Sony's head units Xplod into the infotainment scene with TomTom GPS on in-dash screens

Sean Hollister
S. Hollister|09.01.10

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Sony's head units Xplod into the infotainment scene with TomTom GPS on in-dash screens
They may not have been the highlight of Sony's IFA 2010 press conference, but the company's new XNV head units deserve a place of their own, given they integrate full-blown TomTom GPS units and audio/video playback into their 7- and 6.1-inch WVGA touchscreens. Presently destined for Europe, the XNV-L77BT, XNV-770BT, XNV-L66BT and XNV-660BT will ship in November with TeleAtlas maps of 45 nations for a number of undisclosed prices, with each sporting Bluetooth, auxiliary and USB jacks, DivX playback and a DVD drive. The presumably-more-expensive "L" models also come with the usual array of traffic and weather alerts plus a Google-powered local search function, and all four decks sport a music recommendation engine that reportedly changes track based on your mood... though how the system measures your emotional attentions, we're not quite sure, and hope to find out soon. Press release after the break.
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Sony unveils new In-Car Multimedia AV Centre with TomTom navigation in Europe

01 September 2010

Sleek Xplod in-dash head units offer first-class AV entertainment and top-quality navigation for the ultimate in-car experience

·Superior screen, usability and sound quality delivered to you from Sony
·Outstanding live services and sophisticated maps brought to you by TomTom
·Two leading technology experts combine to create all-mighty AV Navigation in-car products: the XNV-L77BT/ 770BT and XNV-L66BT/ 660BT

With ever-increasing traffic congestion and time pressure, it's harder to make driving a pleasure when getting from A to B is rarely plain sailing. But now Sony has combined its strength and knowledge in AV with those of TomTom, leading provider of location and navigation solutions, to deliver a range of Xplod™ AV centres with navigation that puts the power back with the driver.

Sony's brand new range of in-car multimedia AV centre is the XNV-L77BT, 770BT, L66BT and 660BT. "Infotainment", real-time information + multi-media entertainment, is increasingly becoming part of our daily lives, and these new products meet this demand from commuters and travellers on the road.

Each system consists of Sony's AV head unit and TomTom's navigation module with its cutting edge navigation services. The XNV-L77BT (7" widescreen) and XNV-L66BT (6.1" widescreen) take full advantage of TomTom Live services including HD Traffic™, Local Search with Google™ and Safety Alerts.

HD Traffic™ gives drivers the most accurate and up-to-date traffic information, live on the in-dash head unit. Road incidents and delays are updated every three minutes, giving alternative routing to avoid jams. Knowing what's ahead allows safer driving. Safety Alerts give advanced warnings of where the safety cameras (fixed and mobile) and dangerous areas are.

Another advantageous live feature is Local Search with Google™. Imagine you've just arrived in town and need to find a restaurant. Simply search straight from the AV centre touch screen using Google Map, the world's largest location database. What's more, you can make a call right from the search page to book a table. Locating, calling and arriving at local shops and businesses couldn't be easier!

All AV Navigation models come with the most comprehensive and sophisticated maps from TomTom. Map coverage is far-reaching across 45 European countries. Route calculation by TomTom is much more complex than simply using maximum speed limits. The unique IQ Routes™ technology with their extensive historical database of 'real' travel times calculates the fastest route taking into account the time and day you're travelling. This includes rush hours, weekends and even slow traffic lights.

Keeping the most up-to-date maps in your dash is essential. Thanks to MapShare™ from TomTom and its enormous navigation community, you can correct your maps and benefit from changes made by other drivers via your computer and the free software TomTom HOME.

The new in-car AV centre Xplod range is built on the same product platform as the XAV-70BT in-car multimedia centre, which has recently won the EISA Award European In-Car A/V Head Unit 2010-20111. The new devices feature all the great AV innovations of this award winning product. They are double-DIN and boast ultra bright WVGA screens displaying high resolution of 800x480 pixels – that's five times the resolution of mainstream QVGA AV Centre displays.

Audio quality is also first-class and precisely what users have come to expect with products from Sony. Attention to detail, such as completely separating the Audio and Video signal paths, ensures unmatched quality of AV reproduction. With Centre Speaker Organiser, listeners can enjoy a rich and expansive soundstage as it recreates 5.1 channel surround sound by placing an additional 'virtual' speaker right in the middle of the dash board. The AV centres also use Intelligent Time Alignment, which considers the driver's position and allows adjustments to the timing of the sound from the different channels for an optimum listening experience.

The touch screen, simple display layout and useful onscreen functions or buttons give a very intuitive user experience. Cutting edge patented technology from Sony such as ZAPPIN™ and SensMe™ make your music selection easy and fun, helping you find the tune that's just right for whatever driving mood you may be in. Genuinely multimedia, the range has excellent connectivity across a wide range of digital music players including WALKMAN®, iPod, iPhone and USB memory drives. In addition, it features integrated Bluetooth™ for mobile phone wireless music stream and hands-free phone calls.

The new line-up of Xplod in-car AV centre with navigation will be available from November 2010.
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