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Old 08-16-2008, 09:46 AM   #1
jwph
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Default DVD & Roof-rack Questions

Can anyone provide feedback on the ceiling-mounted DVD system? It's a very expensive option; are folks who bought it pleased with the quality, both in terms of picture and sound? Can you get an after-market system that "feels" as integrated, perhaps with a bigger screen? Recommendations? Also, I have an extensive set of Thule components (ski rack, bike rack, cargo box). Anyone had luck using the Outlook roof-rails and cross-bars with Thule gear? Thule says it doesn't have suitable adapters. I'll be ordering an '09, and I understand '08 answers may not be completely accurate. Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: DVD & Roof-rack Questions

On the rear seat entertainment I can say it is really nice (it seems Panasonic made), quality of the screen, picture, resolution - everything is very good. Sound is OK, stereo - no surround, but this will be addressed in the premium bose package on 09's. I love the wireless headsets - it allows you to still be able to listen to the radio or XM while people on the back enjoy DVD movie.
Look and feel of the system is great, integration with the car is complete. But truly, it is quite expensive - even with all the good things I mentioned, I am still thinking so.

I am pretty sure an A/V enthusiast would be able to build better system for the car that has even more features, which also integrates near as perfect as factory one and on will cost less very likely. However not everyone is A/V enthusiast or has time to spend on A/V automotive shops. Most people would prefer to get ready to go solution, tested and warranty supported without extra hassles.
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: DVD & Roof-rack Questions

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Originally Posted by leobg View Post
On the rear seat entertainment I can say it is really nice (it seems Panasonic made), quality of the screen, picture, resolution - everything is very good. Sound is OK, stereo - no surround, but this will be addressed in the premium bose package on 09's. I love the wireless headsets - it allows you to still be able to listen to the radio or XM while people on the back enjoy DVD movie.
Look and feel of the system is great, integration with the car is complete. But truly, it is quite expensive - even with all the good things I mentioned, I am still thinking so.

I am pretty sure an A/V enthusiast would be able to build better system for the car that has even more features, which also integrates near as perfect as factory one and on will cost less very likely. However not everyone is A/V enthusiast or has time to spend on A/V automotive shops. Most people would prefer to get ready to go solution, tested and warranty supported without extra hassles.
Dude, not sure what model you're referring to but there is a surround option if you get the upgraded sound system with the rear seat entertainment. I have Dolby Digital 5.1 with sub and center channel.

Back to the OP questions - as far as adding something aftermarket - I'm certain anyone can add a rear seat aftermarket overhead system and adequately integrate it if you so desire, but it could cost you nearly as much to do so. I have the entire system and my kids love it. I think it has a good enough screen. I would caution you about going with a bigger sized monitor if you go aftermarket due to the fact when the monitor drops down, it already overtakes the rearview mirror enough to make it nearly unuseable. I say pay the money and get the factory system unless you don't mind paying the same amount for an installer to piece one together for you.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: DVD & Roof-rack Questions

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Dude, not sure what model you're referring to but there is a surround option if you get the upgraded sound system with the rear seat entertainment. I have Dolby Digital 5.1 with sub and center channel.
I have 2008 XR AWD with the factory Navi+RSE option. 2007/08 do not get surrdound sound. Only if you have 2009 model with the Bose Surround option, you get 5.1 surround. And you seems have 2007 judging by your signature. 07/08's simply have stereo playback from multiple speakers. Sorry to disappoint you. Get a simple surround test DVD that can output sound from each of the surround channels and you will hear yourself.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: DVD & Roof-rack Questions

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I have 2008 XR AWD with the factory Navi+RSE option. 2007/08 do not get surrdound sound. Only if you have 2009 model with the Bose Surround option, you get 5.1 surround. And you seems have 2007 judging by your signature. 07/08's simply have stereo playback from multiple speakers. Sorry to disappoint you. Get a simple surround test DVD that can output sound from each of the surround channels and you will hear yourself.
The front of the stereo actually says Dolby Digital in the corner. And yes, it's an '07.
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: DVD & Roof-rack Questions

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The front of the stereo actually says Dolby Digital in the corner. And yes, it's an '07.
This logo means the unit is capable of decoding dolby digital audio. Unfortunately this does not mean the unit is outputing it as multi channel. We just get stereo downmix.

This is not necesserily bad when it comes to the fact this is in car evnrionment. You can't properly calibrate the surround for every person in the car. Plus persons usually watching are using headsets, there is no real advantage of 5.1 output anyways. Not to mention content usually is animations for the kids which barely needs surround output
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: DVD & Roof-rack Questions

Thanks for the input on the DVD player. FYI, I am going to go with the factory-installed 5.1 2009 version. On the roof-rack, I've decided to go without the Saturn system. Instead, I am going to mount Thule roof-rails direct to the roof of the Outlook. They're less than 1" high but pretty attractive. I can then add specially-designed Thule towers which slide fore and aft in the track of the rails, as needed for balance and stability. Thule crossbars mount on the towers to support the bike-rack, ski rack and cargo box I've already invested in. I like the look of the factory-supplied Outlook roof-rails but they just don't work well with the gear I own.
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