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1994 Diamante LS 6G72 DOHC
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some head units in the mid/late 2000s were introducing MP4 playback, but I feel like this quickly disappeared due to 'safety concerns' or something like that.
Are there any modern ones that have the ability to play something like MP4s, MKVs, etc? I have 2,000+ titles in my digital library. If I start road-tripping, I'd like to find a head unit that can play movies (bypass parking switch) and has an AV OUT to a secondary display I will be attaching to the headrest for the kiddo in the back.
All the specs I find out there on BestBuy, Crutchfield, etc talk about USB/SD support for MP3, FLAC, and other audio formats, but nothing for video.

Thanks
 

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1994 Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo MR
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300 Posts
To my knowledge, I don't believe it is a thing anymore. Most head units focus on sound quality and in return, lack any kind of video output/streaming quality (won't say it's impossible, but I'm sure there is one that exists.)

Almost all of them, if not every, can play MP4s and MKVs... Audio wise. I play movies and listen videos/music from YouTube, Apple Music, Netflix, etc. all the time and those hit various file types. Again, you won't be able to get the video displayed on the head unit, which sounds like the ultimate goal.

My honest suggestion? Spend the $300 to $600 you thought you would spend on a head unit on an Android Tablet or iPad. Then upload your 2,000+ titles onto said device, buy/fab some kind of tablet mount or just let them hold onto it. Problem solved without any headaches.

Bonus points for buying output cables, installing, and mounting a small display screen/monitor for the kids to watch from.
 

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I put a Kenwood DNR476S in my '93 3000GT a few years ago and I use the micro SD card slot to play all my digitized audio that is in FLAC format. It sounds great and I have multiple micro SD cards that I have over 100 digitized music albums on them and groups of songs on play lists that I created by putting 30 or 40 individual songs on 5 or 6 of them. The unit has a micro SD card slot in the upper left corner of it:


Here are the audio/video specifications:


Media Type
USB (MSC) / microSD/SDHC/SDXC
File System
FAT 16/32, exFAT, NTFS​
Playable File Types
Audio
MP3/WMA/AAC: bit rate of 8-320kbps; sampling frequency of 16-48kHz
WAV/FLAC (High-Res): bit depth of 16/24-bit; sampling frequency of 16-192kHz
Vorbis:
variable bit-rate; sampling frequency of 16-48kHz​
Video
MPEG-1: max resolution of 352 x 240 or 352 x 288; max bit-rate of 1.5Mbps
MPEG-2:
max resolution of 720 x 480 or 720 x 576; max bit-rate of 8Mbps
MPEG-4/H.264:
max resolution of 1920 x 1080 (30fps); max bit-rate of 8Mbps
WMV/MKV:
max resolution of 1920 x 1080 (30fps); max bit-rate of 8Mbps​
Photo
JPEG: 5000 x 5000
PNG/BMP: 1000 x 1000​
Maximum # of Folders/Files
Unlimited folders/9,999 files (999 files per folder)​
Tags
MP3 ID3-tags, WMA/AAC/FLAC-tags, & Album Art​

I love this unit, here is where I purchased it:
 

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1994 Diamante LS 6G72 DOHC
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I put a Kenwood DNR476S in my '93 3000GT a few years ago and I use the micro SD card slot to play all my digitized audio that is in FLAC format. It sounds great and I have multiple micro SD cards that I have over 100 digitized music albums on them and groups of songs on play lists that I created by putting 30 or 40 individual songs on 5 or 6 of them. The unit has a micro SD card slot in the upper left corner of it:

Here are the audio/video specifications:


Media Type
USB (MSC) / microSD/SDHC/SDXC
File System
FAT 16/32, exFAT, NTFS​
Playable File Types
Audio
MP3/WMA/AAC: bit rate of 8-320kbps; sampling frequency of 16-48kHz
WAV/FLAC (High-Res): bit depth of 16/24-bit; sampling frequency of 16-192kHz
Vorbis:
variable bit-rate; sampling frequency of 16-48kHz​
Video
MPEG-1: max resolution of 352 x 240 or 352 x 288; max bit-rate of 1.5Mbps
MPEG-2:
max resolution of 720 x 480 or 720 x 576; max bit-rate of 8Mbps
MPEG-4/H.264:
max resolution of 1920 x 1080 (30fps); max bit-rate of 8Mbps
WMV/MKV:
max resolution of 1920 x 1080 (30fps); max bit-rate of 8Mbps​
Photo
JPEG: 5000 x 5000
PNG/BMP: 1000 x 1000​
Maximum # of Folders/Files
Unlimited folders/9,999 files (999 files per folder)​
Tags
MP3 ID3-tags, WMA/AAC/FLAC-tags, & Album Art​
That kind of technical specs is EXACTLY what I need, but not every manufacturer gives that info. Amazon/Ebay straight up SUCK at technical details. I'm finding I have to go to Crutchfield, google the model number, find it on the Manufacturer's site, and 20% chance they even display this kind of information.

I'll keep digging and report back what I find in my price range.
I'm putting this off for a month or two. I'm trying to keep it under $350 since my car isn't as valuable as a VR-4. That's like 5-10% of the car's value.
 

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1994 Diamante LS 6G72 DOHC
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are a few cheap head units like the Jensen CM701MIR under $200 that play MP4, but I did find this for a nice midrange at $400 before breaking the bank at $600+:
  • Audio Video Playback via DVD-R/RSL/-RDL/DVD-RWAVI Audio Video Playback / DivX Audio Video Playback / DVD Audio Video Playback
  • Audio Video Playback via USB.avi / .mpg/mpeg / .divx / .mp4 / .3gp / .mkv / .mov / .flv . .wmv/.asf / .m4v / .ts/.m2ts/.mts / H.263 / H.264
There are used ones that can be found for $200 or so.
It doesn't go into details if it can decode a 1920x1080 file and scale it down to 640x480 or whatever the native resolution is, but it's a start.

It plays FLV files??? They've been dead for years now. M2TS was PS3 days and was quickly replaced by MKV. I never thought a car stereo would have more native support than my PC! I have to download VLC or MPC-HC to play that stuff because W10 stock apps balk at it.
 

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1994 Diamante LS 6G72 DOHC
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I use VLC to play all video and audio files on both my Windows 10 PC and my Red Hat Fedora Linux notebook computers. VLC does almost everything.
There are some audio codecs that VLC doesn't support. DSS audio and some other ultra low bitrate WAV from before the MP3 days. I am IT for a sheriff's office and have to convert files often. (Old interrogations and such) I also had some personal VOB files shelled into an m2ts with DTS 1.5mbps audio. It no likey.
If you ever run into problems, dig up MPC-HC from archive.org
Best player I've ever used.
 
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