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Friday, June 27, 2008

Power Acoustik PTID-8001N Review (PTID8001N)

The Power Acoustik PTID-8001N is a single DIN receiver with an oversized 8” monitor. The PTID-8001N is unique in its design, shedding what would otherwise be a bulky double DIN chassis. Instead, the receiver features a single DIN chassis that does not retract, but hangs down from its mount instead. Though the design requires a much more spacious installation clearance, the added advantage is its ability to fit in many vehicles lacking a double DIN installation slot.
This unique single DIN receiver features a large 8" LCD touchscreen monitor. The display resolution is magnificent, especially with its 1440 x 220 total widescreen pixel resolution. The display is both clear and bright, but users would need plenty of clearance and unobstructed space under the mount. Though most car owners have the single DIN mounting slot, some vehicles have various angle mounting or air vents and console buttons that would prevent it from being installed properly.

Note: PTID-7001 is shown above to show mounting configuration and general shape of the unit

The Power Acoustik PTID-8001N is one of a kind with its ability to receive most audio and video file formats such as standard DVDs to DivX, XviD, MP3, and even MP4. On top of that, it is capable of receiving any dockable iPods with an addition cable adapter. The interface allows a user to directly control and access the iPod with ease and familiarity, all of which are made easy with the touchscreen display.There is a front-panel USB and AV auxiliary inputs, which enables the unit to receive many external and portable audio/video media devices like portable DVD players, gaming consoles, flash drives, and MP3 players. Power Acoustik even included an SD Card adapter for the USB port so that users are able to access the increasingly popular SD Card flash media.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

DUAL XDVD8183 Review (XDVD-8183)

A versatile and new way of watching movies in your car, the Dual XDVD8183. Imagine having the ability to play your favorite DVD movies in your vehicle without a ceiling-mount LCD monitor or a bulky double DIN DVD head unit. The XDVD8183 features a retractable 7" LCD monitor that is both touchscreen and wide 16:9 resolution.Display
The great thing about the XDVD8183 is its ability to retract the large 7" LCD monitor neatly and seamlessly into a standard single DIN chassis. This is advantageous for a few reasons. The first is its ability to be installed virtually in any vehicle with or without a double DIN installation space. The second advantage to having a retractable screen is for its own protection. While it tucks safely in the chassis, the screen is protected from any incidental bumps, scratches, or potential punctures. In addition, it protects the LCD screen from direct sunlight, which is a known cause for LCD damages. One last great advantage is its function as a passive theft-deterrent measure. If no one can see it, then no one will be attracted to it. When the screen is retracted, the receiver looks like a plain single DIN car stereo.

Built-in Bluetooth and iPod
For Californian drivers, having Bluetooth is probably one of the most important things to do since the law comes into effect July 1, 2008. Don't worry, the XDVD8183 will feature its own Bluetooth hands-free technology, enabling drivers to make phone calls and receive calls with just one button. The unit includes a built-in microphone and an on screen call status which displays the caller ID and the phone status.

Moreover, the unit features an iPod port that will allow any dockable iPods to be interfaced into the unit, giving users full access and control of the iPod through the onscreen display. The menus and controls mimic iPod controls, making usage much more familiar and easy.

The Dual XDVD8183 even includes a remotely-mountable auxiliary input unit so that plugging in all your external audio and video sources much easier and accessible, even for the rear seat passenger.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

JVC KW-AVX810 Review (KWAVX810)

The brand new 2008-released JVC KW-AVX810 features technology unique only to the unit itself. It's feature packed and capable of playing all of your favorite movies, music, and even capable of displaying your photographs.

Detachable screen??
The JVC KW-AVX810 showcases a widescreen 7" LCD touchscreen display that is complete in depth and full in color. You won't have a problem watching your movies or your latest hiking pictures on this double DIN receiver. What's completely unique only to the KW-AVX810 is its ability to have the front panel (which includes the screen) to complete detach. There are a few advantages to this. The first is obviously theft deterrent-- applying the principle of "out of sight, out of mind." The second is protection from extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. The LCD screen is probably one of the most sensitive electronic components. The key to its longevity is your extreme care of it especially in the summer heat!High Fidelity Audio/Video
The KW-AVX810 is capable of playing today's popular media file formats, including standard DVD, DivX, JPEG, MPEG1, MPEG2, AAC, MP3, and WMA. The crucial factor in the KW-AVX810 is its high-fidelity audio and video digital to analog converters. Whereas most other receivers feature a 1-Bit or an 8-Bit converter, the JVC KW-AVX810 features a 24-Bit audio D/A converter and a 12-Bit video D/A converter. Users taking advantage of these features will feature much better audio and video playback. You could also use the KW-AVX810 as a home theater component in your vehicle with its ability to put out Dolby Digital surround sound. Last but not least, the KW-AVX810 features a detailed 7-band parametric equalizer, allowing users to adjust seven different frequencies to their liking. For the more novice users, the unit pairs the equalizer with simple 8 presets.

Proximity Sensor
Similar to the KD-AVX44 and KD-ADV49, the KW-AVX810 features a proximity sensor that detects an approaching hand. Upon detection, the menu will conveniently display. Upon idle or undetected approach, the unit will hide the menu and the graphical user interface unless a video or other media is being played.Expansion Options
This versatile double DIN DVD receiver features 5-volt outputs through front, rear, subwoofer, and also a center gold-plated RCA preamp connectors. Looking for HD or Satellite Radio capabilities? Look no further! With additional accessories, the unit is capable of receiving SIRIUS, XM, and also HD Radio signals. The KW-AVX810 also could interface with iPod/iPod Video as well as Bluetooth-capable devices with ease and integration that is unmatched by any other product.

There are of course auxiliary RCA audio and video inputs, which typically comes standard with most receivers. However, the KW-AVX810 also has an SD Card reader and a USB port, allowing user access to portable media devices or storage containing their favorite media files.

Keep in mind that the JVC KW-AVX810 does not feature a built-in or expandable GPS navigation system. It is primarily designed for those of you who would like high-quality audio and video outputs with some neat features like a detachable front-panel and a proximity sensor. In addition it is also capable of operating most of today's expansion devices such as iPod and iPod Video, Bluetooth, Satellite, and HD Radios.

It comes with an above average price, within a range of $600-$700.

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Blaupunkt Key West MP38 Review

The Blaupunkt Key West MP38 is a brand new 2008 released car stereo receiver with full Bluetooth and iPod support. The unit is the upgrade to Blaupunkt's previous Key West release, the Key West MP36. The Key West MP38 features a highly improved front panel design that is both attractive and modern in appearance. The dot matrix display features back-lighting that could be easily adjusted to any one of 4096 colors of choice, easily adaptable to match your car's interior or your favorite color.

This attractive single DIN head unit is capable of MP3 and WMA playback through regular CDs. However, the Blaupunkt MP38 could also receive USB sources with additional accessories. The MP38 has several audio enhancements to make audio playback experience the best it could ever be with the stereo system. It has a 3-band parametric equalizer that will allow users to adjust low, mid, and high frequencies and even a bass-boost feature. If you are looking to expand your car audio system into more complex setups, the receiver features two pairs of RCA preamp outputs. In addition, with optional accessories, the Blaupunkt MP38 is capable of receiving iPod audio with full access and control through the units own controls. The MP38 is also capable of operating Bluetooth wireless capable phones with optional accessories.

The Blaupunkt Key West MP38 is an attractive single DIN receiver with Bluetooth and iPod capabilities. The price isn't bad either, set at under $170. However, the need to have additional accessories may create more complex installation and additional expenses.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Clarion VRX785BT Review (VRX-785BT)

Clarion released a single-DIN multimedia receiver with a retractable 7" LCD touchscreen monitor that is also navigation ready. This top-tier product showcases one of the most attractive front-panel design with reliability and performance that is virtually second to none.The Clarion VRX785BT features a high-contrast LCD display that is perfectly beyond just "suitable" for watching movies, in fact, it's superb. The screen is capable of displaying your favorite DVDs and DivX file formats. It will also display other media information that is currently playing such as AAC, MP3, and WMA tags that contains artist, title, and album information. The unit will process all digital media files with its built-in 24-Bit D/A converter that could be classified as premium quality digital to analog processor, ensuring near loss-less audio and video quality.In addition, the Clarion VRX785BT has excellent audio adjustment controls featuring bass and subwoofer level adjustments along with a 3-band equalizer. It also has high pass filters and dual zone outputs allowing rear seat passengers to listen to something else that is playing in the front seat listening area. You could also expand the unit through its front, rear, and subwoofer channels RCA preamp outputs.

The VRX785BT does have built-in Bluetooth capabilities, eliminating the need for additional accessories and modules to conduct hands-free cellular phone operation. If you have XM Radio subscription, the VRX785BT could receive XM Radio signal with additional accessories. Control and operation of Satellite Radio is done from the VRX785BT's LCD screen. In addition, the Clarion VRX785BT features a USB port that is capable of receiving direct connection of any current dockable iPod models, effectively supporting playback and controls of the iPod. The additional rear RCA audio and video inputs are also capable of receiving additional source units such as remote mounted DVD players or even video game systems.To top it all off, the already incredible Clarion VRX785BT is fully compatible with Clarion's add-on navigation module. Upon installation of the NAX980HD, the VRX785BT becomes a single DIN in-dash GPS navigation unit. It will then feature over 10 million points of interest available as well as a built-in gyro sensor, turn-by-turn voice command in three languages, a 12-channel GPS receiver, and an additional front USB port for map or firmware updates. Moreover, the navigation unit adds to the VRX785BT an excellent graphical user interface menus with multiple navigation viewing angle.It is to no surprise that the Clarion VRX785BT could be considered one of the best single DIN receiver available. It has plenty of features for users to be satisfied with for years to come and has the ability for it to be converted into a navigation device. Clarion stands for great quality, and with that great quality, they've packaged great features into the very excellent Clarion VRX785BT.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jensen VM9212N Review (VM-9212)

The Jensen VM family of single DIN in dash multimedia receiver are all specialized in various needs of the consumer. The Jensen VM9212N is specially designed to satisfy the need for navigation functionality in the vehicle without spending an astronomical amount of money in the attempt to do so. With the VM9212N, consumers are able to purchase an additional navigation module that will allow the unit to operate as a navigation receiver-- all of which will cost less than $600.The Jensen VM9212N is a single DIN receiver with a motorized flip-out / retractable 7" LCD touchscreen monitor. It features a nice and easy-to-use graphical user interface with attractive on-screen button designs. It truly gives the unit a more futuristic and high-tech look. It definitely saves a lot space since it is only a single DIN unit, capable of being mounted in more vehicles than double DIN units. The retractable mechanical function also serves as a passive security system, keeping the nice 7" screen out of sight and out of mind of curious onlookers.It is fully capable of playing DVDs, CDs, VCDs, with AVI, MPEG1, MPEG2, JPEG, MP3, and WMA file formats. All of these media formats are fully supported and covers almost every audio and video formats out there for you to use. If you're looking to use an iPod with the unit, they have you covered with an included audio and video to 3.5mm AV adapter, giving you full playback from iPod (note: does not allow for control through the VM9212 unit itself)

If you have an existing audio system set up in your vehicle, or are looking to expand your car audio, the Jensen VM9212 is equipped with 3 RCA preamp outputs, giving users the ability to expand the front, rear, and subwoofer channel into amplifiers or equalizers. In addition, there are also audio and video RCA inputs for the VM9212N to receive additional media sources such as a rear view camera, a remote mount source unit, or even a video game console like the Xbox 360, Wii, or PlayStation. Of course, we wouldn't feature just an average receiver. The VM9212 has the capability to function as a GPS navigation unit with the additional purchase of the NAV101 navigation expansion module. The combined total of the two units will set consumers to well under $650, a price that is very rare for an in-dash navigation unit. With the NAV101 module, the VM9212 will be able to receive up to 20-channels of GPS signal, thus allowing it to lock on to 20 individual orbital global positioning satellites-- giving maximum coverage and accuracy to the navigation feature. In addition, the module has 2 million POIs (points of interest) built-in with an upgradeable database through the SD Card reader.

If you are looking for an interactive in-dash multimedia player with navigation capabilities, you will save a lot of money with the purchase of the VM9212N and the NAV101 module. Besides the benefit of the low cost, the unit is fully capable of delivering all of your favorite audio and video medias with the best experience you'll ever have.

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Absolute USA DD858 Review (DD-858)

The Absolute DD858 is a very, very affordable double DIN receiver that features both audio and video playback in almost any format. Where most other brands is set at around $450 and up for a basic double DIN audio/video receiver, the DD-858 is set very cheap at $299, while featuring some of the most coveted functions such as iPod playback, audio/video support, TV tuner, and even backup camera input!The double DIN head unit features a large 7" LCD touchscreen monitor that is capable of displaying video playback from DVD, DVD±R/RW, VCD, SVCD, DivX, JPG, and AVI media formats. This pretty much covers most of what everybody use today, so your favorite movie or music video won't be left out-- a feature rarely supported by major brand units like Pioneer or Kenwood. In addition, the DD858 is capable of playing your favorite MP3s as well as WMA. The unit will display song information the screen such as artist, song title, and album information for each tagged music file. Moreover, there will be able to put out any audio signal into a surround sound 5.1 channel output.There is also support in the Absolute DD858 for iPod charging and playback. So for all of you iPod owners out there (we know there are tons), the Absolute DD-858 supports your standard iPod or iPod video! There is also support for SD Cards as well as portable media storage through its integrated SD Card reader and a mini USB port.

One last critical feature of the Absolute DD-858 is its built-in TV tuner which also includes a TV antenna with each purchase. Now you can watch your favorite shows on the road (while parked of course), from channels 2-95 (if receivable).

The double DIN DD858 is truly a versatile in-dash media center, capable of delivering audio and video entertainment to the consumer at a minimal price. Along with its iPod support, SD Card reader, and mini USB port, the DD858 will satisfy the consumer's need for an AV unit.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Clarion MAX385VD Review (MAX 385VD)

The Clarion MAX385VD is a double DIN receiver capable of diverse multimedia playback as well as a variety of expandability options available for the unit. The Clarion MAX385VD features a 6.5" LCD touchscreen that is capable of displaying DVD movies and of course any media information being played.
The 6.5" screen is a nice fit for this unit, placed right at the center of the unit instead of off-center application made by other companies like Kenwood and Pioneer. However, the CD/DVD slot-in is located just behind the screen itself; forcing users to always flip open the screen before inserting the disc. The front panel design is relatively simple, yet still possesses plenty of high-tech feel to it. The buttons are made of silver-painted plastic pieces with a metallic/chrome finish rotary dial.
This double DIN head unit is also capable of receiving your downloaded MP3 and WMA files through CD or DVD mediums. It will display currently playing artists, songs, and albums on the screen and users could easily browse through media folders. Users will also notice a much better sound quality in the MAX385VD than most other in dash receivers, primarily due to its high 24-Bit D/A converter, which converts digital media signals to signals that could be produced by your speakers. The higher the bit-rate, the more likely users will experience a higher sound quality (though it could still depend on the quality of your downloaded digital music.)

The Clarion MAX385VD features a Sirius Satellite Radio add-on option, allowing consumers to enjoy high quality, specialized programming satellite radio anywhere they travel. Clarion also realized that many consumers out there are likely to own an iPod. To this thought, Clarion has developed its own iPod adapter, allowing for iPod playback and controls from the in-dash controls. If you have more components and want to display them on the screen, there are even additional RCA audio/video inputs for external devices such as cameras, video game consoles, and any other portable audio video sources you may have.

Priced at a competitive low cost, the double DIN Clarion MAX 385VD receiver will be attracting a lot of attention sitting on only a $430 price tag. If you’re looking basic multimedia playback with Satellite Radio and iPod expandability options, then the Clarion MAX385VD is an excellent choice that combines both versatility and dependability.

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