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Old 11-10-2006, 10:06 AM   #1
sna77
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Installer Q: Can the X3/X5 monitors be wired to a standard DVD player?

I have a friend who is selling his X3, and was going to sell me his OEM headrest monitors from his X3. I would be attaching them to my Alpine DVA-5210 DVD player (which has standard RCA input / outputs).

Anyhow, the OEM monitors are meant to attach to the x3/5 DVD system, which uses some sort of proprietary connector.

The question is: Would I be able to cut the wire, and separate the power, ground, and video connections, in order to hook these up to my Alpine setup?

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:33 PM   #2
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Definitly can be done. Just going to require you to find the A/V wires and put your own composite (RCA) connectors on them. See your boy Derek -- remember, he can do anything!

Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2006, 02:48 AM   #3
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Definitly can be done. Just going to require you to find the A/V wires and put your own composite (RCA) connectors on them. See your boy Derek -- remember, he can do anything!

Good luck!

Nice, Because I just got em... =)
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:31 AM   #4
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Hey Sna77,

I just saw your post here after replying to your PM, so I thought I'd repost here in case someone else finds it useful as well. I added some info, now that I know why you wanted to know.

I got my X3 monitors working a few days ago.

I was thinking of posting about it, but I haven't got around to it.

I actually hooked it up to an AVOX jukebox, a media player that uses a standard 2.5" notebook drive. I positioned this in the trunk compartment above the NAV DVD drive.

The full rear entertainment system is P/N 84110306643. This includes the DVD player, remote control, pair of headphones, A/V Control Module and screws and batteries.

But the trick is knowing that you can order just the A/V Control Module (P/N 84110392072) instead of the full system. This module has a special DIN connectors which run to both the monitors as well as the OEM DVD. Thankfully however, the DIN connector to the OEM DVD is connected through shrinkwrapped RCA jacks, so you only have to cut off the shrinkwrap and disconnect the DIN cable and you can hook it to any standard AV source. There is also an auxiliary AV input through the Control Module which has a miniplug A/V jack (but also inline RCA jacks as well). This really made the install pretty straightforward. Just three wires off the power harness to hook up, power (e.g. from the lighter), ground (from same), and an ignition switch wire (I used pin 22 on the center console switch unit). In fact, your friend that you got the monitors from should have no use for his control module, so you should be able to get that from him as well. You'll also want the power harness and cable extensions for the monitors.

For anyone else, you can order the headrest monitor kit (P/N 841103066XX - the last two digits vary the headrest color - 49 beige, 50 black, 51 grey, 52 terracotta). The headrest monitor kit has some extra parts (DVD bezel and trim panel), but you use most of it and there's no way to order the headrests alone (unless you find some from a friend or ebay).

The headrests are a perfect fit for an E46. There's just an issue matching the M3 nappa leather (but I think non-M E46's will be a perfect match).

I really like the monitor features. They include headphone jacks right on their fronts in addition to another AV input. So effectively, the monitors handle 3inputs, two alternate global AV inputs (through the Control Module) and a separate individual input on each monitor front. The desired source for each monitor can be selected separately.

The monitors also have an IR relay for the DVD control, which uses a miniplug jack. This can probably be used for other devices as well, but I haven't played with it yet.

Finally, you can also order dual channel headphones (which come with the full rear ent. system) P/N 84110306645. Each monitor broadcasts a stereo signal of the audio it is displaying on a separate IR channel and the headphones can be switched between them.

One tricky part of the installation was figuring out where to locate the Control Module in an E46 - at first I couldn't find enough room anywhere under the center console. Then I noticed how thick the foam under the carpet was. I ripped out a chunk on one side of the center hump and it made a nice pocket to slid the Control module into.

I'll try and post some pics if you like. I was going to do a DIY, but I don't want to tear everything apart and I'm swamped with work at the moment.

Anyway, let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Brad

Last edited by blorax; 11-11-2006 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:49 AM   #5
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BTW, I would have thought that the X5 monitors and A/V Controle Module would be the same, but they actually have different part numbers from those of the X3.

I don't know what the differences are (if any), but I did my setup with X3 components.
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:50 AM   #6
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Brad,
Thanks for responding. I just wrote a VERY long response, and the web page crapped out when I hit send. Ugh. This one will be more brief. Ugh.

Anyhow, I just got a used X3 kit. This is everything that was included:






QUESTION: Does the A/V Control Module (P/N 84110392072), look like its included in that kit I just bought? If so, are you saying that I can cut it open and gain access to the RCA cables? If so, thatís fantastic! Is that where I gain access to the power / ground connections as well?

BTW, Iím going to be hooking this up to my Alpine DVA-5210 DVD player, which I installed in the glove box. Iím not really interested in doing anything to it other than simulcasting whatís on the front screen. Although I guess it is nice to know you can plug headphones into it. (I also want to have some covers made, so that Iím not showing these things off when not in useÖ

Hereís my DVD player install:




Also, I discovered that Vizualogic (www.vizualogic.com) is the OEM manufacturer of theses headrests. I didnít believe it when I heard it, so I called them and asked. Sure enough, they are! Thatís great news considering that I bought mine used and may need an extra part or 2. They also mentioned that the headrest are identical, except the OEM ones are BMW branded, and the A/V control unit is slightly different. Hereís a pic of the headrests on their site: (They told me they buy actual headrests from BMW to make these, so that all makes senseÖ. (the kit is actually cheaper than the BMW branded one too).

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Old 11-11-2006, 11:30 AM   #7
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Fortunately, I have all the answers that you will need for this because I have spent hours and hours talking with people and combing the web on just this subject. And most importantly, my setup is already up and running so I know it works.

Anyway, to answer your first question - you will still need to order the A/V control module (P/N 84110392072) from BMW. It looks like you have the full headrest monitor kit (P/N 84110306650, black).

The thing with cables in the lower left of the picture is the DVD wiring harness (P/N 84110306646) which is really just the power cable for the system (the big black cylinder is a power line filter). You will need to hack this up a little to tap the two power lines and ground that I mention in my previous post, but that's pretty easy.

I am trying to post here the PDF install instructions for the X3, but I can't get them to upload. These will be a big help. The seat installs are identical for the E46. I'll try again in another post or I can e-mail them to you.

One BIG mistake to avoid (ask me how I know) is to realize that the X3 install instructions direct you to tap pin 23 in the center console switch unit for the ignition switch power. Pin 23 for the E46 (at least the M3) is a data bus and not the ignition switch. The connectors are identical, but the E46 (M3) uses pin 22 instead. But you should be able to tap the ignition switch anywhere you want for this.

I don't know the Alpine DVD player, but unless it has two video outputs, you're going to need a video distribution amp, one to go to your front screen and one to go to the headrest monitors - fortunately, the headrest monitors work off a single video input through the Control Module though.

Also, as far as I know Vizualogic is not the OEM manufacturer for these headrests. I had heard that the company is actually http://www.invisionindustries.com/. Vizualogic just makes their own aftermarket drop in replacement headrests with their monitors installed, but this doesn't matter because you get everything you need (especially the Control Module) from BMW.

Hope this helps,

Brad

Last edited by blorax; 11-11-2006 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:35 AM   #8
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Here are the X3 install instructions. (I had to break it up in two parts).

Brad
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File Type: pdf X3HeadrestMonInstallpt2.pdf (313.6 KB, 185 views)
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:51 AM   #9
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Brad,
Thanks so much! I'm glad I'm not the guinea pig for once... =)

Quote:
Originally Posted by blorax View Post
You will still need to order the A/V control module (P/N 84110392072) from BMW. It looks like you have the full headrest monitor kit (P/N 84110306650, black).
I'll order that part up from the dealer this week... Do you know how much it is? The part # is not listed on realoem.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by blorax
The thing with cables in the lower left of the picture is the DVD wiring harness (P/N 84110306646) which is really just the power cable for the system (the big black cylinder is a power line filter). You will need to hack this up a little to tap the two power lines and ground that I mention in my previous post, but that's pretty easy.

One BIG mistake to avoid (ask me how I know) is to realize that the X3 install instructions direct you to tap pin 23 in the center console switch unit for the ignition switch power. Pin 23 for the E46 (at least the M3) is a data bus and not the ignition switch. The connectors are identical, but the E46 (M3) uses pin 22 instead. But you should be able to tap the ignition switch anywhere you want for this.

I'm going to have my install shop do this for me, as i don't have a garage. They should have no problem doing this I'd imagine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blorax
I don't know the Alpine DVD player, but unless it has two video outputs, you're going to need a video distribution amp, one to go to your front screen and one to go to the headrest monitors - fortunately, the headrest monitors work off a single video input through the Control Module though.

I'm hoping that the brain of my front screen (an Alpine TME-M770) can work as the distribution amp. Here's te brain of the screen:



And here's the front screen after my install shop custom made a bezel. Its actually a NAV system first, and DVD player second:





Quote:
Originally Posted by blorax
Also, as far as I know Vizualogic is not the OEM manufacturer for these headrests. I had heard that the company is actually http://www.invisionindustries.com/. Vizualogic just makes their own aftermarket drop in replacement headrests with their monitors installed, but this doesn't matter because you get everything you need (especially the Control Module) from BMW.
Weird... I called Vizualogic on Friday seeing if I could buy a replacement part for the kit (I told them that I pulled only the headrests when I traded in my X3, and needed to buy additional parts). They confirmed they made the headrests. Although it is entirely possible there are 2 OEM manufacturers...

Anyhow, thanks for the help, I'll let you know how it goes as the stuff comes in.

-Steve

PS: Did you have covers made for the headrests?
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:05 PM   #10
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:12 PM   #11
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The A/V control module was about $120 if I remember right. (It may cost a little more than that - I have a contact that got me a deal.) But you absolutely need it to make this work.
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Old 11-11-2006, 02:14 PM   #12
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The A/V control module was about $120 if I remember right. (It may cost a little more than that - I have a contact that got me a deal.) But you absolutely need it to make this work.

Thanks, I'll order it this week. I get 20% with my CCA membership, so hopefully that'll make it a bit mroe reasonable... Honestly though, if a BMW part is under $300, I'm usually pretty excited. I had to buy replacement //M stickers for my wheels the other day--$16 a pop. haha
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:17 PM   #13
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Here are some pics of my install (from the outside).

I'm using a Dietz product (from EAS) to get the vid on the Nav. It's installed in the trunk right under the AVOX Jukebox (http://www.vantecusa.com/products/avox/p_avx100tx.html) behind the panel. I like the Dietz because you don't have to install a separate switch to engage the video - it hijacks the clock button on the nav (which I never used) to switch in and out the video.

The video output of the Jukebox goes to a video distribution amp located next to the Dietz. One output to the Dietz along with a split audio signal. Another video output and the split audio signal are run under the rear seat and then under the driver's door sill to where the carpet splits. From there the cables take a left turn under the seat rails to the center console. The monitor cable from the driver's seat is also picked up under the seat to run with these cables under the carpet at the split into the center console. The passenger seat monitor cable is similarly run into the center console from the opposite side.

Everything for the headrest monitors is wired together under the center console. As I mentioned previously, there is really no room for the Control Module. I ripped out a wad of the carpet foam along the passenger side of the center hump and made a nice pocket for it (marked in red in the pic). There is enough space to make all the connections under the center console. The big cylinder (power line filter) was positioned under the shifter (the SMG doesn't get in the way - don't know about a manual).

Power to the Control Module (which automatically feeds the monitors) is wired right to the cigarette lighter. The critical part is to wire one of the power wires to the ignition switch (this was pin 22 on the center switch console for my car).

One other thing I did, was wire a remote IR receiver for the AVOX Jukebox in the trunk using Peripheral PVIRT. I placed the sensor in the AC vent in the front out of sight. The IR signal from the remote is repeated to the unit at the little transmitter shown on the right of the storage pocket for the Jukebox.

Hope someone finds this useful. The hardest part was figuring out what BMW parts I needed and how they would work. As far as I know the OEM headrest monitors cannot be used without the OEM control module as they are digitally controlled through this unit - they aren't just dumb monitors.

Cheers,

Brad

P.S. Thre in a shot of my car.
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blorax View Post
Here are some pics of my install (from the outside).

I'm using a Dietz product (from EAS) to get the vid on the Nav. It's installed in the trunk right under the AVOX Jukebox (http://www.vantecusa.com/products/avox/p_avx100tx.html) behind the panel. I like the Dietz because you don't have to install a separate switch to engage the video - it hijacks the clock button on the nav (which I never used) to switch in and out the video.

The video output of the Jukebox goes to a video distribution amp located next to the Dietz. One output to the Dietz along with a split audio signal. Another video output and the split audio signal are run under the rear seat and then under the driver's door sill to where the carpet splits. From there the cables take a left turn under the seat rails to the center console. The monitor cable from the driver's seat is also picked up under the seat to run with these cables under the carpet at the split into the center console. The passenger seat monitor cable is similarly run into the center console from the opposite side.

Everything for the headrest monitors is wired together under the center console. As I mentioned previously, there is really no room for the Control Module. I ripped out a wad of the carpet foam along the passenger side of the center hump and made a nice pocket for it (marked in red in the pic). There is enough space to make all the connections under the center console. The big cylinder (power line filter) was positioned under the shifter (the SMG doesn't get in the way - don't know about a manual).

Power to the Control Module (which automatically feeds the monitors) is wired right to the cigarette lighter. The critical part is to wire one of the power wires to the ignition switch (this was pin 22 on the center switch console for my car).

One other thing I did, was wire a remote IR receiver for the AVOX Jukebox in the trunk using Peripheral PVIRT. I placed the sensor in the AC vent in the front out of sight. The IR signal from the remote is repeated to the unit at the little transmitter shown on the right of the storage pocket for the Jukebox.

Hope someone finds this useful. The hardest part was figuring out what BMW parts I needed and how they would work. As far as I know the OEM headrest monitors cannot be used without the OEM control module as they are digitally controlled through this unit - they aren't just dumb monitors.

Cheers,

Brad

P.S. Thre in a shot of my car.

Brad,
Thanks again. You have been invaluable in this. As soon as my headrests arrive, I will order the AV box (thanks again for the part #) and set up a appointment for the install.


I'm hoping that the video out moduel on the Alpine screen will allow for these to be hooked up without an amp... if so, it should be pretty straightforward...

I'll post a lot of pics when I'm done, thanks!
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Old 11-16-2006, 11:43 AM   #15
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Brad,
The headrest just came in. I've attached pictures of what was included. Also, I ordered the A/V control module (P/N 84110392072). Does this look like everything I'll need?

Thanks,
Steve







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Old 11-16-2006, 11:56 AM   #16
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Old 11-16-2006, 12:41 PM   #17
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Brad,
The headrest just came in. I've attached pictures of what was included. Also, I ordered the A/V control module (P/N 84110392072). Does this look like everything I'll need?

Thanks,
Steve
Yup - that's just what I had. The only tricky part is modifying the power harness a little. I can't remember every detail, but basically you can start by removing all the tape carefully - keep it because you can rewrap the harness later. If you do that and take a clear picture of it and send it to me (or post it), I can probably identify exactly what you need to do to it.

Brad
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Old 11-16-2006, 12:42 PM   #18
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Yup - that's just what I had. The only tricky part is modifying the power harness a little. I can't remember every detail, but basically you can start by removing all the tape carefully - keep it because you can rewrap the harness later. If you do that and take a clear picture of it and send it to me (or post it), I can probably identify exactly what you need to do to it.

Brad
Shall do. The part will be in next week. I'll take a picture and send it out then.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 11-16-2006, 03:14 PM   #19
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Shall do. The part will be in next week. I'll take a picture and send it out then.

Thanks,
Steve
Hey Steve,

I meant the power harness in your pic - the one with the big cylindrical power line filter on it. Unwrap all the cloth tape off that (save the tape though) and send a clear pic. I'll try and mark it up indicate how to modify it.

Brad
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Old 11-16-2006, 03:33 PM   #20
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Hey Steve,

I meant the power harness in your pic - the one with the big cylindrical power line filter on it. Unwrap all the cloth tape off that (save the tape though) and send a clear pic. I'll try and mark it up indicate how to modify it.

Brad
OK, will do, give me a few on that. What does the other end of that power harness thign plug into? The AV module?
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