded them direct to YouTube. Horrible results. Pixelation at 4K 30 FPS, and freezing at 2K 60 FPS. Dark image quality at medium brightness setting. Washed out image brightness at high setting (the only other choice). And the lens is way too wide angle to pickup important detail. Everything looks far away, and anything off at 45 degrees from the horizon is bent like a fisheye lens. And even with a polorizer on it, the glare coming off my dash is very pronounced, where it was barely noticeable on my VioFo A119. And the back camera has even more glare, and although the same resolution and frame rate as the A119, looks dul and lackluster. The VioFo is vivid and crisp. And as far as grabbing license plates, it sucks...unless it's right in front of you and not moving the opposite direction. 60 FPS vs 30 FPS didn't help. The bit rate (not adjustable) must be low, because everything moving close by is blurry. Then there's the annoying sappy speech, which is overly enthusiastic. Even trying to save a manual recording picks up that loud (right on the camera) overly-wordy voice on the very short clip, which really is not long enough...and can't be made longer. Then there's the memory card being on the wrong side, so I HAVE TO unmount the camera to get it out. Run time on my small Insight 12 volt AGM battery is less than a day in parking mode (set at 11.8 volts). Maybe ok for shopping parking, but no good for long term. I did't measure the current draw (a spec we should get from every manufacturer), but it has to be high. I can leave my TMG quad system on for a whole week, but this camera will kill the battery in a day.

So, in final analysis, there is nothing much to like about this U1000. I'm sorry I paid good money for it. Nothing to like about it, as far as I can see. I'm going to make a change as soon as winter is over. WHAT I REALLY WANT is a VioFo A119 V3 dual camera system. The 130 degree anglle width is just perfect, and the A119 V3 light, saturation, bit rate and featureset fit the bill, but they don't make that. The A129 Pro Duo is not the same, and again forces limited selections because of 4K. No 2K on the back, either. :( To be honest, I don't need 4K. 2K on the A119 V3 is perfect. Why not run two A119 V3 cameras front and back? Because of not having a centralized control point up front for saving both front and back footage. What VioFo should offer is a dual A119 V3 with parking mode and front control. I saw one of these (maybe the A129 Pro?) ne VioFo cameras had a Buletooth controlled external manual record button option, but I don't think the A119 had that available. Too bad, as that might have solved the access problem to the rear camera manual save button. But this ThinkWare is not cutting it.

If anyone wants links to my YT uploads of various U1000 4K and 2K F/B clips with medium and high light settings, I can post them here.

Phil
 
Last edited:

Vortex

Making Videos
Observer
Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
19,112
Reaction score
43,889
Location
Washington State
Great thoughts Philbert!

I'll share mine. Image quality is not nearly as good as I expected. Granted, I do not have the monitor, or processing power to properly view the files, so I uploaded them direct to YouTube. Horrible results. Pixelation at 4K 30 FPS, and freezing at 2K 60 FPS.
YouTube does compress the videos and reduce image quality compared to the original video files straight out of camera. The best situation is to have a computer that can handle the native videos, but I totally understand that's not always feasible. I had to upgrade computers when switching over to 4K...

Dark image quality at medium brightness setting. Washed out image brightness at high setting (the only other choice). And the lens is way too wide angle to pickup important detail. Everything looks far away, and anything off at 45 degrees from the horizon is bent like a fisheye lens.
Do you have super night vision enabled? You can try turning it on/off and see if it helps with dynamic range at all.

The wide angle thing is a trade-off. Wider means you capture more of your surroundings, but everything is relatively smaller and more distorted, you're right. So long as you have your lens aimed perfectly straight ahead, that should help minimize the fisheye look for the horizon.

And even with a polorizer on it, the glare coming off my dash is very pronounced, where it was barely noticeable on my VioFo A119.
Are you certain the polarizer is oriented correctly on the U1000? You need to rotate it properly to maximize its effect whereas with the Viofo, the polarizer is already rotated properly in the holder to make it easier when you stick it on.

And the back camera has even more glare, and although the same resolution and frame rate as the A119, looks dul and lackluster. The VioFo is vivid and crisp.
Yeah I've been a fan of the "look" and colors out of the Viofo too. You can always pump up the saturation afterwards, but it's nice when they look crisp right out of the camera.

And as far as grabbing license plates, it sucks...unless it's right in front of you and not moving the opposite direction. 60 FPS vs 30 FPS didn't help. The bit rate (not adjustable) must be low, because everything moving close by is blurry.
Yeah that's gonna happen sometimes. I've seen people try and lower the exposure to get faster shutter speeds and sharper plates. Do you have better luck with the A119 side-by-side in the exact same situation?

Then there's the annoying sappy speech, which is overly enthusiastic. Even trying to save a manual recording picks up that loud (right on the camera) overly-wordy voice on the very short clip, which really is not long enough...and can't be made longer.
lol, Thinkware's stupid audio... Yeah just set the volume to zero and shut it up entirely...

Then there's the memory card being on the wrong side, so I HAVE TO unmount the camera to get it out.
That's a good point. I guess the U1000 is best mounted to the passenger side behind the RVM. On a related note, I have the DR900S and A129 Pro side-by-side in a way where I have to remove the A129 to get to either of their memory cards, haha.

Run time on my small Insight 12 volt AGM battery is less than a day in parking mode (set at 11.8 volts). Maybe ok for shopping parking, but no good for long term. I did't measure the current draw (a spec we should get from every manufacturer), but it has to be high. I can leave my TMG quad system on for a whole week, but this camera will kill the battery in a day.
Have you tried the energy saving parking mode feature? You can get much longer record times if you are okay with non-buffered parked recording.

So, in final analysis, there is nothing much to like about this U1000. I'm sorry I paid good money for it. Nothing to like about it, as far as I can see. I'm going to make a change as soon as winter is over. WHAT I REALLY WANT is a VioFo A119 V3 dual camera system. The 130 degree anglle width is just perfect, and the A119 V3 light, saturation, bit rate and featureset fit the bill, but they don't make that. The A129 Pro Duo is not the same, and again forces limited selections because of 4K. No 2K on the back, either. :( To be honest, I don't need 4K. 2K on the A119 V3 is perfect. Why not run two A119 V3 cameras front and back? Because of not having a centralized control point up front for saving both front and back footage. What VioFo should offer is a dual A119 V3 with parking mode and front control. I saw one of these (maybe the A129 Pro?) ne VioFo cameras had a Buletooth controlled external manual record button option, but I don't think the A119 had that available. Too bad, as that might have solved the access problem to the rear camera manual save button. But this ThinkWare is not cutting it.
heh sometimes I also feel like the search for the "perfect" dashcam is similar to the perfect radar detector where the one that ticks all the boxes I want doesn't exist either.

You can try two A119 v3's. I've done independent front/rear cameras like that before and it worked. It did mean two memory cards and having to remember which card was front or back when putting them back in, but it is an option.

You can also try doing the manual record on the front camera and using that point in time to note when to go pull the clip for the rear cam. I do that currently with the DR750S on the rear that I can't reach so I trigger the DR900S up front and go pull the 750's footage as needed.
 

Discord Server

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
80,856
Messages
1,229,155
Members
20,489
Latest member
Ttamak
Top