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Entertainment in the car: Let me entertain you (2018)

Entertainment in the car
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1. DAB +

R square blue traffic signs along the motorways, on which the VHF frequencies of major radio stations are located, are still witnesses of the last analog bastion in entertainment electronics . The first DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) stations went on air as early as the 1990s, but network coverage was very patchy for a long time.

In the meantime, digital radio based on the latest DAB + standard can be received almost everywhere. The transmission standard for terrestrial reception offers many advantages, especially in the car. Depending on the topography and surroundings, the receiver can offer completely uninterrupted listening pleasure over a long period of time. The digital output signal is divided into small data packets, sent individually and reassembled in the tuner, which makes the signal very robust. The typical VHF noise is also history with the digital standard. If DAB reception breaks down or you leave the transmission area, the hybrid radio in the new Porsche Cayenne automatically switches to the corresponding Internet radio stream so that the station can continue to be heard without interruption. In addition, the data transmission with DAB + can be enriched with additional information such as song titles, album covers or current headlines and weather information, which can be shown on the display in the car.

Last but not least, the wider range of frequencies with DAB + allows simultaneous Broadcasting more radio programs than in the recently quite full VHF network. Many special interest channels, from stations for certain styles of music to radio plays and traffic reports, enrich the entertainment and information offerings for drivers. Digital radio tuners are now standard on all Porsche models.

2. Smartphone coupling

The smartphone has long since become a loyal friend and constant companion. Calendar data, navigation destinations and the personal music library are stored on it. We don't want to do without it while driving. Now that Bluetooth interfaces have already made it possible to access the phone and the music stored on it, mobile phones and cars are growing together even further via the Apple CarPlay smartphone interface. Apps from the iPhone can be displayed on the on-board monitor in the car and operated safely and legally while driving. However, if you pick up your cell phone in your car, you risknot only points and fines, but also massively increases the risk of accidents.

Only apps that do not distract the driver too much are activated for operation on the on-board monitor. This includes access to music and the smartphone's navigation software. Apple's Siri voice control is also an aid while driving. The digital assistant can be activated at the push of a button to read SMS or WhatsApp messages or to have texts dictated. Apple CarPlay is part of the functionality of Porsche Connect.

3. Music streaming

The tape was followed by the cassette, and the record was followed by the compact disk: The data carriers for music were getting smaller and smaller and were also suitable for cars. In many modern cockpits one looks in vain for a slot for CDs. Today we are one step further. Music comes from the Internet, so it no longer has a hard disk. After a relatively short detour via paid downloads of files that contained either individual songs or entire albums, streaming has now established itself. This means the playback of music (and also of films or series) at the time they are received from the Internet. The advantage for the customer: With a low subscription fee, he has access to millions of songs, and almost the entire musical archive of mankind can be called up at any time. The easiest way to use streaming services is to download the app of the respective provider, such as Spotify, to your smartphone. The received music is then sent to the hi-fi system in the car via Bluetooth.

The streaming software only stores a small part of it in order to enable smooth playback. All music data is compressed for transmission, which sound experts often use as an argument against streaming. The compression rate can be adjusted, however, and the sound quality is easily sufficient for on the go. Anyone who streams a lot of music needs a mobile phone contract with a high data volume to avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of the month.

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