As new 2015 vehicles are being released, we are starting to notice how more and more vehicles are arriving with safety measures as standard. We’ve all seen the new commercials where the driver is saved from impending doom when reversing.

Reversing a car takes full concentration, as there could be a small child, animal, shopping cart, or even another car right behind you. If you’re not careful and alert when reversing, you could find yourself in serious trouble.

Due to the sheer cost of new vehicles, many of us are holding onto the ones we have. Although this is a great economic standpoint, it leaves us in the past, missing out on new technology. The question is “Can I give my old car new technology?”

I researched the question, thinking what item could enhance an older car and bring it up to 2015 standard. Sticking to the topic of reversing, I inquired about a rearview camera. I looked for a unit that was inexpensive, yet still had a high level of quality.

I stumbled upon a utility company, one that sells items from barcode scanners to pet collars. TaoTronics has set out with a goal to supply the consumer with custom hardware including car equipment. Just recently, I reviewed their LED desk lamp .

I noticed their large selection of rearview cameras suited for American and Canadian cars. Opting for the license plate framed unit, I was excited about reviewing this item. Now, the camera doesn’t assist anyone without assistance from a compatible display. Fortunately, TaoTronics covers both aspects and sells compatible displays ranging from 3.5” to 7”; I chose the 4.5” unit. With the items arriving quickly, it was time to see if old cars could have new technology.

Welcome to my TaoTronics TT-CM03 and TT-CC17 rearview camera review. Throughout my dual review, I will cover the following: the design, installation, functionality, and my overall thoughts. I would like to thank TaoTronics for providing me with these items.

The Design

We begin with the design of the 4.3” LCD display unit. Named the TT-CM03, the small display is the perfect size for most cars. Originally I inquired about the 7-inch display, but thought twice as I found the 4.3” to be big enough and anything larger may be difficult to mount.

Both the housing and surface mount are made from plastic, whilst the adjustable pole is metal. The display itself is in full color and provides a high definition picture that can be easily read.

With usage of the TT-CM03 spanning nearly four weeks, I’ve come to enjoy the perfect 4.3” size and the colors are spot on. Additionally, users have the option to adjust the display brightness if it happens to be too dim or bright.

For those who have a silver car, TaoTronics offers the TT-CC17 in a silver or chrome finish. Although it is still stylish, I found that I enjoy the black frame over the chromed unit as it provided a stealth look.

Lastly, the TT-CM03 doesn’t require the TT-CC17 as its partner. The LCD display will work with any other brand of rearview camera, and also VCDs, DVDs and GPS.

Moving on, we focus our attention on the rearview license plate camera mount. Dubbed the TT-CC17, the frame is manufactured using a zinc alloy that provides a strong, rugged frame. Moreover, the zinc alloy adds a protective rust, water, and snow proofing.

The camera lens is positioned directly in the center of the rear of your car, and offers a 45 degree vertical tilt. Any make or model car should have no problem with compatibility thanks to this tilt. You will also find eight IR-LEDs that allow the display to show a clear picture at night.

Finally, the frame has three wires leading from the back, one for power and the others for video. The camera shoots in full color, so expect to see a color picture on your monitor.

The Installation

Inside the boxes, we find some fairly basic installation guides that explain how to setup the wiring. The installation process is somewhat self-explanatory, but without extensive car maintenance experience, the installation may be quite difficult.

On the website, TaoTronics claims that no tools are necessary nor any holes; in my experience this is far from the truth. Although I installed the unit by myself, I would highly recommend a professional carrying out the installation of the TT-CC17, but it can certainly be completed without one. A background in car electronics and understanding on how to route the wires is required.

The first step is to find a flat mounting point in the front area of your vehicle. By using the pre-applied 3M adhesive, carefully set the monitor in position. Personally, I found a well-placed flat surface in front of the center console. Lastly, route the wires from the monitor underneath the carpet and/or center console. The power cable should attach to a nonessential fuse in your fuse box; ensure the fuse in use is only powered while the main electrics are on.

The second step is to remove the rear license plate and its existing frame. Most vehicles will not have a rear access panel, therefore, one will need to be drilled or created. The TT-CC17 will be powered from a rear reverse light, ensuring that both the rear reverse light and camera are turned on when reversing. Route the twenty foot long video cable to the front of the vehicle and connect it to the main display. It might be a good idea to use electrical tape to hold together the connection points so that they do not disconnect.

When the installation is finished, there should be a clean and properly routed cable design. When in reverse, the camera should send its picture in full color to the display unit. Personally, the entire setup took me two hours, but your timing may vary.

The Functionality

Once the installation is complete, start your engine and select the reverse gear. The display should illuminate with full color and there will be two reversing guide lines on the display.

The guide lines themselves are approximately twenty feet of depth and allow you to know how close to an object you are. Green indicates plenty of reversing room, while yellow means to slow down, and red representing stop. The website does not advertise these guide lines, but they are a must have feature that I was happy to see.

So far, I’ve gone through rain, snow, high and low temperatures and the camera came to life each and every time. Additionally, night reversing is a breeze with the eight IR-LEDs clearly showing the rear surface and there’s no wondering what’s behind you.

In the previous weeks, I have come to enjoy both the TT-CM03 and TT-CC17 to a point where I wouldn’t go back to the old style. This inexpensive little device really does prove that old cars can have new technology.

My Overall Thoughts

All in all, TaoTronics has taken a popular car technology and transferred it into the hands of every person. There is a large selection of different camera styles, display sizes, and they all come at a great price. For only $85 for this entire package, it’s difficult not to recommend this great item.

Buy it Now:

© 2014