“Europe’s never going to even see most of this” is what I overheard the Clarion rep whispering to his companion while I ogled the sheer decadence of the in-car multimedia stations at the Clarion stand at CES today. Although I don’t personally share his pessimism, it’s true that many of the system on show, such as the 15″ overhead display units with built-in DVD player, wouldn’t come close to fitting into anything other than a massive American car.
However, the VRX775VD is a little less audacious in sheer scale, but it sure doesn’t lack in terms of features: you’ve got a DVD player (compatible with DVD+/-R, CD-R, CD-RW and VCD), support for MP3 and WMA playback, optional Bluetooth and, best of all iPod connectivity.
As you might be able to make out from the pic, there’s a video iPod hooked in and, yes, it will play videos straight from your iPod as well as display track information when you’re listening to music of course. Furthermore, the design of the unit has been tweaked to resemble iPod controls so it’s even easier to get to grips with. And, it even dynamically alters its background to match the colour scheme of your iPod.
There’s also optional Bluetooth support and if you’re feeling particularly swish you can add an extra video source through the rear and use its additional output to let someone watch a DVD in the back while you listen to your music up front. If you want GPS navigation too, there’s an optional unit that will add that into the display
About the only thing it can’t do is take control of the wheel and let you sit back with a good movie – I think that just shows lack of ambition on behalf of the manufacturer.