Multimedia features: Communication centre and concert hall

A completely new multimedia generation with intuitive operation and particularly tangible functions thanks to visualisation and animations celebrates its debut in the S-Class. Other innovations include the multi-user system, which allows independent access to the media sources of the entertainment system from any seat. The new S-Class is also the first saloon car to be equipped with the unique Frontbass system as standard. In this system, the interior space in the bodyshell's cross-members and side members is used as a resonance chamber for the woofers. A 3D surround sound system is available on request.
Several hundred developers worldwide contributed to the new Mercedes-Benz multimedia generation, compiling more than 30 million lines of programming. The centrepiece of the new COMAND Online is the Intel Atom, a processor whose performance fully equals that of components in the latest laptops.
As a completely new feature, the developers have made the individual functions of the communication systems more tangible with on-screen visualisation and animations (see section "Operation"). The user is also able to adapt what is shown in the central display to their own requirements. With the exception of the navigation map (which always fills the complete display area), the central display is divided into a main area (2/3 on the right of the screen) and an additional area (1/3 on the left side of the screen). In standard configuration the additional area shows supplementary information about the selected main application, e.g. if the radio function is active, the artist and song title are shown, or the current channel in the case of TV.
It is also possible to permanently show preferred contents in the additional area (except when the full navigation map is active). It is possible to select a small navigation map, fuel consumption display, data connection display or entertainment information, for example.
In addition to this improvement in operating convenience, numerous new functions extend the multimedia options available, and transform the S-Class into a communication centre or a concert hall as required.
The interactive presentation of content is a prominent new feature of the navigation function. The new navitainment functions include an animated compass, the "Driveshow" for passenger information as in an aircraft, and the display of Google Maps on the head unit and in the rear. Information on the traffic situation is shown with hatched lines (rather than with vehicle silhouettes as before). Thanks to real-time traffic information, the navigation system is also better informed about the situation on the roads. Traffic data are now provided by the "Live Traffic Information" service. Unlike the previous data sources TMC and TMCpro, whose data are received by radio, "Live Traffic Information" uses a fast internet connection and is therefore particularly up-to-date.
As another new feature, a key word search can be used to enter destinations: only a few letters need to be entered, and the system will automatically display a choice of appropriate town/street combinations and possible points of interest. The letter combinations or key words can even contain spelling mistakes.
Example: if the driver enters STUT and BAD, the system will suggest 'Stuttgarter Strasse' in Bad Friedrichshall, 'Badstrasse' in Stuttgart and the 'Freibad Möhringen' swimming pool in Stuttgart. The entered key words are visually highlighted in the display of search results.
In the radio function the favourite stations can now be saved to an individually organised preset list for all wavebands (DAB, FM, AM) rather than to a general autostore function. Individual stations can then be called up using the favourites function. The "song tagging" function is likewise useful: songs just played in the vehicle can be flagged and then downloaded to a mobile device via iTunes and the internet connection.
The player is now able to recognise mixed tracks, i.e. video and audio files. Videos are shown as a preview in a small, animated area, and can be enlarged to full-screen format. The function "Play similar titles" suggests songs similar to the one currently playing, accessing the CD, Music Register or a connected source. Also new are the Coverflow display, the album cover search and the Picture Viewer as a slideshow.
The telephone module with Bluetooth® is standard equipment with COMAND Online. This supports the connection of the mobile phone to the vehicle via a standardised Bluetooth® interface. In addition "Convenience telephony" can be ordered as an optional extra by way of a pre-installation using a universal phone interface, whereby the mobile phone can be connected via a cradle in the centre console. Suitable cradles for various mobile phones are obtainable from Mercedes-Benz Accessories.
"Business telephony in the rear"with a hands-free function is optionally available for passengers in the rear. Connection of the mobile phone to the rear unit is likewise via Bluetooth®. Preinstallation with a universal phone interface is also possible for the rear. Telephony via COMAND Online is networked with the Business telephony in the rear. Calls can therefore be conveniently transferred between the driver and the rear, and functions such as call waiting or conference are also available. Business telephony is operated via a Bluetooth® handset integrated into the rear and featuring a convenient touch display. This allows functions such as seat adjustment to be operated intuitively.
The most important new functions at a glance:
  • WLAN HotSpot integrated into the head unit as standard
  • Unrestricted browsing on the internet
  • SMS/email read/write function
  • Mercedes-Benz services (e.g. Google search, weather, Facebook, news)
  • Internet radio
  • Navitainment (DriveShow, Google Maps, StreetView)
  • Map showing the entire globe possible
  • Travelguide and personal POIs
  • Display of satellite images
  • Optimised 3D navigation with topographical model, photorealistic buildings and map rotation
  • Optimised search engine and destination input
  • Compilation of four alternative routes
  • Download of predefined destinations and routes
  • Live Traffic Information
  • Song tagging - flagging of played songs and download via iTunes
  • Convenient editing/sorting of the station list
  • Station search by station name
  • Coverflow display and search by album cover
  • Two USB connectors
  • Optional Media Interface integrated into the head unit to support mobile devices ·Bluetooth Audio – wireless music from mobile devices
  • Optimised media search engine
  • "Play similar titles" ·Reproduction of further audio/video formats
  • Display of title information from an internal database and via the internet (Gracenote)
  • PictureViewer via SD card/USB
  • Simple Pairing Assist for easy telephone connection via Bluetooth® ·Display of photos stored in the address book possible when a call comes in
  • Facility for simultaneous connection of two telephones via Bluetooth® (1st telephone to COMAND Online, 2nd to rear unit)
  • Telephone operation by COMAND Online and in the rear if only one phone in the car is connected
  • Display of images matching callers, separately stored via COMAND Online
  • Placing of telephone calls from other applications (e.g. web browser) ·Control of several telephone calls by call waiting and conference function
  • Convenient Bluetooth® handset with touch operation and remote control if rear telephony is specified
  • Operation of the system via smartphone/WLAN
Equal rights for every occupant: the entertainment features
The new S-Class is the first vehicle worldwide to offer a genuine multi-user system with Individual Entertainment in the rear. This means that there is independent access to the media sources of the entertainment system from any of the four seats – i.e. radio, TV, internet, navigation, DVD player and USB-connected devices.
The driver control function for all the seats is another new feature. The driver is able to route any audio or video source to the display and headset of any passenger. At the touch of a button the driver is also able to have one of the audio sources in use played via the onboard loudspeakers.
The multi-user system was technically realised by connecting COMAND Online with the Individual Entertainment system in the rear via a fibre-optic cable, a so-called MOST bus system (Media Oriented Systems Transport). Access to the sources from any seat is possible via the MOST ring, which works with a transfer rate of up to 150 Mbit per second. For the COMAND remote control function, digital radio technology is used for the first time instead of infrared technology. This makes operation throughout the vehicle possible from any position.
The well-proven SPLITVIEW for the driver and front passenger has been retained. COMAND Online forms a mixed image from two separate display images (e.g. TV and navigation). This is then separated in the high-resolution central display by means of prisms, enabling different screen content to be shown for the driver and front passenger depending on the viewing angle. The driver and front passenger therefore see different images – the passenger can watch television while the driver is following the navigation instructions.
Together with the DVD changer, headset and COMAND Online remote control, SPLITVIEW is part of "Individual Entertainment". The "Rear Individual Entertainment package" comprises a second DVD player (in the centre console for the five-seater, in the parcel shelf for the four-seater), two high-resolution 10.2-inch displays, remote control and two wireless headsets.
With Frontbass and up to 24 loudspeakers: the sound systems
The innovative Frontbass system developed by Mercedes-Benz and used for the first time in a saloon car is a feature common to all the audio systems: the woofers are housed in the firewall, and use the almost 40-litre space in the cross-member and side member as a resonance chamber. Conventional woofers in the doors are therefore unnecessary. The mid-range speakers in the doors are relocated upwards. This improves sound brilliance and allows additional stowage space in the doors.
As alternatives to the standard sound system with ten loudspeakers, two very high-quality audio systems are available which were developed together with the audio specialists at Burmester: Burmester® Surround Sound system and Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound system.
The features of the three sound systems at a glance:
Standard sound system
Burmester® Surround Sound system
Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound system
Loudspeakers (tweeters/mid-range/woofers/Frontbass/Bassbox) Total
4/4/0/2/0 10
4/7/0/2/0 13
9/8/4/2/1 24
Total loudspeaker output
100 watts
590 watts
1540 watts
Additional amplifier 
DSP (multi-channel) amplifier with nine active channels
24-channel) amplifier, analogue diplexer, additional amplifier for Bassbox
Sound presets
Pure/Easy Listening/Live/Surround/3D Surround
Volume control (GAL)
Front/rear sound optimisation Vehicle noise compensation (VNC)
3D Surround Sound VIP setting Vehicle noise compensation (VNC)
The systematic use of analogue diplexers in the medium and high frequency ranges ensures an extraordinarily expressive and natural sound. Bass, mid-range, treble, volume, balance and fader can be individually adjusted. The listening experience can be enhanced even further with the Surround function or sound optimisation for the front and rear seats.
The Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound system makes for an outstanding listening experience, with the best possible sound settings for every seat and, for the first time, three-dimensional sound in a luxury saloon car. This 3D surround sound is created with the help of special Burmester algorithms and three speakers integrated into the headlining. This system is visually distinguishable from the Burmester® Surround Sound system by these overhead speakers, door speaker covers and illuminated tweeters in the mirror triangles which extend electrically and light up in a choice of seven colour tones.This combination of analogue and digital technologies produces an extraordinarily expressive and natural sound – the Burmester "feel-good sound".

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