A quick look around the just opened Flatbush, Brooklyn location of
Audiovox's VOD806 monitor was the first overhead screen to incorporate a DVD player, according to the company. Ranked as the No. 2 best-selling monitor in dollars by The NPD Group, the unit appears to have inspired a new category of combo monitor/DVDs that eliminate the hassle of installing a DVD elsewhere in the cramped quarters of the car interior.
Audiovox has already licensed Rosen and Auto Cinema to produce overhead monitor/DVDs and expects to add other suppliers to the list, said product manager David Shalam.
Since the VOD806 shipped approximately 14 months ago, Audiovox has added two additional overhead monitor/DVDs, and plans to release two others in increasingly larger screen sizes.
"The one-piece solution is what the dealers and consumers want. The user sees a real practical aspect to that. In a system with an overhead screen, with the DVD mounted elsewhere, it becomes increasingly more difficult to place the DVD. Under the seat, it gets dirty and water-damaged. The one-piece solution solved that," said Audiovox's mobile electronics group senior VP Tom Malone.
Also this year, Audiovox added a second 8-inch overhead monitor with DVD and satellite radio and a 9-inch model. The 10-inch VOD1048 is expected to ship in September at approximately $1,599, and a 17-inch version is anticipated before 2004 at a projected price of $1,999, said Shalam. Prices for the category could start at $999 by the end of the year, he said.
According to NPD, the VOD806, an 8-inch overhead model, took both the No. 2 slot in monitor sales and the No. 4 slot for all mobile video products combined in dollar sales from June 2002 to June 2003.