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Toyota Sienna Audio/Entertainment Questions



  • rjeokrjeok Posts: 7
    I have an 2011 LTD FWD that I will be picking up monday. The car has the toyota entertainment package. My question is: Can I play DVR dvd discs, that I have recorded myself, on the Toyota entertainment system.

    Thanks for the help
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW they do play on my aftermarket one, a Jensen.
  • @ateixeira, do you install aftermarket dvd on your sienna 2011? what model is your jensen? did you installed it by your self? can you post a picture please. how was it so far, any problems? thanks...
  • kriskatekriskate Posts: 1
    My 2008 Sienna with factory installed entertainment system has malfunctioned, and I'm looking for some help. I tried to eject the disc, and it made an odd whirring sound, and only partially ejected the disc. Enough that I could pull it out, but there was resistance, it didnt come out easily. I turned off the car, then turned it back on, put the disc in, got a loud whirring sound, like it was trying to spin, but no movie playing. When I tried to eject it, it did the same thing, a partial ejection.

    The unit has malfunctioned once before. The dealer couldnt' find anything wrong with it, but said they were able to "reboot" it and it started to work again. That was ~4 months ago, and it's been working fine since. I don't know what they did to reboot it, but would like to try it and see if it helps - can anybody give me any clues as to how to do that?

    Thanks for the help, I'm in a bit of a pinch - we're leaving in 4 days on a 2000 mile care trip with 2 small kids and I REALLY don't want to attempt it without a DVD player to occupy them. Thanks!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Circuit City installed it a little before they went bankrupt.

    Not sure about the model but it's a 12.1" LCD screen. I bet it's been replaced, 3+ years later, with widescreen models.
  • I think the stock speakers sound terrific
  • Here's a link to an article on this issue and a TSB from Toyota:
  • eddieraseddieras Posts: 49
    thanks but that's the same thing i posted earlier in the thread. i had the same issue, i went to toyota armed with the TSB but they wouldn't honor it becuase it's a different vehicle - i thought you had a new TSB on these current cars - darn! thanks tho...
  • In a nut shell, the 2011 or 2012 Toyota Sienna's MP3 player and menu system just aren't good enough for a $30k+ vehicle. It’s not use friendly. It’s slow. It’s frustrating. Simply put, it’s not a functional or safe MP3 system when you’re driving down the highway. I’ve not seen any detailed reviews of the mp3 system, so below is a lengthy commentary of my experience with the Sienna stereo.

    For me, as for many drivers, music is an essential part of driving. So when I purchased a 2012 Toyota Sienna XLE a few weeks ago, I was very excited about the MP3 player capabilities with on screen menus (no nav screen, just standard radio). My wife recently got a 2011 Ford Taurus with a USB port, and it's been awesome for playing tunes from my iPhone - not as easy to navigate as an iPhone screen, but safer and affective. Better yet, I learned that I could load my music (m4a, mp3, wav) onto a jump drive or USB flash drive and have the same functionality (search by playlists, artist, or song list). And it did this very smoothly, efficiently, and quickly. So naturally I was excited to gain the same capabilities in the van that I usually tote the kids around in. My excitement turned to disappointment as I became more familiar with the system.

    When connecting the iPhone via USB, the stereo allows you to search by playlist, artist, and song (though the iPhone will display a message that the connected devise is not optimized for the iPhone???). So say you choose to sort by artist, the stereo displays a scrolling list of artists to choose from. Sounds great unless you've got a lot of music that you want to have at your fingertips, because the stereo does not buffer the lists quickly. If you've got 100 artists, you'll be able to scroll through only a few before the screen goes blank and you must wait for it to buffer. So going to from A to S can take 20 to 30 seconds easy. So now you want to go from Sting to Alanis Morissette - guess what - it does the same thing, even though it should have already loaded these artists the first time. It appears to only remember so much. Now, once you've found the artist you're looking for, you go to the song list, it will do the same thing - take time to buffer. To make this system more annoying, while you're fumbling looking for the artist you want (buffer, buffer) to find the song you want (buffer, buffer), the player is constantly changing song you hear as you scroll through the different artists and different songs – it doesn’t wait for me to select the song. Keep in mind, all this fumbling and frustration is going on while I've got my 3 kids in the car and I'm driving down the road - I'm putting a lot of faith in that 5-star safety rating.

    As far as using flash drives or jump drives with the MP3 player - forget about it. I thought that this would be a great feature... I could keep a copy of my music on a jump drive always plugged in so I didn't have to connect my phone. Alas, I was disappointed again. It's far less functional than dealing with the iPhone. First it must be in the MP3 or WAVE format. It doesn't support the m4a (AAC) format that you usually get for iPhone/iTunes music - you have to transfer them into MP3. So you plug in your flash drive into the USB port, but the Sienna does not read playlists from the flash drive, and doesn’t allow you sort them by artist or song. To navigate a flash drive you push the folder up/down button. It will show the name of the folder that the song is playing from (usually the album title - not the artist). And it will take way too long to load this info making it impossible to quickly find what you want (while driving a car). If you wish to use a flash drive, the only way to make this remotely functional is to go to your PC and pull each artist's music out of the album file folder and drop it in the artists file folder, then delete the album folders. Then maybe your flash drive won’t drive you too crazy. Doing this for all of my music wasn't an option.
    The next two options are to connect your phone via Bluetooth connection or the auxiliary port cord connection (looks like headphone jacks on both ends). These offer no on-board stereo menu options except to choose the next song or previous song. This effectively turns the phone into your car stereo. Sadly, this is the method that I prefer, making me wonder why I had to pay for these other features – my Jaba Cruizer connected me via Bluetooth to my 2000 Mountaineer stereo wirelessly for 75 bucks. And my Jaba Cruizer was better in that I never lost my Bluetooth connection. I can’t say the same for my Bluetooth connection with the Sienna, which is aggravating for music and for using the car phone capabilities. So now I’m back to picking up my iPhone to change my tunes, despite the capabilities that the 2012 Toyota Sienna claims offer. Music is such a daily and integral part of my driving experience, that these frustrations have me wishing that I would have continued my search for a new van.

    Share your experience. Any input on the Honda or Nissan minivans?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You may not be surprised, then, that Toyota is coming out with their own system similar to Ford's, called EnTune. I think it will have the types of features you're asking for.

    I don't think Honda is there yet, nor have I heard of such a system from Nissan. They're probably designing them now.

    Ironically Ford got a lot of heat for MyFord Touch, as some find it complicated to use.
  • I learned a long time ago, NEVER BUY the upgraded manufacturers car stereo's because the best ones they carry are as good as the worst ones you can buy at best buy for about an 8th the cost. Just be happy its not the ford one, or the GM one.. The GM one connects to the cars alarm system, which means if your radio breaks your car wont start.. The ford one i have in my mustang, which is really pretty cool, but its a little distracting when you drive.. I wanted to put a regular radio in it, but i was told that you cannot remove the stereo since it is connected to the cars central computer... I would not have gotten the one in my ford if i had to pay for it, but i got it free, since i told them i wouldn't take the car if i had to pay for the radio i didn't want.
  • arti10arti10 Posts: 1
    I agree that audio system is very disappointing, but if you connect your iPhone through the Bluetooth, it allows you to stream music from iPhone to speakers using iPhone interface and bypassing Toyota ones.

    The steps are:
    1. pair iphone with Toyota using audio option
    2. press AUX on the radio (sometimes you have to press twice AUX if you have a USB drive pluged in)
    3. select to play any song/playlist on iphone

    That's it. You should hear the music playing through the speakers with pretty good quality.
  • quizzerquizzer Posts: 14
    What are the best after market GPS options for the 2011/12 XLE (without NAV DVD).

    Will the aftermarket have DVD too?

    Can it integrate well with the inbuilt XLE bluetooth, rear camera?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I went with a stand-alone Magellan unit, then added a backup cam as well. I fabricated a mount so that there are no suction cups, too.

    Here's a video of mine:

    That whole setup will cost you about $400 or so, but it is not integrated, i.e. the stereo does not mute when directions are being given.
  • We just bought a 2012 Toyota Sienna XLE and was wondering if you have tried to connect the XBOX 360 to the RCA Jacks and AC outlet as well. I did buy the adapter since it has no grounding plug but I purchased a KIll A Watt Electric usage Monitor and it reads 150 watts to start up the Xbox and then runs at 134-136 Watts continuosly. I'm afraid to hook it up since it might trip the fuses at which point I'll have to fix that and I don't want to mess with a new van just yet. Has it worked for you.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited September 2012
    Isn't the 360 HD? I don't think the screen has the resolution for that.

    Try a low-def Wii.
  • I plan to do the same. Were you successful? Any tip/advice for me?
  • It will work as long as you do not plug anything into the AC outlet in the back of the van. I believe the two AC outlets run off the same fuse so that means you have up to 200 watts of power available. The Xbox runs on 135 watts +/- 2 watts. And if you have an older Xbox you can use your component cables but if you have a newer Xbox that carries the video and audio using an HDMI you will need to buy a converter that will input HDMI and carry out Component or RCA Cables.
  • we did not solve the problem, x box kept tripping circuit, took it to Toyota, they said it will not support the xbox, which is why we got entertainment package. If you have solution please let me know .
    fyi we had this problem also
    Toyota Sienna Mini Van Spontaneous acceleration Our Minivan spontaneously accelerated. I don't know if you know Toyota has been having this issue with older models, but ours is a 2012 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited All wheel drive mini van. I put on the Brake to let my wife out when the van took off as if I had the gas pedal to the floor, yet my foot was on the brake. We kept moving, so I pushed the stop/ignition button and the van would not stop. I then put on the emergency brake and the van was still moving, I watched the RPM's keep going up on the tachometer. I then pushed the off/ignition button again, still would not stop, my next step was to put it in neutral, but I didn't want to blow the engine, so I pushed the off/ignition button again and the engine finally stopped. We were freaked out we had only read about this not thinking it would ever happen to us. Now the biggest problem is I don't feel comfortable having wife drive the van anymore. I called Toyota of Nashua, they basically said we can inspect it and call Toyota of California. I called Toyota of CA and they seemed nice and talked about giving us a loaner car. Both Toyota of Nashua, NH and Toyota of California both inspected the van and said “there is nothing wrong with the van”. They said you can come and pick it up. There are many YouTube Video showing this problem and even re-enacting the situation, yet Toyota claims user error. I have grown up working on cars for about 35 years, I fixed and driven cars hard. I’ve done things with cars that most people only see in the movies. I can promise you it was not user error and it was not the floor mats FACT!!! BEWARE Toyota & Lexus Owners
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