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Discussion Starter #1
At Sam's Club (online)

Type in: 637388 into search field.

This contains just the LCD & wireless transmitter (you still have to purchase the wireless headphones and DVD or VHP separately) but:

1) you can do it yourself much easier than the Jensen or other 'wired' units
2) even if you add PS2 DVD & wireless headphones you're still looking at about 7-$1,000 less than the iVES (which only comes w/ a VCP that is built-in) but you give up FM modulation...I think. Can you still add an FM modulator to this system?
3) its *completely* removable when not in use freeing up space under seats & deterring theft.

This seems like a good solution pricewise & no installation costs!

[This message has been edited by nyvram (edited 05-09-2001).]
 

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Not a Bad solution for Many people. I just do not like the look of the unit. That is a personal opinion that is not universal. You can use a fm modulator with this system. Instead of hooking up your audio rca out from your (vcp or dvd or ps2)to the video audio transmitter you plug them into your fm modulator.

[This message has been edited by rollie66 (edited 05-09-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well...

I really like the modularity (is that a word?) of it. It seems if TMI makes a go of it, maybe at some point in the future there will be an ugrade (larger screen? different harness?) that will leverage the 'hooks' that are in place.

I'm looking at it from a practical standpoint; 90% of the time its going to be sitting on the shelf in my office; we'd probably only put it in the van for long trips. Maybe I can figure out some way to cover the mounting hooks when the unit isn't attached (although they don't really bother me that much). I doubt my 3 year old is really going to be concerned with whether it matches the interior color of the van...he'll just want to be able to watch Toy Story!

Seahorse? What do you think? How has your unit worked out for you? From your pictures it looks pretty clean (better than the backseattheater website! What's up with those awful pics?). Any new problems you've run into? Have you bought an FM modulator yet?

I wanted to mention that another advantage is I can use the rear AC adapter to plug in the DVD and transmitter so it would be out of the way (wire-wise) of people in the front & middle seats. With the Honda unit, if you have a NAVI you either have to stick your DVD player (or whatever) on the floor in front of the passenger to connect to that awkward VCP console or string cables between the seats to the middle row.

However, your comment about needing to hook the transmitter up to the FM modulater seems to imply to me that this solution would require me to (a) run the connection back to the middle seats or (b) run wires across the floor to the DVD (if we planned to stick it under the middle seats).

Also, are FM modulators like commodities? Are there better ones and worse ones? Anyone have any experience with these? Are they as 'no-brainer' as they seem, or are there issues when hooking these up to your stereo? How about the quality of the audio coming through?

I wonder which one Honda uses with the iVES.


[This message has been edited by nyvram (edited 05-09-2001).]
 

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Pics for the Back Seat Theater can be found here:

Back Seat Theater

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Jim
'01 GG EX
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just got off the phone with TMI. I found out a few more things (this solution is just looking better and better all the time...)


- the only thing missing from what samsclub is selling is the VCP and headphones. (which is what I don't want anyway!)
- You can use *any* line-of-sight wireless headphones with this unit. They don't have to be purchsed from TMI so you can pick & choose until you find some you like best.
- any FM modulator will do the trick. The guy I spoke to said to just go to Radio Shack and ask them what they recommend. He said they haven't really seen any problems with using different ones.
- he spoke of [something] (wouldn't say what) that is in the works to leverage the mounting hooks in the ceiling! Mmm. Nyvram's mind begins to ponder...
- he said he takes his in and out all the time and hasn't noticed any problems with anything wearing out. He said its designed to take on & off as much as you want.
- he wouldn't give me the name of anyone nationally selling them; rather he said they sell them to distributers who buy certain quantities of them. I only know of samsclub.com as an alternate source of them right now.
 

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I've been looking for something along these lines myself. The question that keeps coming to mind is what is the advantage of installed units such as these versus a portable DVD player? Pioneer has a nice unit with 7" display for $640 (the PVD-LC10 at etronics) that looks pretty good. There are others for more or less depending on your requirements.

Why wouldn't I just get something like this instead of trying to mount something permanently in the Oddy? I'm not interested in VHS or games. My son is less than 3 years old and cartoons/movies are plenty to keep him interested on the road I think. Plus I would have the advantage of using it outside the vehicle as well.

I'd appreciate any comments.

Thanks,
descentr
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by descentr:
I've been looking for something along these lines myself. The question that keeps coming to mind is what is the advantage of installed units such as these versus a portable DVD player?</font>
Moving projectile syndrome! This unit isn't permanent in that I won't be leaving it in the car when not in use...plus that little battery-powered base is soooo cute...

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I'm not interested in VHS or games. My son is less than 3 years old and cartoons/movies are plenty to keep him interested on the road I think. Plus I would have the advantage of using it outside the vehicle as well.</font>

Well..I don't think your son will be 3 forever...
Plus I can bring the PS2 inside & play games or watch DVDs on it when I'm at home...and if I'm feeling really silly, I'll set the LCD in the base & play videogames on that...as they say; ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
...and it keeps getting better and better!

You don't have to buy the wireless IR headphones...with the FM modulator, you can just buy a couple of walkman headphones with built-in FM radios. Then, the backseat passengers can listen to the audio on their headphones..or choose to listen to a different FM station...for a fraction of the price of ir headphones.

The "cheap bastard" entertainment system just keeps getting better and better. Well, its not too cheap, but compared to the Honda unit...

So for approximately $929 you get:

- 6.8" stereo-speaker removable LCD roof mount $529
- FM modulator ($35)
- 2 fm radio headphones ($20 ea.)
- PS2 VGS& DVD player ($299)
- 110v power inverter ($35)

Not bad considering with most other systems you *still* have to add the DVD unit afterward. Take off the PS2 and the price drops to $629 + the cost of a cheap VCP for a roof-mounted, removable LCD entertainment system.

And...if I add the $150 videoNavi thing and a cheap splitter, my wife can enjoy movies as well in the front seat.




[This message has been edited by nyvram (edited 05-09-2001).]
 

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There are differences in fm modulators. The fm modulators do not broadcast on fm, They insert the signal on an fm frequency through your antennae. A good one can be had at crutchfield for 54.95 made by clarion. It is digital and includes a power filter. You can use any cheap headphones with this set up ,however you need to hard wire a couple of jacks in. A walkman cannot pickup this signal(cost maybe $20)
 

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Originally posted by nyvram:
Seahorse? What do you think? How has your unit worked out for you? From your pictures it looks pretty clean (better than the backseattheater website! What's up with those awful pics?). Any new problems you've run into? Have you bought an FM modulator yet?

We are still very satisfied with this package, although I wish I had thought to ask all the questions posted in this thread. I definitely would have sent back the wireless headphones if I knew any line-of-sight model would work. (The salesboob at Fryes told me they were all different frequencies just like wireless phones.) I haven't bought an FM modulator yet--probably will if I have to listen to Barney a few more times. The price you found at Sams looks like a pretty good deal to me!

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rollie66:
There are differences in fm modulators. The fm modulators do not broadcast on fm, They insert the signal on an fm frequency through your antennae. A good one can be had at crutchfield for 54.95 made by clarion. It is digital and includes a power filter. You can use any cheap headphones with this set up ,however you need to hard wire a couple of jacks in. A walkman cannot pickup this signal(cost maybe $20) </font>
I don't understand. This is from the crutchfield site description of the modulator:

"Plug the audio signal from your video source (VCR, VCP, DVD) into the FM100S's RCA audio inputs, and use the level-matching control to match the volume to that of your FM radio. A switch allows you to choose between 2 different modulation frequencies (87.7 MHz and 89.1 MHz) for the best possible reception in your area."

That seems to tell me that if I tune some fm-headphones to 89.1 or 87.7 that I could pick up the signal on them. Why is this not the case?
 

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You are looking for a station that has no static on it. Usually one of these freqs has no station that operates on that freq. The FM Modulator only places signals into your stereo via hard wire. Your car ant. plugs into the Mod and the Mod plugs into the car stereo. When the Mod is turned on it cuts of the signal from the ant. and transmits via hard wire directly to the stereo on a hopefully unused freq.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by nyvram:
I don't understand. This is from the crutchfield site description of the modulator:

"Plug the audio signal from your video source (VCR, VCP, DVD) into the FM100S's RCA audio inputs, and use the level-matching control to match the volume to that of your FM radio. A switch allows you to choose between 2 different modulation frequencies (87.7 MHz and 89.1 MHz) for the best possible reception in your area."

That seems to tell me that if I tune some fm-headphones to 89.1 or 87.7 that I could pick up the signal on them. Why is this not the case?

</font>
Not sure if it works with all FM modulators but the one that comes with my Pioneer CD changer (even when it is plugged in-line with the antenna cable like most modulators are) does broadcast at one of the selected frequencies such that a car parked next to it can pick up the music on that frequency. I would expect a stereo FM headset would be able to do the same.

FM modulators convert the input signal into a FM signal at the selected broadcast frequency. The signal strength would depend on the modulator. The audio quality is same as from FM station. Not as good as direct audio input from source like CD or DVD player. Hooking up to the antenna cable does not give a "hard wire" connection to the stereo.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by exindenver:
Not sure if it works with all FM modulators but the one that comes with my Pioneer CD changer (even when it is plugged in-line with the antenna cable like most modulators are) does broadcast at one of the selected frequencies such that a car parked next to it can pick up the music on that frequency. I would expect a stereo FM headset would be able to do the same.

FM modulators convert the input signal into a FM signal at the selected broadcast frequency. The signal strength would depend on the modulator. The audio quality is same as from FM station. Not as good as direct audio input from source like CD or DVD player. Hooking up to the antenna cable does not give a "hard wire" connection to the stereo.
</font>
When I mean hard wire I do not reference a direct connection to the stereo. The Mdoulator places the signal at the above freq into the stereo via the ant. cable. The do not have much powere. If you were able to pick the signal up directly on your radio you would not need to hook it into the ant. The units are not designed to broadcast. I am sorry if I do not feel as though you can count on receiving the broadcast through a walkman. There are fm transmitter devices available that will do this. However the 900 mhz wireless headphone or a simple headphone jack wired into your vcr would be a better solution. I anyone else has any thoughts please pitch in I do dot claim to be an expert. I have the clarion fm modulator and I will hook it up this afternoon to see how much signal leakage actually occurs.
 

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rollie66(BTW,how's the Jensen install going?),
Understand what you mean. It does depend on the modulator and the leakage in the antenna path. Just tried it with my FM walkman and the Pioneer in my Saturn. I was able to pick up the signal with the walkman and on the Ody radio. The modulator can't be easily removed (part of the changer) so I haven't tried it on the Ody to see if its antenna leaks.

There is another drawback in addition to the lower quality. When the modulator is on, only the signal from the modulator is sent to the stereo. Other radio frequecies are blocked. So the kids in the back maybe able to watch the video and listen through the FM headsets but the in-dash stereo will not be able to pick up other FM stations to play over the speakers. I would think the in-dash CD player would still be able to play.



[This message has been edited by exindenver (edited 05-12-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Very odd difference between BackSeatTheater at SamsClub and the one sold by TMI through their webpage:

The SamsClub version has *one* internal speaker instead of 2. I asked the TMI customer rep; and he said that is the only difference; Sams asked them to remove one of the speakers but there is no other difference in the units besides that.



This seems really odd to me. I asked him if it would be possible to crack the unit open & install it and he said that it is not easily accessible and some of the wiring was removed to support the other speaker as well so he didn't recommend it.

Anyway, so beware if you're going w/ the Sams unit (us anal-retentive people notice these things!) that you're only getting a single speaker (not that you can probably tell much difference anyway; you can still go the fm-modulator route to get stereo or opt for the wireless headphones).
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Questions about BackSeat Theatre...
1) How does the picture compare to other LCD screens out there?
2) What is lost via wireless transmitter versus hardwire?
3) Does the TV tuner work? Does it have an antenna connection somewhere?
4) How well has it worked with PS2 playing DVDs or games? Do you have to buy a separate power convertor?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey guys,

I just found an "FM Modulator" (Radio Shack actually calls it an 'FM broadcaster' I think) that doesn't have to be installed.

This is a $39 unit that has an antennae wire sticking out and you just pop in some batteries & connect the headphone jack to your DVD/VCP, etc. (course you'll need an adapter it it has RCA outputs). It also has the option of setting the frequency to FOUR different settings (2 low band & 2 high band) so the chances of interference are much lower.

The main advantage to this unit it it can go anywhere; not just hardwired to your radio's antenna wire. This way I don't have to (a) string cables from my DVD under the 2nd row seats to the front of the vehicle and (b) it doesn't interfere w/ my factory radio at all.

I am getting more & more excited about the BackSeatTheater solution. The only permanent 'mod' to the vehicle at this point would be installing the brackets & wiring of the BST unit. Everything else at this point is completely removeable and non-invasive to the vehicle.

- 6.8" flip down LCD (screen removeable; leaves 2 brackets & wire spliced to dome light)
- DVD/PS2 (removeable)
- wireless headphones (removeable)
- FM modulator/broadcaster (removeable)

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01 SS EX-NAVI due in June, floor mats, mud flaps & protection pkg included n/c)
 
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