After driving a 2011 Acura TL with a rear video camera I realized how useful a rear cam is and I started to look for options for my M3. Since there were several favorable reviews for the AlekShop rear cam, I decided to go with this kit along with the AlekShop video module and iPhone dock. My main criteria for choosing this rear cam kit were to retain the OEM look and to have a functional and good quality camera. Following installation of the kit, the camera fits seamlessly, is almost undetectable, and has great video quality. The picture-in-picture is a nice feature, too, since I can still use (view and hear) my rear park sensors.
I considered installing the kit myself but decided against it (too scared
) and had the kit installed at Driver Source. Driver Source mentioned the kit was very easy to install (complete plug-and-play and no programming required) and they were also impressed with the quality of the kit.
I’ve now been using the rear cam for 2 days and backing into spaces is embarrassingly easy. Between the rear cam, the cam guidelines (overlays on the screen), and the rear park sensors it’s just about impossible to screw up parking!
The iPhone dock was a very straightforward install and meets my need of not needing to use the armrest to connect my iPhone. I still have some tweaking to do (dock connection location and playing iPhone videos on the Nav screen), but the iPhone dock is great as-is: my iPhone 4 fits nicely into the dock (the smartphone integration became unusable after buying an iPhone 4) and also charges my phone while plugged in.
Other than the PnP features, I haven’t had chance to play around with the other features of the video module as I don’t have any DVDs to test and I’m unsure of the steps to play a video from my iPhone on the screen. However, there seem to be at least 2 AV connections that can be utilized. Switching between video sources is very easy; simply use the short cut buttons on the steering wheel. In addition, the PnP location can be adjusted by utilizing the shortcut buttons, too.
All in all, I’m very impressed with the AlekShop products I purchased: quality, integration, and functionality (jeez, I'm sounding like an advert
). Furthermore, Alek has been very prompt with answering questions I have asked.
Now for the pics:
Rear view cam kit and video module
PnP: park sensor and rear cam
An alternate PnP of the park sensor and rear cam
iPhone Dock (note: the white docking station insert is not present)