Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America’s video entertainment system interacts with all vehicle entertainment via headphones, allowing the vehicle speakers and headphones to play different media." />

Issue: Jan 2004


Durango Debuts Mitsubishi Electric Video Entertainment System



New system interacts with all other in-vehicle entertainment systems.

by Brent Haight






 
Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America’s video entertainment system interacts with all vehicle entertainment via headphones, allowing the vehicle speakers and headphones to play different media.
It’s a six hour drive to grandma’s house and if you have to listen to the sound from the Little Mermaid DVD playing for the kids in the back seat one more time, you’re going to poke your eardrums. While headphones have made long drives more bearable for child entertainment wearing parents, driving in silence hour after hour can be equally mind numbing.

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America has come up with a solution: a video entertainment system that interacts with all vehicle entertainment via headphones. Dubbed the VES, the system includes a CD/DVD disc player, a 7 inch screen, remote control and wireless headphones.

According to Executive Account Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America Michael Antrim, “With the VES, passengers can listen to virtually any medium through the headphones — AM/FM radio, CD, CD changer, DVD, Sirius Satelite Radio, even MP3. For example, a rear occupant can use the headphones to listen to the CD changer or AM/FM radio installed in the instrument panel. And in addition, passengers listening to the speakers can enjoy a different media than those listening to the headphones.”

Subassemblies, such as the CD/DVD player and circuit boards, are manufactured at the company’s facility in Sanda, Japan, with final assembly at its Maysville, Ky., plant.

“The fact that we make our own playback mechanisms for this system is unique — few of our competitors provide this — and we believe there is a cost and quality benefit to our customers,” says Antrim.

VES made its public debut on the 2004 Dodge Durango in November 2003. The system is an option on all Durango models. The DVD player and video screen are mounted in the headliner in most cases, but according Antrim, vehicles with sunroofs require different mounting.

“The biggest challenge in offering a DVD that is not in the headliner is that you have to have an entirely different mounting system for a vehicle that has a sunroof. The bracket is unique.”

Antrim sites two unique features that help set the VES apart from its competitors. “Number one,” says Antrim, “is its interface with all of the other media, in the vehicle.

Whatever media that is available is interfaced so that you can listen to it through the headphones. That means you can have headphoned passengers listening to one media source while another media plays through the vehicle’s speakers.

“The other key feature on the VES,” says Antrim, “is its on screen displays. The graphics are really compelling. The Chrysler design office came up with the displays that the system shows. When you are watching a movie, everyone’s DVD is the same. But when it is interacting with other things in the vehicle, it’s got what looks almost like a Windows application display.

There are folder tabs for AM and another for FM. The folders have a three-dimensional appearance to them. The folders have got all of the information — the radio station you are listening to, the RDF information, which sometimes includes the artist and the song title — all of that information is on the screen when you are listening to the other mode.

“Consumers want easy-to-read, visually appealing displays in their vehicles. The VES screen conveniently and clearly displays the artist, song title and album when listening to the SIRIUS satellite radio, for example, and easy user-interface when selecting modes, changing radio stations or listening to the CD in the radio.”

According to Antrim, the VES will make its way into the Mitsubishi Montero Sport in 2004.

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