Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT in-dash PND gets Pandora audio support

May 25, 2010
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Pioneer have outed their latest high-end in-dash navigation system, and it has brought along mobile Pandora access too.  The Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT has a 7-inch WVGA touchscreen, 3D graphics accelerator, onscreen iPod/iPhone control, integrated Bluetooth for hands-free calling and wireless music streaming (along with USB connectivity and an SD card slot) and is SIRIUS XM satellite and HD Radio ready.  As for Pandora, that's courtesy of Pioneer's PandoraLink for iPhone app, which as the name suggests requires Apple's smartphone in order to funnel streaming music through the head-unit.

When running on the iPhone, Pandora shows up as a separate source on both the new AVIC-Z120BT and Pioneer's existing AVIC-X920BT in-dash unit.  A free download, the app allows for track rating - using Pandora's thumbs-up/thumbs-down system - from the head-unit's touchscreen.

Even if you haven't got an iPhone, there's plenty to like about the AVIC-Z120BT.  Voice-controlled navigation, a customisable homescreen, choice of 30,000 different LED colors to match your car's own scheme and an ECO Driving mode that plans navigation by fuel economy and CO2 emissions.  The Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT will be available in June, priced at $1,599.

Press Release:

Pioneer’s Flagship Navigation System Also Entertains with Pandora

The AVIC-Z120BT Offers Quality Navigation and Endless Entertainment Capabilities

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. continues to stay ahead of the curve in in-car entertainment and information technologies with the official launch of its top-of-the-line, AVIC-Z120BT in-dash navigation system. The highly sophisticated flagship unit introduced at the 2010 Pioneer Car Electronics Road Show for dealers, brings together the best route guidance features with more entertainment and convenience attributes that include PandoraLink for Pioneer App, MusicSphere™, Pioneer’s proprietary music analysis software, a revolutionary 3D user interface and ECO Graph for eco-friendly drivers.

“In 1994, Pioneer was the first company to bring in-car GPS to the U.S. market, and today we are continuing to advance the navigation category with the launch of our highly intuitive, flagship AVIC-Z120BT. Our team of designers and engineers devised this model to not only deliver reliable route guidance and high quality audio and video, but also to enable users to easily adapt their personal devices to their cars. And, now with its capability to deliver Pandora’s popular Internet music service, Pioneer again redefines the navigation category,” said Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for the car electronics department, sales and marketing division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

Navigation and Entertainment from A to Z
The AVIC-Z120BT is the latest entry in Pioneer’s prestigious Z-series navigation systems, offering the best in in-dash navigation with compelling entertainment and sound quality features. It features an elegant, motorized high-resolution 7-inch WVGA touch screen display, 3D graphics accelerator, onscreen iPod/iPhone control, built-in Bluetooth1 for hands-free calling and wireless music streaming, USB connectivity2, SD card slot located behind the motorized front panel, high quality CD/DVD audio/video playback, back-up camera input and is SIRIUS XM3 satellite and HD Radio4 ready. The AVIC-Z120BT’s comprehensive map database from Tele Atlas® covers the entire United States, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii, enabling users to route to millions of destinations including more than 12 million points of interest (POIs). Additionally, the unit features enhanced voice recognition, including the capability to input destination addresses by voice.

Unique to the 2010 Pioneer navigation line, the AVIC-Z120BT features dual zone entertainment, which enables rear passengers to enjoy DVD video and audio on a separate rear display and headphones, while front passengers listen to AM/FM or XM or Sirius satellite radio sources. Additionally, the unit also features several sound quality components, including Supertuner™ IIID, Radio Data System (RDS), dual A/V inputs, 7-band graphic EQ and 4-Volts preamp outputs (X3).

PandoraLink – Pandora internet radio fans using the service on an iPhone now have the same control interface directly on the AVIC-Z120BT. When users launch the PandoraLink for Pioneer App, Pandora will be displayed as a dedicated source on the AVIC-Z120BT and provide similar functions on its onscreen display such as detailed track information and album art. In addition to the capability of rating a track with “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” the dedicated user interface provides easy navigation on a large 7-inch touch screen display and allows users to bookmark a song or artist, skip the currently playing track, change stations and select Quickmix playback.
Advanced User Interface – 3D animation utilized in the navigation maps has also been applied to the audio interface providing a completely new in-car experience. The intuitive touch slide control capabilities of the AVIC-Z120BT feature dynamic shortcuts for source selection, expanded display of album art and improved display of audio track data. The receptive touch slide interface is also utilized for searching through music content with a new, improved dual-speed scroll for ABC and List Searches. The customizable home menu allows users to drag and drop up to 15 function icons into the home page display for easy one-touch access.
MusicSphere - Pioneer’s new proprietary MusicSphere5 technology enables iPod and iPhone users to enjoy their library of music in a new way by creating unique, mood-based playlists that can be accessed onscreen with a distinctive 3D animated sphere. MusicSphere analyzes the user’s entire music library and creates 40 specialized playlists based on various musical attributes of the songs, such as feeling (bright, energetic, gloomy, relaxing calm), rhythm pattern, Beats Per Minute (BPM) and year of the song and/or date added to the device. The specialized playlists can be accessed on the navigation display through an animated 3D sphere that can be rotated with a touch of the screen, providing a quick and highly visual method of selecting MusicSphere generated playlists. Additionally, the MusicSphere software allows users to create a “DJ Playlist” which will create a non-stop mix of the selected music types with the ability to blend between songs using transition effects.
ECO Driving - The system also features the second generation ECO Driving function which provides driving status reports as well as the driver’s impact on the environment with visual graphics onscreen. Through Pioneer’s proprietary AVIC FEEDS®6 PC software7, the unit can estimate the fuel cost of trip as well as the vehicle’s CO2 emissions through detailed Drive Reports. Through a proprietary fuel consumption algorithm, AVIC FEEDS can also log and archive driving data and analyze driving habits to generate various reports with suggestions to improve fuel efficiency. The ECO Graph shown on the navigation unit visually represents the user’s environmental impact, illustrated in 2D, 3D and divided map views. Additionally, when a route is set the system will calculate a Drive Score based on driving efficiency which factors abrupt stops, accelerations and idle time.
The AVIC-Z120BT can be fully integrated into a large number of vehicles with a 2-DIN dash opening, and can match any vehicle’s dash lighting with its more than 30,000 customizable illumination colors.

The AVIC-Z120BT will be available in June for a suggested retail price of $1,599.

Pioneer’s Car Electronics Department is known for offering the kind of in-car products that make driving more enjoyable by offering high quality audio and video, seamless connectivity and ease-of-use. Its focus is on the development of new digital technologies including audio video, navigation and satellite radio, while maintaining its strong heritage in products for car audio enthusiasts and sound competitors.

NOTE: Do not use your Pioneer system if doing so will divert your attention in any way from the safe operation of your vehicle. Always observe safe driving rules. In some states certain operations of devices while driving may be illegal. Where such regulations apply, they must be obeyed.

1Bluetooth functionality requires a compatible Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. Certain Bluetooth features may not be supported by all compatible Bluetooth-enabled devices, and/or the functionality of such features may be limited in certain devices or by certain wireless carriers. See more details about compatible Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones at the following webpage: “http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/BluetoothCompatibility”.

2Not every USB device is compatible with a Pioneer head unit containing an USB port. See more details at the following webpage: “http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/USBCompatibility”. Pioneer head units containing a USB port are compatible with USB MSC (Mass Storage Class) devices only, and are not compatible with DRM (Digital Rights Management) contents and MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) connection devices. For size and other limitations, please see Owner’s Manual. Unauthorized copying of music or other files is strictly prohibited. Optional USB extension cable is available for use with front USB ports.

3SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio is a subscription service not affiliated with Pioneer Electronics - service is available everywhere within the continental U.S. More information is available at “http://www.siriusxm.com”. The “XM” and “SIRIUS” and related marks are trademarks of SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. Ability of the Pioneer system to access the SIRIUS and/or XM satellite radio service is subject to change without notice and could be affected by any of the following (but not limited to the following): changes to the SIRIUS XM Radio service; or, discontinuation of the SIRIUS XM radio service.

4HD Radio and the HD Radio logo are proprietary trademarks of iBiquity Digital Corp.

5PC systems requirements for MusicSphere software includes:
OS - Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows7
Windows Hardware
A PC with a 1GHz Intel or faster processor
512MB of RAM or greater
Screen resolution of 1024x768 or greater
Broadband Internet connection to use MusicSphere data download

Windows Software
Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later, 32-bit editions of Windows Vista, or 32-bit editions of Windows 7
64-bit editions of Windows Vista or Windows 7 doesn’t support
iTunes 9.0.3 or later
QuickTime 7.6.4 or later
Internet Explorer 7 or later
300MB of available disk space

6Functionality available via AVIC-Feeds varies by AVIC model.

7PC systems requirements for AVIC-FEEDS software includes:
OS - Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition / Professional (Service Pack 2 or later), Microsoft Windows Vista, Only supported by 32 bit version. (Not compatible with Mac OS)
CPU - Pentium III 500MHz or higher (Recommended: Pentium III 1.0GHz or higher)
Memory -256MB or more (Recommended: 512MB or more)
Hard Disk - 100MB or more of available hard disk space
Display - Display capability of 1024 x 768 resolution, 16-bit color (65536 colors) or higher
Other - Internet Explorer 6.0 or later preinstalled, USB/SD Card-accessible interface, Google Maps-capable internet environment

Press Release:

Pioneer Brings Pandora Into the Dash with New App

New In-dash Navigation Systems Provide Pandora Internet Radio and More

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announced the availability of the PandoraLink for Pioneer1 App on the App Store. Through an iPhone, the free PandoraLink for Pioneer App provides complete control of Pandora’s internet radio music service on Pioneer’s new AVIC-Z120BT and AVIC-X920BT in-dash navigation systems. The recently announced models integrate sophisticated navigation capabilities as well as new groundbreaking features, including a revolutionary 3D touch slide interface, Pioneer’s proprietary music analysis software, MusicSphere™ and ECO Graph for ecologically aware drivers.

“Pioneer’s robust in-dash navigation systems will excite music enthusiasts who can now discover new bands and songs while driving with Pandora’s massive audio library and full onscreen control with the new PandoraLink for Pioneer App,” said Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for the car electronics department of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

PandoraLink for Pioneer App
Pandora internet radio fans using the service through iPhone now have the same control capabilities directly on the new Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT and AVIC-X920BT navigation systems. The PandoraLink for Pioneer App is displayed as a dedicated source on the units and provides Pandora users with the familiar functions of the online service including onscreen display of track information such as title, artist and album art. In addition to the capability of rating a track with “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” the dedicated user interface provides easy navigation on a large 7-inch or 6.1-inch touch screen display while driving, which allows users to easily bookmark a song or artist, skip the currently playing track, change stations and select Quickmix playback.

“Pioneer is one of the first manufacturers to transition our service from the home or office into the dash of a car with complete onscreen display and control. Our listeners will definitely enjoy the Pandora experience while in a car,” said Tim Westergren, chief strategy officer & founder of Pandora.

2010 Navigation Models
The recently announced AVIC-Z120BT carries the reputation of Pioneer’s Z-line of navigations systems, offering the best in navigation with compelling entertainment and sound quality features. The double-DIN unit features a large 7-inch WVGA touch screen display, a map database from Tele Atlas® with 12 million points of interest (POIs), DVD playback, 4GB of flash memory, rear seat entertainment, built-in Bluetooth2 for hands-free calling and music streaming, USB connectivity3, SD card slot, back-up camera input and is SIRIUS XM4 satellite and HD Radio ready. In addition to advanced navigation capabilities the AVIC-Z120BT also incorporates PandoraLink for Pioneer App, MusicSphere which creates mood-based playlists that can be accessed onscreen with a distinctive 3D animated sphere and Eco Driving reports for the connected and environmentally aware driver. The AVIC-Z120BT also features hi-volt pre-amp outputs, 7-band graphic EQ and custom designed power supply capacitors for improved sound quality.

The currently available AVIC-X920BT was named CNET’s Best of CES finalist for the Car Tech and GPS category at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, and was noted for its comprehensive navigation capabilities in addition to its new music technologies incorporating PandoraLink for Pioneer App and MusicSphere in addition to Eco Driving, which helps drivers become more aware of their environmental impact. The double-DIN unit features a large 6.1-inch WVGA touch screen display, a map database from Tele Atlas® with 12 million POIs, DVD playback, 4GB of flash memory, built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and music streaming, USB connectivity, micro SD card slot, back-up camera input and is SIRIUS XM satellite and HD Radio ready.

The Pioneer AVIC-X920BT is currently available for a suggested retail price of $1,099, and the AVIC-Z120BT will be available in June for a suggested retail price of $1,599.

The PandoraLink for Pioneer App is currently available for free from the App Store on iPhone at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

Pioneer’s Car Electronics Department is known for offering the kind of in-car products that make driving more enjoyable by offering high quality audio and video, advanced connectivity and ease-of-use. Its focus is on the development of new digital technologies including audio video, navigation and satellite radio, while maintaining its strong heritage in products for car audio enthusiasts and sound competitors.

NOTE: Do not use your Pioneer system if doing so will divert your attention in any way from the safe operation of your vehicle. Always observe safe driving rules. In some states certain operations of devices while driving may be illegal. Where such regulations apply, they must be obeyed.

1 Pandora App required in conjunction with PandoraLink for Pioneer App

2 Bluetooth functionality requires a compatible Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. Certain Bluetooth features may not be supported by all compatible Bluetooth-enabled devices, and/or the functionality of such features may be limited in certain devices or by certain wireless carriers. See more details about compatible Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones at the following webpage: “http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/BluetoothCompatibility”.

3 Not every USB device is compatible with a Pioneer head unit containing an USB port. See more details at the following webpage: “http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/USBCompatibility”. Pioneer head units containing a USB port are compatible with USB MSC (Mass Storage Class) devices only, and are not compatible with DRM (Digital Rights Management) contents and MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) connection devices. For size and other limitations, please see Owner’s Manual. Unauthorized copying of music or other files is strictly prohibited. Optional USB extension cable is available for use with front USB ports.

4 SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio is a subscription service not affiliated with Pioneer Electronics - service is available everywhere within the continental U.S. More information is available at “http://www.siriusxm.com”. The “XM” and “SIRIUS” and related marks are trademarks of SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. Ability of the Pioneer system to access the SIRIUS and/or XM satellite radio service is subject to change without notice and could be affected by any of the following (but not limited to the following): changes to the SIRIUS XM Radio service; or, discontinuation of the SIRIUS XM radio service.


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