Information on the History of Older BMW Navigation Systems

Information on the History of Older BMW Navigation Systems

16x9 Widescreen Display  with the MKII Navigation Computer**** See all below notes on old style MKII and MKI upgrades.  Euro MKII navigation computers with old style factory video module see info below

We have numerous E38, E39 , and X5 owners running the widescreen monitory with MKII navigation computer system, running V22 software.  We even have reports of user running the 16:9 displays on an MKII Computer running V14 Software, although I am unaware of any limitations you might have with such old software.  ***Attention Euro MKII owners with OLD STYLEBMW factory video modules.  Your video Module MAY not be capable of running 16:9 aspect ratio unless recoded see below.   I have personally used an MKII computer running US version 22 software with a new style BMW Video Module, and did not have any problems. 

***Warning Do NOT DISCONNECT your BATTERY or PULL the FUSE on an with the Key on or until 90 seconds after your key has been turned off.  Always let your Navigation computer spin down completely allowing the red led to turn off see TIS Supplement on MKIII Computers Although this warning is for MKIII systems it is a good practice to follow.

NOTE: If your new widescreen display does not sync on the MKII computer right away after reconnecting your battery for the first time after installation the display will flicker like a TV station that is not tuned in completely.

In order to get the display to sync up correctly you must do following procedure: After installing the Widescreen, plug the battery back in and turn on the navigation display watch it flicker for a second.  Then remove the Fuse*** for the NAV/Monitor Radio for 10 seconds and reconnect to get the Navigation Computer and the Widescreen Display to sync up correctly.  Rebooting the navigation computer allows it to reconfigure itself to display the signal in the 16:9 aspect ratio.

NOTE FOR USERS WITH EURO MKII SOFTWARE and Old Style BMW Factory TV OPTION - Video module:  If your widescreen display is only showing in 4:3 aspect ratio it is because your video module is overriding the Navigation computer's aspect ratio based upon it's setting.  You must enter the Video module setting mode and set the aspect ratio to 16:9.  In order to set the mode, you must follow these possible tricks to get it to run 16:9:

Once you are in the TV mode turn right rotary button or press momentarily to display the TV menu options. (see except from manual below)

select "Display" menu item with the right rotary button choose the 16:9 format.  If the display format is NOT shown, it is most likely that you have an OLD style video module that does not support 16:9 aspect ratio

BMW Bluetooth E38 E39 E46 X5 Navigation Sirius Hands-free

If you are still unable to get your display to run in 16:9 aspect ratio, it may mean that your video module does not support 16:9 aspect ratio.  You will know it will not support 16:9 aspect ratio if the DISPLAY option is not shown.  If this is the case, you may have to have your video module reprogrammed.  The following places can do the reprogramming:

Car Solutions Email       I understand that the price of recoding is approx $60 Euros.  I am not 100% sure of the price, but I believe it is included in their modification that allows TV-in-motion.

Their are some simple and maybe never noticed limitations of using the MKII computer with the 16:9 Widescreen displays.  These limitations include no support for "soft keys".  The Widescreen navigation Display has two soft keys INFO and SELECT.  BMW states in the Widescreen Board Monitor TIS supplement 84 11 00 that soft keys are only supported in MKIII navigation computer hardware and software version V16.1 or higher

The INFO software key is not part of Navigation but part of the radio setting.  It turns on TP which is traffic program for countries that have special traffic condition broadcasts. I don't think the US has this. And it turns on RDS which is radio data systems and allows station name to be show in the display. Or so the navigation book says.  Someone mentioned that the INFO button might also switch the screen to the 'info' screen, which more or less just says 'this is nav system and radio too.' :-p It might do something more, that I am unaware of but it seems pretty useless.

The SELECT button controls the following functions: Music titles search over menu guidance.  Functions of the radio browsing select manual or automatic choice; Dolby on/off switch. 

****** If you intend to run the MKII navigation computer with the Widescreen set these two functions prior to swapping out your 4:3 display for a 16:9 Widescreen display. 

1) Turn on RDS – I am sure it is on since your car is a US version.  The only reason you would need to change the INFO button functionality would be if you travel in your vehicle between the US and Europe.

2) Turn on the scan mode for the radio automatic of manual scan – automatic, is the option I bet you will choose. Meaning when you push the button to tune in the next channel it will automatically find a station or manual which just goes up 1/10th of a frequency (91.1 to 91.2 to 91.3 etc) The SELECT button calls up the search function and select between: Manual, scan and automatic search mode.  Once the preference is set, most people would agree that these two buttons are hardly used and will not be missed.  and Turn on Dolby prologic support when in cassette tape mode if desired

Other than that I am sure nobody will miss it. If you do miss this feature, you can get an MKIII computer or greatter and must run software version V16 or greater for the support.

If you are looking to upgrade your Navigation Computer, I have heard the least expensive part number to look for is the following:

65-90-6-915-036 MKIII COMPUTER  $586.50 NEW  - Possible old price!

65-90-6-920-713 MKIV COMPUTER  Have seen as low as $850 NEW

******We still are uncertain that the  MKI navigation computer will work perfect with the 16x9 widescreen.  Worst case scenario you can always upgrade the MKI with a BMW adapter harness see below:

Marc aka Tranceshark reports:

The "OLD" MK II has the old connectors like the MK I (brown+black) the "NEW" MK II i has the new connectors like the MK III and MK IV. But if you have the older one and want to upgrade to "New" MKII, MKIII or MK4 you just need to buy the adaptor cables from BMW, cost is around $80 for the two cables!
BMW Bluetooth E38 E39 E46 X5 Navigation Sirius Hands-free

On the left you can see the brown and black connector (MK I or old MK II) On the right are the new connectors (blue and purple) The cable that runs all around the CD Changer is the adaptor Cable from BMW. Part No.: 61 1 28 381 219 Adapterkabelsatz
61 1 26 907 840 Leitung

WHAT IS Mark I, II or III (Or MKI, MKII, or MKIII) ???

Basically the Mark X number determines the version of hardware of your Navigation computer. Since the built in Navigation Computer was launched BMW it has been improved over time. Each major hardware revision has reclassified as Mark something (or MK #).

If your BMW was manufactured from Late 97-2001 and you have a 4x3 display with a female voice it is most likely that you have the MKII navigation computer. MKIII and MKIV were never used with the 4x3 display from BMW (to my knowledge). They work fine, with the MKIII, but they came with the Widescreen display.

The MKII is characterized by:

Car production date: 1997 - 2000 (please note this is not the year model, but the date the car was built)
Female voice for navigation
Separate GPS receiver (there is no antenna in the back of the navigation computer)

The MKIII is characterized by:

Car production date: 2000 - 2002 (please note this is not the year model, but the date the car was built)
Female voice for navigation
Integrated GPS receiver (there is a visible GPS antenna lead on the back of the navigation computer)

The MKIV (DVD ROM) is characterized by:

Car production date: 2002 - present (please note this is not the year model, but the date the car was built)
Female voice for navigation
Integrated GPS receiver (there is a visible GPS antenna lead on the back of the navigation computer)
DVD Based navigation system - uses only one disc to cover the entire US and Canada, or entire Europe.
clearly marked "DVD" on the Navigation Computer.

The MKI is characterized by:

Car production date in 1996-1997 (please note this is not the year model, but the date the car was built).
Male voice for navigation.

It is almost a certainty that if your Navigation System has a female voice it is the MKII or higher.

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