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Photos: Kenwood Excelon DDX8019

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CNET Reviews staff
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If you're looking for a decent in-dash GPS navigation system that can support digital audio and video, then the Kenwood DDX8019 could be the product for you. If GPS navigation isn't your first priority, however, there are more easy-to-use media players on the market.
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For media playback, top-level menu screens feature four grainy, jagged icons that run down the right-hand side of the screen. These buttons control source selection, source control, audio control, and setup. In its two-line configuration, the main audio playback screen features a collection of buttons strewn across the screen.
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One of the DDX8019's more attractive audio features is its standard USB audio playback capability. Once a USB mass-storage device is connected, the DDX8019 can find and play digital audio files and display artist, album, and song title (and even album art, where available) on the screen.
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We like the navigation system's bright maps, turn-by-turn voice directions, and advanced text-to-speech technology, which reads out the names of individual streets.
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In contrast to the system's unhelpful digital audio menus, the navigation GUI is a pleasure to use. Destinations can be entered by a variety of methods via bright, intuitive touch screen buttons.
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With the car's parking brake engaged, the Kenwood DDX8019 plays DVD video and VCDs. The screen is big and bright enough to deliver a good movie experience.
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With the addition of Kenwood's GNA-G510 add-on module, the DDX8019 can be turned into a very useful GPS navigation system.
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For compressed-format digital audio discs, the system displays ID3 and WMA tag information for file, artist, and album.
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Like other double-DIN-size touch screen in-dash systems, the DDX8019 has a motorized front panel, which drops away to reveal its single disc slot. The system can support CDs, DVD video, and DVD audio as well as MP3- and WMA-encoded discs.

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