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Topic # 196483 1-Jun-2016 21:19
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Firstly, apologies if this thread seems similar to other threads I've recently created.  I did think about continuing one of those, but as I'm asking for recommendations about headunits I wanted to canvass more than just those that might be following those earlier threads.

 

I've managed to demo a few units in Palmerston North at Repco and Supercheap Auto, but the range isn't very big, so most of my research has been online.  But I've found that details of many headunits is a bit thin, and Youtube videos, which are usually reliable for giving detailed reviews/demos of devices, are surprisingly hard to find.  So I'm hoping that Geekzoners might be able to provide some first hand insight into the models I'm looking at.

 

I'm starting to lean towards the JVC range.  I tried the JVC KW-V320BT at Repco and it was pretty good.  My online research shows newer/fancier units (such as the V30BT or V51BT), but I haven't been able to try one out.  They look similar to the V320BT, but have a few differences.  The V51BT has an articulating screen, larger screen, while the V30BT has a slightly smaller screen (non-mech) but has a rotary volume knob (which I quite like).  They also tick all the boxes I started with - Bluetooth, USB/iPhone support, input for a reversing camera.  They don't have Carplay, which I don't think is worth the extra money, but they do have AppLink mode.  This also seems a bit glitchy, so I'm not planning to make use of it.

 

Has anyone got any first-hand experience with any of these units?  Would you recommend one of them?


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  Reply # 1563882 1-Jun-2016 21:23
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The rotary controls are really hit and miss. The fusion I have takes forever to change volume because if you turn it too fast it just ignores it, really try them out in the shop for that and other input latency if that bothers you.





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  Reply # 1564096 2-Jun-2016 11:15
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That's a good point about lag from rotary controls.  My previous unit was an Alpine with a very nice responsive rotary control, so I just assumed that rotary would be better.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to have a play with the V30BT to check what the controls feel like, so if anyone out there has got some experiences to share that would be great.


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  Reply # 1564104 2-Jun-2016 11:23
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My specs were a bit different to yours:

 

  • Bluetooth for hands-free phone + navigation ex phone + music.
  • Interface to steering wheel buttons.
  • Stream audio from a wired remote USB flash drive (kept in the centre console).
  • Not looking like the designer has just thrown up his breakfast.

No reversing camera since the 350Z has that already.  I chose the Pioneer DEHX8750BT with an Axxess ASWC1 interface to the steering wheel.  It does everything just fine.  Installed by Abtec in Lower Hutt, who really know what they are doing.  Although they missed the fact that the Z has 32 ohm rear speakers so a bit of an output impedance mis-match but it still works fine.

 

Also it looks really nice - imho the JVC's fail the 4th item in my specs.

 

Product specs and differentiation in car head units is very difficult - some things you don't find out until you have installed and tested a unit, especially the hands-free operation.





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  Reply # 1564357 2-Jun-2016 16:13
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I take your point about some of the "busy" interface designs.  That was what attracted me to the JVC KW-V51BT (need the double-din for the reversing camera).  The precious few videos I found on Youtube showed a reasonably clean and stripped down interface.  The home screen is customisable so you can put the three most used inputs on the screen, with large "buttons" making it easier to find the right spot whilst driving rather than fiddling with tiny buttons on a touchscreen.  When a source is chosen, it also looks like the touchscreen music controls are pretty large, for the same reason.  My car doesn't have steering wheel controls, so an easy to use and uncluttered interface is important.

 


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  Reply # 1564374 2-Jun-2016 16:54
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Also one thing which annoys me with my fusion is the labeling of the controls.l There are 8 buttons at the bottom, some phone ones and then 1 to 6. The 1 to 6 are illuminated. The other function on the button like play/pause etc is not. I can count, so having the numbers (which are never used unless you use the "tuner" feature) lit up is pointless. The green backlight doesnt light the red hangup button at all.

 


 





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  Reply # 1564623 2-Jun-2016 21:38
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Next question is which reversing camera.  Mongoose is a brand I recognise and there are several options under $100, but the store is recommending a unit called Gator G45CL, which isn't a brand I'm familiar with.  Anyone care to recommend a good reversing camera that would be compatible with the JVC unit (composite video input, by the look of things).




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  Reply # 1564624 2-Jun-2016 21:38
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Next question is which reversing camera.  Mongoose is a brand I recognise and there are several options under $100, but the store is recommending a unit called Gator G45CL, which isn't a brand I'm familiar with.  Anyone care to recommend a good reversing camera that would be compatible with the JVC unit (composite video input, by the look of things).


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  Reply # 1564638 2-Jun-2016 22:27
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I bought a $6 camera off aliexpress. My only concern was that it did not add any stupid lines to the picture. Because I am lazy I got a wireless transmitter for it, because I am more lazy I added the camera to the tail light circuit since that is at the number plate light which is where the camera mounts. I have a separate wireless screen that I only use when backing up to the trailer so just turn the lights on and plug the screen in for that.

 

 





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  Reply # 1566893 7-Jun-2016 09:52
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So I've got a couple of choices:

 

1. Mongoose MC304 ($109) - it's a waterproof, CCD-based camera, but no nightvision

 

2. Mongoose MC3NV ($75) - water-resistant CMOS-based camera, with nightvision

 

3. Mongoose MC405 ($229) - waterproof, CCD, nightvision.

 

I don't have any extreme needs, but I'd like to get something that will be durable, useful in range of scenarios (no use having a camera that only works at day), and affordable.  I think either the 304 or the 3NV would fit the bill more than the $229 MC405 (which is a commercial-grade camera, with bulk to match), but I don't know whether the CCD sensor will compensate for the lack of nightvision, or whether a nightvision-enabled CMOS camera will be fine.

 


Recommendations, anyone?


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