Caska Car Multimedia System
You can find the specifications and more information of the system at http://www.caska.co.za.
I recently bought a new car, after some tribulations and great service from VW Alberton and Malcolm, my radio was exchanged and a Caska Multimedia System was fitted with a rear camera. I thought I would share my experiences. Firstly, I must say that the service levels from Planet Electronics was exceptional.
Much as expected from the documentation and advertising the unit looks like it was factory fitted. It looks the part. Before I carry on, let me be clear I would get this unit again on a car that has no multimedia system fitted.
It works as advertised and and it does most of it’s individual functions well enough but it is not without failures. A simple example is when I engage the reverse gear and the rear view camera switches on the sound is cut off or muted on most my speakers. Another scenario is even more baffling, music streaming via the Bluetooth, a call comes through, no problem, then the call ends and for some unknown reason the device switches itself to the radio, not back to streaming.
Another irritating fact is the SD card slots, they are upside-down. And the last of the lot, most probably the worst, the user interface, it’s all over the show and inconsistent. For example, the SD interface is totally different to the iPod interface and so it goes on.
The Bluetooth, radio and iPod sections of the system work very well are are a joy to use. The GPS works as expected though the interface and configuration are nothing to rave about, the maps are accurate. I just wish that it used the Garmin or Tomtom software both of which are available on the Windows CE/Mobile platform as I understand it.
I tried to use the DVD and it worked as expected, it’s a shame about the interface, which is shared with the SD card reader interface as a matter or interest. i have not attempted to use the the built in music drive as yet but I expect that it will work just as well as the rest.
To summarise, I think with a little tweaking on the switching of purposes and a new user interface this could be a great multimedia system. I think it needs a little work. For now it remains a good unit but not a great one. It is a petty because it has everything to be more than it is. Currently, it appears as disjointed software on a Windows CE shell.
Maurice van Heerden, Director of Planet Electronics replies:
Thanks for your valuable feedback!
A product of this nature, is highly feature loaded and complex to design, both physically and in terms of software. Although Caska makes every effort to streamline software design as much as possible, they are limited by the code used across the range of vehicle specific models which they manufacture. Different code for different units is not done in order to keep costs down and manufacturing numbers up. We have made various changes and improvements for the South African consumer however, SA is a minuscule part of CASKA’s business (they manufacture and sell around 200k units p/month globally) and therefore our requests are a fairly low priority to them.
No piece of software is perfect, my phone sometimes freezes, I often have to re-set my computer and I find some of the software design for online applications frustrating however, the products which sometimes irritate me also make my life much easier and afford me far more joy than frustration. I feel our Caska range of products, although not always perfect, add a huge amount to the driving experience. It make my driving experience a better, easier and more enjoyable one which is at the end of the day, the goal.
That said, we continue to strive for the perfect product and hope to one day achieve this.
I trust that you will enjoy your system in its current format.
Added: 2012/01/11 Maurice van Heerden’s reply
Pascal's day job is as a technologist but you can mostly find him behind a camera after hours. As a passionate photographer he regularly shares his experiences with the world. From how-to to reviews you will find it all in his regularly updated blog, LivDigital and other places.