Car Electronics at CES
To accommodate amplifiers with built-in, programmable crossovers, equalizers, and other DSP features, Kenwood and Alpine showed head units that could control up to eight amplifiers at a time from inside the car. The Amplifier Management System in four Kenwood Excelon head units lets users or installers adjust bass and treble settings (including bass frequency, level, Q, and extension), and monitor operating conditions. Alpine's Amplifier Link, which requires an accessory interface component, controls crossover, phase, digital time correction, and parametric EQ while monitoring amp operation.
Navigation system sales are rising, much of that growth due to portable units that are moderate in price and easy to transfer between family cars and rentals. Where built-in nav systems carry map data on CD- or DVD-ROMs, portables tend to download it as needed from the user's computer and store it in onboard memory. The category saw new entrants at this show from Avmap, Cobra, Delphi, Garmin, Magellan, Navtracs, Royal and Sanyo among others.
Sanyo's NV-E7000 portable also plays DVD movies and regular and MP3 CDs. AvMap's GeoSat2 ($995) has map data from TeleAtlas (most systems use NavTech maps); it can be connected to a computer via USB or it can be loaded with data on CompactFlash memory cards.