A blue 2024 Chevy Equinox EV is shown parked near a Chevy dealer.

Did You Know Your Chevy Infotainment Center Can Play Movies?

Do you remember the drive-in theater? I sure do. It’s where I viewed many memorable flicks, such as some installments of the Indiana Jones franchise. Did you know there may be a drive-in theater in your driveway? You don’t even need to pay an admittance fee. Your Chevy infotainment center can do things you might not have known, and one hidden feature that shocks people when they learn of its existence is video playback, such as your favorite television shows and movies. If you don’t already have a Chevy in your driveway, this might be one reason to visit your local Chevy dealer to get one.

The black interior and dash of a 2024 Chevy Silverado EV is shown.

Your Drive-In Theater Has Streaming

Did you know you can watch Netflix on your Chevy infotainment center? That screen in the center of your Chevy, whether that be a seven, eight, or even the massive 17-inch screen you’ll see in the Silverado EV, can stream Netflix. There are two reasons why I believe someone would want to use this, and one reason why they wouldn’t.

The reason why someone might not know, or even care, that their Chevy infotainment center can stream Netflix is because they’re driving. You shouldn’t be watching a movie while you’re driving, because that’s almost somehow worse than texting while driving. However, what if you drive with your family, and perhaps your family doesn’t own multiple tablets and smart devices? Watching Netflix on your infotainment center is a great way to keep the kids in the back invested in a television show or movie. In these scenarios, you’ll have to exercise self-control and not be drawn to the infotainment center if you see Stranger Things on your screen.

Another time when utilizing Netflix on the Chevy infotainment center would be a great idea is watching it when you’re parked. I used to think this sounded silly. But if you’re a parent, you may be used to sitting in parking lots waiting for your child to be finished with whatever extracurricular activity they’re doing – drama club, sports teams, you name it. There are sometimes times when you’re left either fidgeting with the radio or, more commonly nowadays, looking at your smartphone.

Sure, you could watch videos like Netflix on your smartphone, but unless you have a five-inch infotainment center, there’s no other type of infotainment center smaller than even the largest current iPhone model’s screen. For reference, the largest iPhone screen at the time of writing belongs to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which has a screen that measures diagonally at 6.7 inches. If you have a laptop or tablet in the vehicle to watch something while waiting, you may have trouble properly positioning it on the dashboard so that both of you may see the movie. The infotainment center’s position is perfect for both front-seat occupants to see the contents of the screen. To bring in another real-world comparison, if your Chevy has a 17.7-inch screen like the Equinox EV has, that screen is even larger than Apple’s largest laptop, the MacBook Pro with a 16.2-inch screen.

Then there’s the audio. When you play Netflix or watch a video file through your infotainment center, the audio of the movie is played through your vehicle’s excellent sound system, rather than through your tiny, tinny phone speaker. Yes, you could plug an auxiliary cable from the infotainment center into the laptop or tablet, but at that point why not just watch a video on the screen built right into your car?

Are any special hoops required to get Netflix working on your infotainment center? Yes and no. Because lawyers don’t want the company to be responsible if you are watching movies while driving, only specific apps are designed to work with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Apps intended to use while driving like Google or Apple Maps, as well as other safe applications for music, podcasts, and audio books, are supported. But any apps deemed too distracting while driving are not, including Netflix, YouTube, and other video apps.

A way around this is to download a form of screen mirroring software to mimic the phone screen onto the infotainment center and then watch Netflix through that. It’s somewhat cumbersome in comparison to just connecting to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but it’s still possible.

The black and white interior and dash of a 2024 Chevy Equinox EV is shown.

How to Watch Videos For Free On Your Infotainment Center

Netflix is a popular video streaming service, but it also costs money. Another way you can watch videos, particularly if you already have them saved on a hard drive or computer at home, is to copy them to a USB drive, and then plug it into one of your Chevy’s USB ports. Let’s say you purchased a movie online and acquired a digital MP4 file. You can put that on a flash drive, plug it directly into the infotainment center, and find it in the list of connected devices.

The best part about using a flash drive on an infotainment center is that Chevy’s infotainment centers don’t require any special tinkering to make this work, because the operating system can natively play video files. This means you don’t need to rely on subscription services or even an internet connection to entertain the family with a movie. You can also put MP3 files on that USB drive and access a separate catalog of digital music in your vehicle that way. I know some people who prefer having digital or physical ownership over the media and aren’t too fond of the ever-increasing nature of subscription services. Fortunately, with a Chevy infotainment center, you can watch the movies you own if you have them as a digital file, even though you can’t slide DVDs into the infotainment center.

The Backup Media Hub for the Family

I used to think it was a crazy idea for Tesla owners to have access to high-quality video games through their infotainment centers. But the truth is that vehicles are becoming more than just our means of transportation. While Chevy vehicles can’t play video games, it’s a direction in which we’re headed. One of the reasons why mobile game developers work hard to bring their video games to iPhone and Android is because often the most premium screens we own are the ones we don’t spend a majority of our time consuming media on, like movies. I know that if I’m watching a movie, it’s more likely to be in my house on a bigger screen, but in a pinch, I’ve watched an episode of a show while waiting in the car.

The chances are the seat you’re sitting in is already a comfortable Chevy seat, so watching movies on the infotainment center is a great option and one that you may not have thought about. If your house loses power; your family can charge their devices in a Chevy vehicle, use air conditioning in the summer, and heating in the winter, and also a makeshift media hub whenever you may need it. You need to start thinking about your vehicle as more than just basic transportation. With the infotainment systems available in cars today, manufacturers have already begun that transitional shift. Who knows what they’ll come up with to keep us entertained in future models?