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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,


I just bought a 2013 Limited with the JBL Stereo and Navigation. However, my suspicions were confirmed, and the factory head unit is.... "challenging"... to navigate screens, set directions, etc. Ideally I'd like to replace it with something like a Pioneer AVH-X4800BS to leverage my cell phone's navigation, facilitate audio controls, etc. I'm wondering if anyone knows the implications of the following:


- Would I lose any functionality that I currently have? Based on what I've read so far, things like steering wheel controls, back-up camera are retained.
- Is the rear seat entertainment system standalone? I know that you can control it with the current head unit, but does it just play automatically if there's a DVD in the player? In other words, how would changing out the head unit affect the RSE? Doesn't seem like aftermarket units can control it, only output video to the rear.
- Can aftermarket head units output video (e.g. a movie) to a screen in the back, but display a different screen (radio, control, etc) in the front?


On a side note- can the DVD player only play native DVD movies (MPEG-2), or can it support other video formats dragged and dropped on the DVD?
 

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I suggest lying down for a while until the feeling passes. It's not the best nav system but it isn't all that much different than the later generation systems in other Toyota and Lexus vehicles. If you have an old nav disc, it doesn't cost that much to update it with the current one - the one from November 2016. I paid about $143 for the November 2015 update at a Toyota dealer with a discount from the Costco auto program. I'll update it again in November 2017.

It's pretty nice to be able to control the rear entertainment system from the JBL head unit. It allows you to play the audio of a DVD over the van's speakers so everyone can hear it - fun when playing something like Blazing Saddles.

The nav system is decent enough to display which lane you should be in on complicated Interstate highway intersections and upcoming POI's and rest stops. I thought I would be using one of our Garmins in our 2014 Sienna Limited but its nav system has turned out to be plenty good enough to not do that.
 

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I'll throw out a few more ideas since I'm now at "work".


Yes, you could probably retain the steering wheel controls and backup camera if you get appropriate aftermarket interface harnesses and maybe do some hardwiring. I don't know if you will be able to preserve the predictive lines on the backup camera though - those are really nice and come only on the most expensive Toyota and Lexus backup camera systems.


I suppose you could try other video formats on a DVD but I doubt they will work. The buttons on the remote appear to control only the standard DVD video format. You could play other media on the rear screen through the composite inputs at the back of the center console. I saw recently that highly rated HDMI-to-Composite adapters are only $10 to $15 on Amazon and WiFi Direct adapters that could plug into the composite inputs run from about $50 to $100 which would allow "casting" video from phones/tablets like I do to our home TV's.


I can't tell you if the rear video system will still work if the JBL head unit is disconnected from the current DVD player - I suppose you could try doing that and see. Most in-dash screen based head units come with their own video disc player but I doubt if the Sienna remote controller could control one of those. You really need the complete electrical diagram if you want to tackle this - downloadable from the Toyota tech info website for a fee.


I wonder if your Safety Connect (SOS) system would work with an aftermarket head unit since SOS is integrated into the audio system. There is a digital phone transceiver for the Safety Connect system behind the trim panel near the right rear wheel. With an active subscription, you can press the SOS button to get roadside assistance. The system automatically notifies the Safety Connect center with your GPS location if airbags deploy or a rear end crash or rollover is detected. Safety Connect is rather important to us and we don't buy vehicles without it or similar systems or without features like PCS and DRCC. If your Safety Connect is not active, call 888-683-9505 to activate it. I'm about to renew it on our 2014 Sienna again - about $140 for a single year subscription and a little less per year for multi-year subscriptions. After being standard on the gen 3 Sienna Limited and optional on the XLE, Safety Connect is being made standard on all trim levels of the 2018 Sienna.


The JBL audio system sounds quite nice for it being in a van. I've had some high end systems in Lexus LS sedans and the Sienna's 10-speaker JBL system is actually better than at least one of those. It's even good enough to make SiriusXM sound pretty good. If your Sienna doesn't have an active SiriusXM subscription, you can probably get a $5/month deal like I did. I didn't care for SiriusXM some years ago but I'm liking it a lot more these days and would subscribe to it just for two of the stations - Spectrum and The Bridge.


The Sienna JBL system makes audio streaming from the Internet sound good. I mount my Android phone in a cradle on the little shelf above the head unit and stream mostly from Pandora and Amazon Prime Music and a bit from Tunein and Slacker. I use the Dock'n Drive phone app to make it safer to control streaming apps.


Again, the nav system is pretty decent. My 2014 Sienna came with the November 2013 nav disc which sometimes made for squirrelly route guidance but the November 2015 disc cleared that up. It was a little irritating at first that there can be limited voice guidance in rural areas and small towns but following the guidance pointer on the screen has become sort of entertaining in those situations.
 

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I agree with Geezer, there's too much hooked into the Limited's head unit and you'd probably be giving up some of the really nice features of the system. I'd probably get a separate navigation system like the Navdy that has its own GPS, can control music, calls etc without having to rip out the factory system.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the feedback, and sorry I'm only just now responding... the little kids make you have to prioritize things and I'm just now circling back to this (now that I'm at work too!).


To respond to a few of your comments-


I agree that it is nice to have the video system connected with all speakers, even if it does mean listening to Finding Dory over and over. Would hate to lose that functionality.


I can understand the value of the SOS, but at the moment it's not something I'm vested in, although I'm not ruling it out in the future. I do love the speakers too; great sound. I'll have to investigate dock n drive, as I too use streaming music.


Also, i'll look into the Navdy.


A few thoughts I've had since I posted-


Hate that the passenger can't adjust GPS route while moving. I have seen some workarounds on that involving a switch, so I might look into those.


Also, I'm wondering if the newer Sienna head units can be swapped in place of the current one. Would have to check geometry, but I'd like the better screen resolution, phone mirroring (assuming this comes with newer), and other advancements that accompany them. Assuming that integration would be less of an issue than 3rd party, as it would most likely retain Toyota stereo architecture. It appears that there's a variety available through sites like eBay.
 

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2018 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium w/JBL
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I am very late to this discussion but wanted to see if I can add to it for anyone's edification.

I recently purchased a 2018 Limited Premium but was disappointed in several aspects of the headunit (too numerous to go into). So I decided to go with a Kenwood DNR1007XR with idatalink maestro rr2 with rT03 harness along with the GPS retainer ACC SAT T02, metra antenna retainer, and a usb retainer metra TOYUSB. Install went smooth with no surprises, except one; so far I have not been able to use the rear audio source for the RES (available on stock unit to play movie through speakers). I am still looking into this, but in the event I cant figure it out there is a solution that seems straightforward. You will need a headunit with an HDMI-IN port and an HDMI splitter. You simply play through a roku and select HDMI in on the headunit,with the roku also plugged into the stock HDMI plug, and viola the movie will play on both the RES screen and on the headunit with sound through the speakers. Just make sure you are on the navigation screen on the headunit when the vehicle is moving (also will need a motion bypass specific to headunit) and you wont be violating any rules.

By the way, so far every other feature has been retained with the maestro setup (birds eye, vehicle customization features, etc)

Anyone try anything like this?
 

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I am very late to this discussion but wanted to see if I can add to it for anyone's edification.

I recently purchased a 2018 Limited Premium but was disappointed in several aspects of the headunit (too numerous to go into). So I decided to go with a Kenwood DNR1007XR with idatalink maestro rr2 with rT03 harness along with the GPS retainer ACC SAT T02, metra antenna retainer, and a usb retainer metra TOYUSB. Install went smooth with no surprises, except one; so far I have not been able to use the rear audio source for the RES (available on stock unit to play movie through speakers). I am still looking into this, but in the event I cant figure it out there is a solution that seems straightforward. You will need a headunit with an HDMI-IN port and an HDMI splitter. You simply play through a roku and select HDMI in on the headunit,with the roku also plugged into the stock HDMI plug, and viola the movie will play on both the RES screen and on the headunit with sound through the speakers. Just make sure you are on the navigation screen on the headunit when the vehicle is moving (also will need a motion bypass specific to headunit) and you wont be violating any rules.

By the way, so far every other feature has been retained with the maestro setup (birds eye, vehicle customization features, etc)

Anyone try anything like this?
I'm interested!
Any luck messing with the RES and the new headunit? I'm looking at pre-CarPlay models, but would really like that feature.
 

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I'm interested!
Any luck messing with the RES and the new headunit? I'm looking at pre-CarPlay models, but would really like that feature.
So wanted to update this and hope it helps you and everyone else out.

So I actually switched to the pioneer nex8600 headunit (kenwood was a good unit also). I have found that the idea of a splitter to get sound to the RES works great. Currently I am in the process of testing a upscaler from the composite output off the pioneer unit that way I can set up a hard drive that runs movies off the headunit while still taking advantage of the fact that the RES of the Sienna is HD. Other than that everything works great all features are retained with the iDatalink maestro setup. The factory radio of the Sienna is just so terrible so Im glad there are options.
 

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2018 Sienna XLE AWD, 2008 Highlander SE.
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So wanted to update this and hope it helps you and everyone else out.

So I actually switched to the pioneer nex8600 headunit (kenwood was a good unit also). I have found that the idea of a splitter to get sound to the RES works great. Currently I am in the process of testing a upscaler from the composite output off the pioneer unit that way I can set up a hard drive that runs movies off the headunit while still taking advantage of the fact that the RES of the Sienna is HD. Other than that everything works great all features are retained with the iDatalink maestro setup. The factory radio of the Sienna is just so terrible so Im glad there are options.
Thanks for the updated.
How do you connect your factory microphone to your pioneer head unit?
 

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Thanks for the updated.
How do you connect your factory microphone to your pioneer head unit?
I simply used the boom mic provided with the Pioneer headunit. There is a spot right behind the steering wheel in front of the gauge cluster that works without obscuring the cluster at all (may depend on how you have the seat adjusted. I have read about attempts to connect the amplified powered factory mic of cars to aftermarket stereos and the reviews are mixed to say the least. Plus if the pioneer mic fails it is very cheap and easy to replace. I had a factory mic fail on a 2013 Subaru and the thing would have been an absolute nightmare to find let alone replace (not a simple unplug the bad one and replace with a new one)
 

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I simply used the boom mic provided with the Pioneer headunit. There is a spot right behind the steering wheel in front of the gauge cluster that works without obscuring the cluster at all (may depend on how you have the seat adjusted. I have read about attempts to connect the amplified powered factory mic of cars to aftermarket stereos and the reviews are mixed to say the least. Plus if the pioneer mic fails it is very cheap and easy to replace. I had a factory mic fail on a 2013 Subaru and the thing would have been an absolute nightmare to find let alone replace (not a simple unplug the bad one and replace with a new one)
Thanks for your input! I will upgrade my unit to DMH-WC6600NEX soon.
 

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Thanks for your input! I will upgrade my unit to DMH-WC6600NEX soon.
A couple of things that may help and improve your install.

1. There is a satellite radio adapter by iDatalink that shows as incompatible on their website but I can confirm 100% works and it is the following part: Maestro Acc-SAT-TO2. This will make the gps install SO much easier...will also allow you to install satelittle radio if you choose. Definitely $30 well spent.

2. Retaining the usb port on the Sienna will prove a little trickier. The adapter on Crutchfields website I can confirm 100% DOES NOT work. However all is not lost. If you are ok with waiting 2-3 weeks there is an adapter through alibaba which does work and it is this: https://m.aliexpress.com/item/40013...778b82d49f162c9bb61j.jpg_640x640Q90.jpg_.webp

no issues with shipping it is just a little slow and is also money well spent.

3. I would use the Scosche install kit vs the Metra kit. The Scosche kit uses metal, yes metal brackets to hold the radio in. The flat black may not be for everyone but personally I think it matches the trim better.

As a side note I have been in touch with iDatalink about integrating the RES into an aftermarket headunit and they have said it is on their radar just nothing yet.

Hope all this helps.
 

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A couple of things that may help and improve your install.

1. There is a satellite radio adapter by iDatalink that shows as incompatible on their website but I can confirm 100% works and it is the following part: Maestro Acc-SAT-TO2. This will make the gps install SO much easier...will also allow you to install satelittle radio if you choose. Definitely $30 well spent.

2. Retaining the usb port on the Sienna will prove a little trickier. The adapter on Crutchfields website I can confirm 100% DOES NOT work. However all is not lost. If you are ok with waiting 2-3 weeks there is an adapter through alibaba which does work and it is this: https://m.aliexpress.com/item/4001319423923.html?spm=a2g0n.productlist.0.0.fa85527aH2xDMA&browser_id=0a33467681c04edd99272d92e350fa17&aff_trace_key=&aff_platform=msite&m_page_id=00117822479ad25f8a8c31a48421ef20224fe9e10b&gclid=&_imgsrc_=ae01.alicdn.com/kf/H7623079a5e004778b82d49f162c9bb61j.jpg_640x640Q90.jpg_.webp

no issues with shipping it is just a little slow and is also money well spent.

3. I would use the Scosche install kit vs the Metra kit. The Scosche kit uses metal, yes metal brackets to hold the radio in. The flat black may not be for everyone but personally I think it matches the trim better.

As a side note I have been in touch with iDatalink about integrating the RES into an aftermarket headunit and they have said it is on their radar just nothing yet.

Hope all this helps.
WOW...... THANK YOU!!!!
:D
 

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WOW...... THANK YOU!!!!
:D
No problem...as a side note the pioneer unit you mentioned doesnt look like it has an HDMI In port on the back. If it were me I would make sure to get one with an HDMI In port. That way if you want to hook up a Switch or Playstation or Roku or something like that you have the option of using a splitter to get audio while using the RES
 

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So just a brief followup that I hope helps anyone trying to do this radio swap out.

I was having some difficulty getting the birds eye feature to function on the pioneer avic 8600. It had some bizarre behavior that I thought was the fault of the RR2 maestro unit. So I tried the Crux interface through Crutchfield thinking it would help...and it was terrible. Very quirky and not good. I then discovered something else...the pioneer avic 8600 does not support birds eye since it only has a single camera input. If you have birds eye and want to retain you absolutely must use a radio that supports multiple cameras. In this case I am actually going back to a kenwood unit (DNR1007XR) to get those features back.

So for anyone wanting to do this and wants to retain the birds eye feature, make absolutely certain the feature is supported by the radio you choose. It seems that the more camera inputs a radio has the better chance of retaining those features.

Sucks to put all kinds of work into this but hope it can help others.
 
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