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#287555 - 01/10/2006 18:27 Car PC hardware is getting there
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Off the shelf dual DIN Car PC's

USB controlled car radio tuners

Now if only there were car PC software of Empeg quality ...

Pim

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#287556 - 02/10/2006 11:26 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
Phil.
pooh-bah

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2479
Hmmm that G4 (in the first link) looks sweet. Integrated radio and GPS. $2000. Hmmmm.... if I had a double-DIN...

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#287557 - 04/10/2006 03:45 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Phil.]
jarredduq
journeyman

Registered: 27/09/2000
Posts: 89
Loc: California, USA
Yes, it certainly is getting there: http://www.hyundai-forums.com/t12685-carpc-installation-in-07-limited.htm

The freeware software I'm using called mediaengine comes closest to replicating the reliability I had grown accustom to with my empeg.

I still miss my empeg for it's elegant simplicity.....but wanted more of a factory look with this install.


Attachments
288326-IMG_7294.JPG (4237 downloads)


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#287558 - 04/10/2006 20:56 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
ithoughti
old hand

Registered: 17/07/2001
Posts: 721
Loc: Boston, MA USA
_________________________
---------
//matt

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#287559 - 05/10/2006 01:43 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: jarredduq]
SE_Sport_Driver
carpal tunnel

Registered: 05/01/2001
Posts: 4903
Loc: Detroit, MI USA
Quote:
Yes, it certainly is getting there: http://www.hyundai-forums.com/t12685-carpc-installation-in-07-limited.htm

The freeware software I'm using called mediaengine comes closest to replicating the reliability I had grown accustom to with my empeg.

I still miss my empeg for it's elegant simplicity.....but wanted more of a factory look with this install.


Very nice!
_________________________
Brad B.

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#287560 - 06/10/2006 13:42 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
siberia37
old hand

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 702
Loc: Tacoma,WA
If only the Car PC hardware was removable like the empeg. I am not fortunate enough to live in a city where Auto breakins are rare..

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#287561 - 07/10/2006 04:04 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: siberia37]
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
empeg dockability could be arranged... if you had a machine shop (sled), plastics fab (dash), and electrical wiring bench (harness).
_________________________
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FireFox31
110gig MKIIa (30+80), Eutronix lights, 32 meg stacked RAM, Filener orange gel lens, Greenlights Lit Buttons green set

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#287562 - 08/10/2006 15:06 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: siberia37]
SE_Sport_Driver
carpal tunnel

Registered: 05/01/2001
Posts: 4903
Loc: Detroit, MI USA
The website for that software shows several installs where the LCD screen can be detached...
_________________________
Brad B.

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#287563 - 09/10/2006 09:36 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: ithoughti]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3393
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
BTW, that hardware is available from the mp3car store. Too bad it's so ugly. Link.
_________________________
~ John

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#287564 - 09/10/2006 17:09 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: JBjorgen]
Phil.
pooh-bah

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2479
The G4 is far from ugly though...

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#287565 - 09/10/2006 17:23 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Phil.]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3393
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
I agree...and the S3 isn't as obnoxious either (and is single DIN). I'd be interested to see some specs and availability on those two. According to the mp3car forums, the G4 is next year's model of the T3 and will be available from their site at some point. They haven't got their hands on a prototype S3 yet and don't even know if it's a real product. Wait and see I suppose.
_________________________
~ John

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#287566 - 10/10/2006 06:41 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: JBjorgen]
Phil.
pooh-bah

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2479
Have you tried the Street Deck software? It seems to get a good reputation. That single unit DIN looks good and there seems to be a price on the website. Nothing for the G4 though. Good to see a company actually being brave enough to take some risks.

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#287567 - 10/10/2006 16:45 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Phil.]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Quote:
Nothing for the G4 though.


According to the Streetdeck developer on the mp3car forum, the G4 is "next year's model".

(like JBjorgen already quoted)

Pim


Edited by pim (10/10/2006 16:46)

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#287568 - 11/10/2006 20:52 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
Phil.
pooh-bah

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2479
Yup sorry I confused my model numbers. Will be interesting to see some reviews when they are released.

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#287569 - 12/10/2006 22:04 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Phil.]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Quote:
Will be interesting to see some reviews when they are released.


Here's a review of the Infill T3. Auf Deutsch.

Pim

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#287570 - 13/10/2006 09:27 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
sein
old hand

Registered: 07/01/2005
Posts: 883
Loc: Sector ZZ9pZa
Quote:
Here's a review of the Infill T3. Auf Deutsch.

Google-Translated into English
_________________________
Hussein

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#287571 - 08/12/2006 15:02 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: sein]
furtive
old hand

Registered: 14/08/2001
Posts: 886
Loc: London, UK
erp!


Edited by furtive (08/12/2006 15:04)
_________________________
Mk2a RioCar 120Gb - now sold to the owner of my old car
Rio Karma - now on ebay...

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#287572 - 14/04/2007 18:38 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Phil.]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
http://store.mp3car.com/Mp3Car_Infill_G4_powered_by_StreetDeck_p/sdk-014.htm

Looks like the G4 unit is finally going to be shipping here in the next week or two, and I'm seriously considering it for the Mustang. While I still love my empeg, this solution just pulls at me for allowing so much more in the way of navigation options as well. One thing I might consider is slaving the empeg into the system somehow, via the ideas here. I've backed away from the Mac Mini idea in the car for numerous reasons (lack of car friendly software on OS X, the amount of work to mount a mini over a DIN designed PC), but like the concept of the empeg in the mix still. For me, the use would be that the audio out on the G4 kinda sucks, and using the empeg for the music in a trunk mounted form would still let me have something easily removable to take inside to add more music.
_________________________
Tom

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#287573 - 15/04/2007 00:23 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3393
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
I'll tell ya what. If you do get it, let me know and I'll make a stab at writing a digitalMod for StreetDeck. I'll probably not do it just for my own use, but if I knew someone else would be able to use it, I'd give it a go.
_________________________
~ John

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#287574 - 15/04/2007 14:07 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
Phil.
pooh-bah

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2479
Drakino... the store are offering a $500 discount for forum members (not sure if you have to be registered or not). Code: G4forums

Sorry if you're already aware of this.

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#287575 - 29/04/2007 05:33 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Phil.]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Phil, thanks for the heads up. Ended up finally ordering it today, should arrive sometime next week. Still planning out the details of the entire system, but didn't want to let too much time pass for fear that coupon would go away. With it, and StreetDeck included, it comes to about the same price as importing one from Europe.
_________________________
Tom

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#287576 - 30/04/2007 10:42 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3393
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
/me runs to the car to grab empeg so he can start Streetdeck digitalMod.
_________________________
~ John

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#287577 - 01/05/2007 23:05 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: JBjorgen]
bootsy
enthusiast

Registered: 17/08/2000
Posts: 334
Loc: Seattle, WA. USA
I am really interested in how this works out. Keep us all posted!
_________________________
Brian H. Johnson
MK2 36GB Blue, currently on life support
"RIP RCR..."

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#287578 - 03/05/2007 15:18 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Well, it arrived. Now to get all the other pieces together and look at installing it sometime this month.

It's sitting on my desk at work just taunting me. It doesn't have a normal home power plug, so I need a generic DC power supply to play with it. Might go grab one during lunch.
_________________________
Tom

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#287579 - 03/05/2007 15:26 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
BAKup
addict

Registered: 11/11/2001
Posts: 552
Loc: Houston, TX
I want install pr0n, that system looks sweet, and it just might replace the empeg in my car(I know, blasphemy, but it just looks so nice).
_________________________
--Ben
78GB MkIIa, Dead tuner.

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#287580 - 03/05/2007 20:05 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: BAKup]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Well, all I've got right now is it sitting on my desk here at work with a DC power supply to drive it.

Gogo crappy camera phone pic:


Attachments
298654-03-05-07_1700.jpg (1026 downloads)

_________________________
Tom

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#287581 - 03/05/2007 20:06 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
Phil.
pooh-bah

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2479
Nice! Whats the build quality like? Is the screen good? Can the screen detatch for security?

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#287582 - 03/05/2007 20:16 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Could you run a non-shitty OS on it? Not that you'd have an appropriate application to use.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#287583 - 03/05/2007 20:28 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Phil.]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Build quality seems good so far. Pretty standard case design, looks identical to a factory nav unit you would install in dash, with the exception that it also has a USB dongle connector on the back.

The screen seems pretty high quality, and should be readable in bright daylight inside the car. Might not be a good convertible car screen though, since it isn't fully transflective. Native resolution is 800x480, though it will scale and allow 1024x768.

I don't think the screen detaches, looks to be screwed down to the case.
_________________________
Tom

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#287584 - 03/05/2007 20:34 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: wfaulk]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
I suppose I could run something else, but why? I don't really care that it runs Windows as long as it works, and from my quick playing, it runs StreetDeck decently. If they had masked the Windows startup screen and default login screen, one would have a hard time even really seeing Windows under the hood.

For CarPC use like this, Windows has most of the focus for developers. I had considered a Mac for a while, but the OS X attempts for this are much more rough, and really have no navigation functionality.

Startup times from standby seem to be right about 4 seconds. Haven't tried hibernate startup time yet. The BIOS is really customized, all that shows up on boot prior to the OS taking over is a green hour glass that says "Starting up", and is visible for about a second. The hardware is set to put the OS in standby mode when the accessory line loses power, then 72 hours later the system will hibernate. It also monitors the car voltage, so if it starts dipping to a bad level, it will put the system into hibernate mode before the 72 hour timer runs out.
_________________________
Tom

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#287585 - 03/05/2007 20:39 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Fair enough. I have no experience with StreetDeck, but all I can see on that screen is what looks like a recent version of WiMP (which, conceivably, has the worst UI of any media player ever) over the top of a Windows desktop. I could be wrong in my guesses, though.

I take it that is not the intended final result?
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#287586 - 03/05/2007 20:54 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: wfaulk]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Actually, thats the installer for World of Warcraft. I'm curious to see how much 3d power the onboard video card has.

StreetDeck is a full screen app that launches at startup and provides full access to all the functions. Here's a demo video of one of their older versions.

_________________________
Tom

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#287587 - 03/05/2007 22:10 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
That's pretty neat.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#287588 - 04/05/2007 20:20 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
Archeon
pooh-bah

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2499
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
You said:
Quote:
With it, and StreetDeck included, it comes to about the same price as importing one from Europe.


Are these things available in Europe? From where? Is streetdeck also included then, with European maps?

I have to admit, that demo is some of the coolest in-car stuff I've ever seen!
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#287589 - 05/05/2007 03:47 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Archeon]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3393
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Streetdeck is not currently available with European maps. You can buy the lite version and use european mappoint maps, but there are some small drawbacks. Also note that on a cross-country trip a couple months ago, there were some periodic issues with the navigation. Hopefully they've got those fixed by now or in the near future. It's definitely still under development, but I think it's only going to get a lot better and it's being consistently improved. I'm anxious to see the new music interface in the latest version. I wasn't too keen on the old one after being spoiled with the empeg.

EDIT: I just loaded the latest update and the music selection interface is much improved. It's not quite the empeg yet, but it's getting much better.
_________________________
~ John

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#287590 - 05/05/2007 15:18 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
Um, if the empeg community's main guy switches car stereos.... maybe we'll need to register G4bbs.com.
_________________________
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FireFox31
110gig MKIIa (30+80), Eutronix lights, 32 meg stacked RAM, Filener orange gel lens, Greenlights Lit Buttons green set

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#287591 - 07/05/2007 16:41 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: JBjorgen]
Archeon
pooh-bah

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2499
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Sweet! Thanks for the info John!
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#287592 - 07/05/2007 18:04 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Archeon]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3393
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Also note that you can download and run the developer edition and the latest update for free. It works fine to try it out as a demo.

The only difference is that it won't show fullscreen...only in windowed mode.

Note: I AM working on the empeg digitalMod, but it's going very slowly since I'm currently working a regular full-time job and two contracting jobs at once.
_________________________
~ John

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#287593 - 08/05/2007 11:40 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Archeon]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
https://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/770

Thats the european store I was considering buying from based on the cost. (finally found the bookmark). It looks like the ship it with the software Infill loads, no idea how well it works.
_________________________
Tom

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#287594 - 08/05/2007 13:03 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
Archeon
pooh-bah

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2499
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Thanks again for all the info guys!
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#287595 - 24/05/2007 16:11 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: wfaulk]
belezeebub
addict

Registered: 11/01/2001
Posts: 579
Been using streetdeck for almost a year now I love it, sure its not as smooth as empeg but its very nice lots of bells and dodads and it works it crashed about as often as my empeg did and I have yet to have a crash that a restart didn't fix standard windows issue.

I use the branded streetdeck trunk mount bundel with wi-fi and I love the 3d maps when they overlay onto the nav screen.
_________________________
______________________________________ Do not meddle in the affairs of Network Administrators, for they are subtle and quick to anger. ______________________________________ Worlds Lamest Wb Site (mine) http://home.comcast.net/~jlipchitz/

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#287596 - 29/05/2007 16:45 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Some teaser pics:




No good shots of the system in the dash yet. Still needs some tweaking by the shop, but it's nearly done.

*edit* Added the dash shot, looks like someone at the mustang meet grabbed a decent one.


Edited by drakino (29/05/2007 23:57)
_________________________
Tom

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#287597 - 30/05/2007 19:04 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
Archeon
pooh-bah

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2499
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Wow! Sweet!
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#287598 - 30/05/2007 20:50 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Archeon]
sein
old hand

Registered: 07/01/2005
Posts: 883
Loc: Sector ZZ9pZa
That is totally awesome looking! Been following this thread pretty closely, and I'm so jealous!
_________________________
Hussein

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#287599 - 16/08/2007 15:06 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
So I followed the example of our BBS admin and bought an Infill G4 (from CarTFT.com) and StreetDeck (from mp3car.com).

I admitted this in an off topic thread, to which Drakino responded:

Quote:
I'll avoid throwing this thread off topic here, but so far my Infill G4/Streetdeck experiences have been very mixed.


I'd be interested in your experiences.

I must say I don't really like StreetDeck, but everything else is worse. What I really would like is running an open source app on an open source OS. But the
truth is, the G4 runs Linux miserably, the "frontend" apps available appear to be either dead or in their infancy, and navigation on Linux sucks.

Next choice would be an open source app on a closed source OS: RoadRunner. But that just kept hanging on me, and all the skins look so ugly. Not to mention that very few skins are available for the 800x480 screen being used.

You, living in the US, should be reasonably well off with StreetDeck. It supports a lot of goodies available in the US only, like XM, Sirius and HD Radio tuners.

What really bothers me with StreetDeck is the (lack of) internationalization. StreetDeck designers did figure not everyone uses miles (probably saw that in MS MapPoint, their nav engine) but everything else needs to be discovered.

Minor problems are fixed US formats for date and time. Bigger problem is that support for the builtin analog (non-RDS) FM tuner won't let us tune to even frequencies. Well, there's a commandline switch that enables even frequencies, but that disables odd frequencies. Oh well, they figured out now that we use both, so eventually this will work.

But what really is unforgivable is the lack of Unicode support. This makes it a legacy app released in the 21st century. It will not play tunes with Unicode (utf-16 or utf-8) tags. It will crash on tunes with Unicode file names.

To make things worse, it underachieves even as a non-unicode app. It will only display US-ASCII on the screen. So not even iso8859-1, the common codepage for ID3 tags, a subset of windows-1252, the common US/Western European Windows code page.

Customers who naively report these issues get hostile responses

Somehow, I feel much more comfortable on this board. Too bad we can't discuss things here in-depth.

Pim

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#287600 - 16/08/2007 15:33 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Wow. What a jackass.

And the fact that their explanation is that they use hand-built image files for fonts. Wow. Just wow.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#287601 - 16/08/2007 17:25 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
I must say I don't really like StreetDeck, but everything else is worse. What I really would like is running an open source app on an open source OS. But the
truth is, the G4 runs Linux miserably, the "frontend" apps available appear to be either dead or in their infancy, and navigation on Linux sucks.


Yep, I found the same. I had initially considered a Mac Mini, with the goal of staying on OS X. Seeing what was out there killed that idea quick. The Infill G4 looked attractive since it took care of the need to kludge the hardware together, but as the empeg has taught us, software is pretty important too.

The front end software I am eyeing as an alternative is CentraFuse. While less flashy then StreetDeck, relying on buttons instead of gestures, it seems to be going in the right direction. I'm not sure how it's navigation does though, but I may be switching to it soon. The developer seems to be also much less hostile then the SD/MP3Car staff. The main issue there though is the added expense, and also lack of Infill integration. I'd lose the AM/FM radio, screen tilt controls and brightness controls.

Quote:
You, living in the US, should be reasonably well off with StreetDeck. It supports a lot of goodies available in the US only, like XM, Sirius and HD Radio tuners.


I don't use any of the XM/Sirius/HD stuff, the empeg weaned me off radio long ago.

Quote:
What really bothers me with StreetDeck is the (lack of) internationalization. StreetDeck designers did figure not everyone uses miles (probably saw that in MS MapPoint, their nav engine) but everything else needs to be discovered.


This actually bothers me too. I use 24 hour time on everything I can, and I still don't know an easy way to get the Streetdeck clock to use it. And the nav engine sucks. horribly. I figured it was getting confused on the local highways with the frontage roads as it would keep asking me to get off, then back on, then off, etc... But on my recent vacation to Colorado, I deduced the nav engine is just plain stupid. I tried a route from Raton, NM to Colorado Springs, and it wanted me to go out on a ton of country roads, when I-25 was right there. I decided to let it keep it's planned trip then started driving. Every attempt it got to recalculate, it wanted me to get off and find the country roads. This was when it was set to "fastest time". "Shortest distance" produces some amusing results, and "most highways" ends up sticking onto highways way too long. I'm to the point where the navigation on the thing is worthless to me now, beyond giving me a local map to see where I am, and a general arrow pointing at my destination.

Quote:
But what really is unforgivable is the lack of Unicode support. This makes it a legacy app released in the 21st century. It will not play tunes with Unicode (utf-16 or utf-8) tags. It will crash on tunes with Unicode file names.


Nice. I've avoided this so far it seems, though I only have 4 gigs of music on the thing. I still can't get it to show album art, and refuse to go some proprietary way to get it in there. They have a program that is supposed to extract the art out of files for people who want to use art in the ID3 tags, but it doesn't work on my files. Guess I need to submit a full on bug report to get properly ignored, instead of my 0 replies post in the general area.

Quote:
Customers who naively report these issues get hostile responses


Are you part of the "private testers" group? It's sadly no better there. My posts were part of a reason a mod made a post about "What being a private tester means", and it basically came down to "You should test our stuff and provide good full bug reports about the software only. Hardware or install issues are not our problem". Well, except that the Infill is sold with Streetdeck and I really didn't have a choice in the matter. I brought up a serious safety issue regarding the brightness of the display and the inability to manually toggle into night mode, and the issue was closed "working as designed". Basically my car offers no constant 12+ illumination wire, it's all pulsed for dimming. The Infill doesn't like this at all, so my unit is stuck in day mode on the nav screen all the time. Streetdeck has a manual toggle via a U gesture, but it's disabled intentionally on the Infill units. Coming home from my trip, I just left Streetdeck closed, set power saving to turn off the LCD, and listened to music and podcasts off my iPhone hooked to the line in. All while letting my friends TomTom do the navigation work.

Quote:
Somehow, I feel much more comfortable on this board. Too bad we can't discuss things here in-depth.


Agreed. The community on MP3Car.com is horrible to any outsiders. And being that I somewhat believed that Streetdeck and the Infill G4 would be a non hacky solution has only resulted in more problems. I'm expecting the thing to do basic things properly, and it won't. Even better, MP3Car recommended solutions don't seem to get very well tested. For example, they sell a Turtle Beach Roadie USB sound card with the unit if you want to use an external amp. And a USB 2.0 hub. While I didn't use their hub, I did put the Roadie on a 2.0 hub that is mounted in the trunk. And apparently this is a nono, as it causes high CPU usage. As in 45-50% cpu usage playing back an MP3 in Windows high. Still deciding how to address that one, but it has only helped expose how slow Streetdeck can be. So many people probably run it on dual core systems in their cars, that it just hasn't had a proper optimization pass for a power efficient Via 1.5 ghz processor. Even without the Roadie CPU issue, the unit feels like it is much slower at navigation tasks then even my 5 year old Garmin.

At this point with so much sunk into my system, I'm not sure what I want to do. I really want navigation in the dash, along with good media playback. The empeg has set my expectations very high on the media side, and so far the Infill has let me down quite a bit.
_________________________
Tom

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#287602 - 16/08/2007 17:29 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Oh, I forgot another issue. So the navigation is built around Streets and Trips 2006 from Microsoft. 2008 is almost out (August 20th), and 2007 has been out for a while, but the developers currently have no announced plans for how upgrades will work. Trying to upgrade yourself results in the navigation being broken. So while most proper navigation units have yearly updates of some sort available, Streetdeck offers 2 year old information.
_________________________
Tom

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#287603 - 16/08/2007 18:00 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: wfaulk]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5676
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Quote:
Wow. What a jackass.


Can't disagree with that.

Quote:

And the fact that their explanation is that they use hand-built image files for fonts. Wow. Just wow.

Is that really any different to how the fonts work on the empeg ?

As someone who has struggled blending displaying Truetype fonts correctly placed with precisely size graphics I can understand the temptation to use fixed sized bitmap fonts for something like this.

I never did manage to get the layout perfect with this UI using Truetype for example and it was a nightmare getting it this far:



These guys obviously don't have a clue about Unicode though, it is so easy to get it right nowadays and I'm sure if they had included support the community would have filled in the gap with the bitmap fonts needed.
_________________________
Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#287604 - 16/08/2007 18:46 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: andy]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Quote:

Is that really any different to how the fonts work on the empeg ?



No, so that's not even an excuse.

Quote:

I never did manage to get the layout perfect with this UI using Truetype for example and it was a nightmare getting it this far



That looks impressive. But StreetDeck only needs standard characters using standard spacing, I guess. They use the PNG fonts o do 3D effects mostly.

But they have announced they're working on a Unicode engine, so there must be some compromise possible.

Quote:

These guys obviously don't have a clue about Unicode though, it is so easy to get it right nowadays and I'm sure if they had included support the community would have filled in the gap with the bitmap fonts needed.


The reason StreetDeck can't handle Unicode has to do with Windows Media Player. They use .wpl files for playlists. .wpl files are wierd; they are encoded using windows-1252 as long as no item contains Unicode. But once you add a single item with a Unicode filename, the .wpl file will be utf-8 encoded. But there's no Unicode BOM or charset= header that tells what encoding is used. It's up to the application to guess its encoding.

I found that creating utf-8 encoded .wpl file by hand will circumvent the problem of StreetDeck crashing. It will even play tunes with Unicode names as long as there are no Unicode tags used.

Pim

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#287605 - 16/08/2007 18:53 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: andy]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Quote:
Is that really any different to how the fonts work on the empeg ?

Yes. On the empeg, we're talking about very small fonts, which, even in Windows, are usually bitmap fonts. Computers have a hard time rendering legible text from vector fonts at very small point sizes.

On the other hand, they're rendering fairly large point sizes. Maybe TrueType does fail for them in some way, but how many font formats are there? Beyond TrueType, PCF, Type1, and MetaFont come immediately to mind. Surely one of them would be better than bitmaps.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#287606 - 16/08/2007 18:53 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Quote:
Oh, I forgot another issue. So the navigation is built around Streets and Trips 2006 from Microsoft.


We should blame Microsoft for that. Microsoft make Mappoint North America vs Streets and Trips and Mappoint Europe vs Autoroute Express.

Mappoint is programmable, while Streets and Trips/AutoRoute Express are standalone apps targeted for the consumer market. Mappoint gets released every two years, Streets and Trips/AutoRoute Express every year.

There's no question that StreetDeck must use Mappoint.

It's just too bad you cant just install the latest consumer maps into your "professional" product.

Pim

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#287607 - 16/08/2007 19:18 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Quote:
The front end software I am eyeing as an alternative is CentraFuse [ ... ] I'd lose the AM/FM radio, screen tilt controls and brightness controls.


About every frontend supports the excellent HQCT tuner. Not StreetDeck, I assume because it competes with their own yet to be released HD Radio tuner, or because it's "not invented here", but in Be
lgium.

The tilt controls on the unit itself should remain working. Oh, and my software tilt control does not work either, not in StreetDeck, not in Infill Station.

Quote:
I don't use any of the XM/Sirius/HD stuff, the empeg weaned me off radio long ago.


Ha, that was one of the excused for StreetDeck staff being slow with supporting FM tuners: "FM radio stations are crap".

Quote:
And the nav engine sucks. horribly.


Hmm, I have AutoRoute Express, and it's not so bad at all. I would hope that Mappoint Europe is just as good.

Quote:
I still can't get it to show album art, and refuse to go some proprietary way to get it in there.


I already had folder.jpg files in every directory. This is needed for lots of apps. Works great on StreetDeck, if only they would honour the aspect on a wide screen like the G4 screen.

Quote:
Basically my car offers no constant 12+ illumination wire, it's all pulsed for dimming.


I believe there are adapters that convert CanBus digital signals to plain signals required for many aftermarket headunits.

Quote:
I really want navigation in the dash, along with good media playback.

Most frontends do navigation by starting an external application. I haven't seen any that can display the "now playing" info inside the navigation window.

Pim

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#287608 - 16/08/2007 19:41 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3393
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Quote:
About every frontend supports the excellent HQCT tuner. Not StreetDeck

I'm surprised noone's written a DigitalMod for it. Doesn't seem like it'd be too difficult.

EDIT: Oh wait, someone HAS written one. And I see you've already tried it out.


Edited by JBjorgen (16/08/2007 19:45)

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#287609 - 16/08/2007 19:57 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: JBjorgen]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
That's why I'd want StreetDeck to support it officially. A DigitalMod may work one version and cease to work in another. If the author is not interested, you're stuck.

And getting RDS support done right may be beyond what's possible in a DigitalMod.

Pim

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#287610 - 16/08/2007 20:00 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Quote:

Most frontends do navigation by starting an external application. I haven't seen any that can display the "now playing" info inside the navigation window.



OK, Centrafuse does that too. I wonder what nav engine they use.

And just today they announced to be working on G4 tuner and tilting support.

Looks good indeed.

Pim

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#287611 - 16/08/2007 20:13 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
OK, Centrafuse does that too. I wonder what nav engine they use.

And just today they announced to be working on G4 tuner and tilting support.


Nice. Hopefully true competition will be the spur the Streetdeck guys need to improve things.
_________________________
Tom

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#287612 - 16/08/2007 20:15 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Some nice thing also need to be said about the G4.

Build quality is really good. CarTFT sells it unbundled, no harddisk, memory or software, so I had to open it. Looks good on the inside as well. But SATA and CD-ROM cable are really short, so it's not easy. But I'm sure the SATA cable in the G4 is much tighter connected than the IDE cable in the Empeg.

Other good thing is screen quality and ease of setup. Most car computers have crappy VGA outputs that need to be connected using very long cables to displays with odd resolutions. This results in bad screen quality very often, and lots of hassles to support the native 800x480 resolution of most screens.

The G4 screen, however, is connected digitally inside, and every display driver I've tried (Windows native, Windows standard VGA, Linux vesa) adapts to the physical resolution automatically. Display quality is really good. Too bad the display needs to be tilted to get a good viewing angle.

Pim

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#287613 - 17/08/2007 12:16 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Quote:
... All while letting my friends TomTom do the navigation work...
I lol'd.
_________________________
10101311 (20GB- backup empeg)
10101466 (2x60GB, Eutronix/GreenLights Blue) (Stolen!)

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#287614 - 22/08/2007 11:25 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4140
Loc: Cambridge, England
Quote:
The reason StreetDeck can't handle Unicode has to do with Windows Media Player. They use .wpl files for playlists. .wpl files are wierd; they are encoded using windows-1252 as long as no item contains Unicode. But once you add a single item with a Unicode filename, the .wpl file will be utf-8 encoded. But there's no Unicode BOM or charset= header that tells what encoding is used. It's up to the application to guess its encoding.

I was a bit alarmed by that, so I tried it. I can't persuade WMP11 (11.0.5721.5145) to create non-UTF-8 WPL files whatever I do. If I give it ASCII names the resulting WPL is indistinguishable from ASCII, but of course ASCII is a subset of UTF-8, so that's OK. If I give it a filename with U+00F1 in, the resulting WPL is UTF-8 (not CP1252) even though U+00F1 is in CP1252. If I give it a filename with U+FF1F in, the resulting WPL is still UTF-8.

Basically I think WPL was Microsoft's attempt to fix codepage and escaping issues in their XML-like playlists after messing it up in ASX (try using filenames with "&" in).

Peter

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#287615 - 22/08/2007 19:23 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: peter]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3393
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Quote:
I can't persuade WMP11


I haven't kept up with development lately, but Streetdeck used to require WMP version 9 and only version 9
_________________________
~ John

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#287616 - 22/08/2007 20:26 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: peter]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Quote:
I can't persuade WMP11 (11.0.5721.5145) to create non-UTF-8 WPL files whatever I do.


It's not WMP that creates the WPL files, it's StreetDeck. Try creating one by hand, encoded in windows-1252, WMP will play it. But if you save it in WMP, it will be converted to UTF-8. So this seems to be the general case rather than the case I mentioned, where filenames were added that can't be encoded in windows-1252.

Quote:

Basically I think WPL was Microsoft's attempt to fix codepage and escaping issues in their XML-like playlists after messing it up in ASX (try using filenames with "&" in).


in WPL files '&' needs to be escaped in html style (&). I take it that does not work in ASX?

Pim

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#287617 - 22/08/2007 20:27 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: JBjorgen]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Quote:

I haven't kept up with development lately, but Streetdeck used to require WMP version 9 and only version 9


It's now 11 and only 11.

Pim

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#287618 - 29/10/2007 19:40 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
I saw a Samsung Ultra-Mobile PC at Fry's recently for under $1000 and wondered why aren't these things just built into cars dashboards or at least give a port and tether?
check it out
Is this my next 'PDA'?
Empegger thoughts?
_________________________
10101311 (20GB- backup empeg)
10101466 (2x60GB, Eutronix/GreenLights Blue) (Stolen!)

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#309837 - 05/05/2008 19:48 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Robotic]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Getting pretty close to dumping this setup. Streetdeck seems to be dead. Centrafuse looks interesting, going to try and see if the demo is decent after blasting the OS on the unit.

For months now, I have not had even a 50% success rate on resumes from standby or hibernate (not OS issues, just Streetdeck issues of freaking out waking up, causing its watchdog to eventually kick in). There is no clear development path on the software, and no sign of a stable, solid build. Every build I've tried, release and beta always has something wrong somewhere, enough to impact daily use.

The allure of a powerful indash system was there, one that could provide good media playback, navigation, and lots to tinker. Problem is, you have to tinker too much, and the media and navigation have never beaten my old setup of the empeg and Garmin GPS V.
_________________________
Tom

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#309839 - 05/05/2008 21:00 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1914
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Centrafuse is/was pretty good I think. Well it was back when I was playing with it a year or two ago. It doesn't look like too much has changed since then though.

I see they have 2.0 beta at the moment. Gestures are coming for one.

They have gone and renamed/repackaged it though which would tend to suggest sales weren't great.

I didn't really like the Navigation software they embed. It's "Destinator" (google it). I much prefer my TomTom (on my Nokia E61) but you can't get that for a PC that I'm aware of. It did work though.

Apart from that as a media player it worked reasonably well. It didn't require too much tinkering in terms of general use, but you might have to play a little with resume/hibernate stuff - nothing major though.
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#314146 - 16/09/2008 19:39 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Shonky]
mdavey
enthusiast

Registered: 06/03/2003
Posts: 269
Loc: Wellingborough, UK
Most people have been focusing on the software - but what are the latest thoughts on the Infill hardware? Anything better out there now? Anyone have experience of the Infill E3?


Edited by mdavey (16/09/2008 19:39)
_________________________
Michael
Ex-owner of stolen empeg #030102741

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#314152 - 17/09/2008 03:39 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: mdavey]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
The Infill E3 is probably not a good CarPC platform for the software out there. It's ARM based, flash memory, and ideal more for an embedded solution.

I'm actually pondering selling my Infill G4 at this point. No specific reason due to the hardware, but more to possibly look at some other system that would suit my car better. The Infill G4 is good if you are willing to let the onboard amp drive the speakers. But for me, I need an external or line out solution due to my built in subwoofers that came with the car. the Infill G4 + an external sound card just hasn't been all that reliable for radio use, and it's hurting the install a bit with having to dedicate a USB port to a sound card.

Not sure when I will pull it out, but let me know if your interested in buying it and I'll try to find out what a fair price is for it, especially considering your loss of the empeg.
_________________________
Tom

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#314438 - 26/09/2008 00:15 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3393
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
I wonder if you could get rockbox to run on the G4. Or on the empeg for that matter.
_________________________
~ John

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#314439 - 26/09/2008 00:30 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: JBjorgen]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1914
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Originally Posted By: JBjorgen
I wonder if you could get rockbox to run on the G4. Or on the empeg for that matter.

Yes. Would be reasonably easy actually particularly given that the hardware is pretty well known. Still a fair bit of work though. When I helped with porting it to the Toshiba Gigabeat (which already ran Linux on an ARM9) I had the idea of running it as an application under Linux.

Instead they created it as a standalone application and it really does work well - so much better than the original rubbish that it came with. Rockbox is still missing some empeg features though.
_________________________
Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#332779 - 05/05/2010 19:26 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: Shonky]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Well, the end is approaching for my CarPC experience. My amplifier died a few weeks back, and thats going to be the final straw. The PC aspect has has quirks from day one, no matter what front end or version I try, and it's just getting old spending so much time tinkering to never improve the situation. I've probably flattened and reloaded the unit 7-8 times, trying to get a stable solution that hibernates properly. I've tried to add some useful features like bluetooth audio, only to have it add more headaches. Navigation is crap, and I'm tired of plopping down $100+ to try something new.

I'm now trying to decide how much longer I plan on keeping the existing car. If it's more then a year, I'll probably look to install my empeg, and a bluetooth audio receiver tied into the line in for podcasts. Any future vehicle is likely to have Ford Sync, something that at least seems to function.
_________________________
Tom

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#339227 - 08/11/2010 02:54 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7849
Loc: Seattle, WA
Took me forever, but the CarPC is finally coming out of my Mustang on Tuesday. Been limping along with PC speakers connected into my iPhone for podcasts for the past many months.

I think the era for CarPCs is coming to a quick end. New cars offer really nice integration for media and nav features, and Ford Sync is even evolving to work with apps on smart phones. With the tablet market set to explode soon, I think most folks who still want a do it yourself route may just opt to put a Samsung Tab or similar device in their dash. Maybe we will see companies like Centrafuse move to Android, but it's hard to say. Even with this being an enthusiasts only market, it really feels like it's in decline over the past few years.

It was an interesting experience overall, but if I could do it all over again, I'd skip the hassle of it all. The hardware was looking promising with systems like the G4, but software never caught up.

I'd be interested in pim's experiences, to see what he has done at this point. Sadly he's not very active these days.
_________________________
Tom

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#341727 - 31/01/2011 17:14 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: drakino]
pim
addict

Registered: 14/11/2000
Posts: 474
Loc: The Hague, the Netherlands
Originally Posted By: drakino
I'd be interested in pim's experiences


It's been a waste of time and money.
I gave up on Streetdeck and RoadRunner. I never bothered to try Centrafuse.

I'm still using my Empeg and I bought a Mio Moov S568 to do my nav.
My next car will probably not have a DIN slot at all...

Pim

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#342264 - 14/02/2011 09:42 Re: Car PC hardware is getting there [Re: pim]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1914
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Mmmmm... I'm just looking to implement something on my new(er) E46 M3. I'm going down the CarPC route. The existing OEM Nav works very well although the maps available lag by about a year in Australia. So really I'm looking for a media player only and maybe a few other smaller things. Not really looking into DVB-T, or DAB+ just yet.

Using the existing Nav screen limits options since it's only 400x240 and has no touch screen (basic technology is about 15 years old). I'm not real keen on ripping it out and replacing it. There is a drop in Chinese head unit but I'm not convinced about the integration and quality of it.

I've been playing with media frontends on my laptop and they really are quite crap in general. There are some BMW looking basic ones (Carmedia and CarX). SD seems pretty average in my evaluation. XBMC is probably the best contender but I'd need to create a skin from scratch since it's aimed more at HD TVs with small fonts (on big TVs). Uses stacks of CPU too. Centrafuse doesn't really play well with the existing controls (and no touch screen) kind of ruling it out.

Others like RoadRunner (now RideRunner), mediaengine, openmedia are really bad. Simple stuff the equivalent of tab order are all over the place. Bad configuration and generally just amateur software (which in most cases they are). Even XBMC fails at skipping to the next song. It stops the audio to skip and then when it starts the next song, you hear a bit left in a buffer from the previous song. Ugh. Could be drivers but Winamp, WMP etc have no problem at all.

I did come back to think how I could integrate an empeg into a CarPC. Seems a bit silly to have to do it like that but not out of the question. Or somehow emulate the empeg hardware even to run the player app (if only the source didn't go into a virtual blackhole of company acquisitions). Edit: Obviously this isn't happening ever but that's where the thought process ends up...


Edited by Shonky (14/02/2011 10:23)
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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