XOVision video double-din review
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This is a discussion on XOVision video double-din review within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; Hi folks. The double-din sized radio head unit in the Subies provide a lot of options, and I was really ...

  1. #1
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    Sep 2008

    XOVision video double-din review

    Hi folks. The double-din sized radio head unit in the Subies provide a lot of options, and I was really looking for a decent touchscreen head unit, preferably 7" motorized LCD screen for a nice, clean, all-in-one, factory look. After a lot of research, and tight economy these days, I settled on a gamble, a cheaper unit by XOVision. You can take this review for what it's worth, I just wanted to share my experience. If you have any other questions, or want to see some photos, please let me know. I have scanned the manual that came with the unit, but it's about an 8mb PDF, and not sure how I would get it to you if you want it. Strangely, they do explain clearly in the manual how to disable the parking brake feature that locks you out of some video features when the PB is not engaged, please use that with wisdom and caution.

    I do need to modify the WRX factory radio faceplate around the head unit, so if anyone has any experience with how to cut this opening to be ever so slightly larger (vertically), please let me know how this could be achieved to look clean when complete. In addition, if anyone has changed out the radio faceplate and has an extra, I would be willing to give you a few bucks for that so that I could restore the car to factory if I need to sell it.

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  3. #2
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    Sep 2008

    Review post 1

    Auto: 2005 Subaru WRX
    Head Unit: XOVision XOD1840BTNAVI 7" LCD full media unit
    Specs: other than what I post below, you can find some pretty decent specs and photos here: XO Vision XOD1840BTNAVI In-Dash Receivers with Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit Included In-Dash Car Stereo Receivers and Head Units Car Audio and Video - Sonic Electronix
    Purchased from: $468 Walmart.com (+ $50 3 year extended warr.)
    Shipping: 1 day shipping selected, purchased Wed morning on Internet, arrived on Friday.
    I purchased the XOVision XOD1840BTNAVI about 2 weeks ago and have been working with it since then. I'm going to say one thing first, and this is key for your own installations - when I first purchased and installed the unit, I purchased an aftermarket wiring harness specifically for my car, and soldered that to the wiring harness that came with the XOD head unit (wire for wire, it worked well). The XOD unit frequently had problems, crashes, and other strange activity. It turns out that the same factory harness in the dash also provides power to the climate control and cigarette lighter. After much frustration, I finally ran a power wire directly off the + battery under the hood (with an additional fuse I installed within 1 foot of the battery post) to the yellow fused wire in the XOD included harness, and this solved *all* strange activity. It's my opinion that this unit must have clean, continuous 12V to 14V power to operate properly. Most radio head units will put up with some minor power fluctuations, the XOD unit will not tolerate it.

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    Sep 2008

    Review Post 2

    - 7" Screen 16:9 (416x234 pixels), provides a good quality picture, very bright. Note that you can dim the screen by holding down the bezel mute button, it goes to about half brightness, works very well at night (and for the bright blue bluetooth interface at night). The touch-screen is a flat matt finish and does fine for minimal fingerprints, and does about as good as a screen can do in direct sunlight.
    - DVD playback is a strong feature, it works well
    - It is advertised to playback DVD/DVD-r/DivX/VCD/CD/CD-r/CD-RW/AVI/MPEG/MP4/MP3. I have tested DVD/DivX/MP3 and MPEG2 files, all worked fine except for the mpeg2 file. This is a bit strange as playing a VOB file directly worked fine. Not a big problem.
    - Divx capability works well, fit nearly 12 encoded movies on 8.7gb DVD. When creating your Divx movies, I would recommend maintaining a bitrate of 600 or above, you can really scale down the movies, it's a 7" screen from 3 to 5 feet away, and they still look very good.
    - The video player, DVD/Divx/Avi, etc.. does know how to resume on restart, MP3 player strangely does not.
    - MP3 player is functional (also see cons)
    - Radio feature works fine, tuner is good
    - Has a GPS navigation system, with receiver/antenna. The antenna works well, even when poorly placed (at least it does here in my locale). There is a 1-button access to the navigation interface, so if you're listening to the radio, watching a movie, or music, you can immediately switch to navigation and navigate while still listening to your radio/DVD/MP3 source in the background. When the navigation unit speaks, it will auto-mute the other audio just long enough for it to speak, and then un-mute when done speaking, this works well. If you switch to radio/DVD/MP3 during navigation, the navi will continue in the background so you can switch back to it at any time (although it will not report to you when in the background). The navigation software is just okay, Navigon I believe. Most importantly, all the navigation software is on a 2GB SD Card (note that this unit will NOT read SDHC "high capacity" SD Cards, so you are limited to 4GB cards), so if you can find and purchase some other navigation software, and with some Internet searching, you should be able to figure out how to use the better software (I did, and it's surprising how flexible this is). Purchase your own 2GB SD card (I recommend high speed memory card, at least 133x), leaving the SD card that shipped with the unit with the original navigation software, this leaves the unit unchanged and unharmed in the event of any required warranty work. The navigation system uses a Samsung ARM920T core processor at approx. 400mhz, with 64mb of on-board RAM and Windows CE 5.0 embedded. The 7" display on the XOD really helps the navigation, try searching for 7" stand-alone navigation system and the prices will shock you in comparison to this unit! On the navi SD Card are two directories, mobilenavigator and cities - in the mobilenavigator directory is an application "mobilenavigator.exe". Because the navi part of the XOD unit runs winCE5, if you create your own SD card, maintaining directory structure, you can rename any winCE5 app to "mobilenavigator.exe" and it will run on the unit (this really opens up a lot of options for this unit, I've already tried an alternate MP3 player with playlist support and it worked well).
    - a second SD slot for media, remember, won't read SDHC cards, only SD cards, which limits you to 4GB. Even the local stores have quit selling the 4GB standard SD cards, you will only find the 2GB standards locally.
    - Has bluetooth functionality, for phone support/headphones/streaming data. Also see cons. The bluetooth interface screen can be accessed at any moment and mutes whatever else is going one.
    - The touchscreen works very well, not too hard, not too soft, just right. The end of your finger, or even a fingernail works perfectly
    - The unit does support home-burned 8.5GB double-layer DVD (I used roxio software and created a "data" DVD with audio AND music files on it). I would imagine it also supports the home-burned single-layer 4.7GB DVD's without a problem, although I didn't test this.
    - The motorized faceplate seems solid, you can hear the motor, but it does work fine.
    - I tested the unit at 15 degrees F, and although everything was sluggish, and the screen was dimmed and slow to respond, it was quite impressive how well it did work. As the manual states, it would be wise to wait a few minutes for the car to warm up prior to powering up the unit.
    - The remote is small and seems to work just fine. There are some features on both the remote and head unit that do not operate on the adjacent unit (i.e. - switching to navigation must be done from the head unit directly, the remote does not have that option).
    - On Subaru's, you WILL need to modify your dash faceplate. Although the unit is touted as a "double-din", the motorized faceplate extends about 3/16" vertically below the profile of the unit cube, meaning that I will have to open up the vertical dimension of my factory faceplate. The included sleeve (which I did not need as the unit main chassis fit the mounting brackets for the subaru well) is slightly too large for my double-din factory faceplate, and may not always work in your application.
    - No USB interface port
    - The equalizer functions are basic only, volume, base, trebble, front/back fade, left/right fade.
    - MP3 player and video file player interface screen is *very poor*. MP3 player does not support playlists (this is pretty serious in combination with a poor interface). Putting music on a DVD or SD card is identical to the unit, it uses basically the same interface screen. I created a DVD with 10 directories on it, each directory with 10 songs. When the DVD is inserted, the interface searches the DVD for all media files, and lines all 100 found songs up in a list, and just plays from start to finish, the song list is in a left hand column, and the MP3 tag for playing song is right hand column. You can browse the song list by using up/down arrow keys, but you cannot pick one in the list by touching it on the screen. MP3 ID tag in right column is heavily truncated, they should have used an upper/lower pane instead of left/right column. This MP3 and video file selection screen is clunky and poorly coded, however, it does function and plays songs/videos fine - it does it's job, it is just inefficient and ugly. An alternate option would be to bring in iPod video/audio through RCA style aux. ports in back, or possibly even use the wireless streaming bluetooth interface with your phone/bluetooth mp3 player. This interface is the largest negative of the unit - and if this were cleaned up, I'd have a hard time finding a problem with the unit.
    - Although a minor point, it's worth mentioning that the 7" screen seems to have poor software implementation, as the video (or navigation) seems to run slightly off each edge of the screen by about 1/16 of an inch or so, as if the bezel thickness were not considered, which can make some text run slightly off the screen, and occasionally, some on-screen touch buttons a pain to reach.
    - The bluetooth interface screen is about as basic as it could be, not much time was spent here. It does function, though, and does it's job, it's just not a good looking interface. I tested it with a friends phone, and it all connected fine, and worked as it should, however, others that I speak to indicate that my voice is almost not loud enough, and there is no way to adjust the input level of the built-in mic, so you will need to speak loud and clear if you choose to use this feature. I did not test the A2DP and streaming music feature of the bluetooth, which could yield a solution to the poor in-unit MP3 player interface, especially if you have an MP3 Player with streaming bluetooth functionality. NOTE: If you hate the fact that the blue-tooth interface screen is BRIGHT blue, and almost hurts at night, you can dim the screen by holding down the mute button, or better yet, you can switch the source to aux. input (black background) and the bluetooth interface will follow with black background.
    - Does not support High Definition radio
    - Does not have built in satellite radio, however, the aux. port could be used for this with seperate receiver I suppose.
    - As it is with any LCD screen, it is hard to read in direct sunlight.
    If you purchase this unit mainly to play MP3's, you may be dissappointed (unless you use your own iPod to interface with it, or possibly streaming bluetooth, untested). The DVD system, the video file player (divx, etc..), the radio, and the navigation system do work well, although the interfaces could have been cleaned up a bit. I would say that a similar unit by Pioneer or JVC and the likes (with 7" display) would cost nearly 2 to 3 times as much, and may not provide the savy buyer with $1000 worth of extra enjoyment. Because the United States has so few reviews of this unit, and I've never heard of the XOVision namebrand, and although I almost never do this for electronics, I purchased a 3 year extended warranty from the seller, and I would recommend anyone to do the same. The overall quality of the unit seems solid, but I've only had it for a couple weeks, so we'll see how it operates over the long run. If you are a technologically savy person, I would think you could be happy with this unit. If you are a plug-and-play style of person who would prefer not to fool around with your electronics, you might want to consider another, more expensive unit with cleaner features.

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