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DVD system factory vrs dealer install


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buying a 05 burb. does not have factory installed DVD system so there telling me I can have them install it there. Its not the same factory one. anh advice ? I heard the factory is tied into the radio but after market is not. whats the pros and cons of after market GM or get it done myself ?

 

 

Scott

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I would say go with the factory setup if you can,We've had a couple "aftermarket" systems installed here and have had a few problems with the factory sound system afterwards.

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My 04 Sub has the factory DVD player (sunroof - side-by-side screen/player). I like the integration of the DVD controls with the head unit.

 

It's kind of stupid the XM doesn't work separately from the rear sound when the DVD is running. For the rear sound, I put away the wireless headsets (my kids are too small for them right now) and wired up cheap, flat computer speakers behind their car seats.

 

With kids, the unit is nice for them and my sanity. Every once is a while when I reach from the front to the back seat or rearrange child seats, I hit my head on the player console - that thing is big. Still, it is quite discreet since it is color matched to the rest of the interior.

 

The stock 7" inch screen is plenty for watching cartoons. Remember that a larger overhead screen makes it more difficult to see out the rear window.

 

Headrest monitors are cool, but I prefer to put away the screen for times when the kids shouldn't be staring at a TV and should be looking at the scenery. Also, it is less tempting for thieves when the screen is put away out of sight.

 

An aftermarket system probably won't talk to the head unit quite the same as the factory player. If the installer really knows what they are doing, then it should behave like the GM/Panasonic factory DVD. How much control you really want from the dash head unit might help you decide.

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Back when we bought the 2003 Trailblazer we had to choose between a TB w/sunroof or a TB w/DVD- since there were mostly w/sunroof models on the lot and since only the w/sunroof models had the other equipment we wanted you know what we ended up with.

 

However our dealership (CarMax in Kenosha Wisconsin) had an aftermarket DVD setup installed. It included an overhead infrared transmitter w/a pair of wireless headphones, two 7" in-headrest displays, the DVD player itself mounted under the passenger seat, and an RF modulator (the type that actually plugs between the antenna and the radio) w/power switch mounted by the steering wheel. It didn't integrate at all with the factory head unit so far as you guys are probably talking about. If rear seat passengers used the headphones we could turn off the RF modulator and listen to normal radio / stereo / etc. If however the rear seat passengers didn't use the headphones (the case 90% of the time, since it was usually my then 2 year old son and my then 7 year old daughter), we switched the modulator on and tuned the radio to a preset station (88.9 comes to mind, but I'm not certain). The only real control the head unit had was over volume.

 

As far as temptation to thieves goes we found a set of headrest covers that unzipped on one side. These fit nicely over the headrest / displays and kept anybody from being the wiser about our entertainment option. An additional item that helped was the factory tint to the rear windows which already made it all but impossible to see the monitors in normal daylight while they were off. When they were on it was a different story, but then someone was in the vehicle anyway.

 

Now that our 2004 Malibu is the vehicle of choice for most of our trips I'll be getting another set of headrest mounted monitors installed. But now there's a nicer option available than the setup we had in the Trailblazer - all-in-one headrest monitor / DVD player units. The top of the display opens forward to reveal the DVD slot. Insert the disc, close the display up, then watch the movie. Spoke with a Circuit City installer recently and found that these still have the audio / video outputs that the standalone players had so I can install a second similar unit (monitor only) in the passenger's headrest and get similar functionality to what we had in the TB without having a unit under the passenger's seat. There are two reasons this setup appeals so much to me. The first is that the car sits much lower than the TB. Loading and ejecting discs into a player under the seat already required standing outside the TB to do comfortably and even that would be a pain in a car. The second was that mounting the player under a seat makes it more vulnerable to the stray passenger foot and / or to the occasional rolling soda bottle that someone put in the floorboard on a trip. Obviously neither of these is an issue with the combo display / DVD unit, and we still get to have the sunroof. :D

 

PS- as an added bonus most aftermarket DVD units can now play CD-R / RW / MP3 / WMA cd's. It's nice to load up a ton of music by inserting just one disc. :uhoh:

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