The SD card slot is hardly mentioned in the supplied documentation and no mention is made of the formats that it supports. Through trial and error, we were able to view JPEG photo slideshows and play back MP3 files, but we weren't able to find a supported video codec.
Installation is actually quite simple and requires only basic hand tools and a little know-how. More than enough cable is supplied to make the connections for the monitors and for power, which will come in handy for installs in larger vehicles. However, the included installation instructions are inaccurate at certain points. For example, it's stated that the riser posts are adjusted by loosening a screw with a Phillips tipped screwdriver, but upon closer inspection we found that a hex key was required.
Once powered up, we were quite pleased with the standalone nature of the Vizualogic RoadTrip. Everything that you need to get started is in the box; just pop in a DVD and start watching. We feel that the SD card is definitely underutilized in the RoadTrip and we would have liked to see more types of media supported, specifically video.
Video quality is only OK. The colors popped quite well, but video had a grainy quality with slight ghosting on the motion if you looked hard enough. The video is easily watchable in daylight, but direct sun will cause a good deal of glare and washout on the matte finished screens.
Audio quality from the RF wireless headphones was good, as long as we stayed directly in front of the monitor and had the proper RF channel selected. Moving too far to either side of the monitor or losing line of sight caused the audio to drop, at best, and to be harsh static, at worst, so you won't want to get too far from the back seat with them on. Physical volume control directly on the headphone allowed for quick and easy adjustment.
Audio quality from the integrated FM transmitter is about as good as can be expected from any FM transmitter, which is to say not very good at all. The audio quality may be better in rural areas with fewer stations or in parking structures that block weaker signals, but during our testing in the San Francisco area we were unable to acquire a clear signal.
A better way to use your vehicle's speakers would be to use one of the sets of RCA outputs to connect to an aftermarket stereo. The single set of RCA audio/video inputs allows for an additional source to be connected, such as a video game system.
We ran into a few snags during our installation of the Vizualogic RoadTrip, but we feel that anyone with an intermediate level of experience with car audio could install the system in almost any vehicle with removable headrests in an afternoon.
The system's all-in-one design earned it high design points, but we had to ding a few points for an unintuitive remote controller and touch-screen interface. Multiple sets of audio/video outputs and inputs and the SD card slot's media playback function add to the RoadTrip's flexibility, but the omission of obvious functions--such as video playback from SD cards--prevents the Vizualogic system from achieving too high of a features score.
With an MSRP of about $999 and a street price of about $700, the Vizualogic system isn't exactly cheap. However, when you consider the cost of purchasing and installing all of its components separately, the Vizualogic RoadTrip represents a pretty good value.