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  1. Hardware Review: 2010 Xenarc 1020TSV 10.2

    by , 01-26-2010 at 04:53 PM

    What is it?

    The Xenarc 1020TSV is a 10-Inch 16:9 Widescreen VGA monitor with 5-wire resistive touch panel.

    The Verdict:

    The Xenarc 1020TSV is a work of art when compared to rival car PC monitors. Its aluminum bezel and new features stand alone in the market. However I just don’t feel the 1020TSV was meant to be customized to the point of installing permanently in a vehicle.

    See this product on the mp3Car Store HERE.


    What’s in the box?


    The 1020TSV comes with an instruction manual, VESA mount, desktop stand, an attachable stylus pointer, and a single-loom wire which includes connectors for USB, VGA input, 2 composite inputs, and an audio cable which connects to the built-in speaker. Also included are a home power supply, car cigarette lighter power supply, full function remote, and the touchscreen driver CD.

    Description:

    The 1020TSV is Xenarc’s latest entry in the 10-inch touch screen market. The company has an outstanding reputation for building high-quality displays, and the 1020TSV is no exception. Upon opening the packaging I was immediately in awe of this monitor. It has a huge screen, an absolutely stunning brushed, anodized aluminum front bezel, and fascinating display quality. All this backed by a company who’s been building monitors for our hobby reliably since the very beginning. The rear of the 1020TSV is constructed from ABS plastic, and features the same cable locking design of the smaller 700TSV. Both power and input cable are forcibly held into place, up and out of the way for fabricators.


    The 1020TSV has all the standard car PC monitor connections. There is a VGA connector, 2 audio/video composite connectors, and an audio connector which allows installers to run pc audio directly to the built-in speaker in the Xenarc. The speaker is around 3 inches, so do not expect full-range audio, however it would be nice to be able to route GPS guidance prompts separate from your music. Like the 700TSV, the 1020TSV does not have a DVI connection, something that should be common for all new monitors in today’s world. The 1020TSV does have auto-switch sensors built into the composite input 1.

    The 1020TSV has the same Advanced Image Scaling and Sharpness (AISS) feature has the 7-inch 700TSV. This, coupled with the native-resolution of 1024x600 means with the 1020TSV you get a big, bold, beautiful display. With competing monitors it’s often the case that you can see individual pixel differences in an image. AISS fixes this problem and processes both static and moving images with extreme clarity.


    The size of the screen becomes even handier when coupled with the new Picture-in-Picture mode. This mode allows for an auxiliary input to be displayed while VGA is still displayed. Either composite input can be displayed in small-window mode or split-screen with a press of the button on the remote, and each screen is swappable. This could come in handy with say a backup sensor or rear seat camera.



    The 1020TSV has a new ambient light sensor on its front bezel. This allows the monitor to automatically dim based on the amount of available light. The automatic dim works well, but like the 700TSV, the 1020 doesn’t dim nearly enough to make it work well at night without manual adjustments. The buttons on the front bezel are backlit blue and take quite the amount of force to use when compared to other monitors of its kind.

    When looked at as a whole, the 1020 sure seems like a lead competitor in the big-boy screen department. But upon closer analysis, you may come to realize this monitor really wasn’t made to be mated to a car PC. Why? Well for starters, it’s heavy. At 3.3lbs, its going to take more than just bondo to get this fabricated into a vehicle. And that beautiful brushed aluminum bezel is not made to be cut, which means you must have an awful lot of space in your dash to make this your display. My Dodge Caravan is a rather large vehicle, but there’s simply no way the 1020TSV is going to fit the dash in its current form.


    Here is a photo comparing the actual bezel size difference between the 1020TSV and the 7”inch 700TSV.


    Even if you have the space, you have to factor in that this monitor is not transflective. The instructions indicate there is an anti-glare film applied to its 5-wire resistive touch screen, but in my testing I noticed no improvement over Xenarc 10-inch screens from years ago. The simple fact of the matter is more screen size means more room for glare, and while driving around with the 1020TSV as my monitor for a partly cloudy day it was a chore to navigate my front end.


    All these things as a whole make me believe the Xenarc 1020TSV was not made to be used in a vehicle at all. It seems at its best when it’s a secondary display, sitting on a desk and able to show its stunning visuals without having to worry about glare.

    The Positive:

    • Top-notch display quality delivered from AISS
    • Installation-friendly wiring design
    • Composite Input auto-switch
    • Picture in Picture with easy controls
    • 500:1 Contrast Ratio
    • Native resolution of 1024x600
    • Auto-power on when VGA signal is detected
    • Solid build, outstanding quality reputation
    • Built-in ambient light sensor

    The Negative:

    • No DVI input
    • Only 1 composite connection can auto-switch
    • Below average sunlight-readability
    • Only 300nits brightness
    • Aluminum bezel must be accounted for in fabrication

    The Verdict:

    The Xenarc 1020TSV is a work of art when compared to rival car PC monitors. Its aluminum bezel and new features stand alone in the market. However I just don’t feel the 1020TSV was meant to be customized to the point of installing permanently in a vehicle.

    Specifications:

    Aspect Ratio: 16:9
    Screen Size: 10.2” Diagonal
    Colors: 18-bit (262, 144 Colors)
    Native Resolution: 1024x600px
    VGA Modes: 640x480 to 1600x1200
    Viewing Angle 160° Horizontal, 140° Vertical
    Contrast: 500:1
    Inputs: VGA, 2 x Composite Video Optional, 1 x PC audio
    Touch Panel: Resistive 5 wires.
    Power Consumption:

    Updated 01-27-2010 at 05:13 PM by Jensen2000

    Categories
    Product Reviews
  2. Hardware Review: 2010 Xenarc 700TSV TFT LCD Touch Screen Monitor

    by , 01-26-2010 at 12:30 PM

    What is it?

    The Xenarc 700TSV is a 7-Inch 16:9 Widescreen VGA monitor with 5-wire resistive touch panel.

    The Verdict:

    The Xenarc 700TSV adds a few wrinkles to a product well-known for its outstanding quality. The addition of auto-brightness control is welcomed; however the lack of DVI certainly raises an eyebrow in 2010. The quality of the visuals on-screen somewhat makes up for this glaring omission.

    See this product on the mp3Car Store HERE.



    What’s in the box


    The 700TSV comes with an instruction manual, VESA mount, an attachable stylus pointer, and a single-loom wire which includes connectors for USB, VGA input, 2 composite inputs, and an audio cable which connects to the built-in speaker. Also included are a home power supply, car cigarette lighter power supply, full function remote, and the touch screen driver CD.

    Description:

    The 700TSV is Xenarc’s latest entry in the 7-inch touch screen market. The company has an outstanding reputation for building high-quality displays, and the 700TSV is no exception. It’s a heavy screen, which usually indicates it’s solidly built to withstand harsh car PC environments. The 700TSV’s exterior design is built with both form and function, featuring solid tactile front buttons and a rear cable connector that keeps both power wires and input wires out of the way for fabricators.


    The 700TSV allows for a near full-set of input connections. There is a VGA connector, 2 audio/video composite connectors, and an audio connector, which allows installers to run pc audio directly to the built-in speaker in the Xenarc. The speaker is 3 inches, so do not expect full-range audio, however it would be nice to be able to route GPS guidance prompts separate from your music. There are a few wires missing from the feature set, most notably a DVI connection. The majority of car PCs and PCs in general are shying away from VGA, so DVI should be included in all monitors in 2010. Also missing is an auxiliary connector allowing the 700TSV to automatically switch to an aux input, but this is forgivable as the first composite cable set have the feature built-in. So without the addition of DVI, you may be asking yourself what separates the 700TSV with Xenarcs prior offerings. The first new item is the presents of a light-sensor on the bottom front of the Xenarc panel.


    This light sensor provides built-in brightness control. In my testing I found this sensor to work well. It provides a nice subtle change in brightness without any on-screen indicators getting in the way. However, I do wish the sensor dimmed the screen more during night-time operation. The brightness only appears to drop around 10%, and as a result the screen is still too bright at night.The most notable improvement may very well go unnoticed, but the 700TSV has an absolute beautiful display when compared to both Lilliput and Xenarc units in the past. The instructions call it “AISS- Advanced Image Scaling and Sharpness”. What this means to the average user is the images displayed on the 700TSV, both still and moving, are extremely crisp. When comparing this unit to my old 2008 Lilliput 629 I found the Xenarc display far more vivid. Edges are less jagged and it’s harder to spot the actual pixels at work.




    The Positive:

    • Top-notch display quality delivered from AISS
    • Installation-friendly wiring
    • Composite Input auto-switch
    • 400:1 Contrast Ratio
    • Native resolution of 800x480
    • Auto-power on when VGA signal is detected
    • Solid build, outstanding quality reputation

    The Negative:

    • No DVI input
    • Only 1 composite connection can auto-switch
    • Marginal sunlight-readability
    • More expensive than competing brand’s product

    The Verdict:

    The Xenarc 700TSV adds a few wrinkles to a product well-known for its outstanding quality. The addition of auto-brightness control is welcomed; however the lack of DVI certainly raises an eyebrow in 2010. The quality of the visuals on-screen somewhat makes up for this glaring omission.

    Specifications:
    Aspect Ratio: 16:9
    Colors: 18-bit (262, 144 Colors)
    Native Resolution: 800x480px
    VGA Modes: 640x480 to 1024x768
    Contrast: 400:1
    Inputs: VGA, 2 x Composite Video Optional, 1 x PC audio
    Touch Panel: Resistive 5 wires.
    Power Consumption:
  3. Stop playing FaceBook and computer games. Help Haiti with no cash in 10 minutes

    by , 01-25-2010 at 01:37 PM
    This Saturday, Robert Wray from Mp3car went down to check out the Crisis Commons. The event was a mind blowing collaboration of over 1,000 technical volunteers on three continents. Crowd-sourced community-generated maps have become the official on the ground map resource in Haiti. In this video, Fortiusone's CTO Andrew Turner explains how you can start helping Haiti in 10 minutes with no cash, just some of your time. Links talked about in the video are ushahidi - Haiti SMS disaster relief collaboration, Crisis Commons ,and ImapHaiti.

    How you get started in less than 10 minutes: http://imaphaiti.com The event was also covered by internal media originations such as CNN, BBC, Washington Post, LA Times, Wired and O'Reilly Media.

    Updated 01-25-2010 at 03:23 PM by Jensen2000

    Categories
    mp3Car News
  4. Now Available: Mini-Box Intelligent DC-DC Converter with USB Interface

    by , 01-21-2010 at 01:41 PM

    DCDC-USB is a high power intelligent DC-DC converter. This unit accepts any input ranging from 6-34V. Output is 12V regulated or output can be changed with simple jumper settings to 5V, 6V, 9V, 12V, 13.5V, 18V or 24V or via USB in fine increments (0.25V) anywhere from 5-24V.


  5. Centrafuse Customized for the CES Visteon Booth - CES 2010

    by , 01-17-2010 at 01:47 PM

    Embed this video

    Visteon is using an Intel reference design made by Kongatec for their vehicle computing system. One of their demo computers is using Centrafuse and Microsoft Automotive. Centrafuse has been customized in terms of graphics and plugins to demonstrate internet connectivity to access information such as traffic, weather and Pandora. The plugins are currently prototypes and not for sale.