Garmin Goes Deep with Ultra High-Definition Scanning Sonar - 03/20/2018
Garmin Ultra High-Definition
Garmin says its Ultra High-Definition SideVü (shown at left in split-screen above) and ClearVü provide detailed pictures of structure and fish deeper than before.

Garmin International says that its Ultra High-Definition scanning sonar uses a range of higher frequencies to deliver better images of fish and structure at greater depths. According to the manufacturer, the image detail level from this system is sharpened thanks to frequencies ranging from 0.8 to 1.2 MHz that reach down to 200 feet below the boat and put more sonar power on the targets and bottom structure.

Garmin Ultra High-Definition
Garmin provided this comparison of standard scanning sonar (left) and Ultra High-Definition ClearVü scanning sonar (right), where the difference in definition and detail is apparent.

The system includes Ultra High-Definition ClearVü and Ultra High-Definition SideVü sonar. The ClearVü version uses a downward-pointing transducer. The Ultra High-Definition SideVü offers a scrolling view of what’s passing to either side of the boat. Garmin says the system provides the greatest level of detail from its sonar systems to date, and that the new technology is compatible with the all GPSMAP and many ECHOMAP Plus multifunction displays.

Garmin Ultra High-Definition
The GCV 20 sounder black box networks all sounder data and distributes it to the displays on board with 3 Garmin Marine Network ports.

The centerpiece of the Ultra High-Definition sonar system will be a GCV 20 sonar black box, and it will link to a GT34UHD transducer which will be available with both transom and trolling-motor mounts. The retail price is expected to be $599.99. The system will be compatible with the following Garmin systems:

  • GPSMAP 8400/8600
  • GPSMAP 7400/7600
  • GPSMAP 10x2/12x2
  • GPSMAP 12x2/12x2xsv Touch
  • GPSMAP 7x2/9x2 series chartplotters
  • 7-inch ECHOMAP Plus combo series
  • 9-inch ECHOMAP Plus combo series

A through-hull transducer, the GT34UHD-TH, will also be available for a suggested retail price of $799.99 for a single transducer, while the GT34UHD-THP includes two transducers for $1,249.99. The GCV 20 will also allow the user to share data from Garmin’s Panoptix all-seeing sonar across multiple displays on the boat, by using the extra network expander.

Garmin Ultra High-Definition
This Ultra High-Definition SideVü image shows a submerged bridge with some barricades still on its surface, according to Garmin.

Garmin GCV 20 Physical Specifications

Dimensions: 9.9"×7.6"×2.6" (251 mm × 192 mm × 66 mm)

Weight: 1.86 lbs. (845 g)

Water rating: IPX7

Garmin Marine Network™ ports: 3

Temperature range: From 5°F to 158°F (from -15°C to 70°C)

Sonar Features & Specifications

Frequencies supported:

  • Ultra High-Definition ClearVü: 0.8 MHz (800 kHz), CHIRP range: 760-880 kHz
  • Ultra High-Definition SideVü: 1.2 MHz (1,200 kHz), CHIRP range: 1,060-1,170 kHz
  • Transmit power: 500 W rms

Maximum depth:

  • 200' Ultra High-Definition ClearVü
  • 125' to each side Ultra High-Definition SideVü, 250' total
Garmin Ultra High-Definition
A pair of through-hull GT34UHD-THP transducers is one option for the Ultra High-Definition scanning sonar system.