Review Dominator HD

Dominator HD |Review of the new FatShark goggles

Hi guys,

After a long wait, I finally got my HD’s in the mail!

Since they weren’t available in my country I ordered them from ReadyMadeRC. After 2 months of preorder I finally received them with low custom fees, only $35.

I then paid $585 for what follows :

  • Dominator HD
  • 5,8Ghz Fatshark internal VRX
  • Trinity 3 axis Headtracker
  • 1Ah 2s Li-po Battery

That’s a great set of FPV goggles but are the Dominator HD’s worth it?

I/ Goggles aspect :

> Connectivity

As usual, you have the following connections :

  • Headphone port
  • PC2 plug for Headtracker
  • DC in (2s or 3s)
  • 3.5mm Jack for AV out

And what is new =P :

  • Micro HDMI port (WARNING, NOT mini HDMI!)
  • Micro SDHC port

Connections HD

 > Aspect

Fatshark wanted to change their goggles’ color. Usually black, these new Dominator’s are now white. They look less agressive, however, this protects the goggles better in summer from heating. Which isn’t negligible consedering the goggles’ screens sensibility to heat.

I don’t like the plastic used for these goggles though. It looks like it can easily be scratched, like the kind of plastic you find on low cost phones.

II/ Features :

> DVR :

DVRA tremendous idea from Fatshark : A built-in DVR!
So far, you had to carry your big ground station with you to record your flights. It’s now over!

DVR Specifications :

  • Allows to record and play recorded videos (ONLY VIDEOS RECORDED BY THE GOGGLES) on the goggles
  • Records in 720×480 (Whether it’s set to PAL or NTSC)
  • Records at 6Mbps

Thanks to the 6Mbps, the image quality is good for a DVR! Better than my PVR58 that records at 2Mbps.

How to use the Dominator HD DVR?

Fairly simple, 5 seconds after having turned the goggles on, you need to push the black button between “VOL” buttons and the “HT” button on the upper right part of the HD’s.

If a red LED is on above the Micro SD port : The DVR is on. If not, try again. You might have not waited long enough after turning the goggles on.

If a red LED is on, you just need to briefly push the same button. The red LED should start blinking. If so, the DVR is recording.

Hit the same button briefly so stop recording.

> Micro HDMI port :

NB : To get your HD’s to work with HDMI, the output resolution (from your PC, Tablet or whatever) should be set at 1280x720p. If you’re getting a black screen, the resolution isn’t set properly.

Some people would say it’s useless, in my opinion it’s fantastic!

I had tried to use my Attitude SD with my computer, but because of a video converter (converting AV signal to VGA signal) the quality was terrible. Furthermore, the SD’s low resolution (640×480) was very limiting.

With the HD’s, the quality with HDMI is excellent! The picture is sharp and you can even read webpage even though that’s not what they’re meant to.

For me, the actual interest is to use them for game of simulation in FPS view like Microsoft Flight Simulator.

> Headtracker :

HeadTracker Dominator HD

Dominator HD HeadTracker

It’s normally optional with the Dominator range but after the delay took for these goggles to be released (supposed to be available in early 2014 et still not widely available in february 2015). Fatshark decided to giveaway the Trinity HT (it’s worth $115). Not an insignificant gift 😉

But what is the Trinity Headtracker exactly? It’s a new generation of Headtracker with 3 axis : Roll, Pan and Tilt. Here the roll axis was added, thus with Pan/tilt/roll system on your plane, the camera will move one these 3 axis.

Theoretically more immersive, kind of useless in my opinion since a Pan/tilt offers a nice experience already. Plus on my Skywalker, I have no channel left after connecting my Pan/tilt.

How to use Trinity HT?

After you have configurated the Headtracker in your transmitter, you just need to connect the appropriate HT cable (Only the Futaba Cable is included, for JR transmitters you need to buy a cable). Once the HT cable is connected, just hold the HT button until you hear a “Beep”. The Headtracker is now on.
A brief push on the HT button will reset the Pan/tilt/Roll neutral.
A long push will turn it off.

III/ Ergonomy :

Some people find the HD’s to be heavy and thus pretty annoying to wear. This issue has led some FPV pilots to mod them with Skying goggles or Aviator goggles ($5 on Ebay) to make them more confortable.

Comparatif des 3 lunettes réalisé par FatShark

3 goggle comparison done by Fatshark

As far as I am concerned, I think they’re pretty confortables, just make sure to tighten the head strap enough. They’re a little bit heavier than my Attitude SD but it’s no big deal.

IV/ Picture quality :

Surely the most important part concerning the HD’s =P

I have compared them with the Attitude SD (my previous goggles) and the Skyzone’s (a friend’s). At first, nothing surprising, the quality is better than my Attitude SD, but no “Wow, that’s much better!!”.

However, after a little bit, I tried my Attitude SD on once again and that’s when I realized my HD’s are indeed much better. You can really see it when using an OSD, OSD characters are sharp and clear. I have also noticed that details are easier to see with the HD’s, much easier to chase another FPV plane or a friend’s quad! With the Attitude SD, once the other get a little bit far, you don’t see him anymore…

Colors are also a little bit better but they were already pretty good on the Attitude SD. Compared to the Skyzone’s though, Dom HD’s have brighter and more vivid colors!

On a side note, the HD’s are under used in FPV. They deliver their full potential when used with HDMI, the picture is truly beautiful! Perfect for Flight Simulator or DJI Lightbridge 😉

V/ Conclusion :

I recommand the Dominator HD if you’re looking for a high quality picture that’s very immersive and also other nice functionnalies such as Micro HDMI port or Built-in DVR.

WARNING some people weren’t able to use their HD’s properly since the goggles didn’t fit their face and they couldn’t see the goggles’ edges correctly. Be sure to check that your IPD (Inter pupillary distance) is good for the HD’s (no more than 70mm). My IPD is 70mm and my left eye is not far from getting blurry edges.

To make sure you won’t experience the blurry edges, you can get a set of Dominator V2 that are less expensive. With a lower resolution and a less wide FOV (thus less immersive) but still with the built-in DVR and the HDMI port.

 

Posted in Video googles / Monitor.

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