Hardware Spotlight -- Audiobahn/Unwired Technology
Audiobahn/Unwired Mobile DVD ENTERTAINMENT System
by Grant Clauser
While mobile DVD are becoming popular as factory-installed equipment, it's the aftermarket that's driving this sector of the business. I wanted to see and hear if this trend in high-tech travel is all it's cracked up to be, so I checked out a rear-seat entertainment system by Audiobahn and Unwired Technology.
For this job, the vehicle was a humble family truckster, a 2003 Mazda MPV minivan, and I recruited Bill Weidemoyer and Joe Henning of Poor Boyz Customs to do the installation work. With a garage in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, Poor Boyz' mobile electronics installations have won competitions all over the country. The goal was to create a system that would be easy to use, that would entertain the kids but not disturb the adults in the front seat, all without making the car look like it was attacked with a hammer and screwdriver.
Installed equipment included an Audiobahn AVDVD1 in-dash DVD player ($399); an Audiobahn AVM270Q overhead flip-down 7-inch widescreen LCD monitor ($599); and an Unwired Technology R2T-402 two-channel wireless headphone system with two headphones ($219). Also installed was a Jensen RF modulator, to allow audio from the DVD player to be heard through the car's existing head unit and speakers, if desired.
Because of the non-standard design of the Mazda's CD player/radio, the new DVD player couldn't be installed anywhere on the dash, so Poor Boyz opted for Plan B: Install the unit under the front passenger seat. The unit remained out of the way of feet, but still within easy reach. Control of the DVD player was made via a handheld remote. A small, infrared receiver was discreetly installed under the rearview mirror. In addition, a small Radio Shack toggle switch with a red LED was placed on the dash for switching the RF modulator on/off.