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Old 10-16-2015, 08:11 PM   #1
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Revamping the TV/Audio System

I'm researching upgrading my audio/TV system in my 2008 Classic 25fb. Currently I have a 23" Sony LCD HDTV and a Sony CD/DVD stereo head. I'm not looking to have a full blown Dolby Digital system. I just want to be able to play a DVD onto the TV and have the DVD audio play back from the stereo system and I want to be able to play TV audio from off the air antenna or a connected source on the TV such as my Apple TV to the stereo system audio.

I was just going to get a Furrion DV3100. This unit plays DVDs like the Sony and uses the Airstream's existing RCA composite video cable to play back DVDs onto the TV. Audio plays onto the DV3100 stereo system. It can also accept the RCA audio input from the TV via the Airstream's existing RCA composite cabling. However, it doesn't seem available anymore from online retailers. The Furrion website seems to offer it at a $250 msrp while the few retailers a few months ago was selling it for $150. So now I'm looking at other systems.

I'm not really interested in the double DIN DVD/CD auto stereos that have the built in DVD playback screen. They are heavy and it whould mean modifying the mounting face drastically behind the cabinet. There doesn't seem be be any single DIN DVD players anymore and the multimedia stereos don't seem to accept any external audio source via RCA composite cables.

I understand the current line of Airstreams use the Clarion M502. I downloaded the user manual but I can't tell looking at the connection drawings how TV audio via RCA composite cabling connects into this unit.

If I can find a head unit without DVD that accepts RCA inputs as an auxiliary source I'll then get a new TV with a built in DVD such as the Insignia 28 HDTV/DVD combo. If I find a head unit with DVD and RCA video out and audio in then I'll get a TV without the built in DVD. So I need to find the receiver head before I can buy the TV.

Any suggestions for a single DIN head unit that meets the above requirements. Please give the make and model number that is still available so I can download the manual. I guess I could use a 3.5mm to RCA adapter on a rear audio aux in port. Maybe that is the secret.

Also the head unit MUST have Bluetooth so I can play my music library from my iPhone.

Thanks

Kelvin
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:33 AM   #2
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I've been researching a little on single DIN stereo decks. The current model of Clarion seems to be the M502. This model is no longer available from Clarion as the M505 has replaced it. Interesting note is the M502 has a rear audio aux port while the M505 doesn't.

Since I don't use CDs anymore I'm more interested in digital media receivers with Bluetooth without CDs but I will consider a CD capable model if the inputs are there.

Checked out Kenwood. Can't find any single DIN deck that has rear aux input. They are only making them with front USB and 3.5mm inputs.

Checked out JVC. All the decks are front Aux only.

Doesn't look like Alpine has a model with rear Aux input.

Checked out Pioneer. I did find a model with a rear AUX port. MVH-X560BT. It also has Bluetooth and is about $130. Their newest model doesn't have rear audio Aux. Its up front with the USB

Looks like the trend is to remove all inputs from the back of decks and place them in front. Makes sense as these are designed for autos.

Not sure what Airstream will go with next once their stock of Clarion M502s runs out.

The only other solution is a double DIN DVD deck with has a built in monitor screen. I'm not keen on that form factor.

If I go with the Pioneer I'll have to get the Insignia TV with DVD combo if I'm interested in watching a DVD. Typically we don't mess with DVDs. I rip them and then use my laptop or iPad to play them back.

Kelvin
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:20 AM   #3
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The m502 is a nightmare to use! Avoid!!!
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:40 AM   #4
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Isn't your Furrion 3100 a double DIN unit? It looks like that on their website.

I replaced my Sony unit that gave up the ghost a couple of years ago. I didn't have your same requirements for a new unit, I just wanted something that would fit into the space and do the same things. At that time EVERY car audio guy told me that they were not making the single DIN models anymore. I had many options if I wanted to change the cabinet and go with a double DIN.

I ended up finding a Sony online that was a simple change out. So simple that I could do it! Anyway, you might be better off just getting a double DIN and having someone rework the cabinet.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:22 AM   #5
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KJRitchie, I did all my electronics once-over and did a few components a second time! My comment may not apply to your situation but before I began I contacted JC and the guy I spoke with was great. He told me that the best way to deal with my redo was to treat the systems separately. Looking back, it was the best as I was able to customize better and upgrade speakers too. From your post you probably do not want to go that route but it does open a lot of options. I ended up with an AC inverter-use entertainment system- 32" Samsung smart led TV, self-powered speaker bar and sub with phantom dolby (sounds great in trailer) and USB for all kinds of connections. The DC system is a single DIN Pioneer radio- Bluetooth/iPhone/HD/Sirrius, etc and the built-in speakers. I rewired the trailer bedroom to front with HDMI with some access advice from JC and added an HDMI switch box, a bedroom 24" Led TV, and a Panasonic Blueray DVD player with Internet. It is just too limiting when looking for special connections, etc. My '06 system, while not as fancy as the newer switching system, played the TV through the built in speakers initially via the Sony unit and a small electronic board with connectors added to the unit. I do not remember if I could switch off speakers as I did not have it hooked up that long- perhaps from a head unit choice. I know that now most have the physical switch in the cabinet. I lost that ability when replacing the radio but it sounds better now anyway and, you gain the ability to shop the whole range of products out there.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:41 AM   #6
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When I replaced Sony radio and cd changer in my 25FB, I went with a Jensen head unit JENSEN AM/FM/CD/DVD/USB/WB/iPOD Ready Wallmount Stereo with HDMI Video Output because of the features and simplicity of use. It is a double din unit which means I had to cut a larger hole in the cabinet but it was worth the hassle as it has front and back aux audio connections for usb/ipod plus weather band and plays dvd's. When connected with a Jensen 12 volt TV, it make s a good boondock alternative rather than using an inverter.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
features and simplicity of use.
Importante! Yeah, there are always options, my TV and player draw so little power that they will run on a 100 watt cigarette lighter inverter easily- I did it this summer; however, I now have them hooked into the bigger house unit. I did not use the speakers this summer on that hookup but amazingly the speakers only consume 20 Watts according to the specs sheet.
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Old 10-17-2015, 01:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mojo View Post
When I replaced Sony radio and cd changer in my 25FB, I went with a Jensen head unit JENSEN AM/FM/CD/DVD/USB/WB/iPOD Ready Wallmount Stereo with HDMI Video Output because of the features and simplicity of use. It is a double din unit which means I had to cut a larger hole in the cabinet but it was worth the hassle as it has front and back aux audio connections for usb/ipod plus weather band and plays dvd's. When connected with a Jensen 12 volt TV, it make s a good boondock alternative rather than using an inverter.
That model doesn't have Bluetooth but they do make a similar model with Bluetooth.

I'm not sure if I mounted that unit if I would be able to close the cabinet door because the faceplate looks like it sticks out quite a bit. I could move the cabinet face back a little bit.

Do you find the audio quality as good as the previous Sony head?

I don't need HDMI. I don't have an HDMI cable from the audio area to the TV area and don't need BluRay.

I looked at a couple a double DIN units today at Best Buy. The issue with these units is they need to be wired to the handbrake circuit in order to get the DVD to play on the main screen. This is really not a requirement since I want the DVD to play on an external source which would be the TV or in a car a rear seat monitor.

Kelvin
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Old 10-17-2015, 02:45 PM   #9
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That model doesn't have Bluetooth but they do make a similar model with Bluetooth.

I didn't use the bluetooth, just plugged the Iphone/Ipod into the usb connection.

I'm not sure if I mounted that unit if I would be able to close the cabinet door because the faceplate looks like it sticks out quite a bit. I could move the cabinet face back a little bit.

Mine was mounted outside on the closed end of the flip-top cabinet, and yes the faceplate does stick out a bit with the knobs.

Do you find the audio quality as good as the previous Sony head?

Being as I am half-deaf retired concert promoter, it does the job.

I don't need HDMI. I don't have an HDMI cable from the audio area to the TV area and don't need BluRay.

I had to use the existing RCA jacks that were wired in by AS for the TV connection. But I did run HDMI cable from the Dish receiver directly to the TV.

I looked at a couple a double DIN units today at Best Buy. The issue with these units is they need to be wired to the handbrake circuit in order to get the DVD to play on the main screen. This is really not a requirement since I want the DVD to play on an external source which would be the TV or in a car a rear seat monitor.

It has the HDMI output and RCA jack output for video, so I guess you could plug another monitor into the unused port.
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Old 10-17-2015, 04:22 PM   #10
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If you go with RCA composite into your TV, you're not going to have a great picture at all. Gotta be HDMI for that gorgeous HD picture. If you watch the sales, you can pick up a Blu-Ray player for around $40. My refurb 39" Vizio was $200. I ran some cables from the TV RCA audio out into my BOSS BV9986BI AUX IN, so now the TV blasts out of the stereo.

On thing that you should design for is headphone use. The aforementioned RCA out can be swapped for a dual RCA-to-3.5mm stereo cable that goes into a headphone amp. Now I can stay up late watching explosion movies, while my wife peacefully slumbers.

When rebuilding my settee area, I designed in an area behind the short bench that could house the TV. These flat screens are so light, it's easy for me to pick up the TV and hang it on the valance over the window.

I'm working on a rig to hang the TV off of the ledge over the kitchen window. Movie night in the campground! So if you happen to see an Airstream playing samurai movies, stop in to say hello, it's probably me!
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Old 10-17-2015, 05:50 PM   #11
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I hadn't thought about headphones. They might be useful in the future.

I found this youTube video of swapping out a Jensen head unit with a Pioneer AVH-X3700BHS. Got video out, Bluetooth, touchscreen features. One of the issues with these types of auto DVD players is they are hooked up to the parking brake so the brake has to be on to show the DVD playback onto the head's screen but as the video shows its not needed as you use the supplied remote to control the DVD playback. It uses composite jacks for video. HDMI is nice but with DVD its not really necessary. My goal is to leave space in the cabinet over the dinette for extra storage. Putting a standalone DVD player takes up space. I don't have BluRay at home and playback DVDs to my 56" HDTV and think the video quality is fine but I do use the red,blue,green composite connections. But then I rarely use it as I rip our rental DVDs and play them back via the Apple TV to the same TV.

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Old 10-17-2015, 06:31 PM   #12
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If you go with RCA composite into your TV, you're not going to have a great picture at all. Gotta be HDMI for that gorgeous HD picture.
There is more than just HDMI to consider. When I spoke to JC the service guy I spoke with mentioned the challenges of merging DC with AC entertainment. Mojo mentioned that an inverter system dependency was bad for boon docking but after checking my wattage, my system can operate with less than 100 watts draw. That is several hours of TV watching with minimal power. Even with my smallish system. I have 6 hours a day calculated with plenty left for other needs.

Each to his own I guess. What we need is what should govern our choices. My Apple TV is HDMI only, and one TV was HDMI only so it made the most sense. My speaker unit has a mini plug for headphones and, I purchased the bluetooth module so even bluetooth can be utilized.

Sounds like a neat outdoor setup Suzyhomemakr.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:16 AM   #13
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Checked out Pioneer. I did find a model with a rear AUX port. MVH-X560BT. It also has Bluetooth and is about $130. Their newest model doesn't have rear audio Aux. Its up front with the USB

Kelvin
I've crossed the single DIN model off my list because it doesn't come with a remote. Without a remote I wouldn't be able to adjust the volume when playing back DVDs through the system. So I'm going to have to go with a Double DIN system. Right now my choice is the Pioneer AVH-X2700BS. Its a similar model to the AVH-X3700bhs model shown in the above video and has most of the same but it is a little cheaper, $224 at Amazon.

I'm not sure if the remotes that come with these units are inferred but I suspect they are. Can't find any info in the manual. If it is inferred I'll get a universal remote to run the TV, stereo and Apple TV. I've got a Harmony One at home and really enjoy not have four our five remotes hanging around.

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Old 10-19-2015, 01:46 PM   #14
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More on the flatscreen install here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f450...ml#post1699023

Maybe the Jefa Tech WiFi Repeater is something you might consider? Airstreams tend to act like a Faraday Cage, and block signals from coming in. The antenna is very powerful; I'm streaming full HD on my Fire Stick no problem. The signal that the router broadcasts is also good; when I was setting up the system, I had my phone on the new "airstreamer" hot spot to check signal strength. A week later, I realized that I had forgot to set it back to my home network! I still had a good signal with lots of house in the way.

Of course, tablets and computers and phones can all log onto this network. A person smarter than myself could probably piece this system together, but the company claims to have proprietary firmware that insures the easy setup that I had.

The antenna is the white rod...
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