Hi out there,
I was reading on this board for some time, and this is my first post now... after being "infected" from all you guys ;-))
I have a 2001 5 series BMW, and it contains the "big" Nav system with the 16:9 screen and a lot of other stuff (TV, CD-Changer, ...).
After getting some information via some german BMW boards, I have a setup with a portable MP3 player, running via the tape deck input (long story...), but this is not really nice - I would like to use the installed screen to connect a real pc to it.
Now me and some guys over here figured out some more details about the system:
There's a video module in the back which controls the screen. Fortunately, we found that there are two separate inputs for video signals. One is for the NTSC standard, one for PAL.
On the weekend I finally got things running, so I was able to connect a notebook to the inputs and get a Windows screen on the LCD.
Unfortunately the PAL input is blanked when the car is moving faster than a few km/h (for safety reasons), but the NTSC input still works when you're in motion. But the quality is very bad, so I'm searching for a better solution now.
The TFT is connected via RGB cables to the video module, so now here are my questions:
Does anybody know what kind of screen that is? Somebody told me it's a NEC OEM, but I couldn't find anything more about it.
Does anybody know the resolution of the screen?
And finally the most important: how can I hook a PC to the RGB cables? The quality should be very good then, but I don't know if that is possible without extra hardware. Can I try it with an ordinary VGA - RGB cable? I don't want to kill the screen cause it's VERY expensive.
Thank you for your help.
thanks for the reply.
As I wrote, I have figured out how to connect the video signal via the composite input to the screen. That's the way all the other guys do it, too (including NAV-TV which charge you MUCH too much for the littel reverse camera), to get their DVD's on the screen, and the quality is okay for this purpose.
Anyway, I would prefer hooking the computer directly to the RGB signals, as I expect the quality to be much better and I could use the installed screen for the desktop. Just an old board, a keyboard - that's it!
Now, I searched the net again, and I found this:
Did anybody try this out?
I remember a guy (from this board!) who tried it and was satisfied with it, but I can't remember his name.
Cause this would be the real deal, the interface is very cheap, and I would get rid of that double conversion of the signal.
that can be one way to try it... thanks!
Anyway, I started a new thread because I found some more information on that screen.
There is a site somewhere I seen where this guy wiht a bmw 3 series, who's some electrical engineer got the stock LCD to accept input from any composite source...not only that he built some device so he could output the song info to the built in stock LCD which usually displays time, gas mileage etc... damm if i could only find that site again....
does anyone know who im talking about here??
please, please, please, please, please, ... try to find it... that is exactly what I'm searching for!
2001 PT Cruiser "BLK ICE"
my fiance just got a 325Ci that came with that factory installed screen system. Before I start dismantling (and possibly destroying) the dash could you tell me where and how these PAL/NTSC inputs are to see if it worths the effort to try doing it myself?
Are they at the back of the screen/headunit? Are there any female RCA connectors present or I have to open the headunit's case in order to find solder pads and solder wires? Are these inputs marked on the PCB? Is there picture quality desent compared with other composite TFTs of the same size?
The composite inputs are on the video module. There are two connectors, a blue one and a white one, where all the signals run through. They are not like RCA, you have to apply some spare contacts to the connectors, but that's easy.
The whole thing is prepared to work with external signals, you don't need to solder anything.
I don't know where the video module is in a 325 (since I have a 5 series), but normally it is somewhere in the back of the car (under the rear seats, in the side of the boot, ...).
Check some BMW forums, and you will find the answer.
In the back of the head unit there are also inputs which come from that video module, but these are as I said RGB signals with sync-on-green.
I have opened the whole unit and disassembled it completely, and I also disassembled the whole TFT unit. The controller is in the back of the screen. Therefore I can tell you that I didn't find anything on the PCB to hook directly on.
The quality of the screen is quite good, comparable with others in the same dimensions and resolutions. It's a Sharp TFT, and the resolution is 400xRGBx240(234) dots for the 16:9 widescreen. If you supply a proper signal to the composite Video-in you can watch movies without problems, but a computer screen (640x480) is unreadable unless you set the fonts to a big size.
It is very hard to get information about the whole stuff; BMW is not helping in any way, so we have to figure out everything by ourselves.
I have a lot of knowledge now about my system, so if you need some more help...