December 8, 2011
Yada YD-V43 Bluetooth rear-view mirror. Click image to enlarge
When you turn the key to start your vehicle, the Yada system’s screen comes alive as its receiver connects via Bluetooth to your cell phone. Once connected, the screen goes dark until you select reverse or use your phone. The pairing process is painless, and overall the quality of the speaker is quite good. The microphone is sensitive enough that you do not have to shout, but I was informed that the sound at the other end was a little tinny, with the slight hint of an echo. I can live with that, as it’s nice to have hands-free capabilities so that I stay focused on the task of driving, rather than the functions of my phone.
I should also point out that the system is capable of storing a rather impressive 950 contact entries, and caller information (caller’s name or phone number) is displayed on the LCD screen when the phone is in use.
Operation of the back-up feature is a simple process, as the camera will automatically power up when you select reverse gear. It may take a few seconds for the display to receive a clear signal, but once it focuses, the clarity of the system’s 2.4-inch LCD screen, as well as the quality of the image provided by the camera, will impress. This is especially true at night, as the camera utilises the light cast from your reverse lamps to enhance its night vision capabilities.
A few warnings: the camera captures a 90-degree, wide angle view of the scene behind, which virtually eliminates blind spots, but it is still vital to use your side mirrors and perform a shoulder check when backing up. Users can select to have a pair of tri-colour bars projected as an overlay on the viewing screen at the touch of a button. In theory, these are meant to help guide the driver into a parking spot and depict the route of travel. Unfortunately this function is useless without integrated proximity sensors, and for some reason the Yada guide bars sit vertically, rather than angled towards the horizon. If my vehicle was a helicopter, they might prove useful.
Top photo: the reviewer’s vehicle as seen by a store security camera feed, picked up by the rearview camera receiver; bottom: the receiver also picked up television feeds. Click image to enlarge
During the first day of testing, I was surprised to see the screen flicker while I was driving. (The only times the screen should be active is when the vehicle is operating in reverse, you are adjusting system settings via the simple menu, or are sending or receiving a phone call.) Unfortunately, my camera seemed to share its wireless frequency with a wide variety of camera systems, so as I drove around, the screen occasionally came alive with images from the feeds of various security and traffic cameras. It also seemed to pick up signals from bars and pubs, resulting in the occasional appearance of a football or hockey game as it captured errant signals along my route of travel. This is inexcusable, as it causes a great deal of distraction for the driver, especially when driving at night.
A quick web search revealed that the problem I experienced with the Yada system’s receiver picking up signals from other wireless cameras is quite commonplace for the brand, so it is something to consider should you be considering the purchase of this device.