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Discussion Starter #1
DanDan or anybody:

Fry's has a sale for this Panasonic LCD Monitor CY-VMX6800U and a Blaupunkt DVD Player DVDME-1 for $799. Installation is extra of course.

But I want to know if the monitor is good. Here is the Panasonic website:

http://www.prodcat.panasonic.com/shop/templates/square_template.asp?ModelId=9477&show_all=false&product_exists=True&active=1&ModelNo=CY-VMX6800U

I think it sells for $600

This is for a 2001 Suburban LS. (I've got an EXL-RES on order

I also have one of those Panasonic portable DVD but the screen is less than 5 in. (It was one of the 1st releases from Panasonic). We take this on the road with us but the screen is too small. So I was hoping to get a flip-down TV and then use my portable DVD player instead of hard installing one in the SUV.

Thanks,

MMCD
 

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Ok, lets start with the vehicle your planning on installing this in, a Suburban right? Do you have a sunroof? If not do you have an overhead console. Do you have the rear A/C controls on the overhead? If so, then you will not be able to install the Panasonic. You will need a flat surface. I have installed these units and they have a very nice picture. The only downside to this unit is it weighs a ton! I cannot believe that it weighs so much. You will need plenty of support on the roof to hold this puppy. I had an MDX to put one in and I had to return it due to the lack of support for the unit. I did not trust it. If your going to use the DVD only then I suggest you buy a unit that has a 16:9 aspect ratio so you can see the full screen. The 6.8" by Panasonic will not give you a full screen due to the 4:3 aspect ratio. So your going to defeat the results you desire. The 7" screens are 16:9 aspects resulting in the wide screen format you require. Now as far as the Suburban you may need a special console for the overhead if you have what I described. If it's got a sunroof you will need to make your own console, and it's pretty easy to do. You will need to remove the domelight. Audiovox has all the consoles and also a 7" inch model. It's the VOH-702. It's very nice and also includes a TV Tuner. The downfall to this piece is the wireless headphones are RF and not Infared. I like the Infared much more. The RF's have to be tuned in. I don't care for them. I usually won't use them and buy the Infared system or better yet the new 900MHZ are great. But it's more money than your looking at. I like the Panasonic but for DVD only it's not the way to go, and the install is hard due to the amount of support that's required. If you use DVD's only I still like the Audiovox or the new Faranheit 7". The Faranheit has a great picture and it's cheap. But needs a flat surface also. Only one year warranty though, as with the Panasonic. The Audiovox is 3 years! As you can tell I like the Audiovox. That's what I have in my GMC Safari the wife drives. I have the 6.8 system in mine with a custom made console. I do not have a DVD in it yet. I have too many VHS tapes and only about 20 DVD's to my name. I put in just as many VCP's as I do the DVD's. If you have an ODY you can put just about anything in them. Very easy to work on. I have done 13.1 Audiovox system in them already. I did not like it though. Looked like a laptop upside down and the screen was not bright enough. Nit's on that unit is very low. (That's how you tell the brightness of the unit, called nits). If I can help you let me know. Sorry about being so long winded.

DanDan
 

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DanDan you seem to be an expert on mobile video so Is the Voh702 worth the money? I was qouted 1188 for the complete system without VCP. At www.truckaddons.com they qouted me for the same system 858 but it comes only in black(trim)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
DanDan,

Do you have a sunroof?

"No"

If not do you have an overhead console. Do you have the rear A/C controls on the overhead?

"The overhead console is for rear AC controls and has dome light."

What the sales guy said is that the installers move the AC console towards the back about 10" and the flip down monitor is added to where the AC console was originally.

My goal is really just to play DVD. I did not mean to say flip down TV but flip down monitor to play DVD movies.

I saw my friend's EXL-RES. I really liked the headphones being IR. I freaked out when the sound was gone when I stepped out of the Ody. But the clarity of the sound was really good as soon as I poked my head back in the car.

Fry's installation is anywhere from $250 to $450 tops depending on the vehicle. So I see myself paying only $1250 installed max. I can't believe what cartoys is asking for. It's close to $2000. (That's why I went with the RES way. I'm almost 1/3 close to paying leather.) This would include Blaupunkt DVD installed.

What are your experiences with the Blaupunkt DVD?

Also my 2001 Chevy LS Suburban is the 9 passenger version. So there is no center floor console between the driver and passenger that takes up the room of the hump in the feet area. I can knock out the lower in dash panel (where the center console would have connected) and mount an in dash DVD player there.

Is there a Faranheit website?

Please keep advising me on this.

Thanks,

MMCD
 

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You did not mention if you were still interested in the 7" screen for the DVD. You can do what Fry's stated for the A/C controls. The Blauplunkt DVD is not anything special. The Farenheit and the Blauplunkt are one in the same. If it's the DIN mount you can mount it indash or get the one that goes under the seat. That one plays MP3's also. And it's fairly cheap. Wholesale I pay about $165. You can get them cheap and they work really well. I haven't had any problems yet. I buy the Audiovox version, (same as the Blauplunkt) because of the 3 year warranty. I don't know if there is a Farenheit website, I don't even know if I am spelling there name right! :) Mobile Authority I believe is the same company. I will check on the site. There monitors have great pictures and there prices are very good.

As far as scadajedi, the quoted price is kinda high if it's just over the counter and you have to still install it. Don't worry about it coming in black, cause that's how they come. What you get is a universal mount ring that is cut to your vehicle and then I wrap them in the same color fabric to match your headliner. Audiovox sells them and they are easy to install and it looks custom. The wrap only cost ten bucks. For a complete install without a VCP, heres what it goes for wholesale, $450 to $550 for the VOH-702. The prices on video have been going down recently with so many companies getting into the business, thank god for competition. You will need a antenna, I use a dipole, don't like the on glass version. Cost is $15. Two headphones if your using the RF's is about $60. Universal trim ring is $10. Fabric Wrap=$10. FM Modulator is $30. An Audiovox VCP is about $159, that seems high but that's the Hi-Fi Stereo and it's Bulletproof and really is a quality piece. You get what you pay for on VCP's, and the remote is unified for the TV and VCP. You know what DVD's are and that's all you really need other than the labor. A good installer is hard to find too. So my total cost for a system say with a VCP is $800 or so wholesale. I am guessing on the price of the 702 since I don't have an invoice in front of me. Most companies will mark up the product 30% and then add labor. So you do the math and that's your price. They have an 8" tv also and the price of that one is the same as the 6.8 system. It's sold as a package making it more attractive. It's nice but not for DVD's cause of the 4:3 aspect ratio. Hope I helped.

DanDan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
DanDan,

I want at least 6.4 and no larger than 7". What is 4:3 aspect ratio? Is this the letterbox size? We make 3 long (over 8 hour) car rides a year. Going to WDW from Dallas has so far been the longest. We drive overnight, nonstop. So the kids usually see 4 movies MAX one way. I don't care if they see it TV format, wide screen or letterbox. I want clarity and have it visible from the angle. My little portable DVD is not so good during the brightest day. The kids would make shift a shade so they could see the screen. Also they would huddle to be directly in front. Of course when their heads would accidently hit the other one, WOW, you'd think their was a war in the back seat.

DH hates Fry's Electronic Superstore. They're just a bunch of HS kids that work there 2 months tops. At least the installer sounded over 30 on the telephone.

Also is there a way to make my portable DVD into a wireless headset?

Is there an easy install for a DIYer? DH won't remove the dash board but he said he wouldn't mind trying to move the rear AC control.

I found a good website that lists all the Mobile TV companies. It's from the magazine "?Mobile TV Entertainer"? Of course, I forgot to bookmark it. Faranheit has another name. It like Poweraccoustic or so. I'll post it here when I find it.

How close are you to WDW? Maybe we could swing by for you to install at your wholesale prices. I've got a timeshare inside WDW that I can put you up for exchange. Hopefully you don't despise Mickeyland.

MMCD
 

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MMCD,
A couple of answers for you:
4:3 aspect ratio means that the proportions of the screen horizontal vs. vertical dimension is 4:3. Theater format is 16:9, so many home theater buffs like this "widescreen" format when playing DVDs. Letterbox format is when you use a 4:3 screen to play back a DVD in widescreen format. You get black bands at the top and bottom of your screen....

Farenheit is manufactured by Poweracoustic, you are correct. I saw a Farenheit system at Fry's... the DVD player was really cheap, and was flaky in terms of function. When I tried a VCD on the Farenheit unit, it was not very happy, it got stuck in FF mode and I had to power reset to get it to come out. The Farenheit screen I saw (5.4") was not very good in terms of resolution.

The (arguably) easiest install for the DIYer is the Traveltheater. Marvyn is going to install one of these, there are others that have already done so, I believe. It has a 6.8"? screen, and the signal connection is wireless. For the screen you only have to wire the power and ground. Most universal fold-down screen setups are similar in terms of installation difficulty. There is detailed info on how to install a particular Jensen unit on this forum, which is applicable to many other fold down setups.

From my narrow experience, I like the quality of Panasonic screens overall, compared to some I've seen from MA and Farenheit. I have not seen an Audiovox in person, so can't comment on that. Alot of people seem to like the Jensen option since it can be had for ~$350 from Ebay/Ubid, and it's a fairly versatile unit.

-SJ

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Just remember if you buy the 6.8 in the 4:3 format you will not have a full screen, kinda defeating the purpose of owning a DVD. For example, go play a DVD on your 36" TV and see how big of a picture you get on it. I know, I have one. Thats why I don't use DVD's on my home JVC system. Unless the DVD plays back in 4:3 format you get this very skinny Horizontal picture which I hate. You were correct about Farenheit being the same as PowerAcoustic. I kept thinking it was MA. Anyway, I have had no problems with there DVD's. I sell alot of them and I am using the latest one. Blauplunkt is the same thing. Like I stated I use the Audiovox because of the warranty. And it's over the counter exchange which is good assurance for the customer. Just remember that the 4:3 aspect ratio is going to ruin any gains you get having the DVD. As an example its 4 inches by 3 inches or 16 inches by 9 inches. You will lose the bottom and top of your screen using the 6.8" screen because they only come in 4:3 aspects. Just so you know, I am not looking to sell any products on this board just kinda help you out on what to buy and what you should expect to pay. I do 28 Auto Dealers here in South Florida and I really do not want to try to sell here over the net. I just like helping out when I can. If your here in South Florida your more than welcome to call on me for advise. And I don't hate Mickey, I am just tired of him! We live only 2.5 hours away from Disney. We only go up once a year at the Christmas at night thing. It's kinda like a tradition with our friends every year. It's from 8:00pm at night to 1:00 am. That's all I can stomach at one time anymore. :)

DanDan
 

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DanDan:
If I was looking into 10" monitors, what would you suggest & how much do you think it would cost me? I realize I'm your neighbor up north but just wanted to get an idea.

The planned set up will be as follows:

1)Use the factory radio as head unit.

2)Install an overhead monitor for the rear passengers with wireless headphones (what would you suggest for headphones?).

3)The DVD player will be a PS2 which is portable & flexible (kids want to play games too). When not in the van, it will be taken out. Also, if I can play audio on all speakers while driving while kids are watching and then be able to switch the DVD to play on all speakers too at rest areas.

4)Upgrade speakers in front to Pioneer components and rears to Pioneer 2-way (no particular model yet).

As MMCD had said, can we install all these ourselves rather than paying hundreds to have them installed?

Thanks for all the help.
Kuruma Hayai
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did alot of research on that Back Seat Theater. I like this route better because it is a DIY. I have my portable 5" Panasonic DVD player that I will use as my DVD player since I have the car cord for it already.

I plan to call BST tomorrow to see if they have a 7" available. Otherwise I'll just stick with my 5" until the 7" are more affordable.

My oldest son wants us to use our 9" TV/VCR that we used for years in our minivan before going to the 5" DVD player. Since the Suburban has 3 outlets, he wants us to attach the DVD to the 9" tv. He then suggested that we could us the VCR to store the DVDs.

I still would like to know if I can attach some kind of wireless speaker transmitter for my 5" DVD to have wireless headphones.

MMCD
 

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Kuruma Hayai,

The 10 inch screens I have installed and seen are not really that bright. The (NITS) are low which means the brightness is poor in sunlight. Also the 10 inch screens I have seen are only 4:3 aspect. Which as I stated will cut the picture top to bottom. Heres a link so you can compare, this is Audiovox who has one of the largest selections of screens. ( http://www.asa-avx.com/ ) Click on the Flexvision link to the top right and they have monitors from 6,8 to 19"! Then scroll down to a screen you like. It will give the specs. Look at the specs and see the number of NITS. You will see that the 7" has the brightest screen. The 8" shows 300 but I can assure you it's not as bright as the 6.8 or 7". When you hit the 10" and 13.1" the NITS go down to 150 NITS. Half the brightness! Also check the aspect ratio and you will see that the 7" is the only way to go to get the full screen and brightness you want for a DVD. As far as the install goes I do not want to recommend you doing it yourself unless you are very electrical or mechanical inclined. Remember you are going to be cutting a hole in your headliner! There is very little room for mistakes when mounting the unit. Very easy to poke a hole in your roof. The ODY has a very nice crossmember going from left to right and front to rear to tie in to.

I have been doing Auto Electronics for years and when the advent of mobile video hit, I was taught a lot in a very short time. I had never done any trim work before with headliner material or headrests. It's more of an art than anything else. It takes practice. I would spend the money and have a pro install it for peace of mind. Make sure they are either ASE certified or MECP certified and see what kind of experience they have. As far as headphones I still like the infared or the new 900MHZ systems. I do not like the RF 49MHZ that you have tune in. Also the 702 has switchable 4:3 and 16:9 ratio's.

DanDan
 

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Yes, they do make a system in a infared wireless headphones that you want. It includes a bubble transmitter you place on the roof and you hook it to the output of the DVD. Put batteries in the headphones and your done. There is a new version of the transmitter pod which is very small making it more attractive. The companies name I believe is Unwired technology. The link is "www.unwiredtechnology.com" I just found the link in one of my trade magazines. Check it out, I have not yet. I have used there product to do exactly what you want.

DanDan
 

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DanDan:
Thanks a lot for the information. By going with the 702, I'll be saving a lot of money compared to the 10". Is there a 900mhz headphone that will work with the audiovox 702?

Thanks again for the info. It usually pays to ask someone who knows.
 
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