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Comparing Streetdeck and Centrafuse navigation

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  • Comparing Streetdeck and Centrafuse navigation

    Hello all!

    I've been lurking this forums for several weeks and now comes the time to post!

    Yes, I'm seriously considering building my own carputer and one of the first things I would like to define is the software I'll use on it (hardware stuff seems pretty straightforward).

    After a lot of reading and some testing I've almost come to the conclusion that I'll choose between the two main non-free frontend contender: CentraFuse and StreetDeck.

    Because my primary uses for the carputer will be music and navigation, I would like to have some comments from you about the latter: in your opinion, which of the two front-end has the best navigator funcionalities ?

    The navigation feature is not very easy to test without a working in-car installation and thus I'd like to collect some comments from people who had my same doubts!

    Thanks a lot.

  • #2
    Heres my personal take on it: If you 're going for navigation use as your primary reason to buy StreetDeck OR Centrafuse, I'd have to say this: "Go with neither."

    StreetDeck uses Microsoft MapPoint as its software of choice.. Not a bad choice, but not as good as others. I haven't personally used it myself, but from what I've read, it's decent.

    Centrafuse uses Destinator as it's mapping source (I think because of cost??). Not a good mapping program by ANY means. I actually bought Centrafuse with all the navigation options and ended up getting rid of destinator and buying iGuidance 3.0 instead.

    Now, if it were my money: I would use RoadRunner as it is currently the most customizable frontend out there, totally upgradeable with new features coming out daily (don't have to wait for company to release a new update..) and on top of that, you have free reign of mapping programs.

    I chose iGuidance myself, like stated above because it seemed the most logical of choices when purchasing navigation software. I LOVE iGuidance. I know there is flaws in the software, but it still rocks either way. I love the different skins I can choose with RR and all the different options there are.

    As for you saying the HARDWARE is pretty straight forward, I'd have to argue that point. Hardware is the biggest pain, as there are WAY too many options out there. You throw on Road Runner as your frontend, and half the job is already done. You'll then just have to figure out which skin you'll use, which navigation software you're going to use (iGuidance all the way) and any external apps you'll want to install..

    If I'm totally wrong with this thinking, anyone, please correct me. It IS almost 1:00am (I have 3 kids) and I'm exhausted!


    • #3
      briderx, thanks for your comments.

      I think I need to better explain my position (me too posted it very late!).

      I said that seems pretty straightforward because, even if there are many options, I think I'll stick with a common (at least apparently) configuration: Voom2 case with a Jetway mobo, M2-ATX PSU, 512 mb ram, slot in CD (Pioneer or Panasonic), probably a PCMCIA+CompactFlash slot. The only thing is still under investigation is the monitor, most because of mounting and sizing problem (I own a brand new Subaru Outback which does not have a true double din space in the dash). I think I'll opt for a transflective unit, just to be sure I get the best disply quality we can have in a car.

      Now to the topic of navigation and front ends.

      I know Roadrunner is the most used one, but I've tested it and I felt like it can do a lot of things, but each of them would require a lot of customization and time to get right: I don't know if I will have the time/patience needed to do that. I'm worried by the fact that in the long run I will abandon the project because of this.
      This is why I thought about the two commercial front ends available out there. Maybe I need to investigate Roadrunner customization a little more but from what I've read is the past weeks it does not look an quick job.

      iGuidance: yes, you're right. It looks like the best choice but, there is a BUT (sorry I forgot to write it in my post): as far as I know iNav has discontinued the european version of the product. So no updated maps for us living in the "old world" (maybe it is too old?!).

      So, in the end, I think I have three options:

      1) Go StreetDeck and see if the MapPoint navigation is enough for me (I come from a Tom Tom setup and thus I don't think Microsoft's software stand up to it)
      2) Go CentraFuse and hoping they will integrate soon the new Destinator 7 (which looks promising)
      3) Rielaborate on Roadrunner and see how all pieces could be put toghether (in any case remain the navi problem, as iGuidance for europe is outdated).

      What would you do ?

      Sorry to everybody for the very long post, but I thought I needed to clarify my thinking... Maybe someone can help me.



      • #4
        Your right IG, is a dead product in Europe. Why I don't know, maybe the Europe version wasn't very good like the US version of Destinator isn't very good. Destinator in Europe though is very good, I have been using it for about a year and a half now. MapPoint maps and data is also good in Europe but the software itself is no where near car PC friendly. Obviously Street deck makes it usable in a car but what extras it brings in I don't know as I haven't used it. Roadrunner for instance uses MapPoint by default but in my opinion it does it very badly and is only slightly better than than the original.
        I am currently trying Centrafuse and to be honest it does what I am looking for but does seem to be restrictive a little and I think the price is too high. I haven't tried Streetdeck yet but as I have a copy of MapPoint its on my to-do list as it seems very flexible.
        There are also a couple of other products about to come out that are aimed at Europe but they wont be around for a couple of months. If your not in a rush then maybe hang on as you will have more choices then.
        Visit my site V8 Scimitar

        SP13000, 300GB SATA HD, 1GB DDR. Opus 150, K301 screen, Cisco WIFI, AQmax GPS, RoadRunner and FreeDrive, Sony MEX-R5 head unit. 4 years installed and it just keeps running!


        • #5
          How about my set up.

          Front end - iCT.1.2.3 From
          (German site. FREE. Easy to set-up. Choice of 4 ready made skins, or you can customise.)

          Navigation software - PC Navigator 7 Europe From
          OR Maps are by Navteq and are 2007. Includes TMC


          • #6
            Originally posted by brodgar View Post
            How about my set up.

            Front end - iCT.1.2.3 From
            (German site. FREE. Easy to set-up. Choice of 4 ready made skins, or you can customise.)

            Navigation software - PC Navigator 7 Europe From
            OR Maps are by Navteq and are 2007. Includes TMC
            Thanks for your comments.
            I'm currently investigating a "RoadRunner + PC Navigator 7" setup which looks interesting!


            • #7
              IG for Europe died because nothing beats TomTom in europe...

              Sorry to say this DeltaBi, but if you come from TomTom there is nothing that compare to that on a PC

              PC Navigator 7 should be the best option for Europe... I'm currently using PC Navigator 6 and I'm impressed at how well it actually works.

              I would download Centrafuse and try it with PC Navigator. A problem I have with version 6 is that even thoug I can start PC Navigator from CF, I have to minimize PC Navigator to get back to CF. If I do not select full screen It works better, but since v6 does not integrate some of the screen gets pushed down below what's visible and that makes it unsuable to me...

              The new PC Navigator 7 does however allow for integration and resize of the navigation window so it should work well with any navigation software.

              One cool plugin I found for Centrafuse today... Is a Poilogger/Warner that can be used for speedcams. It does not need destinator but uses the GPS directly so it should work with any navigation software and even work with no navigation software...


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cirion View Post
                I'm currently using PC Navigator 6 and I'm impressed at how well it actually works.
                Cirion, Thanks for the comment.

                I'm testing Centrafuse with the Destinator maps but I'm having a problem with the planned routes: Destinator does not like highways! It never uses highways even for long distance trips. (See my post here ).
                I've also read all the customizations needed to get "PC Navigator 7" working in RoadRunner, but I've never heard of Navigator 7 used with Centrafuse.
                Where did you get those info ? Or did you do it by yourself? *EDIT: I suppose you used the external app settings..*



                • #9
                  Yes, for CF integration I just use it as an External App.


                  • #10
                    I have now been able to test PC Navigator 7.1.13 with Centrafuse 1.2 and it's a success...

                    By adding it as an external app, Centrafuse now resize the PC Navigator window perfectly. Works both in full screen and non full screen.

                    On my Carputer that uses 800x600, non fullscreen works well enough for navigation, but when trying to use the GUI for inputting destination, the GUI buttons are too big so some text is missing. Switching to full screen before inputing destination solves this. Setting 1024x768 also solves this...

                    Although the window resize well, nothing else re size's, so map resolution is the same. But all graphic elements still works.

                    Now I have to find out how to add it to the built in GPS button.


                    • #11
                      You Do know Centerfuse Will Run I Guidance Right?

                      Microsoft Is a Evil Empire that has corrupted a generation!

                      Thanks - Eric Scott
                      Area 3 Productions


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Area3 View Post
                        You Do know Centerfuse Will Run I Guidance Right?[/url]
                        You do know that I Guidance is US only?