This is a quick video review of the 2011 Tele Atlas Navigation DVD modified with Police Speed Traps and Red Light Camera POI for BMW cars. PART ONE - Intro to DVD features and Red Light Camera Demo: PART TWO - Police Speed Trap Demo:
As of January 2011 the BMW Dealerships in the USA do not
sell their 2011 Tele Atlas Navigation DVDs with the Red Light Cameras & Police Speed Trap POI (POI = points of interest)
so as a result the 2011 DVD that I bought is a "modified" version of the OEM DVD that is identical in every way to the OEM disc with the inclusion of the camera and speed trap POI.
In the written review below I will refer to the 2011 Tele Atlas DVD as modified.
My first attempts at purchasing the modified 2011 Tele Atlas DVD was met with disappointment as some eBay sellers of modified DVDs tend to use the free torrent download and speed burn the info onto a cheap purple dye DVD-R blanks. These disc do not work. At best you may get a copy that works for a couple of days or weeks before you start getting error messages on your MK4 computer. Eventually these "back up" discs are said burn out the optical eye reader in the MK4 drives.
If you are interested in how not to get ripped off buying eBay Navigation DVDs see my footnote below at this asterisk*
This picture shows the first set of eBay discs that I received. These didn't last more than a 30 minute drive before I got an error message.
However, I eventually found a very high quality DVD and was able to spend some time testing it out in my car around NYC. I had a brand new Dec 2010 TOMTOM XXL 550TM GPS unit at my disposal that has red light cameras and speed trap features. So I had a the ultimate benchmark of all the portable GPS products to compare my new modified 2011 Tele Atlas DVD to. Here are the results: PROS:
- The Modified 2011 DVD is very
fast. I also use the factory OEM 2010 Tele Atlas DVD daily in my car and the modified 2011 disc was just as fast if not faster!Towards the end of the video review I pull up a destination about 28 miles away from my location and LITERALLY within a second the MK4 has routed my trip.
- The Red Light Cameras are very much on point and up to date. Even all the new cameras that went up around Brooklyn since summer of 2010 are ALL on the DVD.
- The Police Speed Traps are not exclusive to Speed Traps but it shows the Police Cars POI icons at locations on the map where Police cars, marked and unmarked, tend to hang out and ticket unsuspecting drivers for traffic infractions (seat belts, cell phones, running stop signs/red lights, not using turn signals, illegal turns/u-turns, etc...). I find this to actually be more useful than anything else (especially in New York City) since you can get traffic tickets for other things beside speeding and running red lights.
- The 2011 DVD also has all the up to date POIs and street names from 2010. Not that much has changed in the year but it seems to be truly up to date. CONS:
- The Red Light camera and Speed Trap features are not embedded into the map as an Active Traffic Feature like it is on the TOM TOM devices and the European DVDs that has the Red Light Cameras and Speed Trap Feature. Rather it is just more or less of a passive POI display icon. Also, because it is only a POI, to access it you have to dig thru the Tele Atlas Nav menus to get to it. Then to see them you have to display them as POIs. This is only useful if you tend to have your Nav screen in FULL Route Map Display mode when you drive and you tend to look at your Navigation screen frequently. I don't do neither of these but at the start of my trip I just scan the map at radius with in where I am driving to see where the cameras and traps are.
Also the 2011 DVD as well as all the MK4 based nav DVDs seem to display one POI icon at a time. So I cannot get both the Red Light Cameras locations POI Icons and the Police Speed Trap location POI Icons at the same time to show on my Map Screen. I'm not sure if there is a method for getting more than one POI Icon to show on the MK4 map screens but at this time I don't know of any.
In contrast, the TOM TOM Go XXL device has the cameras and traps embedded onto the maps as a traffic feature and not a POI (for example a street name is a traffic feature where as a Coffee Shop or Book Store is a POI). This means that every time you drive within 50 yards of a red light camera or trap the TOM TOM beeps to alert you and flashes an icon on the map screen showing you exactly where the camera or trap is. This is a much better use of the Red Light Camera feature. The TOM TOM is also superior in that it updates itself anytime so that any changes to the maps and traffic features are added to the device as soon as possible. This highlights the biggest flaw of DVD based Navigation in that the DVD consumer needs to wait a year and pay more money for a new Tele Atlas DVD in order to get current updates to the maps. IN CONCLUSION:
I only purchased the modified 2011 DVD for fun and as a novelty item. I mainly use the OEM factory disc in my car. Because the price of modified DVDs tend to be much cheaper online than factory DVDs I will say buy them at your discretion. At the end of the day nothing can and should replace the factory OEM disc, but because factory means shelling out $200 every year for updated discs I totally understand if someone wants to go the cheap route since these Navigation DVDs eventually get replaced in your car at the end of the year anyways .
That said I had plenty of fun using the red light camera and traps feature. Not that I tend to run lights or speed around the place needlessly but it is ALWAYS good and exciting to "know" where and how you can get caught! 4.5 out of 5 stars! These pictures show a step by step by step by step of bring up the Red Light Camera as a POI Icon to see where they are. To search for Police Speed Traps you repeat the process to reveal the POI icons for the Speed Traps.
* Three things to watch out for if you plan to buy a modified 2011 Tele Atlas DVD off eBay.
1.DVD-R copies will NOT work in the MK4 or other Professional BMW DVD computers.The way the DVD-R stores information makes it difficult for the MK4 eye to read repeatedly over and over and it will eventually either give an error message to remove the disc, or stop reading the disc all together, or the MK4's eye reader can be ruined from repeatedly trying to read a bad disc.
DVD-R may very bad but DVD+R, which is night and day different, is very good.
The best way it was explained to me is that when you burn information to a DVD-R it is like hand writing your college application essay onto a big blank piece of paper with a blunt crayon. On the other hand, DVD+R is like typing your essay onto graph paper where every letter fits into its own box. The benefits of a DVD-R is that it will be easier and faster to scribble your essay across the blank paper with the crayon but the downside is that it will be tough to read. However, the downside of a DVD+R is that it will be slower to type your essay carefully onto the graph paper but the upside of that is it will be easy on your eyes and a computer to read (especially when you have a fragile $700+ MK4 computer). This is basically how DVD-R and DVD+R are different and how your MK4 reads them.
People tend to buy DVD-R because they are cheaper, more readily available, have the appeal of higher burn speeds and are said to be the only blank DVD media that will work on very old (pre-1999) computer based DVD-ROM Drives and home DVD players.
Shops and brand packaging information don't tend to advertise the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R so most people outside of the Info Technology, Graphic Arts and Professional Photography circles don't even realize there is a difference.
Keep in mind that the MK4 is reading the information on that DVD+R/DVD-R surface over and over again at very high speeds.
2.Using cheap DVD blanks with the dark purple dye on the underside is BAD as the dye eventually flakes off from normal use. Various dyes are used in the industry to make the information on burned DVDs easy to read with purple dye being the most popular. However, guess what makers of cheap blanks tend to do to over compensate for their poorly made product? They pour on as much cheap purple dye as they can to prevent burn/read errors. Also the industry that produces DVD blanks use so many types of unregulated dyes that quality obviously becomes an issue. Note that the companies whose Brand Name are on the packaging like Sony, Memorex, Philips, Verbatim DO NOT make DVD blanks. They purchase bulk blanks from other smaller companies and then add their brand logo to the packages). Next time you get your hands on any blank DVD media run a DVD identification program on it and you will see who made that blank. You may be surprised to see that the $1.00 Sony blank came from the same Taiwan factory as the 10 cent No-Name brand.
Taiyo Yuden, the best and most expensive DVD blank makers, use silver thermal discs and their discs tend to have a perfect dye that is close to silver with only a slight tinge of purple. They are a Japanese company that make DVD blanks for the JVC company in the USA.
Basically it comes down to this: Dark purple is bad but Very Light purple to Silver is good.
3. Burning your DVDs at a higher than 1x or 2x speed is BAD and will either give error messages or ruin your MK4 drive from repeated use. Again this is like the crayon written essay that is done in 3 minutes vs. the type written essay onto graph paper that is done in 30 minutes. One will be sloppy, full of errors and easy to write fast but very hard to read. The other takes time and is neater but will be easy to read and easy to find information on.
This video below shows what a bad modified/bootleg copy of the Navigation Disc will do to your MK4 computer:
If you get any type of error message using a bootleg or modified disc REMOVE the disc IMMEDIATELY and never use it again.
Funny thing is I noticed that the TOM TOM devices (this is our old TOMTOM ONE 3rd edition device that was replaced by the new XXL 550TM)
also uses Tele Atlas Maps and has been using them at least as far back as 2007!