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Best A/V DVD/CD/TV Player for Car?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have been doing some research on what DVD/CD/TV aftermarket players are available for cars and other mobile vehicles.

Ideally the unit should play all types of DVD's, CD's, have Dolby Digital 5.1 output (with or without an external unit), have iPod input/control and have BlueTooth to tie to cell phones to handle incoming and outgoing calls. Navigation should be an option and of course the unit should have about a 7" LCD color display.

I only found two units that have it all (having true 5.1 Dolby output seems to be the deal breaker). One was from Alpine and it is rather costly and requires a separate 5 channel amp/processor. That did not bother me until I started to read the reports on Crutchfield(?) and the Alpine add-on Bluetooth module came up with lousy buyer reviews.

Then after doing more research I stumbled across a brand called "Valor Multimedia." This company has several all-in-one units that do it all and their prices are way less than Alpine. The BlueTooth and iPod modules/connectors are built-in - not separate and extra cost like Alpine and other brands - and are included in their rather low prices. After reading about the company on their web site it appears I quite possibly havestumbled onto the "Oppo" brand of the car/mobile sound market. Valor too is a Chinese based firm with offices on the west coast like Oppo. In fact Valor claims to be THE maker of DVD mechanisms.

The Valor units I am considering are the double din models NVG-670W (with navigation) and the DTS-660W which allows Nav to be added later. For those interested there are single din models NVG-720W and ITS-710W which have the LCD displays that pop out and up. All four of these also include a TV tuner and it has sat radio compatibility too. (Sat tuner is extra).

I am thinking about taking the plunge but would like to hear if anyone else here has installed (not OEM) any such multi-function units in any of their vehicles? Has anyone here any experience with these Valor products?

Icon Master
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
A week has gone by and not a single reply to this message. Can it be that no one here does A/V in their car or SUV?
post #3 of 12
I saw it, But have no experienece with Valor. I use the other brand in my Truck. I will say this about Alpine, I've have had zero problems out of my In dash DVD and 7" fold out Screen, going on 5 years now. The Aux ports works just great with my Zen vision W (I hate any and all things I-pod) and the Level of audio quality with 4 volt preouts is excellent when used with good Amps and good Speakers. I dont have a 5.1 set up. (no center channel) but it in the confined space of a vehicle cabin with speakers 2 or 3 feet away from your head, Im convinced that 5.1 isnt really needed
post #4 of 12
I have the NVG-670W... Not too terribly happy with it... Sometimes mp3 CD's just dont play, then 5 minutes later the same exact disk will have no problem... I regret not getting a more reputable unit...
Flaky interface. It seems like the user interface was an afterthought. I am very pleased with the navigation. The nav portion was made by navigon/Navteq... Go figure... Spend the extra $$$ on the alpine... BTW, anyone want a NVG-670W for $1000
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mxtime View Post

I have the NVG-670W... Not too terribly happy with it... Sometimes mp3 CD's just dont play, then 5 minutes later the same exact disk will have no problem... I regret not getting a more reputable unit...
Flaky interface. It seems like the user interface was an afterthought. I am very pleased with the navigation. The nav portion was made by navigon/Navteq... Go figure... Spend the extra $$$ on the alpine... BTW, anyone want a NVG-670W for $1000

I was going for the Alpine but I also want a BlueTooth capable unit that handles my BT cellphone. The Alpine BT adapter got very poor write-ups on Crutchfield by users of the product.

mxtime - Have you tried the BT function with your unit? How well does the TV reception work? Were you able to disable the in-motion sensor circuit so you can play DVD's as you go?

Thanks for the replies,

Icon Master
post #6 of 12
The bluetooth works well enough. My phone doesnt work so well (address books dont show up on the scsreen) But I tried with another phone and it works, so it must just be my phone. Yes I disabled the in-motion sensor... TV reception is good enough. (all depends on where you mount the antenna. One of the things I really like about the Valor is that it has multi zone as well.
post #7 of 12
I recently ordered valor its-710w and yesterday, it was delivered.
I tried to install it by myself (gti 2005) for a practice, but it wasn't possible. It didn't power on.
The final installation was set to touareg 2005.

Anyway, it wasn't that easy, and I thought this is a faulty one, so I contacted a retailer.

Coming out of box, it seems like an okay unit, but just like you, I didn't have much belief on the brand of valor. But my retailer is even worse. Told me to contact Valor first.

So I thought I am stuck with this Valor stuff. Then I contacted local installer and he took a look and told me that the unit is fine and it would cost $300 to install. And the installation was done today and I checked out everything.

The nice (or possibly the bad) thing about this valor is that it has so many stuffs. There is many things to control and you need some time to learn the unit.

1. Ipod, supported (works okay, no asian font supported)
2. XM supported (Terk XM can be installed, no adapter necessary-- $50 at crutchfield with $30 prepaid xm radio card, so effectively$20 for XM)
3. Backup camera supported (the installer suggested me to install kenwood backup camera for $300, so I added it, it is VERY convenient)
4. TV, DVD, DIVX (DIVX part is really the best part, even the expensive in dash dvd system doesn't support divx. TV doesn't work very well, ny area - I wasn't let down by this, since my home doesn't have a good reception)
5. Bluetooth (built in works fine, but loading the phonebook can take some time, otherwise it is great.)

6. navigation supported (need nav-2 unit)
7. multizone - meaning separate source into the headunit and reat unit

After the installation, I have now the points 1-5. I didn't get the navigation unit, as nav-2 (navmate) isn't something that I am aware very well. But it seems like a good unit.

So far I have spent probably $1300 for valor its-710wt, backup camera, xm radio and installation. It seems like if I spent $500 for nav-2 and $700 for headrest units, I would have a complete solution. Compared to that, Manufacturer's option package would probably cost $4500 (plus tax) for headrest dvd and in-dash navigation. And higher brand name stuff would cost something like $3000 - 3500 (but probably don't support divx, no multi-zone, and many small adapters are needed). In all, I believe it's an okay deal, if not a good deal. Nothing spectacular, but it is OKAY and every function works (it seems like that so far).

I think the unit that you are thinking is sold at costco, too ($1499+shipping + tax, installation included, possibly need to spend $100 more for misc stuffs )
About the interface, it takes definitely some time to learn all the stuffs.

I think I will enjoy the set up based on valor its-710w.
post #8 of 12
Have you checked out the Eclipse AVN units? I don't have experience with them, but I have heard good things about their BT unit. It's actually made by Parrot, but for the Eclipse units.

As far as I know the AVN 7000 is the only one capable of 5.1 with the added processor.

I'm stuck needing a double din unit so my choices in this area are limited. I'm leaning toward the Alpine IVA-W205, it has a 6.5" screen and when couple with the H701 processor, it does 5.1, but the processor also adds in a lot of equalization.

I was also considering the Kenwood DDX-8019, the Eclipse 6610, and the Eclipse 5495. I can't find many reviews on these model and no one around me has them on display!
post #9 of 12
post #10 of 12
You guys should have looked into a carPC before investing good money into this.

I have a 1-Din motorized LCD VGA touch screen like this one that automatically retracts when not in use. Cost me around $300 for the touch screen monitor. It can be installed in anything from a 1-Din to a 2 Din dash with a $19 "aftermarket radio" install kit. Mine happens to be a GM 1.5 din, and it still only took me about 20 minutes to install.

The carPC attached to the touch screen monitor cost less than $700. Its based on a miniITX MII12000G motherboard with 6 channel audio. Here is a pic, it installs in my car in seconds with two nylon/velcro straps, so I can easily bring it with me into the house and I have another PC to play with.

It has a DVD-RW/CD-RW player, 120 GB hard drive, a USB bluetooth dongle with phone control, voice navigation GPS, and a Pantech PX-500 3g EV-DO rev A. card (e.g. always-on mobile broadband internet access). The PX-500 was free with my cell plan. I also have the carPC connected to a Linksys WRT54G as an access point, so any authorized WiFi capable device in the area (such as my PDA) also has internet access. The touch screen replaced the original AM/FM tuner, so I simply added a PC integrated HD Radio receiver which is controlled with the touch screen.

As far as a TV tuner goes, they really don't work all that well when you are moving (an understatement), and analog TV is going the way of the dinosaur REAL soon so its a complete waste of time anyway. For TV reception, my car's system simply connects with my homes AV system, (it has a MyHD MDP103 card served to me via the net using AIVMS) and I can watch TV and change channels from anywhere I happen to be.
post #11 of 12
Yeah I thought about that, but my nvg-670w has the dvd slot where I need it (behind the screen) and it has and SD card reader back there as well. I mainly use mine with my ipod. It controls the ipod just like a CD or MP3... I know with a PC you just load the mp3's to the hard drive... maybe I'll do a "carputer" next time... Mine only cost about $1100 and its doing the job.
post #12 of 12
Ya, the DVD player is not as accessible. But, the fact is with a large hard drive one will typically just rip the DVD to the drive anyway.
Nearly all my music is stored on the HD as individual FLAC files rather than mp3's, FLAC is a lossless compression "equal" in sound quality to the original CD. I am afraid that FLAC is something that will likely never happen with an iPod.
Not trying to chastise anyone for their decision here, just pointing out that you can spend an equal amount of money and end up with something vastly superior.
The carPC certainly requires a bit more tinkering, and some folks are simply not compatible with the word "DIY".

The MII12000 has 2 vid out ports (S-video and Composite) in addition to the VGA port, so you can provide rear seat mounted displays quite easily with the CarPC's vid signal. The fact that you dont need to fumble with a DVD while driving when your kids want to watch a different movie has its benefits. Just add a couple wireless game controllers and you will likely forget they are even in the vehicle, but getting them out may become difficult.
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