Introduction: Play Video Via USB on Nissan or Infiniti Vehicles (May Work for Others)
If you have a Nissan or Infiniti vehicle with the in vehicle entertainment system, you probably noticed that USB was an optional video source. You might have even put some videos on a flash drive and tried to play them. But as of 2014, the Nissan system is still using a 13 year old Codec called DivX. It's not the greatest quality, and the files are big, but it does work and it was really cheap for Nissan. To put it bluntly, that $2000 entertainment systems uses the same format that your $50 10 year old DVD player uses. That being said, this guide will show you how to convert any videos you have, DVD rips, downloads or home videos, into the proper format so that you can play them in your car.
Step 1: Gather Up Your Videos!
The first thing you'll need to do is to compile a list of videos to put onto that flash drive. It's easiest if you put them all in one folder, but if you're organized, that's not really critical. There are lots of guides to teach you how to use Handbrake to rip DVDs or use http://keepvid.com/ to download YouTube videos (Technically against the ToS) so I won't go into that here. Most likely you're doing this for your kids so that you don't have to change discs or press play for them, after all this is 2014! I've found all sorts of great kids materials online and we've ripped several movies for them. A great idea is two Flash drives, one with short clips for short trips, and other discs full of full length videos. Since you can often get a digital copy when you buy a Blu-Ray, you can use those too.
Step 2: Install WinFF
Now you'll need to convert those videos into a format your car can recognize. To do this, you'll need to do what's called "Transcoding" which is to convert them from whatever format they are currently in, to a DivX compatible format with the Right FourCC code. The easiest, legal and free solution I've found is to use WinFF which is really just a graphical interface to the ffMPEG transcoder. They make a similar OSX version as well http://www.iffmpeg.com/, but this guide is for Windows and Linux Users. Download the latest version of WinFF from here: http://winff.org/html_new/downloads.html
If you have a new computer, you probably have a 64Bit Operating System. You always want to use the 64-Bit version of software if you can since it can use up all that powerful hardware without limitations. But if you try the 64 bit version and it doesn't work, just download the (all windows versions)
To install it, just download the installer, run it and choose all of the defaults. It doesn't install any other junk, so you're safe.
Step 3: Configure WinFF Presets
1) Start WinFF. It's installed under Programs >WinFF > WinFF
2) Now you'll need to setup the Nissan DivX preset but going to Edit > Presets
3) Create a Preset for Nissan Divx Widescreen
Option A) Simply import the NissanDivXWidescreen.wff file I have attached.
i) Download the NissanDivXWidescreen.wff file.
ii) Click Import
iii) Select the NissanDivXWidescreen.wff file
iv) Click Open
Option B) Manually create a new preset
i) Click the top ------ line
ii) Set the following values:
Preset Name = NissanDivXWide
Preset Label = Nissan DivX Widescreen
Preset Command Line Parameters = -f avi -r 29.97 -vcodec libxvid -vtag dx50 -vf scale=704:384 -aspect 16:9 -maxrate 1800k -b:v 1500k -qmin 3 -qmax 5 -bufsize 4096 -mbd 2 -bf 2 -trellis 1 -flags +aic -cmp 2 -subcmp 2 -g 300 -acodec libmp3lame -ar 48000 -b:a 128k -ac 2
Output File Extension = avi
Category = AVI
Step 4: Prepare Your Flash Drive
You can use any size flash drive from about 1GB up to 64GB, but you'll want to use a sufficiently sized flash drive! With the DivX codec on this screen 1MB ~ 15 seconds of video
I recommend this since it's tiny in size but huge in storage: http://smile.amazon.com/SanDisk-Cruzer-Low-Profile-Drive--SDCZ33-064G-B35/dp/B00FJRS6QY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407692245&sr=8-2&keywords=low+profile+usb+flash+drive
Format the drive as FAT32
1) Go to My Computer
2) Right click on the Flash drive and select format
3) Be sure the File System is set to FAT32
4) Check Quick Format (Not necessary, but much faster)
5) Click OK
Step 5: Add Your Videos to Convert
1) Choose Convert to: AVI
2) Select Nissan DivX Widescreen
3) Choose the output folder. This can either be your USB Flash drive or a local folder if you'd like to save the files for later use on additional devices.
4) Choose the files to convert by clicking Add and selecting the files you want on your drive. (Try with just a single short video before doing a massive conversion!)
5) Click Convert!
Now you just have to wait. A black DOS screen will come up as it converts the video, frame by frame into the right format. Depending on the speed of your computer and the amount of videos you're converting, this could take from 5 minutes for a single video clip up to hours for several full length films. Just be patient.
Step 6: Great Ready...
If you did everything correctly, you'll now have a USB flash drive full of AVI files.
1) Close the drive and any programs using your flash drive.
2) Right click on the USB Icon by your clock (The one with a green check mark on it)
3) Select Eject on your USB Drive. (I'm using a Cruzer Glide but your's will probably be different.)
4) Pull out the Flash Drive form your computer
Step 7: Install the Flash Drive in Your Car and Test It!
In you center console, you'll see a USB Port behind a little dummy door. Open that door and insert your flash drive.
Now power up your system. You can use either the front screen or the remote to change the source to USB. Press Play and Viola! You should start seeing your videos playing on screen. By default, they'll just play in alphabetical order which might be fine. If you'd like to change the order, just stick he drive back in your computer and put a number in front of each video. Since the system will sort by numbers before letters, it will let you order the videos however you'd like. You also have the option of sorting files into folders which you can skip via the remote or the front screen.
If you need to control the rear DVD player, just press the AUX button. You can even press List button to see all of the files on disc. In case you didn't know, you won't be able to see the video on the front screen unless you press the parking brake.