The belly of the beast

The car entertainment industry is always changing and improving. You could pack more entertainment in a car than some people have at their houses! You can watch television, movies, music and receive up-to-date weather information from your navigational device. You can also connect peripheral devices like iPods or smartphones and have the wealth of musical content downloaded on those devices available with the touch of a button. And with the after market audio equipment available it can almost seem like you're watching a movie at the theater as opposed to the backseat of a car. Amplifiers, speakers and subwoofers all make watching a movie much more enjoyable. As technology constantly improves, you can bet on more feature-packed car entertainment systems in the coming years. It's the nature of the beast to always advance and evolve.


With Bluetooth, you can communicate with friends and family without removing your hands from the steering wheel. These are done by the help of hands free car kits that can be professionally installed in your vehicle. There are also iPhone and iPod car kits, and now even an iPad car kit that fits on its own headrest. With a GPS system installed in your car, you can know if there's a traffic jam toward the restaurant you're heading, and can even detect speed cameras that maybe tracking how fast you're going. Additionally, as seen on various commercials, if in an accident and you're vehicle's equipped with OnStar, you could receive immediate roadside assistance and emergency help if needed all with the push of a button. With Voice Recognition (VR) technology in your vehicle, just ask your navigational system for directions, or even a food item and it'll display a list of restaurants that offer that item. Controlling the temperature in your vehicle, or selecting a song on a CD is a breeze too.


Ever take a long family road-trip with kids having nothing to do but distract you? Then you probably know how important a DVD player is while driving (not for you, but the kids!). There are DVD players that you can attach to the headrests and ones that can be installed in your dash. Many in-dash DVD players have Duel Zone capabilities allowing the people in the back to enjoy a movie while the people up front listen to music. Companies like Power Acoustik, Pioneer, and Boss specialize in in-car entertainment systems - both audio and video. But you can also find less expensive car DVD players that require no technical know-how to install. Companies like Philips and Nextbase usually produce quality portable DVD players to be attached to the headrest with straps. No need to disassemble anything.

car audio(44661)Credit: Michal Zacharzewski


And why settle for static reception while listening to your favorite station when you can have Satellite or HD quality? These options provide a cleaner and more reliable listening experience while on the road. And in addition to a better listening experience, they offer more stations giving you a nice array of choices. The only downside to satellite radio, though, is the monthly subscription. With gas bills fluctuating like they are, some people might not find it necessary to have satellite radio in their cars.


Car entertainment is a worthwhile business and the industry is constantly developing new technologies to better entertain and provide safety to their customers. Everything's becoming easier, smaller, yet more reliable to the average driver. Safety features like rear-view camera's and voice-indicators warn when objects or people are in the path of your vehicle. And you even have technology that goes beyond a garage door opener. You can turn on lights in your home before you enter the door if coming home late. These and other features are available when it comes to in-car entertainment or ICE. And you can expect more in the coming years. Who knows, they may even develop Mind Recognition technology that'll let you send commands to your car via telepathy. Just kidding.

image by Michal Zacharzewski/stock.xchng