Clarion VZ409

DVD receiver

  • Clarion VZ409


  • Clarion VZ409


  • Clarion VZ409

  • Clarion VZ409

  • Clarion VZ409

Item #: 020VZ409

Review Summary

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Original price $349.99
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Our take on the Clarion VZ409

by Zak Billmeier

DVD receivers: They're not just for movies

DVD receivers add a new level of entertainment to your vehicle. You can watch a movie on the screen when you're parked on a Saturday night, or play a DVD through your rear seat video setup on the road. Touchscreen receivers allow you to breeze through menus with the tip of your finger. Most DVD receivers feature a USB input for audio from your iPod, and the ability to add an adapter that allows video to display on the screen. Some receivers even offer connections for a center speaker and a subwoofer, so you can build a full-fledged theater in your car, just like at home.

Want maximum performance from a single-sized car stereo? Clarion's VZ409 DVD receiver gives you DVD playback, along with a host of built-in and optional features. Its motorized, 7" touchscreen lets you control your in-dash entertainment system with a tap of your finger. Enjoy watching DVDs up front while you're parked, or hook up a video screen in the back so the kids can watch movies as you drive.

iPod® controls and more
Use Clarion's adapter to connect your iPod, and you'll get touchscreen control over your tunes. Your iPod will even stay charged as you drive. You'll also find an audio/video input for video games or other sources.

Serious sound
The VZ409 plays your store-bought and recordable CDs and DVDs, including discs you've loaded with MP3 and WMA files. A powerful internal amp gives your music plenty of punch, while a premium digital-to-analog converter makes all your tunes sparkle. Three sets of high-powered, 4-volt preamp outputs let you add amps and subs to the mix, and the subwoofer volume control lets you dial in just the right amount of bass. Clarion includes a handy remote for on-the-fly changes. You can add an optional satellite radio tuner and get the nearly endless variety of entertainment available from SIRIUS/XM.

Note: If you're going to use your iPod with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this receiver or its optional iPod adapter.

See more info on this item


    General features:
    • DVD receiver with internal amp (18 watts RMS CEA-2006/40 watts peak x 4 channels)
    • 7" touchscreen
    • fits single-sized openings
    • wireless remote
    Audio/visual features:
    • plays CDs, CD-R/RW, DVD-Rs/RWs, DVD+Rs/RWs, plus MP3/WMAs on CD and DVD
    • 24-bit digital-to-analog converter
    • works with Clarion iPod adapter and satellite radio tuner
    • inputs: one A/V input
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front/rear/subwoofer)
    Other information:

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    CEA-2006 Compliant
    RMS Power Output
    18 watts
    Peak Output
    40 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth
    Preamp Outputs
    Sub Preamp Outputs
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs
    Video Screen
    Preamp Voltage
    4 volts
    Display Color
    Key Button Color
    EQ Bands
    Wireless Remote
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible
    Parts Warranty
    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
    1 Year
    AUX Input
    USB Input
    Memory Card Slot
    Bluetooth Compatible
    Satellite Radio Ready
    HD Radio
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size
    FM Sensitivity
    9 dBf
    European Tuning
    Radio Data System
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Multimedia receiver
    • Trim ring
    • Wiring harness
    • Remote control
    • CR2025 Lithium battery
    • Cleaning cloth
    • 2 Removal tools
    • Metal backstrap
    • Rear-support bolt
    • Rubber boot
    • 4 Pan-head ISO mounting machine screws
    • 4 Counter-sunk ISO mounting machine screws
    • Owner's Manual/Installation Manual (English/ Spanish/ French)
    • Warranty information

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Display Features
    Audio Section
    DVD/CD Playback
    AM/FM Tuner
    External Device Connection
    Remote Control

    Display Features

    7" Touch Panel TFT Display: The Clarion VZ409 has a motorized, retractable 7" TFT wide screen display with touch panel controls. The display provides a high-resolution video monitor for watching DVDs. The screen has a resolution of 1440 x 234 and 336,960 total pixels. The display features brightness and aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9) adjustments. The unit's touch panel features interactive controls and video graphics, making menu navigation easy.

    Display Angles: You can adjust the display's angle for best visibility. After the viewing angle has been set, the unit will return the display to that angle each time, even if the unit is turned off.

    Parking Brake Detection: To prevent displaying video while the vehicle is in motion, the bright green wire in the supplied harness must be connected to the vehicle's parking brake detection circuit. While the vehicle is in motion (parking brake off), you can still view all of the other displays and menus.

    Audio Section

    24-bit D/A Converter: The unit's 24-bit D/A converter re-quantizes the 16-bit audio signals from CDs and DVDs as 24-bit data while maintaining the low distortion and linearity of a 1-bit D/A converter. This allows an expanded dynamic range and clearer reproduction of subtle nuances, for a richer sound when viewing DVDs or listening to CDs.

    CEA2006 Compliant: The power specifications for the VZ409 are compliant with the CEA2006 Mobile Amplifier Power Testing and Measurement standards from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). These standards were developed as a way to equitably compare power specs from model to model and between manufacturers. The power output specs for the VZ409 are as follows:

    • CEA2006 Specs: 18 watts RMS x 4 channels (into 4 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 1% THD-N)
    • Signal to Noise Ratio: 76 dBA (reference: 1 watt into 4 ohms)

    Audio Settings: The Clarion VZ409 offers the following audio adjustments:

    • Preset EQ: Jazz, Pop, Classical, User, Flat
    • Bass: bass is adjustable +/- 7 dB and the center frequency can be set to 60, 80, 100, or 200 Hz; you can also adjust the Bass Q-Factor to 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, or 2.0
    • Treble: treble is adjustable +/- 7 dB and the center frequency can be set to 10, 12.5, 15, or 17.5kHz
    • Loudness: compensates for low and high tones during low volume

    6-Channel Preamp Output: The multimedia head unit is equipped with stereo front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs for connecting the unit to an external amplifier. The subwoofer preamp output level can be adjusted from -7 to +7 (relative to the main volume). The VZ409 also features a low pass filter for the subwoofer preamp output; select between 80Hz, 120Hz and 160Hz crossover points.

    DVD/CD Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The VZ409 can play back the following types of discs:

    • CD: CD-Audio, CD-Text, CD-R, CD-RW
    • DVD: DVD-Video, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW

    MP3/WMA Playback: This unit can play MP3/WMA (32-320 kbps) files recorded on CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW discs in ISO 9660 Level 1 or 2 format. The player can recognize a file structure with up to 8 hierarchical levels, 255 folders, 255 files per folder, and 512 total files. The head unit also supports ID3 Tag information which will display the title, artist, and album information when recorded on the disc.

    Parental Lock: Like home DVD players, you can set password protected viewing restrictions. This function allows cutting scenes that are inappropriate for children, or replacing them automatically with other scenes prepared in advance. There are 8 levels of parental lock that are protected by a custom user 4-digit password.

    AM/FM Tuner

    AM/FM Tuner: The Clarion VZ409 is equipped with a built-in AM/FM tuner.

    Preset Tuning: The VZ409 features three FM bands and one AM band that can hold twelve presets each, giving you a total of 36 FM presets and 12 AM presets. You can manually store your favorite presets or have the VZ409 automatically store the strongest stations for you. The built-in AM/FM tuner also offers Preset Scan.

    External Device Connection

    Audio/Video Inputs: The Clarion VZ409 features a rear panel audio/video input (composite video and stereo audio RCAs) for connecting external A/V sources.

    Video Output: The VZ409 is equipped with a single composite video output for connecting a rear monitor.

    Navigation Input: A single composite video input allows you to display the map from an external navigation unit; this unit cannot control the external navigation unit.

    iPod Compatible: An optional connector cable allows the VZ409 to connect to your iPod via a rear-panel input. Using one of these optional cables the VZ409 supports audio and video playback, control, information display, and charging of select iPods as detailed in the chart below. When playing music your iPod's buttons will be locked and it's controlled by the VZ409. Video can only be displayed while the vehicle is in park (the unit will display "Audio Only" when your vehicle is moving). When playing video the controls on the iPod are used. The Clarion VZ409 is "Made for iPod" compatible but does not work with any iPhone models. The 4th generation iPod and 1st and 2nd generation iPod nano require the Clarion CCUiPOD1 adapter cable (item number 020CCUiPOD, sold separately). The iPod classic, 3rd, 4th and 5th generation iPod nano, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation iPod touch require the Clarion CCUiPOD2 adapter cable (item number 020CCUiPD2, sold separately). The 5th generation iPod works with either adapter. The following features are supported as of December 2009:

    iPod/iPhone Model Generation Media Type Control Display Charge
    Audio Video Unit iPod Song/Artist Track
    dock-connector 3rd N N N N N N N
    click-wheel/color-display 4th Y N Y N Y Y Y
    mini 1st N N N N N N N
    2nd N N N N N N N
    video 5th Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    classic (80/120/160 GB) 80GB Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    120GB Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    160GB Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    nano 1st Y N Y N Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y N Y Y Y
    3rd Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4th Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5th Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    2nd Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
    iPhone 2G N N N N N N N
    3G N N N N N N N
    3GS N N N N N N N

    Note: Apple firmware updates may change functionality results.

    Sirius Direct: You can connect the SiriusConnect SC-C1 Sirius Satellite Radio Receiver (607SCC1, sold separately) directly to the Clarion VZ409, without any external interface box and enjoy over 130 channels of music, news, talk shows, sports and traffic information with digital quality sound throughout the U.S. and Canada. A subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio is required for service.

    Bluetooth Ready: Although there is no dedicated Bluetooth input, the VZ409 is compatible with Clarion's BLT370 Bluetooth adapter (020BLT370, sold separately). Instructions for connecting the BLT370 are not included in the manual; plug the BLT370 audio output into the VZ409's auxiliary input, connect the Phone Interrupt wires from the two units together, and set the VZ409's TEL Switch to on. When you receive a telephone call, the music is automatically muted and the call is routed to the front left or front right speaker (selectable in the menu). The BLT370 also offers wireless audio streaming from a compatible Bluetooth portable audio device.

    Note: When you add the BLT370 Bluetooth functionality, you lose the auxiliary A/V input.

    Remote Control

    IR Wireless Remote Control: In addition to the unit's touch-panel and hard-key controls the VZ409 comes supplied with an IR wireless remote control for full function of the multimedia player.

    OEM Remote: The unit also features an OEM steering wheel remote control input on the rear of the unit to allow you to keep your vehicle's radio steering wheel remote controls and/or rear seat radio controls when used with the optional SWI-JACK interface adapter (127SWIJACK, sold separately). The SWI-JACK is compatible with over 95% of the vehicles made from 1986 to the present. Compatible vehicles include many Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Harley Davidson, Honda, Hummer, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Scion, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles. Please check the Crutchfield Vehicle Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.

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    Clarion VZ409 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    5 people say:

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    5 out of 5

    Great system

    Written By Anonymous, Philadelphia PA on Monday, March 15, 2010
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    I just installed this system this weekend and it was a breeze. THe picture quality is
    great, sound is amazing. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a solid easy to
    use tv for their car. Touch screen is very responsive. Only had it for two days and Im
    already in love...
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    5 out of 5

    Great multimedia receiver!

    Written By Mike, Chicago, IL on Saturday, January 23, 2010
    I received this as a gift for Christmas this year. This unit has it all!
    CD/DVD/MP3 playback, AUX input, iPod controls and more! I installed it myself
    in my 2002 Chrysler 300M Special, using the harness and kit that Crutchfield
    supplied. Very easy to do. This unit works very well. The touchscreen is
    responsive and it handles any input you can throw at it. I added the iPod
    connection wire to control the music on my iPhone, and also added the
    PAC-SWI-JACK so I could continue to utilize my factory steering wheel audio
    controls. Had no problems with either accessory. The video playback is great,
    and the screen is very clear. The audio output is great as well. A definite
    improvement over my factory head unit/cd changer. The ability to add a
    navigation module and/or Sirius satellite radio is nice as well. I would
    definitely recommend this receiver to anyone looking for something to control
    all of their in car entertainment in a sleek and inexpensive product!
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    5 out of 5


    Written By Jerome, Bronx, NY on Tuesday, November 03, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    This has to be the best head unit I've seen, the picture is amazing and super sharp, the screen looks like a mini HDTV, for this price I'm glade I didn't wait.

    This unit is very easy to operate without looking at manual, nice large font's is a plus.
    Audio enhancements are basic, I bought a Clarion crossover MCD360 for audio enhancements cause unit is plugged into a large audio system setup via two amp'.

    I love the ipod connection, runs smooth with no lag, buy the cable from Crutchfield to save you some time, it's cheaper here.

    For the price and convenience of buying from Crutchfield made this a wise purchase, and for additional $34 to protect your investment for 3yrs will make you stress free...

    I LOVE IT!

    12 out of 12 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    5 out of 5

    Fantastic System

    Written By John, Chicago, IL on Thursday, October 22, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    This system rocks and so many features. Installed it yesterday and am still
    experimenting with it. Makes the factory speakers sound great, but gonna have to
    upgrade those next so that I can use it to its full potential. Works great with
    the iPod too.
    7 out of 7 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    5 out of 5

    You will love it

    Written By Anonymous, Clarksville TN on Sunday, October 18, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    Got this unit installed along with Bluetooth adapter and SC-C1 sirius tuner..

    Trying to figure out how i did without these items.

    You will not be sorry you bought it but i do suggest that if you do get it be sure to get the
    extra stuff... works Perfectly and as always thanks to crutchfield for all their help
    69 out of 74 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No

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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Clarion VZ409, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_020VZ409/Clarion-VZ409.html ).