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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I've been reading a variety of threads with interest on the aftermarket options that folks have installed for navigation, hooking up ipods, cell phones, sat radio etc... Many of the thread comment on the deficiencies of the older 1.4 and 2.0 systems, various aftermarket upgrades, etc. The few comments I've read about the factory installed PCM 3.0 systems have been positive.

My situation is this. I'm getting ready to order a Boxster S this week which will be my daily driver. I'm not an audiophile so the sound package plus is fine for audio. Otherwise I'm likely going to order the complete electronic package which is
PCM 3.0 with navigation $3,110
Universal Audio interface $440
XM radio/XM nav traffic $750
Bluetooth interface for mobile $695

As you can see this adds up to $4,995 which is a lot of money!

My reasons for ordering the above include the elegance of having an in-dash system controlling everything including navigation/traffic/sat radio/mobile/ipod, the peace of mind when leaving the car with the top down in a parking lot, safety with cell bluetooth+convenience touch screen with contact list/making calls.
GPS Navigation/XM traffic is important for random trips,weekend trips, and I often drive in the city and like avoid accidents/slow traffic in real time. I enjoy satellite radio, but it's not a must, but you automatically get XM sat radio if you want the XM nav traffic. I have some of these nav features on my iphone, but I have to hold and manipulate the phone which isn't safe for city driving.
I love that through the universal audio interface my iphone playlists pop up on the touch PCM screen and I can shuffle songs, play playlists or search for artist etc,., and my iphone is charged at the same time, while stowed away comfortably even if I'm driving fast and hard.

One thing the Porsche system is missing is the capability to play TV shows/ movies on the PCM screen, either from a DVD or shows I have on my iPhone.

My questions

1-Are current PCM 3.O owners happy with what your systems do? Is there anything you really miss that isn't currently available with the current PCM 3.0 system and the optional porsche components?

2-Are there any in-dash aftermarket devices that do all of those things for much less money? Particularly one that also allows you to play movies from ipod/phone or plays video DVDs?

3-If so how much would it cost to install all the same functionality? (system and labor costs), and can it be done so there are no exposed wires and doesn't alter the external cosmetic appearance of the car.

An aftermarket system would need to be at least $1500 cheaper to make it worth the hassle or it could be similarly priced if it gives me video DVD playback and/or video playback from ipod, but I figure that might be possible since we are starting at $5000 for the porsche components.

Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions
 

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I have a 2009 Boxster that came with the base radio, I have looked into upgrading to the PCM system and its about the same price as ordering it from the factory. Alpine makes a unit that will fit in with slight modifications that will do everything you are looking for in your post, DVD, Ipod, Bluetooth, etc. The system installed will cost around 2500, thats what I was quoted by a professional install place near me. I will tell you that I also have an 09 Cayenne GTS with the PCM factory installed and I love it! my feeling is if I could have the stock system in my Boxster I would be MUCH happier! I am not thrilled with the idea of cutting my dash and having something aftermarket, the Porsche stock system is a nice large touch screen display and is very easy to operate. Just my opinion but I would order the Factory PCM for the extra bucks, if you plan to keep your car for a while I think you would be pleased with it! Good luck with your new wheels! The Boxster is a fun ride!
 

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I have PCM 3.0 in my Cayman S and it compares favourably to systems I have had previously in Jaguars / BMW / MB etc. The mapping software is clear and destination entry works great and here in the UK the traffic info is better than on any other system I have used. Bluetooth and Ipod work fine and have all the functionality I would want and the voice control is the best system I have had in a car. For me it is clearly better than the old system that a friend had in their car.

However, one thing to note about aftermarket, and i am sure that the stipulation is the same in the US, if you fit anything aftermarket and then trade in to a Porsche dealer the trade in value is less as anything which is non Porsche has to be removed and replaced before they can sell it on as a used vehicle.
 

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You might like to look up removing the standard CDR30, and fitting an
AVIC-D3 or simular. There are pleanty of aftermarket units that will give you all you are asking for, and half the price fitted compared to the PCM3.

You dont have to cut your dash board in anyway shape or form, Just remove the CDR30 and fit the new unit, plug and play kits are now on the market, a standard double din fitting so any aftermarket double din unit will fit.
EuroMotorSpeed supplies fitting kits and facia to match. check them out on ebay.

I have an 09 Gen2 boxster S and have removed the CDR30 and Fitted an AVIC-D3 with no problems. sure didnt cost me an arm and leg, you can also add a rear video camera and whatch DVD etc, not sure on TV though, but im sure there are untis that will.

There is loads of information on removing a CDR 30 and fitting after market units on this site.

Thanks :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I appreciate all the comments, particularly from the owners that are happy with their PCM 3.0 systems. From reading this and other forums, I have no doubt I can get an aftermarket in-dash receiver and swap it out. That part I could do myself. Looks like there are some nice models for $1000-$1500.

My concern is all the internal wiring needed to replicate everything beside the simple basic gps receiver, i.e. the wiring and running GPS mount, XM antenna mount, wiring for bluetooth mic near my head, wiring a cable to the center console to hook up my iphone, etc. Worried this might not be as sleek as a factory install, exposed wires/phone, or that the panels might be damaged. I haven't seen anyone describe running a cable to the center console for the ipod(as you seen in a factory install)
 

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I have the PCM 3.0 with Bluetooth, and I'm quite satisfied with it.

Nav systems are not created equal. The PCM 3.0 has its idiosyncrasies (as do all others), but on balance it's at least as satisfactory as anything else I've used.

One nice feature of the PCM 3.0 is its close integration with the instrument cluster. It displays the current radio station and navigation directions at the bottom of the tachometer, and it sets the dash clock using a radio time signal.

On the other hand, steering wheel button controls are available only if you select PDK (or at least that was the case when I ordered my car last fall).

One virtue of factory nav systems is that they can use a vehicle speed signal input to smooth out the nav instructions if you temporarily lose a satellite signal. I'm told this can be a particular problem if you're driving in an area of tall buildings. But I don't know for a fact whether Porsche actually uses a speed input to the nav system.

Porsche's Bluetooth system downloads your phone book onto the PCM system. That's a mixed blessing. It works great with a phone like the LG enV touch, but it results in lost pairing with a phone like the LG VX8700 that doesn't support Bluetooth transfer of the phonebook information (at least in the version offered by Verizon). Here's a link to the Bluetooth compatibility information: http://www.porsche.com/all/media/pdf/MC_Bluetooth_PCNA.PDF
 

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Bedrock,

I was in the same boat as you and decided to go with the factory option(PCM 3.0, Universal Audio Interface, XM, Blutooth and Premium Plus) in my 2010 Cayman custom order due to arrive next month or first week in May. I like the factory look but not the sound. Unfortunately, I am a audiophile and am going to add a JL Audio CleanSweep to keep the factory look and add one set of Focal Utopia Be kit #6 component speakers, Focal Utopia Be 21WX sub and Symphony or Mcintosh amps.

One of my friends just got a Cayenne with PCM 3.0, Universal Audio Interface and Premium plus. His iphone works seamlessly with the factory system and looks great to boot!!

dave-t
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One nice feature of the PCM 3.0 is its close integration with the instrument cluster. It displays the current radio station and navigation directions at the bottom of the tachometer, and it sets the dash clock using a radio time signal.

On the other hand, steering wheel button controls are available only if you select PDK (or at least that was the case when I ordered my car last fall).

One virtue of factory nav systems is that they can use a vehicle speed signal input to smooth out the nav instructions if you temporarily lose a satellite signal. I'm told this can be a particular problem if you're driving in an area of tall buildings. But I don't know for a fact whether Porsche actually uses a speed input to the nav system.
That info is very helpful. I'm looking for reasons to get the full PCM system because I'd rather not hassle with an aftermarket system, but it's hard to ignore the tripled cost. Those extra functions help. I've heard the PCM 3.0 works great with the iphone which is perfect for me.

Can anybody comment on how much of a resale hit you take by putting in an aftermarket system? Wondering how much money I might lose on the back end after saving it on the front?

Any other cool integrated PCM functions you can't find in an aftermarket system?

Anyone think the steering wheel buttons are worthwhile? I worry they make it look like a touring sedan, not a sports car, plus I wonder how much functionality they really add?
 

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On the other hand, steering wheel button controls are available only if you select PDK (or at least that was the case when I ordered my car last fall).
I have 2010 6 speed, with multifunction steering wheel, so you don't need PDK to order the multifunction wheel.

I use the buttons on the wheel everyday, the volume control comes in very handy, especially if you're switching between different stations all the time. Bluetooth integration is fine, no hassles. Mic is well placed, everyone says they hear me fine.

One nice feature of PCM vs aftermarket is the integrated trip computer. The trip computer tracks both "since birth" avg mpg/avg mph vs "current trip" avg mpg/avg mph. Not required of course, but interesting info and I like it, though some probably never look at it.

I really like the Nav in PCM 3.0, compared to my brother's audi mmi nav, and portable magellan GPS for my Mazda.

Plus, if you have Sport Chrono +, I believe you can output the data via usb if you want.

Cons: Dirty fingerprints from all your friends and family that like to play with the touch screen while viewing the map.
 

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> Any other cool integrated PCM functions you can't find in an aftermarket system?

As noted by Morbo, the integrated trip computer is pretty slick. You can display your choice of any four out of 20 available parameters.

The integration of the phone with the dash display is also nice. You can use the lower left lever on the steering column to display your phone book at the bottom of the tach, select a name, and initiate a call.

You can use that same lever to select radio stations or CD tracks from a list displayed at the bottom of the tach. But I haven't discovered a way to restrict the list to only my favorite radio stations, so I find it easier to use the touch screen for that purpose.

The PCM also allows you to set different sound parameters (bass, treble, and loudness) for different sources (FM, CD, etc.)

> Anyone think the steering wheel buttons are worthwhile?

I would have gotten them if they'd been available when I ordered. But the buttons, controls, and touchscreen on the PCM are close at hand and very logically laid out, so I don't feel particularly burdened by the lack of steering wheel buttons.

> Can anybody comment on how much of a resale hit you take by putting in an aftermarket system?

If you're planning to trade in a relatively short time, you'll probably do better financially if you buy a lightly-optioned Boxster like the ones that dealers typically carry in stock. Almost any option is going to depreciate faster than the base car.

Personally, I prefer to buy my cars the way I want them, and then keep them until they die. That way, I don't need to worry about resale value. Here's the option list on my 2010Boxster:
D2 Aqua Blue Metallic
V9 Black Top
TG Sand Beige Full Leather
810 Floor Mats in Interior Color
342 Heated Front Seats
541 Seat Ventilation
P15 Power Seat Package
490 Sound Package Plus
619 Bluetooth Interface for Mobile Phone
P23 PCM 3.0 including Extended Navigation
551 Porsche Windstop (Deflector)
P12 Self-Dim Mirrors & Rain Sensor
P75 Bi-Xenon Headlights with Dynamic Cornering Lights
446 Wheel Caps with Colored Crest
573 Automatic Climate Control
584 Storage box
498 Delete Model Designation

The 551 Windstop is a relatively common option and well worth the price. With it, the Boxster is very comfortable driving with the top down at 70 mph with the temperature in the low 60s.

The P12 Self-Dim Mirrors allow you to drive at night with the top down without seeing bright reflections from every street light in the center mirror. And having the outside mirrors dimmed is nice whether the top is up or down. The P12 option also includes the Rain Sensor. It works well, but there's something strange about a car that has automatic windshield wipers but no automatic headlight switch.

The 498 Delete Model Designation makes it easier to wash and wax the car. And it offers a certain snob appeal: any PCA member will instantly recognize your car as a custom order. On the other hand, you'll have to deal with neighbors, gas station attendants, and folks in store parking lots who come up to you and say "That's a real good-looking car. What is it?"
 

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I have the PCM 3.0, Nav, Bluetooth, UAI and am EXTREMELY pleased with it. It seemed like a lot of money at the time but after I played with the setup the first time, I went away impressed. I went through the same decision as I was looking at 2 final cars: one with my setup, one stripped. A lot of things swayed the final decision but here are my main thoughts:

1. To be fair when comparing OEM to aftermarket, make sure you add the price of the head unit, an amp, some speakers and a top notch installer. I think you'll find the cost is gap is much smaller than many think.

2. As I've gotten older, I have less patience for squeaks, rattles, glitches etc with aftermarket systems. IIRC even top systems like the AVIC units have suffered from issues like slow boot times. I much prefer the idea that if I have a problem, I drive the car into a dealer and it gets fixed under warranty.

3. Integration of features into the rest of the car for me is key. The control functions available through the left stalk are highly underrated. It is very well done, not distracting and easy to access.

4. Resale will likely be better with OEM. Not by a lot..but by a little. If I were the buyer, I would ask myself "did an 18 year old kid at BB do this job or was this done by someone who knew what they were doing". Sad part is the only way to find out would be to dig in to the dash. Can't tell you how many times I've replaced aftermarket head units in friends cars only to find someone had hacked and cut the wiring harness. DOH!

5. The achilles heel of the system - the bloated Bose bass - can be cured in 15 minutes for $2 worth of pillow stuffing. I was amazed and how much better the system sounded with this very simple mod (see the articles section).

Best suggestion would be to go to a dealer or find a local member to do a demo for you. Play around with it and if it suits your needs, go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for everyones comments. I feel better about getting the full integrated Porsche system. I'm putting my order in this week for one of the first 2011 boxsters (the 2011 tweaks helped my decision regarding factory vs aftermarket as the bluetooth and universal audio interface are now standard)

Here is my order and option list-

2011 Boxster S PDK
Sports Chrono Plus
Windstop
Bi-Xenon with Cornering Lights
Autodimming mirrors
Power Seats
Heated Seats and Steering Wheel
18" Boxster S II Wheels
Guards Red
Black Standard Leather
Seat Belts in Guards Red
Deviating Seat Stitching in Guards Red
Porsche Crests on Headrests
Wheel Centers with Full-Color Porsche Crest
Aluminum-look PDK Gear Selector and Handbrake Lever
PCM 3.0 with Nav
XM Traffic/Radio
 

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My concern is all the internal wiring needed to replicate everything beside the simple basic gps receiver, i.e. the wiring and running GPS mount, XM antenna mount, wiring for bluetooth mic near my head, wiring a cable to the center console to hook up my iphone, etc. Worried this might not be as sleek as a factory install, exposed wires/phone, or that the panels might be damaged. I haven't seen anyone describe running a cable to the center console for the ipod(as you seen in a factory install)
The wiring with a new PCM would be even worse you would need an entire new fiber optic bus. Don't know how much that costs but I am sure it is a lot and I am not sure it is something you can do or even get the wiring diagram from Porsche for, so that means on top beaucoup dollars for labor.

Personally I feel to install an entire PCM aftermarket is a waste of money. However, if you install an after market radio you cannot sell your P-Car cpo'ed unless you put the original radio back in.
 

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I think you will love the factory set up. According to the manual it will play the audio only of the DVD although I have not tried it on my 09. I like the integration on the next turn data in the data area of the tac so you do not have to look at the screen and the integration of XM traffic updates with the Nav. On two trips to RI I did not take the same route twice and saved over an hour over taking my non GPS prefered route by avoiding NYC bottlenecks. Also saved both time and miles on trips to Lime Rock Park.
All things considered I would prefer the buttons on the steering wheel for the phone.
If I am not mistaken SCP offers more info/features with the PCM.
Good luck with it and have fun!
 

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In reference to running Ipod cable through the center console. It is fairly easy to run that cable from the front of the console to the storage compartment underneath your arm rest. On a recent install on the 2010 Cayman, we removed the panel which has the 1.5mm jack audio input panel underneath the arm rest.

-Pulled out the ashtray so that we could get a visual of the inside of the center console.
-Took a rigid wire (like a coat hanger) and routed the wire to the same hole they used for the 1.5mm jack under the arm rest. (You'll want to route the cable from the passenger side to make it easy)

At that point, you can notch out the panel referenced earlier for your Ipod cable. Voila, minimal effort, everything clean and hidden away, and only a small piece of panel a little larger than the size of a 9 volt battery is modded in the process.
 
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