In-Car Entertainment, sometimes referred to as ICE, is a collection of hardware devices installed into automobiles, or other forms of transportation, to provide audio and/or audio/visual entertainment, as well as automotive navigation systems (SatNav). This includes playing media such as CDs, DVDs, Freeview/TV, USB and/or other optional surround sound, or DSP systems. Also increasingly common in ICE installs are the incorporation of video game consoles into the vehicle.
In Car Entertainment systems have recently come into the limelight through TV shows such as MTV’s Pimp My Ride. In Car Entertainment has been made available to the masses due to reduced costs of devices such as LCD screen/monitors, and the reducing cost to the consumer of the converging media playable technologies. Single hardware units are capable of playing CD, MP3, WMA, DVD.
Through infrared headphones, families can now enjoy long journeys where the children can play games and/or watch DVDs in the back of the car (although front passengers can, too), whilst the driver can listen to traditional soundsâ€”radio, CD, MP3.
Car Audio and Multimedia Systems
The term “car audio” is included in the term ICE, but “In Car Entertainment” can refer to video, games or GPS automotive navigation system as well, hence the difference. Car audio refers to devices such as Radio/CD head units, speakers, subwoofers and their enclosures, and amplifiers.
CarPuter (Car Computer) for Enthusiasts
Carputers are specially adapted computers, designed to operate in a car environment. Carputers can provide many functions, such as video and audio playback, games and internet connectivity. In the year 2013, every new car built in Europe will be equipped with internet connection, says a study from market researcher Invensity.
Want to be on the cutting-edge of mobile technology? Carputers will grant you that satisfaction and the bragging rights.
These Single 1 DIN and Double DIN PCs are the latest in CarPuter (Car Computer) technology. The rugged aluminum enclosure, small footprint and integrated intelligent 12V DC power supply make it an ideal Carputer platform for installation into any car. Installing a computer in your car not only costs less but is more functional than proprietary in-dash headunit from Clarion, Pioneer, Alpine, Eclipse or Kenwood. Having a car computer system in your vehicle gives you the ability to:
- Run any Windows XP compatible application in your car
- Play PC games in your car
- Watch DVD movies
- Play DivX, MPG & other digital video
- Play MP3, WMA, OGG & other digital audio
- Surf the internet wirelessly
- Check your e-mail
- GPS navigation and tracking
- Perform Vehicle Diagnostics (For OBD2 compliant cars)
The possibilities offered by a CarPuter (Car Computer) are endless. It has enough processing power, memory and storage space to satisfy even the most demanding car audio and electronics enthusiasts. A Carputer will work in any car, simply choose the options or accessories, then install. The 12 volt platform makes the system easy to install. It’s as easy as putting a new amplifier in your ride!
Car Computers have been an ideal solution for show cars at some of the biggest car and electronics shows in the U.S. including: SEMA and Hot Import Nights.
Gaming Consoles in a Car
Gaming consoles can be a popular source of entartainment when installed in a car. In addition to playing games, modern consoles can play other media as well, such as DVDs and audio CDs. The main problem to overcome is power, since consoles are designed to operate from mains power. This can be achieved using an inverter, or in some cases a DC-DC power supply.