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View Single Post  Topic: RedPower In Dash Radio/ DVD/ CD/ MP3 with 3.5 Inch TFT 
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Rated PG


PostPosted: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 20:43:00    Post Subject: The Explosound offered from Geeks.com Reply with quote

I purchased the Explosound DVD / Divx / MMC / Mp3 / CD / TV Tuner deck recently and after having had it for a period of three weeks wanted to let you guys know what my experiences have been like. Having read this forum close to the time that I had purchased the deck I noticed the praise and complaints that others have registered and I too have experienced some of them.

Upon first installation it was a chore to adjust the screens contrast to something I was satisfied with. The on-screen text is hardly legible using a terrible "Electric Dreams" Edgar-like font. The splash screen that comes up when ever inserting a CD or DVD or even SD memory card says "DVD" with a horrible looking explosound logo and what appears to be spanish text below that. I would also very much LOVE to flash the firmware to remove this very annoying splash screen.

It's rather silly that the unit cannot differentiate between a CD or a DVD or an SD memory card insertion, that same screen pops up and remains even while cd's, mp3 cd's, and dvd mp3 cd's are inserted. Don't get me wrong, for the price this unit is very satisfying for its sheer capabilities, but the annoyances are there and hopefully there is a way in the future to remedy them.

Here are my views regarding the decks capabilities and my opinions thereof:

1. Mp3 Playback from CD and DVD burned as simple data discs in folders: sound quality was much better than the Blaupunkt mp3/cd deck I had removed to install this unit. I was impressed by how the unit improved the sound of my vehicles stock 4 speaker setup. The EQ settings were ok, but by manually tuning the bass and treble and turning off the loudness button, you can achieve a better tonal quality.

2. Mp3 and DivX/Xvid playback from SD 1GB memory stick: The same familiar "DVD/Large X-Explosound" logo is seen while playing back sound files from the SD card. This is rather annoying due to the fact that you are listening to music and not watching a DVD, but maybe I'm just being too picky, I would love to however flash anything onto the decks screen besides the logo that comes stock, its atrotious. Sound quality from an SD memory stick is the same as from a CD or DVD, which was quite good.

3. DVD playback: The included remote was very intuitive and useful and much better than what you might expect from a portable unit. The zoom features are nice, and the ability to change audio track and even display subtitles is very nice. However the subtitles are not easy to read considering the screen is so small, but that's ok, DVD playback was a huge plus for this unit.

4. DivX/XviD playback: I tested both DivX and XviD encoded movie files with mp3 and AC3 audio tracks and both played very well. The only drawback to playing a feature length movie in this format is that you do not have the ability for fast forward in the movie, and when you turn your car off in the middle of the movie, it does not resume from the point that you had stopped it when turning off the ignition. The ability to resume a movie was present while playing DVD movies.

5. TV/Tuner: I installed a $40.00 tv tuner antenna purchased from Fry's electronics and installed it inside the rear window and can pull about 6 to 7 channels, 4 had very good reception, and 3 had snowy artifacts, but audio was very in-tune, and both video/audio playback was best when the vehicle was not moving. (Side note: if you have children, this deck is a lifesaver for a quieter driving experience, with them being distracted watching episodes of Simpsons and Married With Children on DVD they fight and scream and kick the back of your seat alot less.) Rating on TV Tuner with aftermarket antenna installed is a solid 8, and a huge plus considering that awful splash screen that I just can't get over, lol.

6. CD playback: CD's play very well and I haven't had a single skip while driving, but then again I don't drive on dirt roads, or in an off-road SUV.

7. Aesthetics/Comeliness: The front of the unit with the face removed looks very nice and clean in the dash of my vehicle. With the face installed the unit looks expensive, the quality and precision of the chrome analog volume knob and chromed semi-circle menu template gives it a very clean and refined look. The refined look however hits a tree at 60/mph when the unit is turned on and that horribly tasteless explosound logo is revealed. It gives the unit which was "pretty" when off, a cheapened look. If this logo were revealed in a sales ad I would venture to guess that most shoppers would give this unit a pass, it does to the extreme, cheapen the experience of a deck that has alot of potential for all its abilities. The overall value cannot be beat, but on units that I have seen in the 150.00-200.00 price range above this one, have very clean bright and sharp logo screens, not a blurry rushed 6th grade penciled and crayoned logo that reminds you that you did in-fact get what you paid for.

...

A simple and easy way to flash the firmware on this unit like you would on a home dvd player would remedy alot of the cheap feel you get when using this unit and having to suffer that logo screen. If anyone I pray knows how to do this please let me know. And if I've come off as too negative on this unit, please slap me around a bit with your comments.

I do like it, but it could be alot better with a simple "flash."
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