Garmin video, & a KVH TracVision M3 deal


We interrupt Panbo’s regular NMEA 2000 programming for some video side experiments. Seen above is what you get if you plug a DVD player into a Garmin 5212’s RCA “video in” port. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a multifunction display that could show video completely full screen (correction: with the exception of Standard Horizon, which can purportedly go to every edge when fed the right aspect ratio). But neither have I seen one that used quite as little of the available screen as this Garmin is doing; on the other hand, the 5212’s’s video image is really sharp and rich, there are lots of controls (as shown), and if you put it into a quarter screen window it does fill its whole width.

I’m fairly confident that the sizing above is not due to the particular DVD player I used because I got the same result from a KVH TracVision M3 satellite TV system. It was during my original testing of that revolutionary system that I saw a lot of MFD video imagery. And what the heck was I doing fooling with the M3 again today?
   Ah well, a testing oddity has turned into a great opportunity for someone to get the M3 ST system at what will likely be a decent price, and with your funds going to a good cause. You see KVH didn’t really want a used unit returned and the M3 has been sitting in the Panbo Warehouse for some months. After a recent discussion, the company very nicely suggested that it be donated to a worthy non profit, and I’ve chosen the Community School, which I’ve been a fan of for years and which now employs my spouse in its Passages Program. The M3 is no longer under warranty but it was only installed for about two weeks and is virtually new in its original box. To verify that, I set it up in the back of my truck, with the Garmin, and drove it down to Wayfarer, where it locked onto a Direct TV satellite in about 30 seconds (too many trees at the lab). And it stayed locked on no matter how John Gass or I swung the antenna around. Good times! John also checked out the various setup and status screens, and that all parts are in good order, and he’ll be writing a “tested fine” certification. The M3 will be in the Community School’s annual auction on Saturday, May 10, and is thus another good reason to visit Maine.


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

3 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    Hi Ben.
    The third generation Sea Ray Navigator ( and companion i3) are able to display full screen DVD images in a high resolution 1024 x 768 format.
    This was introduced at the Miami Show 2006.

  2. Russ says:

    I don’t need a TV, but it sort of begs the question of whether there could be a full fledged Panbo spring cleaning garage sale!

  3. Bill says:

    One could make the argument that watching video while at the helm is perhaps a BAD IDEA? That and when anchored up the viewing angle for most chart plotters isn’t any good for watching TV from anywhere in the cockpit.

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