My new in-car-entertainment system

So I have finally had my new “Entertainment System” installed in my Prius.  A Kenwood DDX4038BT.  Toyota were kind enough to throw it into my purchase agreement for my Prius.  The original system which came standard was one of the worst in-car-systems I have ever come across.  The bluetooth functionality is useless and the radio was always losing signal.  I would definitely not recommend you buy a Prius and keep the existing system. 

So I thought I would tell you what I think of the new Kenwood system…..

I spent hours in the vehicle last night figuring out how it all works.   

My iPhone connects to it via bluetooth and it calls up all my contacts.  Not rocket science nowdays as most in-car-systems can do this.  The phonebook is very clumsy and very slow.  You can set up presets for quick dialling – however the presents only display a number and not the actual contact – so you have to have memorised peoples numbers in order to use the preset otherwise you have no idea which number belongs to whom.  If you use the phonebook – you have to have patience – it takes a while to call up and then you have to have more patience while you scroll down screen by screen – there is no quick way to call up contacts starting with H for instance.  It handles incoming calls quite efficiently so can’t complain there.

It accommodates voice dialling (using my iPhones voice dialling functionality).  So I thought I would give it a try this morning while I was dropping the kids off at school and it went something like this:

I say: Call Home

System says: There are multiple Peters – please try again

I say: Call Home

System says: calling Claire x (x denotes a surname)

I say: Call Anthony x (x denotes a surname)

System says: Facetime with Cormac (and calls up facetime on my iPhone)

So I had a really good giggle and laughed that functionality off.

It streams music from my iPhone as well, however no track information is displayed.  I have to plug my iPhone into a cable which connects to the system to see track information displayed (a little clumsy having a cable).  But this works very well.  Kids like to plug their iPhones in and listen to their music most of the time.

The Sat-NAV system is a Garmin so quite happy with that end.

It plays DVD’s – again the system is slow to respond and it does not keep your place when you switch the vehicle off – you have to start the DVD up all over again and go through the notices etc.  Not that this is an issue as I don’t spend enough time in the car to watch a DVD nor will I ever want to watch a DVD whilst driving – so this is an obsolete function.

Have yet to try playing a CD or plug in a USB thumb drive – will try this later.

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