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Directed "Car Connect"

Universal HD Radio™ tuner
Add HD Radio reception to any factory or aftermarket radio

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Item #: 60744000
 

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Our take on the Directed "Car Connect"

by Ken Nail

More and more people are discovering the advantages of HD Radio, which let radio stations broadcast digital versions of their normal programming. Directed's "Car Connect" universal HD Radio tuner allows you to tune in these digital broadcasts, as well as the additional free HD Radio channels many stations also broadcast — channels that regular radios can't pick up. And, with HD Radio broadcasts, FM signals approach CD-quality sound, AM sounds as good as current FM, and fading, static, and crackling become a thing of the past.

You can add the "Car Connect" HD Radio tuner to virtually any car audio system, whether it's a factory stereo or a brand-name CD receiver you've installed yourself. You install the compact tuner box in an out-of-the-way location, and connect it to your current stereo with either the built-in wired FM modulator or the auxiliary stereo output. Mount the control panel in a convenient spot on your dash and you're ready to go.

The control panel features a large, backlit multi-line display that shows station information, as well as artist and song title, with previews for the station's multicast channel. Use the 20 FM and AM presets to skip to your favorite stations with the touch of a button. If you're in unfamiliar territory, just use the manual or seek tuning.

Antenna adapters might be required if you're using the FM modulator to connect a "Car Connect" tuner to your factory stereo. If you haven't already done so, please enter your vehicle information, and we'll include them free with your order if needed.

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Highlights:

  • universal add-on HD Radio tuner
  • connects to factory and aftermarket stereos
  • receives multicasting content (where available)
  • song title/artist info and other text content appears on control panel display
  • wired FM modulator
  • stereo RCA outputs
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • HD Radio tuner (hide away box)
  • Wired Commander with display (10' cable attached)
  • Wireless remote control
  • CR2025 Remote battery
  • 14.5' Wiring harness
  • Four 2 Amp fuses (2 installed)
  • 6.5' Antenna extension cable (male Motorola plug on one end and female Motorola plug on the other)
  • 6.5' Antenna cable (male Motorola plug on both ends)
  • 2 Mounting brackets
  • 4 Machine screws
  • Adhesive backed Velcro
  • User manual

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.

Features
Controls
Connections

Features

Product Overview: The DMHD1000 is an add-on HD Radio tuner you connect to your existing car stereo, factory or aftermarket. HD Radio benefits include:

  • Sound Quality: Radio stations can broadcast more information more accurately with a digital signal, without static or fading in and out. HD Radio describes it as "FM stations with CD-quality sound and AM stations with FM-quality sound."
  • Multicasting: Multicasting means stations can split their signal into two or more different feeds of programming. This potentially gives you two different radio shows or songs on the same frequency (for example, 95.1 would become 95.1-1 and 95.1-2).
  • Text information: Stations can send digital text information to be be displayed on your radio, in this case the Commander LCD display. Typical broadcast information includes artist and song title, weather, or traffic information.

Reception Modes: Along with HD Radio digital transmissions, the DMHD1000 receives analog AM and FM stations, as well as RDS (Radio Data System) information.

Seek Modes: In addition to manual tuning, you can seek stations in three different modes; All (all stations), HD (HD Radio stations only), and Preset (only the stations you've programmed).

Preset Tuning: The tuner allows you to store up to 20 presets, five in each of the four preset banks. Toggle though the preset banks (A, B, C, and D) using the Bank button. Directly access presets in the current bank using one of the preset buttons (1-5).

Display: The Commander has a 4-line display with several different modes. The Status Line across the bottom is common between the display modes. The Status Line shows the preset bank, preset number, seek mode, reception type (AM, FM, RDS FM, HD), and signal strength. When tuning an analog AM or FM station just the band and frequency are displayed on the upper three lines. HD Radio stations offer three options; artist and song title both in a large font, Frequency in a large font and band, artist, and song title in a smaller font, and artist and song title for all the multicast channels on the current frequency. With RDS equipped FM stations you can display the station name and the RDS text, or the frequency and the RDS text. The display brightness and contrast are both adjustable. Dimensions: Width=4.727", Height=1.571", Depth=0.695".

FM Modulator: The receiver's built-in FM modulator can be set to any frequency from 88.1 MHz and 107.9 MHz (in 0.2 MHz steps). The FM modulator can be turned off if not in use. The modulator is wired and plugs into the antenna input of your radio. The benefit of using an HD Radio tuner even with no line level input on your existing radio is reception clarity. When tuning a digital station you'll hear no static and stations won't fade in and out, even AM.

Controls

Commander: The wired commander houses the display and controls, including:

  • Power: Turns the receiver on/off
  • Menu: Accesses the menu options (user setup menu)
  • Display: Changes between the three display modes
  • Band: AM/FM
  • Bank: Changes between preset banks A, B, C, and D
  • Seek: Changes the seek mode; All stations, HD stations only, preset stations
  • Presets: Direct access preset buttons; 1-5
  • Arrows:
    • Up: manually step frequency up/change highlighted menu item
    • Down: manually step frequency down/change highlighted menu item
    • Right: seek next station up the dial/change highlighted menu item
    • Left: seek next station down the dial/change highlighted menu item
  • Select: Choose highlighted menu item

Remote: The wireless remote has the same buttons as the Commander with two exceptions; it has no menu button and it adds a mute button.

Connections

Tuner: The connections on the hide away tuner are all on the same side:

  • Harness: Molex plug for constant power, switched power, and ground; each wire is 14-1/2 feet long and both power leads have a 2 amp fuse in-line
  • Interface: Connection for the wired Commander
  • Audio Output: Left and right line level RCA jacks
  • Antenna Input: Female Motorola jack, connects to the antenna
  • Antenna Input: Female Motorola jack, connects to the radio
 
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Directed "Car Connect" Reviews

Average Customer Review:

13 people say:

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4 out of 5

Works

Written By Trent, Woodstock, GA on Monday, July 07, 2008
 
Works fine but has trouble holding a signal, probably b/c i have no rod antenna in my car, just window prints. AM is no better imo. FM sounds amazing and I love the new stations. The modulator is terible (atleast in my setup, 01 infiniti i30) So i recommend going with the rca outputs if possible.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great Product! Exactly what I wanted!

Written By Daniel, Saginaw, MI on Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have been interested in HD radio for quite some time. I finally went ahead and purchased the Directed unit, because I wanted to keep my High End factory stereo. The installation was simple and Crutchfield included 3 separate antenna adapters free (valued at 10$ each) as well as free shipping. I am able to lock onto most of the AM HD stations from Detroit (WJR, WDFN, etc) from 80 to 90 miles away. AM sounds fantastic ad FM sounds crystal clear. I was skeptical at first, but once i installed it i have been more then satisfied.The unit is also able to receive and decode Motorola C-QUAM AM Stereo broadcasts as well making it the best of both worlds! Reception on conventional AM and FM is improved as well. Great overall Product.
6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Oldsmobile Intrigue GX

Written By Tobey, Denver, CO on Saturday, January 26, 2008
 
I wanted to give HD radio a try, but didn't want to replace my factory head unit to do it, so this was the perfect option for me. Installation was a breeze. During installation attempt #2 I was able to neatly tuck the tuner away in the dash next to the head unit, and completely hide the cable running to the display. The first time I had to button things back up without installing because I couldn't connect it to my GM antenna and had to wait for an antenna adapter to arrive. Clearly I didn't get mine from Crutchfield 'cause they would have taken care of that for me. I'll know better next time!



Anyway, the tuner is very strong, it picks up just about every station in my area. The display is a nice dot-matrix LCD which scrolls song/artist/station info as well as signal strength. You can adjust backlight brightness as well as contrast in the menu. You can even turn the backlight off, if for some reason you would want to... The audio quality is very good, I wouldn't go so far as to say it was "CD quality" like some people say, but it is definitly a step up from analog. The audio quality depends greatly on whether or not the station is multicasting. If a station is streaming more than two channels at once, the main channel can start sounding like streaming internet radio, which is incredibly annoying. But that's not the tuner's fault. I must say, AM is where HD radio really shines. The difference is night and day. HD-AM is definitly as good as FM radio, like they say.



The FM modulator function works good. It broadcasts though the coax going to your radio, so it's pretty much isolated from the outside world, meaning there's little chance of a local radio station stomping all over your signal all of the sudden.



My only complaint is the audio output is a little on the high side, which I've noticed GM radios don't seem to like. It causes some distortion, which sounds kind of like a slightly out-of-tune FM station. It would have been nice if they included the ability to regulate volume output somewhat. But overall, I'm very satisfied with my purchase.
9 out of 9 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Much better than the JVC

Written By Prateek, Minnetrista, MN on Wednesday, December 12, 2007
 
I got this after returning the JVC unit because of its sub par installation. This unit is outstanding! All of the connections go to a single hub and there is only 1 cable to the controller. With the JVC, the controller contaiins the radio and receives all of the cables.

The unit is much smaller than the JVC and is easier to mount to your car in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

HD radio is great. I highly recommend this product.
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

I love this HDRadio!

Written By Michael, Macomb Township, MI on Monday, July 30, 2007
 
This unit is an incredible bargain. If you do not have the option of adding a module such as Sony's or Kenwood's directly to your head-unit, or prefer to keep you stock car stereo, this is an excellent alternative.

Directed has included a small but very functional control unit with an easily readable display. It even includes RDS so users can see station call letters and other information from stations that have yet to turn on HDRadio. I also love that I can see what is playing on the HD1 channel while listening to the HD2.

Sound quality is great, and the RF linkup is far superior those that simply broadcast through the air - this actually inserts into the car's antenna prior to the radio. I needed an adaptor for my Dodge antenna, though.

I also noted that the RCA line output jacks' level is way too high for direct connection to most stereos, and required a pad in my setup.

HDRadio is on almost every FM in my area and several AM stations. Highly recommend this unit as an easy way to enjoy this new service.
28 out of 29 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

A good value

Written By Ryan from Ohio, Toledo Ohio on Saturday, June 09, 2007
 
HD Radio is truly a wonder. If you haven't bought into the satellite radio you should buy into this! Its nice to get the "normal" station but in HD format, then the benefit of HD2 channel. Thats correct, this tuner is capable of HD2 also!


Lets talk sound:

I coupled the Directed Car Connect up with my head unit. The sound being reproduced is superior to the regular FM stations, especially when its a station that commonly has static for whatever reason. Some have claimed CD quality sound, I wouldn't say CD quality. I feel it lacks some depth at this point. However there is no distortion, no static- just music.

Installation is not bad. I think Directed's intent is to have this as a trunk mounted unit. However in some situations there may not be enough length in the cords for the power or antenna. You are best served to find a place behind the dash in my opinion. This also gives you greater flexibility with the control panel. For instance I have an Oldsmobile Alero. Placing the "brain" in the center console I was able to mount the controls in the above pocket. If the unit was installed in the trunk, this would of not been possible.

Use: Im still learning how to fully use it. The HD station seek is a nice feature! Also having more than 3 "banks" of presets makes it very nice and easy to store multiple stations.

Complaints:
Cord lengths to short for trunk install.
FM and AM signal on your head unit has interference on weaker stations when the Car Connect is on. If you want to listen to your regular head unit tuner, turn the Car Connect off.
19 out of 21 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Directed "Car Connect"

Written By Bob, St. Louis, MO on Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
The Car Connect was easy to install and works well.
The sound quality is good and it's easy to program
and select channels. I discovered one big annoyance
for AM listeners. When the Car Connect is turned on,
AM reception on the in dash radio is totally destroyed.
I even added an antenna "Y" connector which
bypassed the antenna loop through with no success.
To listen to AM on the in-dash radio, the Car Connect
must be turned off. I found that my in-dash AM has a
little better audio response than the Car Connect AM,
making the dash radio my choice for AM listening.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

It's an HD Tuner

Written By Ken, Kansas City, Mo on Monday, May 21, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Was dissappointed by the sound quality of the tuner. When in non HD mode the FM has a recurring pop that is very annoying. In HD mode the sound is better but nowhere near the CD quality that HD claims to have. I ran the sound both through the FM passthrough and the RCA jack directly to the AUX input on my radio with no change in sound quality. I know the AUX input on the Bose radio can handle a CD quality signal because thats how the factory cd changer hooks to the radio. However the unit does what it claims to do which is recieve HD radio signals and gives the the digital info from the non HD stations.
6 out of 8 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

HD upgrade for my 03 Subaru Forester XT

Written By Bobby, Newberg, OR on Monday, May 14, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I listen to AM talk radio & they now offer HD, so I thought this add on HD receiver would be a nice upgrade to my older Sony receiver.

My Sony receiver did not have audio in jacks, so had to use the built in FM modulator on the HD receiver, with the provided cables. The sound is very good, which can be heard as the HD receiver switches from standard mode to HD mode.

The installation was very easy, but it took a bit of time to find a place for the display panel. I finally decided to place it to the left of my dash cluster, using double sided tape. I was able to run the control cable where it was not visible.

I have to agree with the other reviewer, an option to change the panel color would be nice.

7 out of 8 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Outstanding Unit

Written By Lou, Portland Oregon on Thursday, May 03, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy installation, using some double stick tape and a home fabricated bracket. Less than one hour from arrival to completed installation and perfect operation. Reception is amazing! Crutchfield included adaptor made the installation a snap in my 2001 Mercury Sable. Only suggested comment would be for the cable to be about 12" longer.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Installation in a SAAB 2000 9.5

Written By Flyer3MB, Denver, Colorado on Thursday, April 26, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Intallation was complicated by needing a part (Vehicle Antenna Adapter Cable for SAAB. It is about a foot long with the correct ends). Once you have done this the radio is absolutely fantastic! SAAB cars have terrible AM reception and with this HD radio reception is crystal clear. FM is even better tha factory. Default uses the 88.9 for the HD radio. You can still use the rest of the radio player normally but it sounds terrible compared to the HD radio. CD works properly without any change.

8 out of 9 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

'99 Volvo S80 - Great price, Great Product

Written By Steven, Westchester, NY on Sunday, February 25, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Installed this product myself in under 3 hours. It functions great and even matches my interior, all in all it is a great product. Crutchfield gave me two antenna adapters I needed for free (saving me $40) and my HD radio works like a champ. The only small complaint I have is that because my car does not have an aux input, I am using the FM Modulation feature which still leaves me with slight distortion at certain times. End of story - for $200 I'm very happy to enjoy NYC's over twenty HD channels, half of which cannot even be received with normal radio.
24 out of 24 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great music / mostly commercial free

Written By Jeff, Columbus OH on Sunday, February 04, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Added to a Volvo V70R w SC901 with dolby prologic surround, with terrific results. my radio headunit didn't have an aux input so the Directed HD unit is being run into the radio via a USASpec IPOD adapter and into the SC901's CD6 input. Easy install. I really like the SCAN option allowing selection of only HD sources. There are plenty of presets (15). Having some option to change the screen from orange backlighting to green or blue would be a good upgrade.
77 out of 86 people found this helpful
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