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    Icon32 INFO: Conventional HU vs Mini PC ?

    INFO: Conventional HU vs Mini PC ?

    im in the process of building a couple of systems [1 passenger car, 1 mini van]. i am currently am in the design stage of the system, and am picking out the components.

    right now i am debating on getting a high end hu, or a mini pc. what would be the advantages, and disadvantages of picking one instead of the other.

    CONVENTIONAL HEAD UNIT:
    * Pioneer Head Unit - prefered choice
    * Standard CDR playback

    MINI PC:
    * Digital Music - no messing around with cds | not pron to skipping
    * Movie Playback - will have the ablity to play back movies and games
    * WIFI - wireless network and internet access

    the only disadvantage i see from picking a mini pc, is the lack of an fm tuner which would be vital for drive ins.

    would the quality of sound from a mini pc be less than a high end head unit? im sure there are high end sound cards that can produce high quality sound signals as well.

    thanks
    Last edited by T Dot; 01-04-2004 at 03:05 AM.







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    Re: INFO: Convention HU vs Mini PC ?

    apparently, them soundcardsa are supposed to be as good. But I on't know how wellteh anti-skip will be on them mini PC's.

    I also have a hard time believeing that the HDD will not suffer all the bumps on the road.



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    Re: INFO: Convention HU vs Mini PC ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paikiah
    apparently, them soundcardsa are supposed to be as good. But I on't know how wellteh anti-skip will be on them mini PC's.

    I also have a hard time believeing that the HDD will not suffer all the bumps on the road.
    all the music will be digital, i wont be using any cds

    as for the hd, i will look up on how much abuse they can take. though hds are really cheap nowadays, and would be much cheaper than having to lug around multiple cds / carrying cases etc.




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    Re: INFO: Convention HU vs Mini PC ?

    anyone else have any input?




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    Re: INFO: Convention HU vs Mini PC ?

    It's kinda funny that you bring this up.

    I have been contemplating this since I last bought my Kenwood. There are pros and cons to the entire idea and here they are.

    Having a PC in your car is pretty easy and finding a pc that has a 12 volt input (as many laptops do) is not very challenging. But finding a small powersupply for a custom built computer that can handel 12v is kinda hard. But that can easily be avoided by the purchace of a good power inverter.

    FM tuners can be purchased for like 25 bucks at a walmart...much cheaper and better online. But the problem is hooking it up to your car antenna. Often times you'd have to install an aftermarket antenna and unless you get a good tuner radio reception may not be as good.

    Distributing the signal is another problem. The majority of todays sounds cards offer 5.1...6.1 whatever. So you gotta question yourself how do you want to install it? Well in most cases for a automotive envirionment I would choose to simply run two channels into a DSP (digital signal processor) or a cheaper but less effective and fun active crossover. This allows you to run the two audio signal lines into it and run your 3 sets of needed preouts at an acceptable voltage. On that note the preouts coming from a computer a very weak...and very susptable to noise...some people avoid the connection by solidering a hard wire inside the soundcard itself. Another situation that you have to think about is maybe USING the 6.1. In most cases when swiched to use the 6.1 setting inside the operating system then the three ports are all given individual instructions on what signals to carry. (this will require the installation of a powered center channel) So you could run each into some sort of signal booster then into their coresponding speakers. The only downfall is when your not watching a movie swich back to standard stereo output could cut off the rear fill...big loss? I'm not sure. But getting to know your soundcard software and how it acts in different senerios is important.

    Video displays are very hot in the car world now...and having a pc backbone is very tempting. Having a well intalled touch screen or a cordless micro mouse gives you the ablilty to run games...movies...GPS software. Stuff that would require quite an expensive HU. You also have the option of having celular internet in your car...so you can download music on the fly and listen to it right there...

    Finally how reliable would a computer be installed in a constantly vibrating envirionment? Well I ran a Laptop in my van all last year during the initial tuning and installation of my system. The laptop held up very well and only on rare rare occations would I hear the CD skip .... and maybe once I heard the HD powerdown and back up when it skipped. A micro ATX case with harddrive and dvdroms would probably be more susptable to skipping. But there are many reliablity tests done on equipment...I'm sure you could easily find the equipment that would work best for you. I know for a fact that Sony made a CDrom drive for computers using the same laser springs that they use in their diskmans...that read ahead like crazy. In a PC a readahead system is less reliable because a constant cross disk scan is often needed. But regardless the springs used for the laser made a huge difference. I'm rambleing now.


    If I were you i'd consider doing it but I wouldnt skip on parts used...you'll be much happier if you have a very solid system.

    YOu can always mount the case itself on shocks...good luck with that one though.



    I used to spend a lot of my free time here. It was fun I suppose. Still rocking the 9515 and Better Audio amp haha.

    How's incriminator stuff these days?

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