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Discussion Starter #1
The kids created a DVD of some of their favourite music videos using a program called iDVD on their iMAC computer.
The DVD plays fine on all or any of the three displays in the Terrain.

I copied 5 or 6 videos (mpeg, mpg and avi formats) from the iMAC onto a USB stick formatted as FAT32 (Windows old file allocation table format).
I unplugged our iPOD nano from inside the centre console of the Terrain and plugged in the USB stick.
I noticed the key switch has to be in "accessories" position before the USB is detected.

A message popped up saying "Media not supported" or something to that effect.
Bummer, I was hoping to copy the videos to the HDD.

I then "Played" the kids DVD and pressed the "Record" button hoping to transfer the videos to the HDD, no luck either.
"Record" works fine for audio CD's (originals or mp3's is what we've used so far).
It will record an audio CD quicker if you listen to another source, such as FM or XM, while it's recording.

Just FYI.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Thanks SnowItch!
I do remember reading that (on this forum, I think...LOL..getting old, ya know???) some time ago but had to try anyway.

I wonder what OS the Infotainment System uses and how one can transfer video files over to it, if at all possible?
It'd be nice to have a favourite movie or some videos stored on the HDD, or to be able to access something like a Western Digital terrabyte USB drive for those cross country trips with the kids!

Get going GM GUI designers and software people...LOL!
:)
 

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Can videos be copied as a Divx file?

I know the system will play Divx but I am not familiar with it to know if you can convert mpeg or avi to it.

SnowItch?????
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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A friendly reminder about video files - containers are codecs are 2 different things! This will always explain why certain video files will/wont play.

A quick refresher:

A container is the file format that holds the video (eg. .avi, .mpg, .mp4, etc). Just like a box, a container/file can hold DIFFERENT video formats (codecs) inside of it (Divx, Mpeg2, H264, etc). So, just because you have an .AVI file, doesn't mean it will play in the vehicle. For example, you can open a cardboard box (which anyone can easily open), but you might find it's full of chinese books, meaning you can't read it. The file format (container) is the box, the codec is the language of the content inside the box.

Obviously DivX seems to work, so you need to make sure that your .AVI file is encoded in DivX format. AVI is the most popular/common container for a DivX file. A media playing device, for example the Terrain/Nox, will only support certain codecs (it would be nice to know exactly which codecs are supported). Most cars will play Mpeg2 (inside a .mpg file container) because regular DVD's are encoded in this standard, therefore if it can play a DVD, chances are it will play an Mpeg2 encoded file. Support for formats like DivX varies, but DivX is not an official standard in the media world, so support varies. Generally speaking, the better the media player, the more formats it supports. It's not just a matter of being able to play an "AVI" or "MPEG" file.

Like I said, it would be nice to find out (either from GM or from someone testing, exactly what formats the vehicles support.
 

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What about displaying pics(jpeg) on the Nav screen thru the USB port?? Anybody tried that? As for converting I have a great program called ConvertXto DVD...I have made dvd's from divx..avi..mpeg1 mpeg and they show up very nice on a 42" HD tv..prob look even better on a dvd player in terrain...all depends what display you want..Excellent u can put 4 30 min files and good you can put more on..etc..Just throwing sum more stuff out there..My kids are all grown up so it just me and the wifey so no need for the dvd players...Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: mpg, mpeg, avi videos cannot be played on Infotainment Displays from USB sti

scottyyyc said:
A friendly reminder about video files - containers are codecs are 2 different things! This will always explain why certain video files will/wont play.

A quick refresher:

A container is the file format that holds the video (eg. .avi, .mpg, .mp4, etc). Just like a box, a container/file can hold DIFFERENT video formats (codecs) inside of it (Divx, Mpeg2, H264, etc). So, just because you have an .AVI file, doesn't mean it will play in the vehicle. For example, you can open a cardboard box (which anyone can easily open), but you might find it's full of chinese books, meaning you can't read it. The file format (container) is the box, the codec is the language of the content inside the box.

Obviously DivX seems to work, so you need to make sure that your .AVI file is encoded in DivX format. AVI is the most popular/common container for a DivX file. A media playing device, for example the Terrain/Nox, will only support certain codecs (it would be nice to know exactly which codecs are supported). Most cars will play Mpeg2 (inside a .mpg file container) because regular DVD's are encoded in this standard, therefore if it can play a DVD, chances are it will play an Mpeg2 encoded file. Support for formats like DivX varies, but DivX is not an official standard in the media world, so support varies. Generally speaking, the better the media player, the more formats it supports. It's not just a matter of being able to play an "AVI" or "MPEG" file.

Like I said, it would be nice to find out (either from GM or from someone testing, exactly what formats the vehicles support.
That's some great info, thanks scottyyyc.
One thing has me puzzled, for example, isn't MPEG-2 standard around the world?
Or am I confusing a compression method with a file type, which I'm tending to think is what's in fact the case?
So many acronyms, so little time!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
SnowItch said:
Mpg is actually a compression algorithm for lossy compression of video and audio. In the analogy given earlier, they would be the box.

Moving Picture Experts Group Phase 1 is Mpeg-1. Each successive number is a new version of the compression algorithm.

MPEG-2 is a combination of lossy video compression and lossy audio data compression methods which permit storage and transmission of movies using currently available storage media and transmission bandwidth.

The file type itself has many abbreviations depending on who is using it and what operating system it is destined for.

Mp3 files are part of the Mpeg-1 standards. AAC files use Mpeg-2 compression.
Thanks SnowItch.
I guess we'll have to play around with converting to DIVX and hopefully one day we can either copy video from USB to HDD, watch video from USB, or worse case burn a few movies onto DVD.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: I searched the world over, and finally found...

SnowItch said:
I am curious with all the fanfare on the ability to listen to two signals why it wasn't implemented (maybe somebody tried to play two sources within the confines of the Nox, and realized that nobody was enjoying the resulting noise).[/color]
Here's a quote from the link:

Simultaneously plays two digital media audio files so driver and back seat passengers can listen to different songs at the same time
You can listen to two sources at the same time. Of course, the rear passengers are using the wireless headphones.

Which leads to the question...I wonder if the headphones work in the front seats?
I think there are infrared sensors above the rear displays that you point the remote control at.

Maybe the audio/video is being sent via infrared as well?
WIll have to test it out.
;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
On another note, the articles state 2 GB Flash Drives, whereas we have 40GB Hard Drives.
I wonder what type of Hard Drives they are?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
SnowItch said:
Hmmmm......

OK, splitting hairs, you are correct (I did not have inappropriate sex...with that woman).

In reality, even with the headphones, I don't believe that the kids can listen to a different radio station (xm or otherwise) than what is playing up front. [/color] You are correct that they could listen to a CD/DVD or something plugged into the jacks on the rear of the center console. In fact, that's something I hadn't actually thought of, but they could play there mp3 player through the wireless headphones and listen to what they wanted; However, I believe this is different than what the press release is touting.
Correct, the rear passengers wearing headphones can only listen to the CD/DVD or whatever is plugged into the AUX port in back of the centre console.
The NAV system audio is played overtop whatever's playing through the speakers (not sure about the headphones, probably not), and the volume is adjustable so the NAV audio directions are more prominent or the music is. When using the Blueooth phone or OnStar, however, the music is muted out for the duration of the call.
 

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SnowItch said:
The only thing I still have to figure out is how my wife can watch it in the passenger's seat. In my mini-van, the Tivo player had two identical sets of outputs, so I'd output one to their screens and the second video I'd output to a small screen (part of a DVD player set were the DVD player had broken) that I jury rigged a holder for. The screen faced the passenger, so the driver didn't get distracted. They would listen on wireless headphones (btw, we're favorably impress by the Entertainment's systems headphones), and I would listen to whatever on the stereo with the sound balanced to my seat.
I thought about this for my Traverse, don't know if it will work on the Equinox or not. I don't think it will, yet...

http://www.coastaletech.com/gen6lockpick.htm or http://www.coastaletech.com/GMX320.htm

It allows video to be played on the Nav screen at all times. And allows the reverse camera to be displayed any time too, not just in reverse. You can also add more cameras and show them on the Nav screen. Neat little device.


Did you ever get DIVX to work from a DVD disc?
 

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Re: mpg, mpeg, avi videos cannot be played on Infotainment Displays from USB sti

SnowItch,

I tried it last night and it worked from a CD-R disc! Woot! ;D I actually tried it last weekend and failed to get it to work, that's why I asked if you had got it to work. I can assume the DVD-R discs I used then was not a very good quality disc, causing the reason for failure. The display showed the file name of the single .avi file on the CD and played it right away. It appeared that it would show multiple files and allow changing between them easily to choose what movie you'd want to use. I hope to try a DVD-DL disc this weekend too. With good encoding methods I could easily see getting up to a dozen movies on a dual layer disc.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: mpg, mpeg, avi videos cannot be played on Infotainment Displays from USB sti

SnowItch said:
I'd be very pleasantly surprised if it handled the dual layer disk, but yes, that would be the way to go.

Just out of curiosity, and to bring this discussion full circle, did you also have to register the code for your DIVX player and register it on the DIVX website? I hadn't even had the time to do that yet.

Since you've successfully played a Divx movie, can you post a step-by-step of how you did it (including what converters, etc) so that we can all benefit from your experience.

Thanks.
OK, let's get this straight before we all get too confused (OK, before I get too confused...LOL).
Narg mentions a "single .avi file".

The display showed the file name of the single .avi file on the CD and played it right away.
So we have the Infotainment playing a .avi filetype, not divx?
Or do I need to do some more reading?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: mpg, mpeg, avi videos cannot be played on Infotainment Displays from USB sti

SnowItch said:
DIVX is the codec and compression mechanism. AVI is the container. Divx can also be encoded as a .mpg file.

Just discovered this myself this past week while working on a different project which I'll write up as soon as I test it all.
OK, good to know.
Thanks SnowItch.
When I find some time, I'll play around with different file and container types and post up the results as well.
 

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Re: mpg, mpeg, avi videos cannot be played on Infotainment Displays from USB sti

SnowItch said:
I'd be very pleasantly surprised if it handled the dual layer disk, but yes, that would be the way to go.

Just out of curiosity, and to bring this discussion full circle, did you also have to register the code for your DIVX player and register it on the DIVX website? I hadn't even had the time to do that yet.

Since you've successfully played a Divx movie, can you post a step-by-step of how you did it (including what converters, etc) so that we can all benefit from your experience.

Thanks.
I'm almost sure it will handle dual layer since that is part of the DVD standard, I just hope it can handle a DVD-DL recordable media... My failure with a cheap DVD-R disc kind of made me wonder a bit. I'll be sure to let you know.

I too haven't bothered with the DIVX registration. I find it interesting that you don't read about any of that in the sales material for any of the 3. It's my understanding that you can download via XM any movie that DIVX rents online. Though I could be wrong on that part of it...

OK, here's what I did. First I used good 'ol DVD-Decripter to rip the movie: http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/DVD-Decrypter/1011845169/1
which places a copy of the files on my hard drive in a directory I specify. Then, I used a paid program called AVS-Video-Converter http://avs4you.com/ to change the DVD MPEG2 format to Divx using a custom setting to make sure the resulting file was small enough. I'm sure any good freebie converter should work too, you can Google for plenty of them: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-us&num=30&newwindow=1&q=video+converter+free+DIVX&aq=f&aqi=&oq= I use the AVS4YOU software because it's been the easiest to use that I've found and supports the most formats I've seen. I think I paid the $60 for their entire software suite with lifetime upgrades. Sometimes the free ones have very difficult settings for sound and video syncing making them really hard to use.

I've got a ton of movies in M4V format (Apple format for my iPhones), so I'll be doing a lot of converting this weekend. :p

BTW, the movie I tested was from http://animusic.com/ My daughter loves this stuff, and it'll make a great video for the driver too, as the music is awesome. That is since the driver can't watch the movie, at least the sound/music part is really good.
 

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Re: mpg, mpeg, avi videos cannot be played on Infotainment Displays from USB sti

SnowItch said:
Not saying that you can't, but why are you under the impression that you can? I haven't read anything about downloading movies via XM, so I'm just curious if you read that somewhere.
A statement from the sales person we bought our 'Nox from. He stated that he used it a like it. I'm pretty sure I understood that the movies were transfered to the hard drive, but not sure I understood how they got there.

I'm thinking the registration page on the DIVX web site might explain more...
 

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I assume this only plays thru the dvd players on the back of the seats..not the cd player which is in the Nav System upfront??thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: mpg, mpeg, avi videos cannot be played on Infotainment Displays from USB sti

nitti48 said:
I assume this only plays thru the dvd players on the back of the seats..not the cd player which is in the Nav System upfront??thanks
Anything playing on the rear displays will also show on the front display, but the vehicle must be in "Park".
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: mpg, mpeg, avi videos cannot be played on Infotainment Displays from USB sti

SnowItch said:
Had a few minutes this afternoon to try the "Box Office" in the Nox. It is going to work perfectly. I found a 12V adapter on eBay that works with it, so I can plug it into the cigarette lighter on the rear of the center console.

I was wrong about where I am going to mount it. It will actually be mounted with velcro UNDER the A/V jacks on the back of the center console. The console starts to taper in under the A/V jacks, but it is flat enough to mount the "Box Office" with the "Box Office" at the perfect angle for the remote.

I watched a few minutes of the program I converted yesterday (Young Frankenstein - what a classic), and the picture and sound were terrific.

I love it when one of my hair-brained "What if I" plans actually works![/color]
Bravo Snow, way to go!!![/color]
8) :D 8)
 
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