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>> Hi. I'm Antuan Goodwin, and this your First Look at the Eclipse AVN726e. The 726e is a doubled in unit with a 7-inch WQVGA motorized color touchscreen. It's got ten illuminated buttons along the bottom of the bezel. The screen features crisp visuals for GPS maps and DVD playback with bright colors that don't fade well in the sun. Physical buttons on the faceplate include buttons that call up the different modes for the operation. For example, telephone mode is where users can pair their Bluetooth-enabled phone for hands-free calling. AV mode brings up the currently playing audio / video source. Here you can navigate DVDs with Dolby digital surround control or a connected iPod or USB device. Now, thumbing through large digital libraries or DVD menus using the on-screen controls is a bit clunky using those touchscreens, but the quick response time is quick. iPod playback with video is supported, but it can only be enabled with the addition of an external cable. Thirdly, the navigation mode brings up turn-by-turn GPS navigation and the maps feature 3-D terrain data for elevation, so if you take an overpass, you'll see the highway rise on the map. There are also 3-D building models for some major cities, which is kind of cool. Text-to-speech means that the 726e can read proper street names aloud. Custom points of interest, favorite destinations, and routes can be saved on the receiver's internal flash memory for easy retrieval. As a nice bonus, the flash memory keeps your presets safe, even when your vehicle's battery dies. Additional audio /video sources include a single disc CD / DVD ROM slot with non-DRM compatible MP3, WMA, and DivX playback and a USB pigtail for your mass storage device or iPod connectivity. AM / FM radio, Bluetooth audio, and an analog AV output, which is oddly labeled "video tape recorder," are all enabled with a pass through to a rear standard entertainment system. The internal amp sounds really good, and the loudness function adds punch to smaller OEM speakers. But the ultra-clean signal provided by the 5-volt pre-amp output makes this Eclipse receiver an even better starting point for building high-power systems with quality components. I'm Antuan Goodwin, and this has been your First Look at the Eclipse AVN726e.
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