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As promised, I am giving more details about the new multimedia head unit I recently installed in my 2004 Sequoia. It was so easy to install, feature packed and priced right I wanted to pass on the information to other Sequoia owners. Over the years I have become accustomed to having DVD in my dash. I know it is dangerous and illegal but I have to have something to occupy my time when stuck in traffic or traveling long distances. It acutally prevents me from having road rage and movies on road trips keep my speed much closer to the limit. So to enhance my recent purchase of a 2004 Sequoia I searched high and low for the right unit at the right price.

The unit I chose was a Valor DTS-660WT I found on ebay. The website for this unit is www.valordvd.com. This unit has every feature I wanted at the right price. The price on ebay was $724.95 with $22.90 shipping. I came so close to buying this unit but a web search on the model number revealed the same unit on an electronics distributor website for $609.00 and I paid about $33.00 for 3 day UPS shipping. Ironically the name of the electronics distributor is TundraElectronics.com. I did a web search on the model number so I could see if anyone had any complaints about this unit before I purchased. I did not find much but what I did find was praise. You can check out all of the features on the web link but a summary of features is DVD Video, MP3 playback from Ipod (cable included), SD card, CD or DVD, 36 FM and 12 AM presets, TV tuner, dual zone playback, touch screen control, wireless remote and Bluetooth. Bluetooth enables you to connect your Bluetooth capable phone for hands free 2 way conversation. When a call comes in, the playback of anything (DVD, MP3, Tuner, etc.) is put on hold while you handle the call. When the call is complete, playback resumes where it stopped. The dual zone playback allows you to view or listen to one thing in the front and do the something else in the rear. For rear playback, you will need a separate video monitor not included and can use head phones for the audio portion. I don't plan to use this feature as I don't have many back seat passengers. While this unit does not have navigation you can purchase a separate module that will connect to the unit that will give you navigation. I don't want navigation in my head unit interrupting my movies or MP3 playback so I am opting for a separate navigation unit. This unit will also allow you to connect any satellite radio service to it and includes the input that will allow you to control satellite radio through the unit. It does the same thing with an IPOD allowing playback control through the unit. You can connect a back up camera to the unit as well. There is just so much this thing can do. After installing it about a week ago, I am still learning about it and have enjoyed it quite a bit. Major performance without the major price.

My only complaint is I have 1172 MP3 files on a DVD disc and when I start the vehicle, it takes a few seconds to load the disc and quite a few more seconds to load the table of contents of the MP3 files. This entire process can take 30 seconds or more. This is not the case when connected to an Ipod so I will likely listen to MP3 files from only the Ipod. You can directly access any song on either as long as you know the track number. You can enter the track number with the wireless remote and it will go directly to that song.

Installation was relatively easy. I had the factory unit out and this one installed in about 1 hour. I purchased the installation kit from ebay for about $14 and it included some simple fillers for the sides of the opening and the wiring harness. The physical installation included removing the brackets from the factory unit and using the same screws attaching them to the new unit with the side fillers and bolting it back in the same way the factory unit was mounted. The wiring was a simple matter of connecting the head unit wire assembly to the one in the install kit. The match was nearly color for color. I installed the TV antenna on the front windsheild with one pole aligned with the pillar and the other aligned with the passenger wiper blade. It was easy to route the wire to the unit. I put everything back together and installation was complete. Temporarily I routed the Ipod cable through the back of the ash tray opening until I rerouted it today to the center console. The only other modification I made was I installed an "override" switch in the flat part of the dash under the ignition switch so that I can turn the unit on without the key in the ignition and so that play would not be interrupted for short stops. One of the things that made the installation so much easier is the cavernous amount of room in the dash behind the a/c controls. It is wide open and accomodates lots of wiring.

The only other modification I made was the installation of a self powered subwoofer in the cargo area. It is pretty small so it does not take any room. This subwoofer was purchased on woot.com for $45 including shipping. It comes with all the necessary wiring except the RCA cables for connection. It does not boom but does improve overall sound quality.
This is about the most I will do to this system. I may change the factory speakers at a later date but I have all of my necessary features covered.
 

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