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Which has been the most stable? *Front Ends

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  • Which has been the most stable? *Front Ends

    I hope to pick up my 2nd car tomorrow and I need Navigation. I don't want a Tom Tom, Garmin, etc, etc. I can use my G1 via TeleNav and while a temp solution I would like to have audio and video playback.

    I'm not concerned about about hardware at this point, as I might go with a Eee Box since its already sorted and only need to tie to it ignition so it shuts down with the key off/removed.

    What I want to know is which of the most popular Front Ends is most reliable and stable for daily use?

    I am leaning towards Street Deck 2 and Centrafuse 2.1 since they are updated and supported. Ride Runner gives you some options not readily available with the others, but how stable is it? I find more trouble shooting threads with Ride Runner than I do with the others.

    While many view this as a hobbyist venture and niche, I do as well, but with the goal of making it work like any other mainstream device.

    I can deal with minor issues where I might have to reboot the system every so often which is needed with Windows.

    Sure I would like to save money, but is saving a dollar worth the additional headache?

    I work 12-14 a day (2 jobs) I don't want to spend hours solving issues that would never come up with a run of the mill Navigation/DVD Head Unit.

    Thanks For The Input

  • #2
    I've only mostly used StreetDeck, but out of the box, I find it works well and has most features you could want. The navigation engine is very nice. Not as many 3rd party plugins as of yet, but the few there are seem to work great. Not cheap, but a majority of the cost is the NavTek database licensing, which, imo, is very good.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer - Bi-Fuel Gasoline/CNG
    Intel D945GCLF2 w/512MB RAM, CL Audigy w/KxProject, M2-ATX, Lilliput EBY701

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    • #3
      I recently switched from Road Runner to StreetDeck 2.0 both of which have been stable. However with Road Runner I had to spend a lot of time solving weird issues (such as flash issues, scripts inside the DFX skin that didn't work properly with the atom processor but worked fine with my other processors). I'm disappointed with the voice control options for Road Runner, the last one I used was buggy. Also if you go with the newer Ride Runner you'll be forced into making upgrades constantly as it's designed to expire and bug you if you don't run the latest version.

      The animated screens on StreetDeck 2.0 is pretty cool and works overall without any fuss. The built in voice control works awesome for me.

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      • #4
        I've been VERY happy with Centrafuse. It's shown itself to be very stable, there are plenty of plug-ins available for it, and it's stupid-easy to get up and running.

        The expiration on Ride Runner seems like a total PITA to me. I, like you, want to get my system setup and working properly...and then leave it alone. I want it to just work. I'll upgrade when I NEED to upgrade, not when someone else decides I should thankyouverymuch.

        I had some stability issues early on with my system but, I finally traced that problem to going to cheap with my motherboard. Once I bit the bullet and upgraded to an Intel (DG45FC) motherboard, my system has become all-but bulletproof. It boots every time and CF is rock solid (I even got my Bluetooth handsfree and voice-command finally working!)

        I highly recommend CF. Worth the asking price in my opinion.
        2003 Lexus SC430 - Black with Ecru. VaisTech & NavTool with Centrafuse integrated into factory nav screen (hands-free Bluetooth, Voice Command, mp3's, videos, HD Radio, Sirius Sat. radio, DVD, Internet, & digital gauges (via OBD-II)), & LuxLink module.

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        • #5
          I recently purchased a piece of hardware (RCjoycon) that converts steering wheel buttons into key presses (behaves like a keyboard, so no special drivers needed). This device makes life simple for owners of StreetDeck and Centrafuse. However for Road Runner/Ride Runner you will need another piece of software called Girder to convert key presses into phrases that can be recognized. Setting up Girder software is a pain.

          I love using my steering wheel button controls again.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming!

            Ride Runner is attractive because of the price, options and user editing. It allows for some things not available in the other FE, but like you said BS who wants buddy software, don't we deal with that enough with Vista??? -

            Thanks again, I'll be looking at doing something fairly soon.

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            • #7
              Centrafuse handles hotkeys quite easily. I've got a Space Navigator as my primary controller...and it's all hotkey-based.

              I also installed a push-button for my voice-command. It's just a remoted button from an el-cheap-o gamepad...with Joy2Key running in the background, converting the joystick button presses into keyboard presses.
              2003 Lexus SC430 - Black with Ecru. VaisTech & NavTool with Centrafuse integrated into factory nav screen (hands-free Bluetooth, Voice Command, mp3's, videos, HD Radio, Sirius Sat. radio, DVD, Internet, & digital gauges (via OBD-II)), & LuxLink module.

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              • #8
                How did I miss this thread? Now most of you know what I am going to say, lol. Centrafuse is by far the most stable, easy to use front end. There have been major issues with the phone, but the next update will fix all of that 100%. CF changed the way it uses the BT stack, and now uses the one off of IVT's website. By doing this the software can be updated more quickly, because Flux wont have to wait for IVT to adjust things. Also CF3 will be so amazing it may even beat out RR.
                Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
                  How did I miss this thread? Now most of you know what I am going to say, lol. Centrafuse is by far the most stable, easy to use front end. There have been major issues with the phone, but the next update will fix all of that 100%. CF changed the way it uses the BT stack, and now uses the one off of IVT's website. By doing this the software can be updated more quickly, because Flux wont have to wait for IVT to adjust things. Also CF3 will be so amazing it may even beat out RR.
                  Not sure how you missed it, I managed to miss the train this morning so anything is possible..lol Yes we have TRAINS in Los Angeles.

                  I like CF, looks good, I know it works fairly well. As I said, I have GPS USB and other parts already makes it easy. But add a screen and some type of PC with the price of CF it creeps up to $800 when you include wiring, amps, speakers, subwoofer(s). I have an A/D/S PH15 just sitting here, its just outdated (and large) but I can go ahead and use it, that would reduce overall cost. I also have a barely used MTX Thunder 3000 series 10" 4ohm sub.

                  I just watched this video - [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1ac-iWZOzw&feature=related[/media]

                  THe F series Pioneer Navi units have Voice Control but it doesn't seem to work that well, especially with Bluetooth.

                  In the meantime with my limited budget, I will have to use my G1 via Telenav and Bluetooth enabled CD Player. Depending on what happens over the next 48 or so hours, that's what I'll be using.

                  Or I can use the P4 and memory from my Dell just collecting dust and do something with it... We shall see.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by djfourmoney View Post
                    Not sure how you missed it, I managed to miss the train this morning so anything is possible..lol Yes we have TRAINS in Los Angeles.

                    I like CF, looks good, I know it works fairly well. As I said, I have GPS USB and other parts already makes it easy. But add a screen and some type of PC with the price of CF it creeps up to $800 when you include wiring, amps, speakers, subwoofer(s). I have an A/D/S PH15 just sitting here, its just outdated (and large) but I can go ahead and use it, that would reduce overall cost. I also have a barely used MTX Thunder 3000 series 10" 4ohm sub.

                    I just watched this video - [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1ac-iWZOzw&feature=related[/media]

                    THe F series Pioneer Navi units have Voice Control but it doesn't seem to work that well, especially with Bluetooth.

                    In the meantime with my limited budget, I will have to use my G1 via Telenav and Bluetooth enabled CD Player. Depending on what happens over the next 48 or so hours, that's what I'll be using.

                    Or I can use the P4 and memory from my Dell just collecting dust and do something with it... We shall see.
                    That's fairly impressive (the video). Can similar voice functionality be attained with Centrafuse? If so, is it via plug in or out of the box? I'm still researching and was glad to see this thread. I'm assuming there is a key press that prompts Street Deck to accept the voice commands?

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                    • #11
                      That StreetDeck with One Voice was very impressive. I don't think CF has that capability straight out of the box and I haven't seen a plugin for it. I could be wrong though.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks, I started this thread cause I didn't see another one. I'm sure this has been talked about before, but it must be a few years old and things have changed since.

                        CF has a decent list of plug-ins, voice control isn't one of them yet.

                        Street Deck 2 has that plug-in and I was impressed with the way it reacts and the speed. I believe the car in the video has some sort of button he hits to prompt Voice mode.

                        If your car doesn't have cruise but the area is available for the button that might be the best bet or some other switch installed on the column.

                        I love Ride Runner's feature set, its hard to beat, but stability is key and more important because I doubt I would be able to take advantage most of the features right away.

                        Any more feedback?

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                        • #13
                          I can't give much feedback on Streetdeck as I've never used (never even seen it running in-person) however, I can tell you that CF has voice command features. It uses the Microsoft Speech engine (not the pinnacle of voice-command systems but, it works).

                          I have it setup in my car (convertible) and it works pretty well. I have a remotted joystick button installed on the center console and have Joy2Key running to convert it to a Ctrl-Alt-V to activate the voice-command.

                          I can switch between screens and various inputs, change tracks, etc.

                          The commands I use are:

                          MEDIA - starts playing mp3s
                          RADIO - brings up and starts playing HDRadio
                          RADIO PRESET ONE (TWO, THREE, etc) - changes station to radio preset 1 (2, 3, etc)
                          MAIN MENU - Brings me back to the home screen
                          DISPLAY GAUGE - Displays my OBD-II gauges on the screen
                          NEXT SONG - Goes to the next song on the playlist when playing mp3's
                          PREVIOUS SONG - Goes back to the last song on the playlist when playing mp3's
                          PAUSE SONG - Pauses the playing mp3
                          CALL "X" - Places a phone call to an entry in your address book
                          CONNECT INTERNET - Dials the default Internet connection (via BT through my cell)
                          DISCONNECT INTERNET -Disconnects the Internet connection
                          DVD - Starts playing the DVD that's in the DVD-Rom drive
                          MUTE - Mutes all audio
                          UNMUTE - Unmutes all audio
                          RANDOM - Toggles shuffle on and off

                          Is it perfect? Nope. Does it sometimes not understand what I'm saying, even after I've trained it? Yes

                          One limitation is that it only knows words in the dictionary so, I can voice dial my friend by saying "CALL MILES" (because the word "miles" is in the dictionary) but, I can't call my wife by saying "CALL KATHY" (it doesn't know "kathy" so, I have her setup as "WIFE" in the address book.

                          The Satellite Radio module is a "plug-in" so have to bring it up with the "plugin" command
                          (which I've changed on mine to "DISPLAY"...that's how I get "DISPLAY GAUGE" to work). However, I cannot get "DISPLAY SATELLITE RADIO" to work. The problem is the plugin is officially called "SatRadio" (no spaces). When I say "SATRADIO", it hears "Sat Radio" (with the space). According to FluxMedia, this is just how it is. No, you can't change the name of the plugin and no, you can't add "SatRadio"(without spaces) to the dictionary so, that little thing will never work. They tell me it will with CF 3.0...great, a feature that's supposed to work in this software will work fine...once I give them more money to upgrade.

                          All in all though, I'm very happy with the voice command in CF.
                          2003 Lexus SC430 - Black with Ecru. VaisTech & NavTool with Centrafuse integrated into factory nav screen (hands-free Bluetooth, Voice Command, mp3's, videos, HD Radio, Sirius Sat. radio, DVD, Internet, & digital gauges (via OBD-II)), & LuxLink module.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by csfile View Post
                            That StreetDeck with One Voice was very impressive. I don't think CF has that capability straight out of the box and I haven't seen a plugin for it. I could be wrong though.
                            CF does have that capability, its just not as advanced. My understanding is that the Street Deck One Voice plugin uses alot of system resources and doesnt work 100%. I think its still beta after all this time.
                            Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                            1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                            4X MK808b
                            3x Perixx Touchpads
                            3x 7 inch Screens
                            1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                            1x Win 7 PC

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                            • #15
                              Sorry I was unclear in my post. CF does have voice command capability. I even use it everyday . But, as stated, it's not as advanced as what was shown in that video. Even if it were working 100%, I still would be using CF.

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