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on September 20, 2010
Quick overview:
Pros - Cheaper than most models, supports SD and memory stick duo cards, choice of audio out sources, good video quality, seems sturdy, quite DVD playback, good dvd playback, audio/video input option.

Cons - Poor instructions, memory card slots prevent closing screen while cards are in, limited file/folder name length on memory cards, no playback memory for memory cards, no source memory for video playback (remembering if I used memory cards last), screen does not turn around far enough for me, lights not as bright as Pyle PLRD92, light buttons do not work separately, instructions do not help with menu/setup very well (it's not terribly hard to figure out if you have time to toy with pressing buttons)

There were I few things about this product that I was unable to determine from any of the extensive research I performed, but I knew that the basic functionalities met what I was looking for. I do like the dvd player and the picture is good. It is easy to install, even though I did have to make a few modifications in order to install it like I wanted. I ultimately decided on this item over the PYLE PLRD92(PYLE PLRD92 9" Flip Down Monitor and DVD player with Wireless FM Modulator/ IR Transmitter) mainly based off of the price at the time, and though I AM somewhat pleased with the TVIEW product, if I had the choice, I would go with the PYLE for many reasons. It was a good DVD player, which is why it received 4 stars, it's not a bad product... it's just not exactly what I wanted... Now on to the info:

INSTALL:
The instructions that came with the unit were horrible, they basically didn't help at all, but I was able to determine what wire were what from info I found on the net. One of the most helpful places was a forum call Acadiaforum.net.(you will have to join to see it, but here is an installation example [...]) A user there has detailed instructions on installing the PYLE, that were handy in making the TVIEW mount more sturdily to my Acadia. The mounting bracket with the TVIEW is slightly different than the PYLE's and was a bit more difficult to attach to the roof of the car. In my Acadia, I could easily remove the dome light between the sunroof and moonroof and have a perfect place for installing a DVD player. Since there is about a 2" space between the head liner of the car and the top of the car (actually a cross beam) I needed a piece of a 2" x 4" I had lying around as a spacer. I also had to purchase 4 metal/machine screws and drill 4 holes in the cross bar mentioned above to attach the metal mounting plate. After I did this, I noticed that the wires run out the back of the DVD player, this may not be a big issue for everyone, but I wanted the wires hidden. So, I drilled 2 holes in the metal backing that hides the wires on the dvd player (the opposite side from where the screen snaps in place and lights are seen). I used the rubber grommets on the newly drilled holes to prevent the wires from being cut over time. In my Acadia, there are 2 power wires, one has a constant power (used for turning the lights on when the car is off) and power when the doors open (this one is used to turn on the lights when the doors are opened). I used the later to hook up to the lights on the DVD player so they would work as the normal dome lights would. I used the constant power so that the DVD player could be run while the car was off if necessary. The Acadia has a safety feature that kills the power to this feed after 10 minutes to prevent battery drain, if something is drawing current, so I thought this would be perfect. However, I ran into an issue with the DVD player drawing just enough power while it was off to drain the battery slightly, but not drawing enough power to register on the computer of the Acadia to trigger the battery save feature. This resulted in a dead battery over the weekend. To get around this, I installed a rocker switch from an old dead power supply I had, and it works great for keeping my battery from dying. I have read different ways around this, 1) you can install a resistor to "trick" the computer into thinking there is a larger current being drawn while it's off or 2) you can ran power directly from the battery (I've read this prevents the battery drain for some reason, but can't remember why).

PERFORMANCE:

Memory Card playback...
This Does work pretty well, the resolution, I think, is 640x323, and it plays MP4s the best, but also supports some AVIs. The picture quality will largely depend on the quality of the MP4 etc, but is quite good for what I expected.

The biggest reason I was looking at this player and the PYLE mentioned earlier was the ability to play videos from a memory card. I had a few SD, micro SD (w/adapter), mini SD(w/adapter), and Memory stick pro duo (with Duo adapters) cards that I could switch out more easily than dvds (I thought). This player DOES NOT support SDHC cards, but I had a 8GB MS Pro Duo (magic gate) with a Duo Adapter that worked perfectly. Video playback from the cards works fine, and there are tons of options on the player to zoom in (if the video doesn't fill the screen) or to adjust the picture. However, One of the biggest things I do not like about the player is how it handles memory cards. The first thing I noticed was the SD card will stick out of the side of the screen half way, preventing you from closing the screen with the card inside. I kind of expected it to work like many laptops do, with there being a depression switch that requires to to push the card in to hear a click and have it eject. The Sony Memory stick card stuck out even further, I was very disappointed, but ate my disappointment because the videos played fine, you can even fast forward and rewind like normal (more than I can say for Windows Media Center 7 and MP4s... but I won't go there). The next thing I noticed that I did not like was the navigation to select videos to play. First of all, each time you stop playing the video from the card, it will start from the beginning and every time you start the player, you have to change the source to the card slot (not a HUGE deal, but why couldn't it remember what was last used?). One of the worst things about it is that the file or folder names (it does support folders by the way) are limited to 6 - 7 characters, barely enough to give a good description for our 3 year old to know which video she wants to watch. Yes, i said 3 year old, she is able to read, and I am not talking about memorizing words, I'm talking about sounding words out and reading ANYTHING... Not the point though, there is barely enough to tell which video you are selecting. I may have to get creative and number the videos and give her a list of what number is what video. Well, that is my biggest complaint about the video playback from memory card.

DVD Playback...
The DVD playback works quite well, and we use this as often as we can. I haven't tried burning MP4s to DVD, but have burned DVDs in its native format, and everything works very well. The thing I like best about this is that the DVD is the first thing that is checked when the player is turned on. If there is a DVD in and you turn the player on, it will read the disc and start playing. It also remembers your position, even if the power is cut off to the player. I don't have much else to say about DVD playback other than - A-OK!!

Sound...
Ok, the speakers built into the DVD player are plenty loud (if they are not, it is likely the video you are playing...) but my wife and I did not like the fact that they project to the front of the Acadia as much as they did to the back, so we opted to do the FM transmitter as much as possible. Recently we went on an 8 hour (one way) trip using the FM transmitter, and ran into few issues. There were a few times we'd have to pause the video and switch the FM sources, due to interference, but over all it was pretty decent. When there is no interference, the sound is excellent, when there is the sound is very grating... kind of metalicy sounding. I remember reading where someone increased the length of the FM transmitter wire on the player(I think it was the little green wire in the bunch) to increase signal strength and prevent interference, but I can't find that info at this time. Having said that, yesterday we took a 30 minute trip and had interference the whole way, so it all depends on if the frequencies are being used as to whether or not you will appreciate the FM transmitter feature. I plan on hooking up the analog audio someday to prevent this issue in the future. The IR headphone option does show on the menu, so i know it exists on the player, but we did not purchase any and have not used this feature to date.

Final few odds and ends:

Ok, I know this is probably NOT a big issue for most, but the screen does NOT turn 180° from facing forward. The screen will face the left and right, but will not face the rearview mirror when installed. This is one of the many reason's i would like to have had the Pyle, the screen would turn to face the front. I didn't want this to watch anything, but to help start a video, or pause a video if the remote is dropped or something. We can do it now, but it is a lot more difficult that it would be if the screen would turn even another 10° or so. But it is not clear ANYWHERE that I read, so I thought I would inform you, the screen IS a 180° screen, but it's from left to right, the screen will not face the windshield when installed (probably for safety...).

The lights on the player are not very bright at all, and are the cylindrical type of light bulbs. You also will have to remove the DVD player and remove the metal backing in order to replace the bulbs if they ever burn out. The Pyle player had LEDs and are MUCH brighter from what I've seen... One of the other things I tried to determine was whether or not the 2 lights worked independently. I saw on some players there was one light button... This one and the Pyle player had 2, though I cannot speak for the Pyle, I know with this one the lights work together. You can push either button and both lights turn on/off...

Over all, this is a good DVD player with the option to use Memory cards in dire need, but I am somewhat disappointed based on my expectations from what I read from others.

I hope this helps!!
55 comments52 of 60 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 25, 2011
For the price there is no better dvd player. The quality of the picture is excellent, sound through speaker excellent, and FM modulator excellent. I was afraid cause all the iphone FM modulators I bought have tons of static over almost every channel. But not this one, perfect.

I checked several reviews for the different colors on this dvd player. Don't be fooled by all the reviews claiming that it is such an easy install, do it yourself nonsense. The easy or difficult install is not a function of the player but of the vehicle you are installing it into. If you have a dome light where you'd like your player to go then fine, it will be easy because the dome light has a metal cross beam you can fix the dvd player to and you can replace the dome light with the dvd player and use the dome light's electricity.

However, if you have say a Honda Odyssey it will be a completely different story. You'll have no crossbeam to secure the dvd player to, you'll have no electricity to tap into, and you'll have to install a piece of wood under the ceiling to secure the dvd player to. To do this it took 2 experts 2.5 hours to do it (take down celing, take down pillar covers, make sure they didn't destroy my rear air conditioning vents or side air bags, etc.).

Look into it, do it yourself only if you are 100% sure.
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on June 10, 2010
Installed this last week in my 2008 Jeep Commander. It was a pretty easy install, minus dropping the headliner in my jeep which consumed most of my time.

The picture on the unit is very good! Also, like the FM Transmitter function to tune it into my Jeeps stereo. One small problem is I do get some interferance with the FM Transmitter when I am in the city or very built up areas. I have yet to try all the FM frequency's within its range yet. On a side note I spoke to my local stereo install shop and they stated they add length to the Antenna wire when they put it above the head rest and this corrects that issue. I will try that next. The unit also works perfect with the IR (Infa Red) headphones I purchased seperately. Also, I like the fact you can get these in multiple colors to match the interior of the car. Hey for $150 and a few hours to install very nicely, it can't be beat and looks nicer than some factory setups.

I would purchase again and do recommend this item.
33 comments17 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 22, 2010
I have a Scion 2010 XB, and a two year old girl. I would say yes to anyone with a small SUV or smaller car, 9" is just right for those type of car size. Anything else then no for something bigger. The pic is great, looks great, sounds great, and plus they have the 3 basic colors to fit in any color type at the same price. Shipping did not take long at all, and was pack very good to ins the DVD player. The best part is where I went to get the DVD player install (best buy for 200.00 and under with a 10% coupon on Ebay)they didn't have to cut a huge hole in the roof of my car. hope all this help, FYI if your doing this for your kids, yes they will love you and they will love this player! :)
11 comment7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 7, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I installed this new Tview unit this weekend into my 2003 Ford Expedition
and finally got to sit down and rest. First of all the mounting bracket included
with the unit is only 4 inches square...the Ford mounting is 8 inches across, thus
I had to make a trip to Lowes to get two 8 inch metal strips to go across the
bracket to mount the small square to mount the unit... then another trip to
Lowes to get big enough screws to secure the unit to the bracket, as the screws
were not long enough to start the screws into the bracket, that were included
in the unit!! The directions included are of NO VALUE for anyone installing
the unit.

Once the was installed it worked fine and my two girls are enjoying the DVD
player, as we have the earphones which they like.

If you plan on installing the unit, I would plan on at least 6 to 8 hours
of your time to complete the job. I have now installed about 4 other units
and this was the most complex install without a doubt!! If I had to do it
all again, I would pay someone to do the install!!

After having used the unit...I recommend it highly..it works great with the
Kids and they are enjoying it a lot!!! It was worth the install.

The player does appear at this time to be a higher quality unit, then the past
units that I installed and used before this one.. time will tell!!

Good luck on the install if you do it yourself!!
0Comment9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 11, 2010
We purchased this player for our Dodge Grand Caravan. We installed it ourselves (my husband is pretty mechanically inclined) and it was fairly hassle-free. We had to actually cut a hole in the headliner because the instructions suggest mounting it over your existing dome light, but in a GC it is too close to the second-row seats and we ended up installing it between the rear HVAC controls and the front ceiling console. You don't need a massive hole for installation and they provide everything you need, including wiring to hook it into an existing video system/sound system if you already have one. The IR works perfectly too - we bought two sets of kid-sized wireless headphones and they work perfectly with the unit. The only issue is the vague instructions (they were obviously NOT written by an English-speaking person, and were not too clear), so unless you are pretty mechanically savvy, it is best to leave installation to a professional.
11 comment12 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 29, 2010
This is one of the best purchases we have made in a very long time! Our 5 children love this! It makes all of our lives easier & happier. It is a pain to install, but my husband did get it done on his own w/ the help of our 10 yr old son. It looks great & works wonderfully! It does have IR & we love that we can play it through the stereo~~so that we can all hear it! I would/have recommend this to anyone & everyone!
0Comment8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 17, 2011
I had it professionally installed for $180 and it works well. I actually asked the installer to recommend a dvd player before purchasing this one, and he said that T-View was one of the better products that he has dealt with.
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on December 22, 2010
I bought this item back in 2010 November and it has been installed in my car. When I was buying this product did not expect to have the picture clarity that I am enjoying now with this product. Excellent picture quality and more than that it is really worth for the price. Features are excellent.It is really good for an SUV. I will update this review as the time progresses. So far I did not have any problem with this item. If this product is goign to last for another a year, I would definitely recommend this to every one.
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on October 5, 2012
OK, so let me preface this with the fact that I repaired Medical equipment for 10 years, including MRIs and CT scanners, so I do have a slight upper hand on technology. But, installing this left me frustrated, irritated and with a lacerated finger. As others have stated, the installation instructions on this are basically non-existant. I would STRONGLY suggest that you obtain the electrical wiring diagrams for your vehicle. I spent $11 for a digital version for my 2006 Chevy Uplander and it was definately worth it.

So, where to begin. First, I would strongly suggest you go to a home impovement store and purchase a piece of 1 x 2 wood...it will help brace the unit to the vehicle roof liner. The metal bracket that is supplied has some very sharp edges (hence the finger laceration) so wear some type of glove. Once you have placed the bracket where you want the device installed, the fun begins to connect power. There are three bundles of wires in this unit that exit at the BACK. Yup, they are not located in the center where the unit screws into the former light dome space, was which means it is almost impossible to get a flush fit. Here I would offer some more advice...get longer screws. The ones that come with the unit are very small and trying to line up the holes with 1/16" clearance is impossible. I managed to get some that had the same thread pitch but were 3/4" long which made it much easier to screw in.

It is important to note that the AV/Power cable that comes with this unit IS required to be connected (I was not sure as it is detachable). The connector for the lights does not power the unit (no idea why)...these wires only control the lights. This leads me to my next point: the cables that need to be attached the the dome light you are replacing are way too short (think 12 inches). I had to have my 13 year old daughter hold the unit for me while I connected the very flimsy cable connectors to the vehicle wiring.

Suffice to say, plan on having many hours to install this. Again, there is no help to be found in the included manual. If anyone has questions, I would be happy to answer them.

Again, this unit requires TWO power inputs...one for the lights and another for the TV/DVD unit. Once you have it all wired, it is a very nice unit.
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