Sunday, February 7, 2010

OnSale! Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT 7-Inch Flagship In-Dash Navigation A/V Receiver with DVD Playback and Bluetooth

Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT 7-Inch Flagship In-Dash Navigation A/V Receiver with DVD Playback and Bluetooth

Product Description
PIONEER AVIC-Z110BT 7-Inch Flagship In-Dash Navigation A/V Receiver with DVD Playback & Bluetooth

  • AM/FM radio, DVD, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, MP3/WMA/WAV/AAC, DivX/MPEG4/WMV/H.264 receiver with GPS navigation and MSN Direct
  • 4 x 50 Watts maximum power with front/rear and three sets of preamp outputs
  • 7-inch motorized widescreen TFT LCD touchscreen with 800 x 480 resolution
  • Includes auxiliary input, USB port, SD card slot, iPod direct control; add optional tuners for SAT/HD radio
  • On-board Bluetooth for hands-free calls, on-screen dialing, music streaming and more

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I expected more from the flagship
I've had this head unit in my car for about a month now, and overall, I was expecting more from the best Pioneer has to offer.

The good:

The navigation system seems to be at about par with other navigation systems I have used, functionality-wise. I don't use POI, so I can't comment on that.

The audio sounds far better than the stock stereo that came with my porsche.

I really like the way I can make the button lights on the front perfectly match my dash lights. Also, the custom startup graphic is cool. It makes it feel like it was designed for my car.

My iPhone pairs automatically through bluetooth when I start my car, and receiving and making calls works exactly as I expected.

I like being able to play music directly from the sd card.

The touchscreen works just the way I want it to, except I really want to flick the scrolling menus the way I can on my iPhone. You can't have everything.

The not so good:

I'm not amazed by the way the map looks. It doesn't look as refined or aesthetically pleasing as other systems I have used such as Garmin or Tomtom. The 3d buildings are frankly a little cheesy. The MSN service is being discontinued so there is no traffic info.

One thing that really drives me batty is the way it automatically starts playing music from my iphone when I dock it, even if I am listening to another audio source. Sometimes I just want to charge my phone, and there doesn't appear to be any way to modify that functionality.

I think the audio devices UI is poorly designed. I have the HD radio tuner, an iPhone dock, and Sirius radio. The HD tuner reverts to regular AM and FM when an HD signal isn't present, so there is no reason to have the regular AM and FM devices in the audio menu, yet they are still there and there is no way to make them go away. All of the other possible devices are also on the menu, just greyed out. Why do I need a greyed out XM icon in my menu? i realize I have a special menu I can customize, but it would have been much better to be able to customize all of the menus by hiding the icons I don't need. It is cluttered and clumsy.

My biggest complaint is about the ui for the audio devices themselves.

The ui for Sirius and HD radio are roughly the same. It seems like a generic interface was developed in order to avoid designing a custom interface for each of these devices, and it falls short. You have to push a button on the screen to cycle through the metadata associated with a song playing on Sirius, so you can never see the channel title, channel number, genre, band name, and song title at once. You can only cycle through one at a time.

The preset menu is poorly implemented. In the regular AM and FM radio UI (which I don't use), when you make a preset, it displays the frequency of the channel in the area next to the preset number. In Sirius and HD radio, it is blank. You have to remeber which ones have already been set and what they are set to. I had this same level of functionality in my 1969 Chevy pickup.

There is no list of Sirius channels, just a seek button where you have to click through them one by one, or type in the number, if you remember it, and who can remember that many channels?

All in all, I expected more.

Awesome all-in one headunit
This receiver is awesome. Does everything you'd want. 2-zone entertainment lets the kids in the back watch or listento their own thing while the wife and I can listen to ours. The navigation software is not the best there is, but it's pretty darn good. Voice control is the best I've tried, though the number of phrases are limited. iPod control is outstanding and is where the voice control really shines, recognizing all your artists, albums, genres and playlists all via voice commands. Bluetooth handsfree phone operation is simmple to use and crystal clear both ways. Add MSN Direct (only available until Jan 2012) and you get traffic, weather and more. I also installed the HD radio and Sirius hardware and am very happy with them as well.

I love it..
I bought this about a month ago, and so far I love it. I would make sure you have a professional install it and also override the parking brake restrictions. You also definitely want to add a rear view camera to this because it's probably one of my most used features. I have a ps3 slim running on the av2 and it looks great.


* zillions of POIs in the navigation

* bluetooth, dvd, radio work great

* rear view camera


* it takes a few seconds to boot ( I usually autostart may car w/ alarm so it's not noticed )

* the rear view camera can only be viewed going in reverse ( I added a switch that forces it into reverse )

* the voice commands can sometimes be wonky

I would add it to any other vehicles I buy.

A really excellent product
I'm glad I didn't read the review here before I bought this unit, or I'd have missed out on what is for me a great unit. Let me address the previous review line by line with the differences I see.

- no support for cd changers but many feel that because of usb drives and ipods, changers are legacy...whatever!

What's a CD? Does anybody use them anymore? :)

- touch screen has a sweet spot that is small and off-center so it's easy to make the wrong selection and have to waste time on a redo...

Haven't noticed it yet. There is a calibration for the screen that needs/can be done so maybe that would fix your issue.

- no IR functionality which means wireless remotes cannot be used and this unit really needs one...

I never liked remotes in a car. I've had three head units that had remotes, including the one I just took out. Never put a battery in them. The head unit is arms length away, the remote is under the seat, stuck to a french fry, whatever. What is the remote for? I know some people like them, I just never have.

- xm works great BUT xm traffic is not supported, only msn direct...

Yeah, XM traffic would be better. MSN is a no go. Per their website they are shutting down the service. However, all the online reviews of this unit say getting the MSN is a no brainer, that it's data in invaluable. Go figure.

- no exterior mute button....

Hold down the voice prompt button and it mutes. I luckily noticed this in the manual when I was perusing it during the install.

- installing the hd radio module disables regular am/fm functionality...

Hmm, that's odd. I asked about it and wasn't told this was an issue. I didn't get HD radio so I cannot comment.

- route guidance has no introductory statement to start your route, you just start driving and eventually it begins giving directions...

Good. The less it talks the better. I have people in the car, the telephone going, stuff to remember to do. Just tell me where to turn already, skip the rest.

- route guidance audio does not identify by exit number, street or exit name, just take next and you must look at screen for what next is...

Hmm, good point. I didn't think about this before. I guess refer to the point above for me. Just keep me from blasting by the turn. I'll handle the rest. The road, distance, and direction of turn are on screen.

- last unit i had gave me my vehicle speed as well as the current posted speed limit, this unit gives neither...

Agreed! Sorta. I love having the GPS speed on screen for some strange reason. The GPS speed is available on a setup/calibration screen, but not on the main screen to my knowledge. I guess I can get my GPS calculated speed fix there. As for the speed limit on the GPS, I think I'll trust the handy dandy signs that were happily stuck in the ground for my personal amusement along the side of the road.

- adding a route is real work. to start a route you must type each and every complete word exactly, it does not help you complete words with suggested common choices nor is it flexible when searching...

Type in part of the word and hit enter, it'll show the most likely matches. The route seemed perfectly easy to enter to me, and thank God, the keyboard layout is a QWERTY so you know where the letter is without singing the alphabet song.

- when recalculating a route, it says nothing and starts the process very slowly.

Again, thank God. Say less, do more. I hate it when you are going off route manually and you don't want to key in your change. "Recalculating route....Recalculating route...etc, etc until you give in and either cancel the route or get through your detour."

- there is a search by address voice function, but it's slow and awkward, using it is a real struggle...

All voice commands are slow and awkward to me. I've been amazed at how accurate this thing has been so far.

- no voice commands for basics such as "go home", "cancel route", etc. so you must touch screen through several menu layers for them...

I haven't tried this yet. Go home should be a voice command. I agree. Good points. I did take the time to setup my custome home screen. It has icons for cancel route and go home so they are right there on the home screen. Nice.


I already tried some POIs. They were not in there as often as I'd like so I agree. But, via the SD card you can load POIs so I'll give it a pass. If it's something I need I'll load it. If not, oh well. I can always look up the address. I did take the time to load some POIs just to see how this worked. I now have every Hooters in the US on my GPS. Sorta overkill as I really don't like chicken wings that much but considering how easy it was to add thousands of esoteric POI waypoints, I think it would be hard to knock what they have built in.

So far, this unit has been pretty much everything I wanted. I pulled out and replaced a Clarion 675 VXD with this Pioneer. It's so much better than the Clarion it's hard to imagine. Everything works as it's supposed to on the Pioneer. Not so on the Clarion. And Pioneer is using Parrott's bluetooth technology. I love Parrott.

I do have a couple of squawks that aren't mentioned previously. The unit, like everything in this country today, has a legal warning. Of course, somebody lost a lawsuit somewhere along the way and not only do we have to agree not to be stupid once, we now have to agree every time the unit boots. I've sort of resigned myself to this fact of life, however, there is a quirk with the Pioneer. Until you ok the legal screen, some of the functionality doesn't work. The iPod voice recognition it does at every boot up doesn't start until you have clicked ok and if you have just updated your iPod this VR load can take several minutes. If you are on the audio screen, as I often am, the warning screen doesn't appear. It's a navigation warning screen, so audio is playing from your last song but the unit is effectively nerfed until you click ok, no VR load, no audio commands, etc. The backup camera does work and it does immediately, which is good. It can be frustrating to jump in the car, fire up and want to start a phone conversation right away but the voice commands won't work till the VR load finishes, the VR load won't start till you click ok, and none of that will start till you click ok on the nav screen which probably isn't up and running. It would be nice if after 30 seconds you haven't clicked ok, it just times out and starts it's normal process or if the warning screen would pop up over navigation and audio so you can click ok. (Update to this note.) Turns out the issue above is actually a quirk of my installation. We may have accidentally performed a work around to eliminate the speed sensing ability of the Pioneer, which would enable the use of the navigation system, and video playback, while the vehicle is in motion. The issue I noted above is a side effect of this work around. Out of the box, this issue apparently does not exist, but you cannot use the navigation system above 10mph, which is in itself annoying in my opinion.

Does this fit my 2003 4Runner
I haven't purchased this yet. But, I thought it odd that Amazon says that it won't fit in my 4Runner which has a double din factory radio in it currently. Crutchfield and others say it does fit.


More Info: OnSale! Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT 7-Inch Flagship In-Dash Navigation A/V Receiver with DVD Playback and Bluetooth

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