This unit is unlike the previous w200/w205 in that it has 'extensions' for cables to plug into rather than have your cables plug directly into the back. The ai-net, antenna, and RCA input outputs are like this. The navigation wires are made into the unit.
My favorite part about all this is that the RCA's are in their own harness. Therefore if you don't want to use the RCA outputs you don't have to plug them into the unit. If you want to use the RCA inputs, you can leave them in. Vice versa.
This time Alpine's included an S-video connection as well.
The harness is the same as w205/w200. Also, the pac-tr7 bypass works. In my case, I made a straight swap with the w205 harness which already had the tr7 wired into it.
The big drawback to this unit (and the only one I've come across thus far) is the fact that this unit no longer has a standard toslink input for optical signals. Rather, Alpine has incorporated a 4-pin connection so that you will have to use their KWE-610a cable; a 4-pin connector on one end, and a standard male toslink on the other. Luckily, Quality Sound here did some digging and found a cable that will work, and another forum member here has verified it does indeed work. It's made by Panasonic and the model # is: CA-LRD60. You can pick them up on e-bay for $100, or you can find them from an online seller for $65 shipped (this is the route I chose).
I must say that, at least with my system, there's no distinguishable 'noise' via ai-net so for some people, the optical cable may not be worth it. Heck, I'm not too sure I need it, but I bought it... *shrugs*
The w505 comes with the iPod video cable/USB cable; the ipod portion is just an extension cable that plugs into the USB cable. More discussion of this is in the iPod section.
The w505 has a full 7” widescreen, unlike the w205's 6.5" screen. The difference is very noticeable and it makes things a bit easier to navigate on screen. There are no raised buttons like on w200/w205, rather the buttons are blended into the bottom bar. I believe they also have the same outer dimensions, but trimmed edges.
The resolution is much higher: 1.15 megapixels which is the same as the F#1 units, IIRC. There are 2 “styles” the user can choose from. It's hard to describe these but you can see pictures of it below. One has a lot more going on in the screen; you can see upcoming songs and more song info but also has album art/ipod logo. The other is a simple black background with the ipod/album art logo.
Like the previous units, you can change your background of the w505 via downlaods from the I-personalize site (link), and pride-rock.com (link).
I got my "team hybrids" background from here. *let me say that I am not on Team Hybrids... I just downloaded it to take a picture for Doiter and haven't bothered to remove it*
The DVD/CD source is the only time you'll see the downloaded backgrounds, though.
Another little feature I like is that you can have the subwoofer level option on front of screen. It's a little speaker, and when you touch it you get the option to control the sub's level. Kinda neat.
Also, the w505 has an "escape" button where you can go back to the main screen if you're in the options somewhere and want to get back without having to go through pushing extra buttons to back out.
This time around Alpine took out the "pulsetouch" feature. Though it did take some getting used to, all is well. I can't really complain about not having that.