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Discussion Starter #1
Is it coming close to being done?
Also, will it allow you to connect a DVD player, and a camera to use while in reverse?

Thanks
-Brian
 

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Or will it allow two TV cameras, one in front and one in back?

Also, what will actually be involved in the installation? Will it be necessary to remove the MFD?

Thanks.
 

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Video Addition

The video piece is complete at this time. It will still be a few weeks before I offer it sale. The single unit is complete to address a variety of installations. It contains 2 separate video inputs and a single set of stereo audio inputs in the same package. This allows for a reverse camera and a simple audio player or complete DVD or computer to be installed at the same time. You could connect two cameras to the inputs if you like or use just the audio inputs for your player. The unit is a simple plug-in kit.
 

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Hmmmm

Dave,

I'm sure you have heard a million questions about this video interface. As I'm in line right now for my 2005 Prius, and this upgrade of yours is one of the top initial mods on my list for the car, I was wondering the answers to the following (some of these may have been answered already, and I'll fill in the ones I *think* I know):

1) Will the interface work with the Package BC DVD Navigation system?
It sounds like it will

2) I see from your Sneak Preview that it will display video on the Prius screen, will it use the built-in Package BC speaker system also for the audio (JBL)?
It sounds like there are 2 video inputs but 1 audio...is the audio associated with one of the video ins? If so, does this lend itself to having an "external" DVD-Player connected to the A/V set and a backup camera connected to the V-only? Maybe a dash-mounted DVD player would offer its own set of A/V inputs as well for MP3 capability also...?

3) Can it also support a backup camera like Toyota offers on the Sienna?
Sounds like the answer here is yes, I'm just not sure how this will integrate with the other A/V possibilites..

4) Will it have A/V inputs for external audio/video sources (MP3 player/Portable DVD, etc...) in the form of composite (RCA)/S-Video plugs?
Sounds like we've got composite (RCA) connectors

5) Is there any kind of remote control possible or does it in some way interface with the steering wheel controls?
Don't know this, maybe you can change the Mode on the steering wheel controls to at least select the optional source(s)? An "external" DVD (maybe dash mounted) may offer its own remote control and wireless headphone capabilities, etc...

6) Does the video display correctly-sized DVD-video or do people look 'stretched' or 'squished'? (I don't know the aspect ratio of the Toyota NAV screen, but I don't think it's either 4:3 or 16:9)
This assumes a DVD Player is connected. This is important for me, when native aspect ratios are modified and the stretchies or squishies occur, it drives me CRAZY!!

7) I'm not sure if your offering is a complete "Turnkey package" including DVD-player with breakout box (Maybe mounted in the dash below the factory radio) for other inputs or if it "simply" gives a pigtail for inputting any external video source, could you enlighten me on this? Whichever way you're doing it, it's very cool!
Wondering if we'll get options, or "levels" of upgradability?

8) If this is a "Turnkey package", I have a whole bunch of other questions I'll ask later regarding simultaneous operation of the DVD/radio/wireless headphones/what brand/model equipment/etc...
I'm sure the discussion on this could continue for some time. At any rate, I know myself and lots of others are looking VERY forward to this and thank you for your hard work! I don't even have my Prius yet, and I can't wait to get all this going!

[email protected]
 

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The interface is set up to work with any of the packages and is complete with connnectors for plug-in installation. One video input is a primary input which will have priority over the screen view when engaged. This is for the installation of a camera if desired. The second video input is tied to the audio aux-in so they are engaged simultaneously when selected through the steering wheel or radio button. There is a provision so that the video 2 can be locked out. This allows the audio in to be used by itself (in the event where only an audio player of some type is attached). The sound plays through the factory sound system. The DVD players already play mp3's and they also generally have a second set of A/V inputs for any other device you would like to add. The unit I installed is a single DIN size and has the extra set of A/V inputs right on the front panel. Single DIN units fit easily in the space below the radio. The video piece really takes care of the picture and sound control and whatever you attach, be it a couple of cameras, add on nav, 1 camera and a second audio player or 1 camera and a DVD or computer, it really is just plug in the RCA connnectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey Dave, you are totally awesome!!! It is amazing how you can do all that. I am going to want the DVD player and the Camera.
I have a question about the Camera. You said above that the new camera is the size of a keyhole... Is this the same camera as we see in the Japan model with the rear view camera? And will it be in the same place, because I notice that spot where the camera is supposed to be. And is it color? Will it activate when you put the car in reverse?
Thanks
-Brian
 

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Re: Video Addition

Coastal Dave said:
It contains 2 separate video inputs and a single set of stereo audio inputs in the same package. This allows for a reverse camera and a simple audio player or complete DVD or computer to be installed at the same time.
<snip see below>

Will the vidio in work with PAL devices, just NTSC or does it use unmodulated video via RCA type connectors?

Will it be available to those of us in the EU?

Editied: Question here was answered above whilst posting this.
 

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I apologize for asking the same question again, but I'm still wondering about installation: when you say it's a simple plug-in, what is actually involved in gaining access to the place where it's plugged in, and in running the wires from the camera to the plug-in? The EV switch required disassembling a small part of the dashboard and some rather tight work in a confined space. Can you describe the installation procedure? Many thanks. I really want this, but I'm not good with my hands.
 

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Most questions answered...thanks!

Dave,

Thanks for the response. That answers most of my questions. The ones I still have are:

1) Does the video display correctly-sized DVD-video or do people look 'stretched' or 'squished'? (I don't know the aspect ratio of the Toyota NAV screen, but I don't think it's either 4:3 or 16:9)
This assumes a DVD Player is connected. This is important for me, when native aspect ratios are modified and the stretchies or squishies occur, it drives me CRAZY!!

2) (This is totally pie-in-the-sky) I'm with you on the 2-video/1-audio input thing (and planning on a backup camera and DVD-Player with fron A/V inputs for my MP3 player as well). My next question is, Is there a way to pipe 5.1 Channel audio through the interface so it comes out of the BC-package speakers with Surround Sound? I'm guessing no, and it doesn't matter much to me as stereo will "do" just fine, but I shopped quickly for some aftermarket DVD players and noticed that most offer discrete 5.1 line-level outputs for full "Car-Theater" surround sound. I assuming this is mostly for the custom shops where they add in amplifiers, rewire your whole car, etc, etc, etc...

3) Do you know the resolution of the Prius video display?

4) You mention connecting a DVD or COMPUTER to the interface. It sounds like the computer would also connect through the RCA composite jack, right? There's no discrete 15-pin "monitor-style" D-sub connecter/DVI/or BNC connectors are there? This would require a computer that has a "video" (RCA-style) out built into it. Is that right?

Thanks again!!!! I am looking forward to my Prius now more than ever!!!

[email protected]
 

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Dave,

I want a CD (or DVD is such an animal exists) MP3 player installed in the dash cubbyhole. If that unit could play stuff like video and audio DVDs, that's fine but not a necessity. However, the backup camera is also on the list of upgrades for later, so I wouldn't want to pick a solution that made that a problem. Have you got something like this in mind?

Would any audio/video add-in that isn't actually a satellite system be able to use the SAT1 controls?

Thanks...
 

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Currently the unit is NTSC because that is what the screen uses. Converters are around 70 dollars if you need PAL. The aspect ratio of the screen is not exactly standard, but I wanted full screen viewing. Pictures of the video are posted on my site if you want to take a look. The piece is set up to automatically switch to the video 1 input when a connection is clipped on to the reverse line and the car is placed in reverse. Video 2 and aux sound are selected via mode or radio switch. The Prius Display is a TFT Active Matrix with 384,000 dots (800 vertical x 480 horizontal). The color reproduction is much better than the earlier Prius screen. The capabilities of the audio system remain unchanged although aftermarket players often have enhanced spatial sound adjustments. The installation will require access to the back of the screen and radio. This really is not that challenging but I will make sure and put together a video as I have in the past.
 

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Brian said:
But, what kind of Camera?
Dave sells a back-up camera for the Classic Prius here. Might be the same one. But I gather from his descriptions that you can connect any video source you want, which ought to mean any camera also.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah, Daniel, but he also says something about a camera being the size of a key hole, which is much smaller than that one.
 

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Aw, man....

Dave,

Thanks again for the info...your quote:

"The aspect ratio of the screen is not exactly standard, but I wanted full screen viewing"

is the *ONLY* thing about this interface that I don't like. Based on the knowledge that the screen is 800 x 480 and you're stretching video that would normally fit in 640 x 480 to fill this space (assuming the NTSC you're implementing uses a "TV" aspect ratio of 4:3), you are making everything on the screen 25% "Fatter"....this is OK for me using a backup camera, but trying to watch a DVD with all the people looking like fun-house versions of themselves will cause me fits.

I'd rather have:

1) (simplest case) Black bars on the sides of the image and the image filling in the middle 640 x 480 of the screen to keep everything looking correct.

2) (hardest case - and only applicable for DVDs formatted for 16:9 TVs) Your video tuned to display proper 16:9 video (which would be approximately 853 x 480, overscanned so that only the central 800 x 480 pixels are displayed on the screen. To *me* I would easily give up 53 pixels of information to have things aspected correctly.

As you stated, you wanted full-screen viewing, and I think that's the crux of the issue here. This may be fine for some people, but anyone planning to use your system to view movies/etc for long-haul type trips should be made to understand up-front that the image will be distorted. In the absolute ideal case, you could put a way to "switch" the video from full-screen "distorted" mode to middle-screen "letterboxed' mode and everyone would be happy. Is that possible? I have no idea...

I did look on your web site, it's one of the reasons I asked the aspect ratio question in the first place (as I stated, I'm sensitive to the distortion). I'm including one of the images here in comparison form to illustrate what I'm talking about. The image on the left is from your site, the one on the right has been corrected to have the proper aspect ratio (for the video - in this case, the Prius on-screen display letters will look "squished" due to the change). You can see how fat Jim looks on the image on the left and if you look closely at the "7" on his microphone you'll see it is enclosed in a fat oval on the left and a round circle on the right.

I'm glad I made sure of this before getting the kit...if I got this expecting perfect video I would have been most upset. Most people probably won't care, but video "purists" will...

Thanks again for the kit, and I still think it's awesome, especially for attaching a backup camera!

[email protected]
 
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Another option

Come to think of it, another option is:

3) (another simplest case?) Size the video to fill the whole screen but keep the aspect ratio the same. This will result in an 800 x 600 picture, meaning (600 - 480 = ) 120 lines (60 top/60 bottom) will be overscanned. In this fashion you would lose 120 lines but have full-screen video with the correct aspect ratio.

If I were shooting for the moon here, I would say the best interface would be switchable between 3 modes, A, B, C as follows:

A) The way Dave has it set up right now. This would give the full picture using the full screen for those who don't care about distortion.

B) Item 1) in my previous post. This would give the full picture using the full height, but not full width, of the screen. This is good for those who would rather have a smaller image than distortion.

C) Item 3) from this post. This would give most of the picture (top and bottom chopped a bit) using the whole screen at the correct aspect ratio. This is good for those who want to use the whole screen and don't care if the image is chopped somewhat. In addition, this would be the best way (by FAR!!) to watch a widescreen-formatted (letterboxed) DVD as the aspect ratio is correct and the area chopped at the top and bottom is only the Black-bar area on these DVDs.

Possible? I have no idea...

[email protected]
 

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I cannot imagine any application where distortion would be preferable to black bars at the side. For a rear-view camera, overscanning (leaving part of the image outside the screen) might be preferable to black bars, but either bars or overscanning would be vastly superior to distortion. Just my opinion.
 
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