Droid Bionic car dock hacked for video output

A Motorola Droid Bionic owner wanted to be able to watch Netflix videos in his car, so he got to work modding.

A modified Motorola Droid Bionic car dock enables HDMI mirroring to an in-dash display.
A modified Motorola Droid Bionic car dock enables HDMI mirroring to an in-dash display. InspiredGS/DroidForums.net

It all started with a dream. An enterprising Motorola Droid Bionic owner on the DroidForums message board wanted to be able to watch the Netflix videos streamed to his Bionic on the rear-seat entertainment (RSE) system in his 2003 Lexus GS 300. The user (who goes by the handle InspiredGS) went to work modding and, after a bit of careful hackery and a careful application of epoxy, his Droid Bionic Car Kit had been upgraded to allow the handset's display to be mirrored on the Lexus' screens.

What the modder basically did was add an HDMI connection to the Droid Bionic's car dock to match the Micro-HDMI output on the side of the Bionic handset, which enables the Bionic's video mirroring function. Then, with an HDMI-to-RGB converter and a digital video switch, the mirrored video is distributed to the Lexus' in-dash display and dual 9-inch headrest monitors.

The user is not able to control the Bionic with the car's touch screen; this is a one-way connection.
The user is not able to control the Bionic with the car's touch screen; this is a one-way connection. InspiredGS/DroidForums.net

An HDMI converter and video switch enables the video to be displayed on the car's rear-seat displays.
An HDMI converter and video switch enables the video to be displayed on the car's rear-seat displays. InspiredGS/DroidForums.net

Because this is just a video output, the Lexus' in-dash touch screen can't be used to control the Bionic. However, the setup is still useful for displaying Google Maps Navigation on the display and piping turn-by-turn directions through the car's speakers. As a nice bonus, the Bionic's Webtop interface can also be invoked with an onscreen menu. Of course, the initial goal of streaming Netflix video to the back seat is also accomplished.

Pop over to the thread on the DroidForums.net message board to see just how simply this hack was pulled off.

 

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