MSRP: $599 Key Features: PMD-B200-Plays DVD video, video CD, CD and supports MP3, WMA, DivX and XviD-40W by 4-Dolby Digital/Pro Logic II-Satellite radio ready-iPod connection via MediaLinkRemote control included-Anti-theft security (password protected)
These days, budget shoppers looking for a multimedia head unit don't have to give up much in terms of functionality when buying an inexpensive DVD player. Jensen's VM9412 is a good example. Even the exterior product design looks higher end than you might associate with its $599 suggested retail price. This in-dash DVD receiver with a 7-inch motorized touchscreen LCD display is packed with multimedia features and allows for great expandability.
You can connect a satellite radio receiver and your iPod through the MediaLink. MediaLink has a connection for a stereo minijack, left and right audio RCA jacks and a composite video connection. It employs an attached 56" Bus cable that plugs into the rear of the VM9412, making it possible to install the MediaLink module under the dash or other convenient locations. The jLinkCable (sold separately) allows users to connect directly, via the MediaLink, and charge their iPods with ease. You can also add navigation, the NAV101, to really make the VM9412 complete.
The face of this DVD player has an appealing, sort of modern brushed metal look. User-friendliness is built into the handsome face with buttons for repeat, scan and random music playback. When the monitor is motorized out you can adjust the tilt of the screen with buttons just below the actual screen. No searching the menu for that. This Jensen offers dual zone control too, so there's a button for selecting the source for rear passengers.
The VM9412 plays DVDs, VCDs and CDs. The unit has ESP, or Electronic Shock Protection, with a 2MB buffer so playback is unlikely to be affected by bumpy road conditions. It supports many formats, including MP3, WMA, VCD, DivX and XviD and more. There are 30 AM/FM station presets. I definitely liked the window for the radio function with the presets listed on the left side and the controls of the radio in the right frame. You can search music on the radio by genres. The VM9412 does support RDS for text information. Given that the unit is fairly inexpensive you could splurge and add on either an XM or Sirius radio tuner. You would have no shortage of radio programming to choose from. Add the cost of a tuner and around $250 for a year's subscription and you're still welll under the MSRP of some DVD players.
Ergonomically, the VM9412 is quite satisfactory. You have a rotating dial on the left side for audio and on the right side there's a five-way joystick for searching through menus, control of DVD functions and radio options. I've never been a big fan of joysticks in car audio-leave that for gaming-but it serves here. Of course you have controls via the touchscreen and a full feature 38-key ...