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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dealer first told me at our first test drive that they order most inventory without factory systems because they can do aftermarket systems for cheaper. (Cheaper for me probably means more mark-up for them but whatever.) I am torn about what to do - I would love to find an Acadia in inventory configured as I would like or ready to go with an easy aftermarket choice but I am open to ordering to get what I want. I have read various threads on all three forums and I am having a hard time making sense of it all. We want a DVD system for sure - that is the one thing we promised the kids - our next car would have a "movie in it." Going up to a Nav system is probably not going to happen so I will not have the issues of that conflict.

So, this is what I want - for my kids to be able to watch a movie and listen on their headsets and I can listen to whatever else I want whether it is radio or CD or MP3 or whatever.

BUT, sometimes I want may want to listen to the movie they are watching - my kids enjoy musicals like "Annie" and it can be quite catchy on a long road trip!!!

PLUS, I am concerned about the view to the rear with the factory fold down unit so headrest units are tempting. Some vehicles are designed in such a way that the flip down unit does not at all obstruct vision. I don't think that is the case here. I also wonder how 3rd row riders do with line of sight to the headrest units. Real life testimony, anyone?

ALSO, concerned that aftermarket (inivision or another) would not be integrated sound throughout the car.

I would rather control putting in the movies at the front rather than my kids - I will most likely have little ones in carseats in the captains row for a while and I don't want my older kids getting unbuckled from the 3rd row to go and load a DVD. Not a safe option. I know that in my sister's Ody factory flip down unit you have to be a contortionist to reach the rear controls on the unit since the kiddos in carseats cannot reach it themselves.

Somewhat concerned about color not matching with the headliner but that is not a huge issue.

SO, which factory or aftermarket system is best for me?

Thanks everyone - we are getting really close on this!! I just want to make sure we end up with what I want.

Meredith
 

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To me it sounds like the fold down unit will be your best bet. We have the factory fold down and yes it does get in the way of your rear view, but you can control it from up front. It only comes with two wireless head sets so if you have more kids than that you can always order them. As far as aftermarket being cheaper maybe on the gear itself but the labor to have it installed will probely endup costing you more. I hope this helps.
 

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I seriously considered the factory DVD before ultimately deciding against it. One huge factor was rear vision. It hung way too low for me to feel safe. However, it will be different for everyone. IMO, if the vision is okay, I would definitely prefer the factory one over an after market one.
 

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I got the factory unit. Does all that you want. As far as obstructing rear vision, I do not really find that a concern. You can see under and around it enough to know if someone is behind you. You get used to it. Kind of like driving the Acadia for the first few times when you have been used to a small car. At first it seems daunting but you get used to it quickly. Added bonus, you cannot see the driver behind you, just their car so if you cut them off and they flip you off you will miss their gestures.
 

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Keith said:
Added bonus, you cannot see the driver behind you, just their car so if you cut them off and they flip you off you will miss their gestures.
Darn, now you tell me. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anymore help? The only ones I have used was a factory overhead system my sister's Ody and a portable one that I borrowed from my dad. It had straps (though not good ones) to put it on the back of the seat and we could never get it straight and the DVD loading didn't go very well at all and my kids got carsick because we could never find a good stable, non-bouncy place for it. It had one screen and if we put it on the back of one seat, the other couldn't see. If we put it in the middle, which it did not have straps for and we jerry-rigged it, it was crooked and swayed. My kids threw up on it. My kids never got carsick in watching the overhead unit in the Ody on a 16 hour road trip.

Have you had headrest units in other cars? Can the 3rd row riders see the screen well? Everything else option-wise we are pretty settled on - this is the one sticky point. My husband is really concerned about visibility since it isn't the best to begin with. I found a couple of old threads on the topic and it was really split - some had next to no trouble with visibility others had tons and chose after market for that reason.

For anyone who may be interested, I found this while googling headrest dvd systems. I want an installed, permanent one but this is an interesting option for portables that I have never seen but I have never really been in the market so this could be old news - headrest slipcovers with built in screens.

http://www.skymall.com/shopping/det...c=&v=&ddi=/products/38/18/06/102250604gx1.jpg

Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!
 

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At 5'10", I have very little issues with the rear visibility with the screen down. I would suggest going to a dealership and sitting in one with the DVD, adjust your seat to the correct position and see for yourself how much it impedes your rear vision (mine only comes down about an inch over the rear window). I have no experience with the headrest versions but I can tell you from sitting the the third row that you could pretty easily see the opposite headrest (in other words, if you're sitting on the left, you can see the right headrest pretty easily).

It sounds like you really want a good quality DVD experience with integrated surround audio and up front controls. I'd say unless the rear visibility is SO bad for you that you feel it's dangerous, you should definitely go with the factory one - it's absolutely fantastic. The few hundred dollars you might save on an aftermarket version would boil down to something like $3-4 per month over 5 years for a (most likely) inferior experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Finally after dissecting it for too long last night, my husband finally just said "we need to go drive one with a factory system." I am 5'3" and he is 5'11" so we will have different experiences. But, my dealer tends to like after market systems so I may have to branch out to try one with the factory unit.
 

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They probably make more profit off of the aftermarket systems as compare to the factory. I am 5'11" and I do not seem to have a probelm with the screen down, you do have to kind of look around it but it has not been an issue with me. My wife is 5'4" and she has not complained either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I totally figured the profit thing - anything to make a buck!! good to hear you do OK with the visibility and you are similiar to our heights. I would really rather have a factory system - I hope the view proves to be as OK for us as for you!
 

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I received a quote from a local audio/visual place and they quoted me $1400 for the same flip-down style (with wireless headphones, integrated into your audio if you wish, etc.) and $1200 for the headrest system with the same features. I guess the headrest system is cheaper since they don't have to dig through the roof panels to install, etc. They indicated they could install the DVD player somewhere up front (center console?) for easy loading/unloading. The other advantage is that should the DVD player "die", you only have to replace the player and not the entire overhead unit. Hope that helps.
 

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alasking said:
The other advantage is that should the DVD player "die", you only have to replace the player and not the entire overhead unit. Hope that helps.
But the DVD loads up in the front radio/NAV for the factory unit, so if the disc reader fails, then you replace the radio or NAV unit, nut the screen. Personally, I would splurge for the factory unit. It looks alot better than any aftermarket unit could. Plus, if more than two people want to watch a movie, or they don't want to use the headsets (they hurt my ears after a while) then it can be played through the car's speakers. When I watch a movie in our Montana, I rarely use the headsets, since the sound is a little muffled, and they hurt my ears after an hour or so since I wear glasses, so I just get my parents to redirect the sound to the car's speakers.
 

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AHHHHH, another import selling feature about the factory unit over the aftermarket. You will get Advanced Surround Sound with the factory unit which includes the 10 speaker 5.1 surround Bose system (Codes UQS UVA U42). You don't get the 5.1 surround with any other factory sound if not ordered with rear entertainment. Plus, if you get the factory unit with nav, you get to watch the movie up front too ( when the vehicle is not moving, unless you install the GM LockKey to enable you to view the move in motion!!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tonight we went and drove an Outlook with a factory DVD system. We tried two GMC dealers and none had one with a factory DVD so I called Saturn and told them my situation. They have several loaded Outlooks so there was no problem being able to drive one. We were concerned about the visability out the rear window. We each drove street and freeway for a little while. I am 5'3" and my husband is 5'11". The Outlook had the factory DVD unit and the dual sunroofs. The picture quality was excellent and the sound was great - the surround was awesone - we brought along Finding Nemo. The sales guy pretty much thought I was nutso from the get-go with the phone call earlier in the day requesting to drive a car we were not going to buy. And, we brought a movie? I think that was too much for him! But, Nemo was a good trial movie. The kids were glued. Isn't that the point?

Here are a few take aways: I am not gonna lie - it was definitely in the way. I could see below and left and right, but it went to down to the 1/2 way point of my view. I monkeyed with the seat a little but there are only so many seat positions that allow me to reach the pedals and see out the window so that is what it is. My husband felt it blocked down about 2/3 of his view, still being able to see left and right.

Then we had a brainstorm, as I whipped out the measuring tape I had brought along (actually for measuring door openings...more on that on another thread in a while...). I have never been able to clearly see how much different the headliner height is with or without the skylights. If I remember correctly, the skylights made the headliner about 2 inches lower than without. We figured that the factory unit would sit 2 inches higher without skylights - which we have been planning not to get - we just can't justify the cost at this point. So, now we want to experience a factory unit without skylights. And with the hard time I had finding a Lambda with a factory system, I think that is a tall order.

can anyone help me out with real world measurements? I think I got 45" headliner height w/skylights at the DVD edge and 47" without. It was getting late and dark and of course I forgot to write them down - but these numbers are pretty close. I think there was another thread with measurements. My husband said he would very carefully re-think being willing to pay $35,000+ for a car with that kind of a blind spot. Other cars don't have as big of blind spot with the DVD screen. Do you think we can get much better view with 2"?

We did get to see one that had the inivision headrests installed - they had a demo inside the showroom and the picture quality was not nearly as nice as the factory unit - but what do kids care? I could deal with loading disks into the headrest - I could do it and reach into the headrest I guess. But I really worry about my kids being able to see very well from the 3rd row. That is where my older kids will be in the coming years. For now, they will be in the captains but a baby will be in one of those captains in hopefully the not to distant future.

And, the sales guy (selling us a car we aren't going to buy) that we could watch the DVD up front. sounds kinda dangerous while driving....JMHO!!! I drove my friend's Expedition to LA lst year and they had an aftermarket system and I could not for the life of me figure out how to turn it off the front screen - it drove me nuts - rather distracting.

that's it for now on DVD's....
 

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Headliner height difference is a new one to me. Hard to believe there is any difference, especially at the point where the DVD hooks up. Maybe you are right. I never got down to that level of detail. Unless you want to see the bugs in the teeth of the driver behind you I dont think its an issue. Im 6' (ok 5'11 and 3/4"). The screen when down probably blocks 2/3 of the rear view. But, like I said before, I can still see if there is someone behind me and with the side mirrors, I do not feel a loss of visibility. In fact, it surprised me how well the overall visibility is in this car. Even with DVD down I have never felt that I was unaware of what was going on around me.
 

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The DVD console is much larger and laid out differently for Acadia/Enclave/Outlooks without the dual skylights.

Here is a rare photo of the larger unit from an Acadia without sky lights.



Here is a pro photo of the Acadia/Enclave/Outlook DVD console with a dual skylight. Note how much smaller it appears. I think it must extend into the headliner. Note that it is an illusion.. The headliner for the entire car is going to be lower with a skylight installed. Ask any six footer..

 

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We have the top pic version - the DVD player without skylights. If nobody has made those measurements by tonight, I'll do it when I get home. I'm wondering if it's different too. I'm also going to attempt to take a picture from my driving position through the rear view mirror to show how much the screen impede my view. I'm shocked to hear of nearly everyone saying it block 2/3rds or more of the window. I would say for me it blocks 1/4 or so. Now granted, the screen isn't EXACTLY 90 degrees when it's really in use, it's tilted back (angled down) for the 2 year old watching it from a capts chair. Maybe that accounts for the difference, maybe it really is less intrusive than the sunroof version...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That would be great if you measured and got a picture!!!!
 

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For anyone who is interested, I just had these installed in my Outlook. Both units come with built-in DVD players, infrared headphones, remote control and FM modulators. The headrest is a little bigger than the original factory headrest (to accommodate the unit).

Here is the website for the vendor:

http://www.invisionindustries.com
 

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