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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 07-05-2014, 07:36 PM
st_o_p st_o_p is offline
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Rear entertainment system

I know pretty much nobody alive orders the F10 rear entertainment system - but for those rare few that are considering I'll post some details here. When I was thinking whether to order it I found almost no information available about what it is and what it can do. Worse after talking to some people at different dealerships, most of the information I received was totally wrong.

Basically what you get is 2 screens on the back of the front seats. The screens tilt vertically and are good looking. At first you would think they are touch screens however that is NOT the case. Each of them has only on/off button, no other controls. There is a remote control that comes with the system - it is a single wireless remote control. That is a great point of failure of the system - if you lose or break that remote control the whole system becomes completely unusable as there is no other way to start watching anything. The remote controls both screens - there is a toggle switch left/right as to which screen content you want to control.

The rest of the system is in the center console. I was told before I ordered it that it doesn't come with DVD player anymore and you can only watch content from a USB stick. That is completely false. In fact there are 3 possible sources - there is a CD/DVD player (but NOT blu-ray) in the center console, there are A/V inputs and there is a USB input (all in the center console) where you can plug USB stick with videos. You can watch different sources on each screen - for example DVD on one, and USB video on the other. Unfortunately you cannot watch 2 different videos from the same USB stick on the 2 screens - they both must play the same file (although I suspect that is a restriction of the USB itself).

Also, I was told that the rear system is completely independent from the car entertainment system and cannot access it at all. That turned out to be false as well - I was able to get to my in-car-memory music from the rear. I didn't try putting video files in the car memory - I wonder if I'd be able to play those in the rear.

There are headphone jacks in the center console - one for the left and one for the right. In the options you get choice headphone or speaker, but when I select speaker it doesn't put the video sound on the rear speakers of the car (as I would expect) but simply plays the radio from the front. So basically your choice is headphones.

The system did play all AVIs and MP4s that I had laying around so no compatibility issues. It also played 1080p content without a hiccup (although on that small screen that's a waste of space). On my first try it did let me browse the main directory of the USB stick and a subdirectory. Later when I put more content on it, it wouldn't display the sub-directories at all. I'm still not sure if that is because of the number of files (about 130 in one of the sub-directories) or it got confused by some of the file names.

Overall it's not bad - if you want to keep kids happy on long trips. I just with the remote wasn't such a huge single point of failure.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2014, 09:59 PM
CGP CGP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st_o_p View Post
I know pretty much nobody alive orders the F10 rear entertainment system - but for those rare few that are considering I'll post some details here. When I was thinking whether to order it I found almost no information available about what it is and what it can do. Worse after talking to some people at different dealerships, most of the information I received was totally wrong.

Basically what you get is 2 screens on the back of the front seats. The screens tilt vertically and are good looking. At first you would think they are touch screens however that is NOT the case. Each of them has only on/off button, no other controls. There is a remote control that comes with the system - it is a single wireless remote control. That is a great point of failure of the system - if you lose or break that remote control the whole system becomes completely unusable as there is no other way to start watching anything. The remote controls both screens - there is a toggle switch left/right as to which screen content you want to control.

The rest of the system is in the center console. I was told before I ordered it that it doesn't come with DVD player anymore and you can only watch content from a USB stick. That is completely false. In fact there are 3 possible sources - there is a CD/DVD player (but NOT blu-ray) in the center console, there are A/V inputs and there is a USB input (all in the center console) where you can plug USB stick with videos. You can watch different sources on each screen - for example DVD on one, and USB video on the other. Unfortunately you cannot watch 2 different videos from the same USB stick on the 2 screens - they both must play the same file (although I suspect that is a restriction of the USB itself).

Also, I was told that the rear system is completely independent from the car entertainment system and cannot access it at all. That turned out to be false as well - I was able to get to my in-car-memory music from the rear. I didn't try putting video files in the car memory - I wonder if I'd be able to play those in the rear.

There are headphone jacks in the center console - one for the left and one for the right. In the options you get choice headphone or speaker, but when I select speaker it doesn't put the video sound on the rear speakers of the car (as I would expect) but simply plays the radio from the front. So basically your choice is headphones.

The system did play all AVIs and MP4s that I had laying around so no compatibility issues. It also played 1080p content without a hiccup (although on that small screen that's a waste of space). On my first try it did let me browse the main directory of the USB stick and a subdirectory. Later when I put more content on it, it wouldn't display the sub-directories at all. I'm still not sure if that is because of the number of files (about 130 in one of the sub-directories) or it got confused by some of the file names.

Overall it's not bad - if you want to keep kids happy on long trips. I just with the remote wasn't such a huge single point of failure.
Good write up. I have it, you can also access the navigation system from the rear. You don't need to use headphone jacks. My headphones are wireless.
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2014, 01:24 PM
iNeoxs iNeoxs is online now
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Thanks very much for your review. I added the real entertainment system on my order but I couldn't find any reviews/comments about it here or other online sites. It might be a waste of money rather than buying iPads/tablets and using them for rear seats but it's a lifesaver with toddlers in the cars. Just pop-in the DVD or USB stick and there is no needs to handle anything else (like in the case of tablets) when you are sitting at the back with the toddler.

Any idea if you can keep the video playing on the screen from DVD while listening to satellite radio or MP3s from the USB?
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  #4  
Old 07-07-2014, 01:47 PM
kckc1016 kckc1016 is offline
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i have it and only used it once haha.
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2014, 01:54 PM
st_o_p st_o_p is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGP View Post
Good write up. I have it, you can also access the navigation system from the rear. You don't need to use headphone jacks. My headphones are wireless.
But the wireless headphones still plugs in the jacks right? Or do you somehow get wireless signal from the car system itself?

I actually bought a very small speaker to plug in the jack for my toddler to use while watching Tom & Jerry (I don't want him with headphones )
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2014, 02:00 PM
st_o_p st_o_p is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNeoxs View Post
...

Any idea if you can keep the video playing on the screen from DVD while listening to satellite radio or MP3s from the USB?
Honestly I don't know but I don't think so. I'm fairly certain you cannot have picture from one source and sound from another but I didn't try.

The system is fairly limited in some ways - skipping forward and back is single button and doesn't go fast enough for my taste, and no play/pause button on the remote which was weird.

What I'm missing is the ability to play different things from USB for the 2 screens. For example the toddler is watching Tom & Jerry on one screen, but someone sitting next would like to watch something else. There is only one USB slot in the system. There is another USB slot in the center console for the front - but that is not accessible by the rear entertainment system - I tried. So the best you can do is bring DVD for a 2nd source.
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2014, 02:57 PM
grover432 grover432 is offline
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2 iPads and holders which attache to the front seat head rest are more functional, easier to add content to and if they are LTE wireless enabled, you can stream Netflix on the go. Cheaper than the built in system too. Plus when you trade cars, you can take the stuff with you.

The thing about BMW is that while they make great driving cars, the technology (entertainment, specifically) the use is well behind the curve. This will change in the next couple of years with Audi (and others) introducing CarPlay in 2015. My iPhone 5S plays music when connected by USB, but the sound is muffled. My iPhone 5 was fine. USB stick works fine too. How difficult can that task be? My 2013 model can't receive and send text messages without adding a third party app and the interface is complicated. Texts should be able to be set to pop up in the corner of any screen for you to access and respond to. Can't do that.

I'm not surprised the video entertainment system is not well designed.
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Last edited by grover432; 07-07-2014 at 02:58 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2014, 03:45 PM
st_o_p st_o_p is offline
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I wouldn't say it's badly designed, and the integrated look-and-feel is nice. But yes there are areas where it could be better
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2014, 07:18 PM
CGP CGP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grover432 View Post
2 iPads and holders which attache to the front seat head rest are more functional, easier to add content to and if they are LTE wireless enabled, you can stream Netflix on the go. Cheaper than the built in system too. Plus when you trade cars, you can take the stuff with you.

The thing about BMW is that while they make great driving cars, the technology (entertainment, specifically) the use is well behind the curve. This will change in the next couple of years with Audi (and others) introducing CarPlay in 2015. My iPhone 5S plays music when connected by USB, but the sound is muffled. My iPhone 5 was fine. USB stick works fine too. How difficult can that task be? My 2013 model can't receive and send text messages without adding a third party app and the interface is complicated. Texts should be able to be set to pop up in the corner of any screen for you to access and respond to. Can't do that.

I'm not surprised the video entertainment system is not well designed.
I can read email on my system and didn't do anything to set it up. This discussion made me go try out a few thing on the entertainment system. It is very good, much better than this thread would suggest. A couple of points:

1. You can wear wireless head phones. The headphones don't need to be plugged in.

2. Each system can be used independently so for example:

The Driver can listen to his or her USB collection
One passenger can watch a DVD
The other passenger can do whatever they want - DVD-music collection-radio-USB -navigation etc.

So to test it out I had the driver set on USB collection through the main speakers. The passenger on the right was watching and listening to a DVD. The passenger on the left was scrolling through and reading email.

That seems like a pretty good system to me. Through the system each person can operate one of the three screens just like it was the main screen on the dash. Everything is independent from radio to navigation to vehicle info. It is a very good system the picture is great and the sound is excellent.
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  #10  
Old 07-08-2014, 07:53 PM
grover432 grover432 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGP View Post
I can read email on my system and didn't do anything to set it up. This discussion made me go try out a few thing on the entertainment system. It is very good, much better than this thread would suggest. A couple of points:

1. You can wear wireless head phones. The headphones don't need to be plugged in.

2. Each system can be used independently so for example:

The Driver can listen to his or her USB collection
One passenger can watch a DVD
The other passenger can do whatever they want - DVD-music collection-radio-USB -navigation etc.

So to test it out I had the driver set on USB collection through the main speakers. The passenger on the right was watching and listening to a DVD. The passenger on the left was scrolling through and reading email.

That seems like a pretty good system to me. Through the system each person can operate one of the three screens just like it was the main screen on the dash. Everything is independent from radio to navigation to vehicle info. It is a very good system the picture is great and the sound is excellent.
Who watches DVDs these days?
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  #11  
Old 07-08-2014, 08:36 PM
CGP CGP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grover432 View Post
Who watches DVDs these days?
Apparently not you because you don't have an entertainment system. I was trying to respond to the questions that were posted above.
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  #12  
Old 07-08-2014, 09:00 PM
shadowyman shadowyman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGP View Post
Apparently not you because you don't have an entertainment system. I was trying to respond to the questions that were posted above.
You should not take criticism to heart. Even though what you're telling about is reasonable, for most people, watching DVD is very outdated compared to streaming. Plus, all you mentioned where you can listen/watch three different contents at a time can still be achieved by two iPads. Maybe the only problem would be not being able to use the car speakers. If you're using three contents at a time, this won't matter anyways. I am sorry but I see this option only waste of money. It is not like bang olufsen for example, where the decision depends on the justification of money spent. It's like being able to get something better than bang olufsen at a way cheaper price. Like spending 50 dollars for one dollar bill
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  #13  
Old Yesterday, 03:08 PM
iNeoxs iNeoxs is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st_o_p View Post
I know pretty much nobody alive orders the F10 rear entertainment system - but for those rare few that are considering I'll post some details here. When I was thinking whether to order it I found almost no information available about what it is and what it can do. Worse after talking to some people at different dealerships, most of the information I received was totally wrong.

Basically what you get is 2 screens on the back of the front seats. The screens tilt vertically and are good looking. At first you would think they are touch screens however that is NOT the case. Each of them has only on/off button, no other controls. There is a remote control that comes with the system - it is a single wireless remote control. That is a great point of failure of the system - if you lose or break that remote control the whole system becomes completely unusable as there is no other way to start watching anything. The remote controls both screens - there is a toggle switch left/right as to which screen content you want to control.

The rest of the system is in the center console. I was told before I ordered it that it doesn't come with DVD player anymore and you can only watch content from a USB stick. That is completely false. In fact there are 3 possible sources - there is a CD/DVD player (but NOT blu-ray) in the center console, there are A/V inputs and there is a USB input (all in the center console) where you can plug USB stick with videos. You can watch different sources on each screen - for example DVD on one, and USB video on the other. Unfortunately you cannot watch 2 different videos from the same USB stick on the 2 screens - they both must play the same file (although I suspect that is a restriction of the USB itself).

Also, I was told that the rear system is completely independent from the car entertainment system and cannot access it at all. That turned out to be false as well - I was able to get to my in-car-memory music from the rear. I didn't try putting video files in the car memory - I wonder if I'd be able to play those in the rear.

There are headphone jacks in the center console - one for the left and one for the right. In the options you get choice headphone or speaker, but when I select speaker it doesn't put the video sound on the rear speakers of the car (as I would expect) but simply plays the radio from the front. So basically your choice is headphones.

The system did play all AVIs and MP4s that I had laying around so no compatibility issues. It also played 1080p content without a hiccup (although on that small screen that's a waste of space). On my first try it did let me browse the main directory of the USB stick and a subdirectory. Later when I put more content on it, it wouldn't display the sub-directories at all. I'm still not sure if that is because of the number of files (about 130 in one of the sub-directories) or it got confused by some of the file names.

Overall it's not bad - if you want to keep kids happy on long trips. I just with the remote wasn't such a huge single point of failure.
I had few questions regarding the rear entertainment system:
1. Is it possible to set the rear entertainment system on the memory key (1-8) on the front so I don't have to select the it every time from either CD or Radio button and then choose which display I want to play it on?
2. Is the volume pretty low for the rear entertainment system when car speakers are used? I just did the ED on my 550 and found the volume setting for the rear entertainment system very low. When I switch back to CD/MP3 or Radio the speaker volume is way too loud and I have to lower the volume
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 03:25 PM
st_o_p st_o_p is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNeoxs View Post
I had few questions regarding the rear entertainment system:
1. Is it possible to set the rear entertainment system on the memory key (1-8) on the front so I don't have to select the it every time from either CD or Radio button and then choose which display I want to play it on?
2. Is the volume pretty low for the rear entertainment system when car speakers are used? I just did the ED on my 550 and found the volume setting for the rear entertainment system very low. When I switch back to CD/MP3 or Radio the speaker volume is way too loud and I have to lower the volume
Don't think I'll be much help with those.
1. AFAIK you cannot access the rear entertainment system from the front so no, you cannot bookmark it. Unless I'm missing something, but we always use the remote (like I said - single point of failure).
2, Aparently you didn't read my post that you quoted - when I chose speakers for the rear entertainment system the speakers started playing the radio from the front instead of the sound of the video that was playing in the rear. Which is why I said "only headphones"
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  #15  
Old Yesterday, 07:30 PM
CGP CGP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st_o_p View Post
Don't think I'll be much help with those.
1. AFAIK you cannot access the rear entertainment system from the front so no, you cannot bookmark it. Unless I'm missing something, but we always use the remote (like I said - single point of failure).
2, Aparently you didn't read my post that you quoted - when I chose speakers for the rear entertainment system the speakers started playing the radio from the front instead of the sound of the video that was playing in the rear. Which is why I said "only headphones"
Okay, had to check my system again. You can use the rear speakers on the rear entertainment system. You have to go in the options menu and make sure your setting are on speakers and not headphones. At least that works for me.
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  #16  
Old Today, 08:14 AM
iNeoxs iNeoxs is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st_o_p View Post
Don't think I'll be much help with those.
1. AFAIK you cannot access the rear entertainment system from the front so no, you cannot bookmark it. Unless I'm missing something, but we always use the remote (like I said - single point of failure).
2, Aparently you didn't read my post that you quoted - when I chose speakers for the rear entertainment system the speakers started playing the radio from the front instead of the sound of the video that was playing in the rear. Which is why I said "only headphones"
I was able to have the rear video sound on the speakers without any issues as CGP mentioned but the volume of rear DVD seems very low and I have to increase speaker volumes. CGP is it the same case for you?
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