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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am Looking for a good entertainment solution for van build. I am finding the existing stuff from searching various forums either confusing or not what I’m after. Thought the camper conversions folks would be the best place to get some advice on audio/entertainment system options. I think what I might be after/require is two separate systems that share the same speakers and (hopefully) amplifier. One for car the other for ‘ house’.
When camping I don’t necessarily want to using the dash deck running of of car batteries with key in ignition for movies or music. Even though the dash deck has blue tooth etc. However, I do want share the same speakers and hopefully run on mostly 12v house batteries for audio to listen to music or watch movies. It might be ok to use AC via inverter to run a tv, but am really hoping to keep the house audio on DC.
Do I need some sort of multi-input source select switching device before the amp? I feel like this is probably a common thing and that I just might be missing something... any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you
 

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It feels to me like you are looking for a complicated solution to a simple problem. When we are driving, we use the van audio system. When we are parked we use a portable JBL speaker - which has awesome sound BTW. Then we can take it with us hiking, picnicking, etc. I would guess that with a bluetooth dongle you could connect your projector or TV audio output to the portable speaker easily.
I know this strays from your intent a bit, but just food for thought!
 

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17 350 XLT HD passenger van converted
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While driving, just use your stock head unit. While parked, just use a second head unit and separate speakers hooked up to your house batteries. No need to have a 2nd amplifier IMO. If you don't want to mess with a tv and inverter or dont' want to shell out the 12v TV money, you can find larger android tablets which have all the multimedia stuff built in. They normally run on 12v

I agree with @tims5377, sounds too complicated to me.
 

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I had a van previously with a second head unit in the rear. Never used it. Only ever used a portable bluetooth speaker as per @tims5377 comment. So much more versatile though my vote goes to Bose Soundlink range of speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments and recommendations. Simple and versatile i.e. BT speaker(s) will likely win out. But the opportunity to use an upgraded six speaker audio system is still tempting me. Hard to match that kind of sound(field) with the BT speakers...and I agree the quality BT speakers do sound good.
 

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2017 Transit T250 3.7L. 148wb magnetic
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BT speakers are super simple but the sound quality is crap compared to car audio or home audio.
You can have one head unit in the cab and a different head unit in the cargo area , have a single sub and amp in the middle and wire the head units both to the amp , that way which ever head unit you turn on will trigger on the amp and sub.
Or if you don't have a partition just use a single remote controlled head unit in the dash and
control it from the cargo area via remote.
Maybe add a switch to the amp and sub to be able to disable it kinda as a
power saving mode for times when you only need basic sound .
 

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I installed a DPDT switch to allow the stereo & amp to be powered by either the main or house battery. The JVC stereo has BT to drive a boom box on a picnic table.
 

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I'm gonna take my old double DIN Android radio with DVD/CD player and mount it in a cabinet in the back, powered by the house batteries.
It's a simple compact solution for A/V.
I'll mount a small monitor somewhere to play video recorded on thumbdrive or DVDs, and speakers for audio. It also has BT, so streaming from a phone can happen, too.
These are available new for $100-200, 7-10" touchscreens.

Another solution for a rear entertainment system is a "all in one" computer. We took along the boy's old 27" Samsung computer on one trip and it worked pretty good. A computer will play DVDs and CDs, and there are apps for radio tuners and a lot of other stuff. You need exterior powered speakers because onboard speakers are laughable. You can get a used one for a couple hundred dollars. One thing to look for is how it can be mounted. Ours "folds flat" but has no provisions to mount it to a standard VESA arm or anything. We just kept it in a cabinet and set it on top when we used it. The set-up hassle is what makes me not want to use it again. I'd prefer just to turn something on, flip down or up the mounted monitor, and lay down; not have to dig the thing out, clear room for it, run cords, wait for it to boot up, and disassemble and put away again.
 

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Those Peloton screens are just monitors, with HDMI or DVI or other inputs? Or are they just big tablets? What's the operating system?
 

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Those Peloton screens are just monitors, with HDMI or DVI or other inputs? Or are they just big tablets? What's the operating system?
Gen 1 and 2 screens I know for sure run Android. If you do some hacking (ADB shell) and change the launcher you have a 21 in tablet with all the usual stuff. I use mine with bluetooth and my house stereo/receiver for streaming music, watching movies, tv etc. It obviously also has wifi so its connected to my mobile router.
 

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Hi, I am Looking for a good entertainment solution for van build...
I am an audiophile so what I'm about to recommend will probably get some reactions. Adding a house entertainment system to our conversion was a top priority for us. We found a now defunct company [Monsoon Audio] out of Canada that made a "high-end" PC speaker system. It consists of a small powered woofer and two planar satellite speakers [woofer amp also runs the planar drivers]. The model we chose was the MM-700 just like this one: Monsoon MM-700 Self Amplified Speaker System w/Matching Subwoofer Tested Working | eBay.

That gave us good sound but no signal source. The woofer box has standard RCA jacks to anything you can connect to that will run just fine. Volume is controlled by whatever plugs into those RCA jacks and there is a knob on the woofer box that controls the relative volume of the woofer compared to the planar drivers.

We had an old Blu-Ray player that indeed had this variable audio output feature and that turned out to be our signal source. Since it also could stream movies or music from a USB drive, we have access to over 200 movies and all of our favorite music.

The "TV" screen is not a television but rather a 34" ultra-wide computer monitor that allows us to view letterbox sized movies full frame [no black lines atop or bottom of the picture]. The Blu-Ray player HDMI output connects to the TV monitor and viola! You have a real home theater in your tiny home.

We have an east-west bed with basement and the TV mounts on the wall at the foot of the Select Comfort Queen air-bed. Speakers flank the TV and the woofer is mounted at the ceiling by the back doors.

This system does require 120V but when it's raining, it's a welcome refuge. My wife is a movie freak so the video quality was important to her too. She opted for the 1080p format instead of 4k because of pricing but that too may change someday. Who knows.

For now, it's a rock solid setup and although more complicated to install than a dash unit, it's audio and video quality are impressive.


154517
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
These comments have been helpful. I am going to focus on getting the car audio upgraded which will include some new speaker locations …hmmm. Will also make sure that I plan in the ability to ‘tap’ into that amp and speakers with separate head unit and/or computer. More research pending… cheers!
 
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