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Old 11-08-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
mr.steevo
 
Drives: 2006 Yaris RS
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
Custron T1062TYT Review (Long)

Review of the Custron T1062TYT Touch Screen/DVD/GPS Head Unit

A couple of months ago I was driving through town in my ’06 Toyota Yaris when suddenly the radio station I was listening to started to cut out and the radio went dead. Talking to my local Toyota dealership revealed that a replacement radio would start at about $400 if they could take in the original head unit and up to $1700 if the original head unit was not available. Unfortunately I had already removed the head unit from the car and disassembled it so as to get to my CD’s out of it. Looking at the mess of broken head unit parts scattered on my kitchen table I knew there was no way Toyota would accept the radio on trade meaning I would either have to spend $1700 on a basic radio / 6 disc changer or look for something else. I chose the latter.

Looking locally at the big box stores I asked about the process of replacing my factory radio with the typical offerings in the store. As the Yaris does not have a standard opening I would have to purchase a new head unit with a trim kit that would mask the incorrect sizing. As well a harness adaptor would have to be purchased and possibly some expertise with installation wouldn’t hurt either. Suddenly the cheapest radio / single disc player in the store was looking to ring in at $400. I asked about built in GPS and was told I’d expect to pay around $1000. No thanks.

Moving my search to online I found my way to the Custron T1062TYT which advertises itself as an OEM Factory-style head unit with AM/FM radio, DVD, Touch Screen, Blue Tooth and GPS for $450. As far as I can tell Custron has no direct connection with Toyota, however, the head unit I was looking at was described to perfectly fit into the existing double-DIN opening of the Yaris and connect to the existing wiring harness in the car. A simple install with no need for trim kits and harness adaptors with a factory-style look greatly appealed to me. What didn’t appeal to me was the lack of online reviews about this head unit and that I would have to purchase it from an online vendor located in China (www.autodvdgps.com). So, in a fit of impulse I clicked the purchase icon and paid via pay pal for a radio I knew little of and from a company that had no office outside of China. What could I expect?



I placed my order on Monday and received the package a week and a half latter on the following Wednesday. It was reasonably packaged in a brown box which opened to reveal another box. Opening that box I was surprised to find a package with various tools and shims used to remove the trim from your car without scratching the dash. A nice touch I thought. Digging further into the box I found a user manual, a wireless remote, a touch pen, a cable with an iPod connector, a mini USB male to full size USB female cable, a 1/8” stereo to RCA adaptor (Left, Right, Video), a GPS antenna with ~ 6’ of connector wire, a bag of screws, a 4GB micro SD card with GPS software (iGo), and the head unit.



On the front of the head unit from top to bottom left to right is a microphone for hands free calling, micro SD slot (recognizes 32GB), power/volume knob, a mode button to switch from radio to other inputs, a phone button to take you directly to the telephone application, a band button to take you directly to the radio application and switch between FM1/FM2/FM3/AM1/AM2, a mute button to shut off sound (holding down for 3 seconds will blank out the display), a powered mini USB port (recognizes 16GB), a 1/8” AUX port for audio and video. At the top right is a micro SD slot for GPS software such as iGo/Tomtom (max 8GB), a second microphone, a tuning knob, an eject button for discs, a navigation button to enter the GPS software, a rewind button and forward button for movies/music/radio tuning, a window for the wireless remote, and a reset button. Top center is the disc slot with the 6.2” (800x480) TFT touch screen taking main stage. The head unit recognizes DivX, VCD, MP3, MP4,WMV, AVI,M4V, and MPEG.

Installation was a snap partially because the head unit really does fit as promised and partially because the Yaris dash pieces are designed to quickly pop off and expose the four screws holding in the unit in place. Youtube has a great video titled “Yaris/Vitz – instrument panel removal” which shows how simple the panel pieces are to remove and install. Once the original radio is unscrewed and unplugged from the car it is just a matter of removing the mounting brackets from the sides of the old radio (four screws each) and bolting them on to the new head unit. I ran the iPod/iPhone cable from the back of the new head unit into the glove box and kept the GPS antenna hidden within the dash out of sight.



The rear of the head unit has front and rear audio RCA outputs, an RCA sub woofer out, two RCA video outs, a TV antenna input, a rear view camera input, what appears to be a SPDIF connector, and a pin connector that I couldn’t identify. There is the ability for steering wheel volume/mute/power control but my car does not have that function. After connecting the wiring harness, iPod cable, GPS cable, and radio antenna to the head unit I screwed it in and clicked all the trim pieces back in place within minutes. Installation was painless and the angle of the dash has the right angle for proper viewing of the screen. The physical knobs and buttons feel adequate for an economy car but I would be disappointed with the knob feel if I installed this into a Lexus.



The T1062TYT has a Sirf Prima Dual Core processor running at 600MHz with 128MB of RAM and runs Windows CE 6.0. As this is a computer it does require a boot time before the system can be used. The boot screen can be changed to 59 different images, most of which are of automotive logos. Once the boot has completed (about 20 seconds) the system is ready to be turned on either with the power button or automatically if there is a micro SD card, DVD, CD, or radio running prior to the power being shut off. Powering on introduces you to the “home” screen which allows you to sort through the several inputs via touch screen. Only inputs that have an active source can be touched otherwise they are greyed out. The touch screen requires pressure to register an intention which means those in cold climates can wear gloves and still use the touch screen normally. Power ratings aren’t listed



The radio application looks and acts like any radio with the ability to seek, remember stations, and switch from AM to FM. There is RDS (Radio Data System) so as to view station names (rather than station frequency) and the name of the song and artist currently playing. The “skin” for this radio application in my opinion is cluttered and boring, and the text is so small as to make the RDS feature not practical if you want to quickly view the name of the song that is playing. At the top left of the touch screen is a home button that allows the radio to continue running while sifting through the other settings on the head unit, and an X button that closes the radio program. The home and X button are consistent throughout most of the windows/inputs you go to. Again, holding down the physical mute button will black out the screen which you might as well do once you found your radio station. Adjusting volume or another setting will bring the screen back up.



The Bluetooth connected quickly with the iPhone 3gs, iPhone 4, and 2nd Gen. iPod Touch that I had on hand. Video will not stream but music does via A2DP Bluetooth and can be controlled through the head unit touch display. Apple’s iOS interface is miles ahead of what this head unit is able to display but for simple stop, play/pause, and forward/rewind it should be enough for a driver wanting to listen to music. The Bluetooth also connects the phone to the head unit and will load the phone’s contact list for you to scroll through for dialing. When the phone is disconnected the contacts appear to delete from the unit. There are two microphones and the head unit is advertised as having echo cancellation. In basic tests the set up was usable but the people in the car do sound a bit tinny and quiet.

The iPod connector does show more song information when connected to an iPhone/iPod but still does not mimic the ease of use that Apple’s music players have. Songs are listed along the right and can be scrolled through but it would be better to have someone else do it for you if you are driving. Again, the head unit can control the iPod/iPhone connected to it but video is not accessible though this connection. What is disappointing is that the connector does not charge the iPod/iPhone when connected.



The micro SD slot accommodates up to 32GB cards and can read music files, video files, photos, and e-books. As long as the files are in the supported formats there should be little problem with watching a video or movie, and listening to music. The music player is similar to the other connection music players in that searching for specific songs or artists is not easy. I can’t imagine a time that I will be pulling out a micro SD card to look at pictures or read an e-book on this head unit but the functionality is there. I plugged in an iPhone to the mini USB connector and discovered there is power for charging (!) but it will not play content from the iPhone. Only USB drives work here.

I was especially interested in the GPS system if only for the bragging rights of being able to say I have one built into my head unit. Unfortunately the software just came on a micro SD card with no instructions. Interestingly the clock setup is independent of the head unit’s clock meaning I had to dig through settings to find the clock and adjust the time. The GPS will announce commands through the speakers of the car and will automatically reduce the volume of the music or video playing so as to be heard. A GPS unit is only as good as its software so I took it out for a test drive to a pub nearby. The voice can be changed from North American English to Australian and UK as well as male and female voices. There are several other languages that I did not test. The instructions were clear and accurate up until the final stage of the journey where the GPS made the ridiculous command for me to turn onto a bridge and pull an immediate U-Turn in front of oncoming traffic. Fortunately, I have a independent thinking and didn’t follow the order. I am not sure why this unusual direction would exist as this pub has been a fixture of my city for at least two decades and my neighbourhood of origin has been around for 100 years.

The disc slot nicely loads standard sized CD’s, CD-R’s, DVD’s, and DVD’s. For some reason a music CD plays through the DVD application but again holding down the mute button blanks out the screen so you need not worry about how it looks. Picture quality is good and loading a DVD takes several seconds before playing (read further if you are not seeing a picture when you insert a DVD). There is a wireless remote for accessing additional DVD functions that I did not use. I can not imagine a time when I will use the DVD player but I suppose it is nice having the function.

At this point in the review I would suggest that you would need to refer to the owners manual for the complete list of features and how to operate what is essentially a small Windows CE computer, but here is where it really hits home as to the dangers of ordering a head unit online from a Chinese distributor. The manual is both incomplete and written in what may partially resemble the English language. Broken sentences, wrong spellings, wrong words, and words that simply don’t exist are found throughout the manual but what makes matters worse is that the document simply does not cover the extensive features of the head unit. This carries over to the head unit itself with oddities such as the day Wednesday being spelled “Wenesday”, or plugging in the front USB connection to an iPhone pops up a Windows XP-looking window with what I assume to be Cantonese script but has no function other than to kill USB power when OK is clicked (don’t click OK if you want to charge your phone), or the unhelpful text of “warning, do not watch to master!” when a DVD is inserted (to remove this go to Settings > GPS file path settings and un-check the PK box). Even changing the boot screen to the Toyota logo was a barrier as the boot screen settings allows you to highlight the logo of your choice but a double tap pops up a window with a numbered keyboard. After contacting Custron directly I was informed that the spelling issues would be fixed by a software update through the distributor (www.autodvdgps.com) if I contact them myself, and that the logo could be changed by typing in 888888 and pressing the check mark. Contacting the distributor only had them pointing back at Custron. Another thing that rubs me the wrong way is that the Time Setting includes a full calendar with day, date, month and year with GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and the GPS satellites setting the clock to the exact second yet it can’t accommodate Day Light Savings Time. My thermostat for my floor heating in my bathroom has day light savings time but a Windows CE machine doesn’t. This annoys me.

So how would I rate the Custron T1062TYT? The construction seems to be of average quality and there are no glaring issues with the look and feel of the materials. The buttons, knobs, and touch screen respond as expected and the processor seems to be fast enough to handle the features of the unit. The amount of inputs on this device makes it very accommodating for various sources of music, video, and I suppose a game system. The power rating is not given but I can’t imagine it being higher than 20w/ch. For a basic head unit the power seems adequate. Personally I find the graphics and colour pallet to be dull and sometimes ugly. It’s really too bad that a nice screen was wasted with drab and boring looking windows as some of the head units I have seen are much nicer to look at. The real problem with this unit (and I imagine there are several different makes and models with the same issue) is the poor instructions included and the misspelling or lack of English within the interface of the head unit. I’ve spent hours fumbling with this unit trying to sort out what it can and can’t do. My neighbours have approached me in my car wondering why I have been sitting out there in the cold. After spending $450 on an electronic device I at least expect to have some clear guidance on how to operate it. Hunting for Easter Eggs shouldn't be a basic requirement for using a car stereo.

Bottom line is this is a well made machine but if sitting in your car for hours and in front of a computer searching for obscure settings is not your idea of pleasure then you may want to look else where. Don’t get me wrong. The functions are there and it does work as advertised, but the labyrinth you need to navigate to figure out the functions may not be worth the dollar savings to you. I am happy with my purchase and I expect that this stereo will do everything I need and more. I was frustrated with the amount of effort needed to figure out how to use this head unit but at the same time I can say that it was enjoyable having a bit of a challenge to get it running right. I would never recommend this to someone like my in-laws as they get confused with turning on their TV. So, at the end of the day only you can decide if you want to go down this rabbit hole or not. The hardware seems well made whereas the software is a bit of a gong show.

I'd be interested if others have used this unit and had other discoveries on how to use it. Good Luck!

Last edited by mr.steevo; 11-17-2011 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
mr.steevo
 
Drives: 2006 Yaris RS
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
To add to my long review.

I received an email from the distributor indicating that the firmware can be upgraded by downloading the items from this link on to a micro SD card. http://product_manual.s3.amazonaws.c...splayerror.rar

Inserting the micro SD into the GPS slot installed the firmware in about a minute and I found that the day Wednesday is now properly spelled. The only other change I can see is that there is a new icon in the Settings folder that requires a password to open. I've sent in another inquiry to the distributor regarding this mystery.

Also, my wife has purchased an iPhone 4S and we've found that the stereo and phone connect via Bluetooth seamlessly every time she gets in the car and starts it. The head unit will cut whatever media is playing when the phone rings and return to the media when the call ends. An incoming phone call will even turn the head unit on for hands free operation and shut then shut it off after the call is complete. Her contact list is available on the head unit for calling out only while the phone is connected to Bluetooth. As the microphones are placed directly on the head unit voice quality is limited. I can certainly hear my wife when she is talking while driving and she can hear me through the car speakers. For hands free calling it does the job.

I should add that the temperature dropped to -20C last week and the touch screen works well with gloves on my hands.

Last edited by mr.steevo; 11-24-2011 at 02:55 PM.
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