|Car video system|
|Wednesday, 15 November 2006|
Central to many of automobile electronic devices, such as maps, internet access, movies, and video games, is the use of a video display. The video display can interact with these features, as well as a wide variety of other features, to provide a central multi-media access point for passengers. Video display screens have been used in vehicles such as automobiles, vans, van conversions, or recreational vehicles for providing information to the driver or entertainment to the passengers. Such video display screens can be connected to a video playback device such as a video cassette recorder (VCR) or digital video disc (DVD) player for entertainment. Video screens used with navigational systems are typically mounted on the dashboard and connected to a navigational computer for providing maps and other navigational information such as GPS data to the driver. Car-mounted video displays have requirements that typically cannot be fulfilled by the conventional computer and display industries, due to the special environment in which the video displays will have to operate. Recently advances in liquid crystal display (LCD) panels have significantly improved the picture and contrast afforded by these types of displays, making them suitable for use in a wide variety of applications. LCDs are much thinner than conventional cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and therefore require significantly less space than a conventional television employing a CRT as a picture tube. LCDs are also much lighter in weight than CRTs, therefore making them readily portable. The lightweight and compact configuration of an LCD panel would therefore enable it to easily be mounted in various interior areas of a car, where the mounting of a video screen having a CRT would not be possible because of space constraints. A television set is mounted on a motor vehicle for receiving television broadcasts, replaying a video tape, or displaying a road map and traffic information. Due to the limited space in the vehicle, the television set is provided with a thin LCD (liquid crystal display) rather than a bulky CRT display. Televisions and video cassette players have often been mounted in a console on the floor of a vehicle, as well as to the headliner of a vehicle. In either mounting, such systems require a significant amount of space. Such systems have typically not been removable easily from the vehicle for use outside the vehicle with an AC power source. TV programs could be plucked off the air in strong reception areas and recorded for later playback or commercially available prerecorded tapes could be played on a VCR carried in the automobile.
In an in-vehicle audio/video system, a display device is mounted within the vehicle and signals are either received over-the-air or from a direct connection such as a video tape player or digital video disk (DVD) player. The video programming is sent to the display device, while the corresponding audio programming is sent to the vehicle radio over a coaxial cable. To listen to the audio programming, the vehicle occupant tunes the built-in vehicle radio to a predetermined station according to settings on the attached video player. In DVD systems, DVD players contain region codes. Individual DVDs also contain region codes. The DVD player region code must match the DVD region code in order for the DVD system to function properly. Within a DVD player, the region code is preset by an external device according to a particular region in which a vehicle will be used. Many automotive vehicles include a center console or other storage device disposed between the driver and passenger seats in the front passenger compartment of the vehicle. These consoles typically comprise a console base either secured to the floor or pivotally connected between the seats, a storage cavity formed in the console base to retain items during travel and an armrest pivotally connected to the console base. One type of vehicle video entertainment system comprises a portable video player secured to the headrests of the driver and passenger seats to hang between the seats adjacent an existing vehicle floor console. Some video entertainment system comprises a center console secured to the floor between the front seats of a vehicle having a fixed video monitor disposed within the storage area of the console. The monitor is viewable by passengers in the rear seating area through a passage formed in the rear of the floor console.