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Mio Navman Spirit TV Satnav Criticised

Consumer Electronics manufacturer Mio has just announced a new range of GPS devices that integrates a clever piece of technology, an inbuilt Freeview television to make drivers' lives more bearable.

However, the move was criticised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and Duncan Vernon, Road safety manager for RoSPA, told tech website PC Pro that "At the moment the law prevents the use of some TVs in cars, and that's because it would be completely impossible to watch TV and drive safely at the same time"

Mio's Satnav peripherals do come with prevention measures but these are limited only to warning messages being displayed while driving. If the car moves while the TV tuner is on, the Satnav flashes a second warning rather than automatically switching off the TV functionality.

According to Mio, the Navman TV Range provides with an "easy-to-use, multi-channel entertainment" starting at £229.99 V505 that comes with a 4.7-inch widescreen while the slightly more expensive V735 (£299.99) comes with a rather gigantic 7-inch widescreen.

Both comes with an inbuilt telescopic antenna (remember these?) as well as a 7-day EPG. On top of that, Mio Satnavs are equipped with touchscreen functionality, Google search, TruMap, NavPIX geotagged photos and Junction views plus they come with a remote control.

The V735 can also play videos, MP3 tracks, still photos, act as a FM transmitter as well as a genuinely useful pedestrian mode.

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Our Comments

The decision to use the television feature of the Mio Navman resides on the shoulders of the drivers. By itself, watching television - for example when waiting for someone - is not dangerous. However, it is likely that the feature could cause accidents when used at the wrong time. Pricewise though, the Mio Navman is a cracking bargain.

Related Links

Road safety campaigners slam new sat nav TVs (opens in new tab)

Mio Navman Spirit TV V735 and V505 digital TV PNDs announced (opens in new tab)

Mio Navman Spirit sat nav TVs come under fire (opens in new tab)

TV satnav worries accident watchdog (opens in new tab)

Mio Launches V505 and V735 Sat-Navs (opens in new tab)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.