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Alpine Expands Pandora-Controlling Head-Units

Introduces first A/V navigation unit with built-in HD Radio

Pandora continues to build on-ramps into the car listening environment.

Alpine is expanding its selection of Pandora-controlling “head units,” from one to four. Separately the manufacturer also has launched its first audio/video navigation unit with integrated HD Radio.

With last year’s launch of the iDA-X305S, Alpine said it was the first to offer integrated Pandora control from a head unit instead of merely streaming Pandora from an iPhone to a car stereo. This year at CES, Alpine added dedicated thumbs up/down buttons to its Pandora-controlling head-units on the INA-W910 and iDA-X305S; these units also display album art on their color LCD screens. The two new single-DIN Pandora-compatible head units are the CDE-123 and CDE-122 CD receivers. Both have dedicated buttons for Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down ratings and use the rotary knob to search for Pandora stations. Continuing for 2011 is the single-DIN iDA-X305S. Alpine’s Pandora-controlling head-units use a USB connection to an iPhone to control the Pandora app. Price and availability were not announced.

The INA-W910 is Alpine’s first audio/video navigation unit with integrated HD Radio. The 2-DIN system features a 7-inch motorized display, built-in HD Radio that is multicast-capable and iTunes Tagging. Besides being an AM/FM/CD/DVD receiver, the unit features Bluetooth wireless technology and navigation with traffic, plus Pandora and Sirius XM compatibility. The INA-W910 will be available in May; price is to be announced.

At CES Alpine also showed its first three head units with Sirius XM’s new universal connector, which eliminates the need for a separate protocol-transfer box and separate power wire for the tuner. Upgrading to Sirius XM is now a one-cable connection for plug-and-play installation without using additional hardware, says Alpine. By connecting a SXV100 vehicle tuner to a compatible Alpine head unit, users can pause, rewind and replay live satellite radio.