HDS, a major Lowrance refresh
Today Lowrance is announcing a new series of multifunction displays called HDS that I’m excited about seeing at the boat show (and trying when they ship in a few months). The acronym stands for High Definition System, and seems justified on several counts: all the plotter/fishfinders in the series have Lowrance Broadband Sounder technology built in; all have new and more detailed Lake Insight, Nautic Insight or at least an enhanced U.S. basemap built in, and can display every Navionics chart card, including HD Platinum Plus; and all, even the 5” combo model above, can also display Lowrance HD radar, via Ethernet. And there’s more…
All the HDS screens—which come in 5”, 6.4”, 8.4”, and 10” sizes—supposedly incorporate the “latest SolarMAX PLUS display enhancement” and the models with the two bigger screens have soft keys in addition to what’s termed “a newly designed menu system.” Notice the very neat looking soft key implementation on the HDS 10 below, and bigger here .
All HDS models (except the sonar-only ones) will also be able to integrate with a new Sirius Satellite Weather and Audio receiver that Lowrance is introducing, and all include Lowrance’s already well developed NMEA 2000 abilities. In fact, I asked about AIS target display—which is not mentioned in the press releases that should come out any minute—and learned that HDS will support it via N2K (and thus the Navico NAIS-300). It seems to me that HDS, which will range from about $900 to $2,800, may be as useful on salt water as it is with Lowrance’s core freshwater fans. While I’ll report back after I visit Lowrance’s booth today, you also might want to check out www.hdsrevolution.com.