Pros Retail price is a bit lower than comparable backup cameras, and the illuminators are a good idea.
Cons The screen flickering would be annoying. A simple delay of turn-on could completely remove the flickering. Also, there doesn't appear to be a power button on the monitor.
Summary There is a better system available for a bit higher price. The VR3 camera is one we have had on our car for almost a year. While there's no illuminators, the camera is sensitive enough to work in almost full darkness. Also there is a power button and another button to change the view from the camera on the monitor. There are no flickers because it does have to have a steady signal before it displays a picture, but of course any steady transmission on it's frequency will show. There is also an optional cable for if you wish to hard wire the camera to the monitor (at extra cost for the cable), but this would remove all interference. I also didn't see a method of adjusting the angle of the camera in the picture of the Audiovox unit. The VR3 allows you to swivel it up and down so you can see the bumper of the car or further out. While the retail price is $129.99, it can be found as low as $79.99 at this time. I paid $99.99 when I got mine almost a year ago, and it was worth the price then. Ours came from Heartland America, but it's available also through the VR3 website at roadmasterusa.com, and I see from a search that it can be had through Amazon as well. There was a system with a 3.5" monitor available at one time, but I don't know if it's still available.In viewing the installation photos, I noted a fisheye effect in the Audiovox. The VR3 has not exhibited this behavior, and it has the same 110° horizontal field as well as an 80° vertical field.
Updated on Feb 19, 2009
Pros The big plus is the infrared illuminators which will help greatly when backing up or parallel parking but like must illuminators they are only effective for a short distance. Granted, they shouod suffice for most applications.
Cons A little bit of a fish-eye effect, but IMO thats not too distracting. The biggest con is the lack of controls on the LCD itself. On the VR3 Power, Brightness and screen rotation are available.
Summary For a simple plug and play seems like a good enough value. However having owned a VR3 I now have my personal set criteria to go by. My VR3 only lasted one summer - the road salt from the following winter ruined the plastic lense and i also had condensation appear within the camera itself. For these two reasons I might be tempted to purchase more expensive units - I'm on the look-out for a glass outer camera lens and at least some mention of superior water-tightness.
Installation for all products like this one are the same. Wire to the reverse light. However, if you are like me you don't need a back-up camera only for backing up, but for day-to-day driving as well. I drive an H3 Hummer and small to medium-sized cars are all but invisibe behind me. At night, the auto tinting of the rear-view mirror removes the tell-tale glow of headlights so this inability to easily see what is following me applies to both day and night. The solution: wire not to the reverse lights but to the license plate light. Wiring in this fashion turns the camera on automatically at night for all-night-use and I can turn the camera on during the day by turning on my parking lights. This method gives my round-the-clock visibility behind my vehicle.
My VR3 functioned better in the country/highway than within the city where it had its share of flickering though I never encountered a stray tv or security camera image. I suppose interference is the nature of these types of wireless devices.
The big Plus for the VR3 is the brightness control. The daytime picture is much different than at night. At night I knew to click the brightness control a couple of times to get a better picture. As the Audiovox ACA250 product lacks a brightness control and the infrared illumintors have only a short effective range you won't get all the details of the road behind you while you drive. Granted, you are really looking for headlights/minimal visual information if you use the camera system like I do. Generaly speaking its purpose is merely for backing up in tight spaces and thats where the illuminators will do their work and where i suppose a brightness control will not be needed.
With those points in mind I'm sure that the Audiovox ACA250 will do the job that it is designed for. If you think you would like additional features they are in fact available in similarly priced units. Power, brightness, rotate screen (allowing for many other mounting alternatives) are at least available on some competing products.
All in all these products are a great idea. I'm currently researching what will be the replacement for my now useless VR3. (again, killed by moisture/road salt)
Pros Easy install, Good Instructions, Metal Camera, Monitor Swivel Mount, Night Vision, price. Also has a one year warranty. Easy to use and included everything I needed to install it. They also have a video on youtube explaining it.
Cons I didn't understand that wireless could get interference from other 2.4Ghz products. Made sence once I talked to Tech support. Included is a cable to wire the monitor differently if needed. The VR3 was plastic and the cable from them is $19.95.
Summary I installed it on a 4Runner. The camera is made out of metal compared to the last one I had was plastic, it also has IR LED?s in it to help you see better at night, and the others do not. You mount the camera on the same bolts as the license plate, the power wires run to the white back up light. This was a little bit of work because of my tailgate but I just ran them through the grommet that held the other wires. Hook up the power wire and the ground for the camera and your done. Took about 45 mins to get this part done. The monitor has the ability to mount anywhere because the base swivels, I put it up next to my rear view mirror. No one can see it from outside either so less of a chance of theft. The last one I had came with a stand it fit into and a flat bottom base; I never found a good spot to mount it. There is a cigarette lighter adapter included and a hard wire kit. I hard wired it into the ignition; I didn?t want the cord hanging down. Note: the kit comes with a 25 foot power wire and a note. Wireless cameras get interference from other things on 2.4 GHz. So they say if you?re in an area like the city to run a power lead from the tail light to the monitor, this way it will only come on when the backup light is on. They also say this is for Cars and SUV?s not really long campers or trailers. I realize I saved a ton of money over buying a hard wired system. The install took about 1 ½ hours, but if I could do it then I am sure you can.