Radio, DVD/Media & Sat Nav

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One of the fun things you'll find from getting a freshly imported Elgrand is that the Radio won't pick up UK Frequencies. If you have bought one with DVD/TV/Sat Nav, you will also find that none of these work.

With the Elgrand being a JDM only vehicle, it was never designed to handle frequencies and media used by other regions in the world.

To fix the Radio

There are 2 options:

Fit a Band Expander Replace the radio A band expander is a plug in tool that you wire into the aerial port behind the radio. This allows the radio to pick up frequencies above and beyond that of Japanese frequencies. This is a good cheap option if you do not want the hassle of replacing the radio.

Replacing the radio is a little more complicated, and a lot more costly than the band expander route. But, by doing this you will get a modern radio that also picks up the frequencies in your region.

To fix the media player

The E50 did not come with a DVD player, but it will accept media discs. Unfortunately, it will only read media formatted in NTSC format, which is not standard in a lot of other parts of the world. The E51 DID come with a DVD player, but the same issue arises as above. It will only read NTSC formatted DVD's.

There are 3 solutions:

Write your media to an NTSC formatted disc Use a portable DVD player with AV output Replace the radio/DVD player To write a disc in the correct format, you will need to rip the data off your current media storage and write it to a disc in NTSC format. This is the cheapest, easiest solution to the problem, but requires a certain level of technical knowledge to be able to do this.

To use a Portable DVD player, there are 3 ports, Audio Channel LEFT, Audio Channel RIGHT and Video Channel behind the drivers seat in the E50 and E51. In the E52 they are located between the front driver/passenger seats. Certain portable DVD players come with an ability to OUTPUT the media info in PAL or NTSC. Set it to NTSC and plug your A/V output into the A/V input for your vehicle. This will allow you to play your DVD's through the screens that come as standard in SOME Elgrand models.

The third option, which again is the most expensive, will allow you to play any media. New aftermarket radios normally come with region free coding and will also play both PAL and NTSC formatted media. The problem with doing this is that you MAY lose the output to the screens that you have in your Elgrand. You can work some wiring magic and get them to work again, but it's not a simple plug and play job.

Sat Nat & TV

To put it simply... it will NEVER work. The software built in to the Elgrand SatNav system is Japanese only. Not only does this mean that you will not be able to change the language like you would expect to be able to do, but there is also no way to load "rest of world" maps into the Sat Nav system. Also, as with the radio, the TV feature is set to pick up Japanese frequencies, and as such, will not pick up signal in any other part of the world.

People have spent a lot of time and money on getting around this, and they all came to the same conclusion. If you want Sat Nav and TV in your Elgrand, replace the Radio, or buy a separate Sat Nav unit and a portable FreeView box. You would use this in the same was as the Portable DVD player is used in the above section.