Hold on to your rear seats because Audiovox will show not only Blu-ray, Mobile DTV, Pandora and a lane departure warning system at CES, but it will bring us a prototype headrest video system running on Android.
The Android video system is likely to offer built-in WiFi and use your phone’s 3G connection to serve up videos on the screen. There’s no deal with Netflix yet, but that is the aim. Plus you could get all your social media on the headrest screen. Again, it’s a prototype, but hey, it’s Android in-the-car.
Next up from Audiovox is the first video-in-a-bag type Blu-ray player for the car, which joins the first add-on Blu-ray drive for the car shown in November. The portable Blu-ray player has a 10-inch screen, with a 4-hour battery life and a headrest mounting bag. It will ship this April at a suggested retail price of about $399.
In traditional car audio, under the Jensen brand is a low priced 9114 AV radio at a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $249. Also new are AV radios that add Bluetooth to last year’s features. The line may or may not be compatible with the new XM satellite radio SXV100 tuner. Finally, under Jensen is a newly designed Revolution speaker line.
Audiovox is putting a lot of stock in the OEM replacement head unit market. The company sees it as a growth area and will deliver 8 to 10 new OEM look-a-like radio/navigation decks this year for Honda, Hyundai, GM, VW and additional Toyota car models. There’s also a universal OEM replacement double DIN model. The line includes built-in navigation with maps of the U.S and Canada, built-in Parrot Bluetooth, and high res displays in 7- or 8-inches. The units are XM ready (but not compatible with the new SXV100). They work with an iPod or iPhone and should ship by Q3.
As for Pandora, the plan is to include a Pandora link in some 2011 radios and more details should be revealed in Las Vegas.
On Mobile DTV, “It’s inevitable. It’s coming,” said Audiovox Electronics president Tom Malone. He estimates the business will remain a regional, fledgling market for the next 12 months, but the category is getting more attention from broadcasters. The market is simply waiting for more TV stations to flip the switch on Mobile DTV—the free, digital over-the-air TV service to portable and in-car devices. Right now about 70 stations are broadcasting in the new format.
Audiovox is introducing Mobile DTV in 4 new products: 2 portable DVD players and 2 TV/tablets. All come in either 9- or 7-inch screens with USB and SD card slots. Both 9-inch models will sell at $279 and the smaller models will sell at $229 with shipping around July.
Audiovox is also planning a Mobile DTV module that can be added to existing car TV screens.
Source: Audiovox Electronics