PROS / This affordable backup camera includes night-vision capabilities, while many similarly priced models do not.
CONS / Pyle's support options are limited and can be unnecessarily frustrating.
VERDICT / At the manufacturer's price point, the Pyle is an excellent value, provided you don't have to contact the company with support issues.
The Pyle PLCM34WIR is a wireless backup camera with a wide field of view and infrared night vision. Perhaps its most attractive feature is its price tag. It provides essential rear-view camera functionality at an affordable cost.
The design is fairly standard for a backup camera. The camera is attached to a metal bar that screws into your license plate. The wireless transmitter, a small plastic fob, sits in your trunk, and you run a cable from the camera to the transmitter by drilling a small hole behind your license plate.
The transmitter is powered by connecting it to the reverse light power cables. This means the camera only turns on when you shift into reverse. Once the transmitter receives power, it broadcasts video to the included 3.5-inch monitor, which plugs into your cigarette lighter.
The camera superimposes distance lines over the video, so you can know exactly how close you are to an object without worrying about poor depth perception caused by many rear-view cameras. The camera is water resistant and freeze resistant. You won't want to submerge it, although it is impervious to rain.
The viewing angle is a wide 170 degrees. This is the widest angle of any camera we reviewed, giving you excellent rear visibility. The camera broadcasts on the analog 2.4GHz frequency, which means it may be subject to interference from Bluetooth devices or Wi-Fi networks. Some competing cameras use a digital signal that won't have these issues.
Its transmitter has a wireless range of 82 feet, which is about average strength among the rear-view cameras we reviewed. This range is enough to cover a large vehicle. The strong signal also helps to ward off interference from other devices.
The included 3.5-inch color monitor has a video input, so you can connect a DVD player or video game system to it, although it's a bit small for watching movies. This camera also has night vision, supplied by eight infrared LEDs. When the camera senses that it is dark, it switches to infrared mode and captures black-and-white night footage.
Pyle's customer support is the worst of any rear-view camera company we reviewed. There is no phone support, and to send an email, you must first create an account and a support ticket for yourself on Pyle's website, which is a time-consuming and frustrating process. Pyle does offer a one-year warranty on this camera.
The Pyle PLCM34WIR is an affordable unit that has many of the features of a high-end reversing camera, such as night vision and distance grid lines. Its functionality combined with its price tag make it one of the best values on the market.