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Entertainment Systems

Basic Description
entertainment system

Vehicle Entertainment systems, also called In-Car Entertainment refers to the collection of technology installed in vehicles for entertainment purposes. Typical components include AM/FM or satellite radio, CD players, DVD players, TV, surround sound, and gaming consoles. Newer systems may include smartphone connectivity and/or internet access. Multimedia entertainment systems have become very popular in recent years due to advances in consumer electronics that offer significantly increased capabilities at lower costs. Vehicle entertainment is being integrated with other vehicle systems through a comprehensive driver-to-vehicle interface through the use of displays and voice communications. The term "infotainment" is used to describe systems that combine the functionality of navigation, entertainment and vehicle information systems.

Some in-dash entertainment systems employ a large LCD monitor that not only provides navigation information, but can also display DVD movies and slide shows. Some systems can even be programmed to control garage door openers, security gates, and home lighting systems.

Overhead entertainment systems are often used in large passenger vehicles such as minivans or SUVs. These systems include a drop-down LCD monitor located on the interior roof of the vehicle. This allows for easy viewing by all rear occupants without distracting the driver. These systems usually come with wireless headphones so that the rear occupants can listen to a movie without disturbing others. Some systems are detachable so that various gaming consoles can be inserted.

Headrest entertainment systems can be found in more expensive vehicles. These systems have viewing screens that are mounted behind the front seat headrests making them viewable by passengers seated directly behind these seats. These systems generally feature adjustable screens, DVD players, USB inputs, SD card slots, and headphone capabilities.

Car audio systems have improved drastically in recent years due to the introduction of satellite and HD radio and automotive surround sound technology. Surround sound systems create clear and balanced sound environments for each occupant of the car. These systems can even seem to produce sound from spaces that have no speaker.

Touch screens, switches, ambient light sensors
Displays, speakers
Data Communications
Alpine, Bosch, Bose, Boss, Clarion, Continental, Fujitsu Ten, Harman International, Invision, JVC, Kenwood, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, QNX, Skypine Electronics, Sony
For More Information
[1] Overview of Car Entertainment Systems, Gary Altunian,
[2] Future Infotainment Systems May Read Sign Language, Liane Yvkoff, CNET, Feb. 10, 2011.
[3] From Eight-Track to Bluetooth: In-Car Entertainment’s Bumpy Ride, Doug Newcomb, Wired, July 19, 2012.
[4] An Exclusive Look at the Krell Sound System in the 2014 Acura RLX, YouTube, Dec. 5, 2012.
[5] Next-gen Chevy MyLink Employs Smartphone Flexibility, Wayne Cunningham, CNET, Jan. 8, 2013.
[6] The Future of Car Infotainment: QNX Car Platform, YouTube, Apr. 29, 2014.
[7] 2015 Mercedes COMAND Infotainment System Detailed Review, YouTube, Oct. 11, 2014.
[8] 2015 Nissan Murano Infotainment System Review (NissanConnect), YouTube, Feb. 16, 2015.