Play Video Via USB on Nissan or Infiniti Vehicles (May Work for Others)

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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

Click Save

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.

Enjoy!

1 Person Made This Project!

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28 Comments

0
rocko3210
rocko3210

Question 9 months ago

Isn't it better to have your usb as ntfs? the videos I am uploading are more than 4gb so ntfs usbs aren't bad right?

0
AllenM17
AllenM17

Answer 9 months ago

As you'd probably discovered, NTFS is a Windows only file system. FAT32 is the only thing that works in most cars. You might be able to get exFAT to work on some newer cars but FAT32 is the best choice. Most vehicle screen are 704x384, so using the DIVX codec a 2 hour video is less than 500mb. If your videos are >4GB you just need to ensure you lower them to the right resolution for your vehicles screen. Or if they are really 8+ hours long, just split the videos up.

0
dosdemon
dosdemon

1 year ago on Step 2

The link for WinFF given in this article opens an open source project page, where the GUI based exe file is not available. You would then need to download the WinFF application from some other website.

I downloaded it from: https://www.videohelp.com/software/WinFF

The preset made it so easy, thanks for this article.
In process of converting my first video, lets see how it goes...

0
Mosalf
Mosalf

1 year ago

simply awesome...I managed to convert a huge 315mb 1080 file to 93Mb avi file which I am using on my Qx60

0
mikeona
mikeona

Question 2 years ago on Step 7

Will this work on 2017 Pathfinder SL with navi and USB, video RCA, NO 3 zone entertainment?

0
Daniel-
Daniel-

Question 2 years ago

keep getting this when i use the presets from download.

fail.JPG
0
jimmy1977
jimmy1977

Question 2 years ago on Step 3

Hi, anyone know whats best way to get presets installed on software for Mac. I tried FFWORKS for OSX , no way that I can see to install the .iff presets file, I tried to manually input all settings for conversion to avi, byt no luck running the avi file in the car. its for an upcoming road trip with kids in our 2014 Infiniti qx60. Any advice.

0
djcamp0426.
djcamp0426.

3 years ago on Step 7

Hello and thank you for this information! On my 2015 Armada I plug a USB into the rear headrest monitor and I can see all of the videos on the USB. When I play them the video pauses every few seconds. The audio continues unaffected. When the video catches up it plays for a few more seconds and the cycle starts over. I have tried several videos and they are all the same. I followed your instructions and used your settings file. Any suggestions would be extremely helpful! Thank You!

0
ScottM440
ScottM440

Tip 3 years ago

2017 Infiniti QX80. Converting w/(HD Video Converter). Too lazy to disable parking brake so far but works fine w any vid. set conversion to right under resolution std set by vehicle manual. should work with any video converter that supports resolution adjustment. Have been working with onboard mp3 folder/song limitation.

0
p3mike
p3mike

3 years ago

I just bought a 2017 Armada. After some trial and error, I think I am getting the parameters set. I tried a few free programs and paid for WinX DVD Platinum. It is very easy and uses multiple CPU cores (also Intel or Nvidia hardware acceleration is availible). I use an AMD FX 8350 to rip/encode and it takes roughly 25 minutes for a 2 hour movie with the setting detailed below. Note, I am ripping straight off the DVD.

WinX has multiple encoding options I use Divx AVI container with a video bitrate of 2000 kb/s, slow encode option with High Quality Engine checked. I also use 320/44 MP3 on the audio. I have original aspect and original frame rate both checked. I hard coded 720x480 resolution as the Armada specs list a WVGA resolution, so that should be fine. I also have a 128GB Samsung flash drive. The system seems to read it fine, so once I fill it up past 64 GB, I will post something. The file size needs to be less than 2GB, so I check that when I am done. So far two movies have worked. I will update as things progress.

0
NelsonM85
NelsonM85

4 years ago

works in a Nissan Leaf 2015?

2
RaquelD13
RaquelD13

4 years ago

I was able to play the video in my car but no audio, any idea why?

0
wtzhpnn
wtzhpnn

4 years ago

Hi! I would like to burn movies to a dvd and when I do, it doesn't work. I have done the divx for the USB, but I would like a burned dvd option. Any suggestions on how to burn a movie so it works in a 2016 QX60? Thanks!

0
BillygibbonsG
BillygibbonsG

Reply 4 years ago

unless you have A DVD player in car, you cannot play disks,this hack is for USB's with a/v on them.

0
AnnaB136
AnnaB136

4 years ago

Thank you very much for your instructions.

After hours of frunstration, I finaly found your advice and it's working!!!

We have a 6 hour road trip next week, and you saved us a lot of grieve!

thank you!

0
RobertC396
RobertC396

4 years ago

Hi, I have a 2016 pathfinder which has the premium dvd outdated useless system, i followed the steps but when i play the file in the vehicle it wont play the file says unableto read, any suggestions

0
pasqualemallardo
pasqualemallardo

4 years ago

hi, I tried this process on the my new Nissan qashqai with Nissan connect but it doesn't work. Could you give suggestions about? Thanks

0
SportiniaiK
SportiniaiK

4 years ago

what resolution for nissan juke. in this setings not working

0
hayek2
hayek2

5 years ago

You are a god. Works perfectly in 2016 QX60.

0
Maher_88
Maher_88

5 years ago

You're amazing .. Thank you