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Thread: Real World Perspective

  1. #1
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    Question Real World Perspective

    I have been reading the forums for a couple of months but finally decided to register and jump in to the fray. I am starting to build my first car pc but I am not new to electronics or computer systems. I am currently a software developer and have a lot of experience with hardware including building my own boards from a schematic.

    I have read every thread I could find on LCD displays and have found the forum to be extremely helpful. But the one outstanding question is about the real world reliablity of the current line of LCD screens.

    If you relied solely on the forum posting it makes it sound like all of the products on the market are junk. Hearing people go thru 2 and 3 screens that fail is not very comforting. Now I have spent enough time on forums to know that problems are the most common types of post but because I do not currently have any first hand experience with mobile LCD's I could benefit from more experienced installers.

    So my question is what is the real world perspective on products like Lilliput and Xanarc ? Are they really this fragile and unreliable ?

    Thanks in advance for your comments and perspective.

    Lee

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    What you see are the complaints. When something is working correctly, people don't have anything to say.

    Judging from the number of complaints, I'd say that the Lilliput quality is lower, because there are more complaints. Newer models are less prone to failure. There are also external factors that could lead to a unit failure such as shipping damage, user damage (especially in a custom fabricated situation where the unit has to be disassembled), etc.

    So it's tough to judge. If you're going to purchase an LCD, I'd recommend using a reseller that's going to fully test and stand behind the product. That would include mp3car.com and DigitalWW int he US. There are other suppliers as well, but I mention those because of their obvious and overwhelming support of this hobby and community.

    And for what it's worth, this is my 3,000th post. Yay?
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  3. #3
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    For what its worth:

    I started of with a trident 6.4 vga touchscreen kit.
    This is a top-end bit of kit (u.k. retail price of 600 / $800-$900)
    The picture is mindblowing, and it will run flawlessly for ever and adjust to ANY input.

    Problem is the kit part. I got 1 tft, a backlight controler, a vga board, an inverter, a video interface, a touchscreen controler board and the touchscreen glass overlay.
    I never worked out how to put it all together and fit it all in the car so i am saving it for a HTPC project.

    Next i got a cheap no-name 7" display from ebay. This was 120 inc.
    The picture was ok when looking at frodo with the rex skin, better at night but got some sort of scaling (dark grey lines cycling around) over any black areas of background. looking at the windows desktop was pretty poor (800x600) and the map on my nav software was unreadable (road names) when you zoomed out.
    Quality (of the plastic at least) seemed ok for the price, only thing was the mounting bracket, it moved on a ball type thing with a ring around it that you screw tight to lock in place, after about 10 mins driving it would come lose and the screen would drop down. i did this up so tight it cracked after a week and i used glass resin to stick it in place. In sunlight i was unreadable so i gave it to a mate who fitted it at the end of his bath for watching tv. it died 3 weeks later, dont know if he ever worked out why!

    I have now got a xenarc 700idt in dash vga. After reading up on this site and others this seems to be top-dog of in-car tft at the moment.

    The picture is pretty good and it is fairly well built but the finish is way off that of the alpine and kenwood screens. You can see loads of steel from the mechanics when its open, when shut the screen wont sit square, the paint is all scratched on the back from opening and shutting it and the xenarc badge fell off and is still rattling around inside.
    I have only used it for 4 weeks and the touchscreen has had to be re-calibrated 3 times. This could be to do with my pc but i have a fealing that the glass is loose (they had problems with it cracking and maybe they have slackened it off a bit?) and is moving around.

    Also, The auto switching for a rear view cam will only work in av mode. it will not switch over if on the pc imput so thats no use whatsoever.

    The in-built speaker is not in-built.
    There is a phono socket on the loom marked audio in, a grill on the back of the screen, refrences in the manual and even volume buttons and on-screen volume bar. They just havent fitted a speaker!

    The main problem was that it is not true din size. ok, the unit might be but the 2" plug that connects to the back of it ment i had to cut a hole in my AC ducting then remould it in glass.
    You also fit the cage then put 4 bolts through it into the sides of the unit. It is not possible to do this without removing the whole dash from the car so xenarc have made the unit over size by 2mm allround so you fit it with a sledgehammer and forget the screws.

    The next main problem is the fact it is compleatly invisible to the naked eye in any form of light above dull moonlight.
    It is winter here and i spent last weekend removing the light smoke tint from my windows and i fitted limo black to the rear and dark smoke to the front.
    It has made no diffrence.
    The screen is low down and unless the sun is right in your face (so you are looking at the road not the screen anyway) it can be real hard to make out anything. If the sun is behind you, forget it.

    Also, this cost me 390 with shipping and tax.
    I am not having a go at this screen, just unsure how much real-world testing xenerc have done with it!

    After talking to the few others i know with fitted pc's i am not alone.
    The sunlight issue is the biggest. Go to a car pc meet and at lunch everybody starts the cars up and turns them round!
    Also, i dont personly know anybody who has had one die (apart from 1 in a bathroom) or suffer from dead pixles or screen burn.

    I think the tft panels themselves (mostly from panasonic) are good.
    The touchscreen glass is also very good now.
    The price you pay will determin how well it is all put together.
    The problem as i see it is that companies like xenerc just dont have access to the hi tec molding etc that alpine and the like do.
    My 700idt could have been made from an adult version of a construction kit!

    Once/if the car pc thing takes off and the big names get on board prices will go through the floor and the quality will go through the roof.

    That will be the time to buy a screen.
    PB 2.0Ghz, 20GB, 512mb, XPpro. 300GB Usb HDD, Griffin pwrmate, m-audio audiophile fw. BU-353 gps. 2x100w sony amps, 1x150w JBL sub amp, MBQuart front components, 6x9 rear, 10" sub. Audiocontrol epcienter, esp2, 3xs. Clifford G5, Finished, fitted, problems

  4. #4
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    Darque first congrats on the 3000th post. That really is a milestone.

    And you are right on target about the factors that determine the reliablity of each display installation. I also agree with trying to purchase from someone who supports the hobby. I am a big believer in when ever possible supporting my local reseller when doing business. I don't mind paying a few dollars more if I know it help will keep them in business.

    hotponyshoes I think your experience is typicial of what I have seen from others. Because this is my first attempt at a car pc I would like to try to get into this on a budget. This way if I can get my feet wet and see if I like have a pc in the car. So like most of us we want the best value for the money.

    I also agree about the future pricing and quality. It amazes me at what they charge for a 7" LCD vga monitor. Now days you can buy a 19" cheaper than a 12 volt 7" monitor.

    Not sure if this is the right way to go but I think that investing in the best monitor I can afford is the way to go. And if I am going to try to save some money it would be in area of the PC. I can always put together a pc using existing gear and upgrade it later to a micro itx.

    Right now because Xanarc is offering an 18 month warranty I am leaning in that direction.

    Lee

  5. #5
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL
    Darque first congrats on the 3000th post. That really is a milestone.
    Meh. It's just postcount. It really doesn't mean anything more than I talk a lot and type quickly.

    And you are right on target about the factors that determine the reliablity of each display installation. I also agree with trying to purchase from someone who supports the hobby. I am a big believer in when ever possible supporting my local reseller when doing business. I don't mind paying a few dollars more if I know it help will keep them in business.
    Right now because Xanarc is offering an 18 month warranty I am leaning in that direction.
    Also remember that the mp3car.com store offers a NO DEAD PIXEL GUARANTEE. I dont know of any other reseller that offers that much support of their products. In my mind, that's pretty damn significant.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  6. #6
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    DarquePervert I am not as concerned about dead pixels as I am about a dead display. )

    What is the warranty/repair for the Lilliput ?

    Lee

  7. #7
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    I don't know.
    Contact Lilliput and ask them.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  8. #8
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    Building a PC and putting it in your car is completely experimental. You often have to void the warranty on the display to install it, and the installed life of one of these screens is basically unknown. Some people have had good luck with them and others have not.

    Don't do it if you are going to be really upset if the display quits.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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  9. #9
    Banned xdjxklusivex's Avatar
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    my lilliput has been working fine for over a year and i dont think id get n e thing else :-)

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