XM-Ready head unit software integration?
This is maybe a longshot, but I've been thinking about my XM Direct installation, and I have a question (after this brief schpiel). You can hook an XM Direct to your computer with a standard RS-232 serial interface, and software like TimeTrax, Frodo, MMC, and all the others will read the serial data from the unit (gives you the channel list/artist/title), and send serial commands to the unit (channel up/down, direct channel entry/presets). Before I started on my quest for a carputer, I bought a Pioneer DEH-P6500 head unit with the Pioneer GEX-P903XM tuner (which I have very recently upgraded to an XM Direct with the Smart Digital Adapter). I have grown to like the head unit, and the fact that it has the artist/title display, and my steering wheel remote. This brings me to my question:
Since the head connects to the Smart Digital Adapter for the Direct over the IP Bus, and the SDA translates the IP Bus signals to standard RS-232 protocol to interface with the Direct, (and the SDA's are available for almost every XM Ready head out there), has anyone thought of making a plugin or something for any of the front-ends that will allow the computer to interface with head units (via the SDA - no matter what brand head you are using, the SDA adapts it to the same interface), and allow it to display the title/artist/channel of whatever is playing through the front-end (not necessarily just XM, could be MP3, DVD, AM/FM station, whatever - there's actually 4 fields available), and also accept commands from the head unit, like channel up/down and presets. Channel up/down would operate depending on the currently selected function in the front-end, like prev/next track, tune +/-, etc. Presets could do just about anything.. Say, #1 will change the current function, and 2-6 would be actual presets. Something like that. The SDA also has the RCA inputs, so you wouldn't need a separate input adapter, FM Mod, or tape adapter.
Now, why you ask? I say why not.. There's times where I wouldn't want the screen to be on, but still be able to change the station through the stereo. IMHO, with more and more gadgets in the car, it is getting very dangerous out there, and the ability to use my steering wheel remote to do things I'd otherwise have to reach (and look) over to do makes things that much safer, for me if nobody else.
What do you think?