Our major problem with this system, however, is its depth perception, which we found to be deceptive. Unlike some factory-installed reversing camera systems we have seen (such as that on the 2007 Infiniti M35 Sport), the VRBCS300W doesn't have any distance or guidance lines overlaying the video image. Additionally, the small size of the screen coupled with the wide viewing angle make it very difficult to judge distances using the system. When backing into a parking space, an image of the car behind at first appears to be a long way off, but then quickly becomes bigger, filling the whole screen and making it look like you are about to hit it. In reality, we found that we had at least three feet to go before we would have hit the car. These are the margins that make or break one's parking maneuvers in a packed urban area.
One solution for drivers who wish to use this camera exclusively for parallel parking is to attach it to the top of the license plate at a very steep angle so that the edge of the car's bumper is visible. However, this solution comes at a price, as the broader rear view is sacrificed in order to achieve the angle needed to view the rear bumper.
The VRBCS300W relies on a 2.4GHz wireless signal to transmit video from the camera to the display, and a note in the instruction manual states that the device may be subject to interference from cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, wireless routers, and other electrical equipment. In our experience, the signal between the camera and the monitor worked fine when we connected the system in the lab, but behaved more temperamentally, with occasional flickers, when wired to our test car.
Overall, the VRBCS300W is a useful device for general rear visibility. At $149, the device is an attractive prospect for drivers of minivans, SUVs, RVs, or cars with impeded rear vision. While it might not provide comprehensive reversing assistance, it's better than nothing. In the land of the blind spot, the one-eyed man gets the best parking slots.
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