The Wide World of Wheels
New products and new technologies are creating big opportunities for mobile installers
By Brett Solomon
The aftermarket for in-vehicle entertainment and other applications is exploding, even as automakers set up their OEM efforts. This month, we take a look at some hot products and applications in the four major segments of the in-vehicle market: audio, navigation, video and security.
Front-seat mobile video products are becoming big sellers as price points drop. As much as these systems have been in the news recently because of cases involving driver distraction, consumers are still demanding the technology for the front of the vehicle, and why not? As long as a competent installer makes sure the unit is installed so video is only activated while the vehicle is parked, why can't consumers watch a DVD from the front seat of their cars? Or play video games?
Perhaps one of the coolest new mobile video head units is JVC's KD-AVX1 (MSRP $699). Jacob Hardin, JVC's new mobile national product specialist, walked us through this intriguing unit. "The KD-AVX1 combines versatility and technology into one easy-to-use DIN-size receiver. The integrated three-inch monitor has the ability to display TV, DVD, JPEG images, audio/control settings and even a rear-view monitor."
The unit sets itself apart from the pack by offering some of JVC's latest EXAD features. Dual-zone technology allows back-seat passengers to listen to one source (like Sirius or a CD changer) while front-seat passengers can listen to a separate source. The GIGA MP3 feature stores more than 1,000 MP3/WMA-formatted songs on a single DVD disc. Says Hardin, "The KD-AVX1 truly bridges the gap between users who need a complete mobile video package and those who seek the best features out of a CD receiver."
The KD-AVX1 is part of a strong JVC offering for mobile video. "In the future, JVC will continue to offer a comprehensive lineup that solves the situations of all types of mobile video users," says Hardin. "Our current lineup delivers this idea by offering two in-dash units, a headrest monitor system, an overhead monitor system and even a cradle unit. You [have to] show a variety of offerings to satisfy every mobile video customer's needs."