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Alpine Adds HDMI, OEM-Databus Compatibility

LAS VEGAS – Three in-dash A/V navigation systems launched by Alpine are the company’s first in-dash head units with HDMI inputs to display video stored on MHL-enabled Android phones and on the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c.

The three are also the company’s first head units compatible with Automotive Data Solutions’ iDatalink Maestro modules, which connect to factory databus systems to retain OEM-infotainment features that would be lost when the factory radio is replaced.

Different Maestro modules are available for GM, Ford and Chrysler infotainment systems.

One of the three navigation systems is the industry’s first with 9-inch screen.

The three nav systems are the $1,500-suggested 7-inch INE-W957HD, $2,100 8-inch X008U, and 9-inch X009- GM, which is a direct fit for 2007 through 2013 GM trucks and 2007 through 2014 GM SUVs despite its oversize display. Its pricing hasn’t been announced.

The 7- and 8-inch models ship in May. The 9-inch model ships in June.

The three nav systems display smartphone video only when the vehicle’s parking brake is engaged.

The X009-GM comes with custom buttons on each side for 2007 through 2013 GM trucks and 2007 through 2014 GM SUVs. The backlit keys feature the same blue color used on the factory dash to deliver a fully integrated look.

Two variations for direct fits in Ford pickups will become available later this year, one for the 2009 to 2012 Ford F-150 and the other for the 2013 to 2014 Ford F-150. Each will come with buttons that match the vehicle’s interior cosmetics.

A universal application version, the X009U, will also be offered but will require custom fabrication to fit other vehicles.

To fit the oversize 8-inch screen of the X008U nav system into factory dashes, the company offers Perfect FIT dash kits, each designed to cosmetically match the shape, color and texture of different vehicle’s interiors. Eighteen dash kits are currently available at prices from $200 to $500. Four new kits for truck and SUV models will arrive in 2014.

The kits come with accessories for the plug-and-play installation of the X008U. Accessories include a vehicle-specific wiring harness, antenna adapter if necessary, steering wheel interface, and databus adapter if necessary.

Also at International CES, the company unveiled a new $800 A/V receiver, five new single-DIN CD receivers at $150 to $340, a new rear-seat entertainment system, and new enclosed subwoofers, some of which are powered.