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Are Car PC's dead?

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  • Are Car PC's dead?

    So, perhaps a controversial question, but i'm interested what people think.

    I've been building car PCs for myself for about 7 years, from my first boot mounted 486, to the latest single DIN unit. But sadly i've just replaced it with a Kenwood KVT-729, KNA-G520 Nav add on & 20G USB HDD attached.

    I get everything i wanted from my original reason to build a car PC.
    - Large music library
    - Easy (touch screen) interface
    - Navigation
    - AV (DVD, reverse cam...)

    When i started there was nothing like this comercially available, but things have moved on. It was interesting & rewarding do ing these iterations. But it has to be said, what i have now is no more expensive, much more reliable, boots instantly & integrated without any fuss.

    Unless you actually want the satisfaction of building it, or want a very custom solution, I dont see the point any more.

    Comments welcome....

  • #2
    IF there exists a unit out there, that does exactly what you want

    and IF it's as cheap as an alternative

    and IF you're not in it for the experience,

    then yes, i'd obviously have to agree.

    I personally, am in it for the experience


    • #3
      Here's how I see it.

      Are they dead? No, not at all...
      Products like the Infill models will serve a select group, yes. They are for the "average joe". Eventually, there will be other, similar products on the market.

      However, there are the hobbyists that are going to use custom installs to take PCs to the next level. The custom builders are going to be able to do things that the G4 wouldn't be able to touch.

      The G4 and similar units are going to be sold as a base unit with options: OBD-II, bluetooth, USB soundcard for connection to external amps, etc. IT's probaboly as close as you can get to a "plug-n-play" vehicle computer.
      At some point, in-dash computers like the G4 will become the norm, perhaps even an available option at your local dealership.
      Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
      How about the Wiki?

      Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


      • #4
        Not dead, see reasons above
        D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

        Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

        Read the FAQ!


        • #5
          Ever get the feeling of deja vu?

          Ever get the feeling of deja vu?

          Ever get the feeling of deja vu?

          Threads like this turn up every couple of years, the answer is always the same.
          I even remember writing a response like this last time.
          Old Systems retired due to new car
          New system at design/prototype stage on BeagleBoard.


          • #6
            You are kidding right ? They are not dead and are cetainly evolving but its a revolution that is needed to take them to the next stage. Personally I think its dynamic location based data that will do this to allow various feeds to interact with the user ( and I've said this for a while ) - but I cant see that happerning in the short term.

            My Project Site


            • #7
              It's not dead. Instead, it's growing.
              2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
              89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
              Y2K Accord Dell GX150
              RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
              EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER


              • #8
                Please do not let the ad agencies in on this. If it is my auto, I want the only control over content.

                No ads... primary reason for building it your self instead of radio.
                D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

                Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

                Read the FAQ!


                • #9
                  In my opinion cheaper, better, do-it yourself will never die.


                  • #10



                    I'm a bit of a control freak, you cn only control so much with a factory unit.
                    The possibility for integration of systems with a car pc is nearly endless......

                    rather than dying, I think the OEM's will eventually come this way. You store bought unit is an example of that.




                    • #11
                      This begs of a monty python quote.... to bad Im above that...
                      '02 GTI
                      [Routis '04] [Opus 90W] [160GB Maxtor HD]
                      [Lilliput 7" TS] [VIA M10000] [XMPCR]
                      [512MB RAM] [Custom housing]
                      [Deluo GPS Mouse] [E-MU 0404 Soundcard]
                      Progress Meter: [==============|] 99.9%


                      • #12
                        Definitly not dead, prebuilt car PC's or equivilant headunits just mean it's more popular, doesn't mean it's dieing, people still build their own home PC's as well even though you have been able to buy prebuilt ones for decades.
                        2005 Dodge Magnum RT, Samsung Galaxy Tab install


                        • #13
                          CarPCs are far from dead, the fact that there are commercially available equivalents just shows they are moving more main stream, but for many there are still several reasons why a custom built pc will never be replaced, personally i am planning on datalogging my ecu with my carpc. No commercial unit will ever do that.


                          • #14
                            for several reasons i dont think that the end is nigh.

                            i had started a topic like this a while ago but since then i have come to the conclusion that there are as many requirements for a carpc as there are people who want to build them. off the shelf items are all well and good for jo blow who hasnt got a clue as to the potential of a car pc or the ability to build one if he tried. but a quick read of the forums will show that no single off the shelf item can give what every one wants. can you play a game on your kenwood? can you run an emulator? what gps prog does it run? is it the one you like or do you want a different one? can you customise the user interface? does the playlist work the way you want? usb hdd for your car pc.. why not easy. just hook it to the usb ports. if the kenwood gives you all that you want then good for you . but if units like this compromise the way you would like it to work or what programs are running then they are not for you and a custom build is required.

                            i have been doing this for so long now i cant remember... at the moment i am betwen car pc's and i am using my ipaq4700 with 2 gig sd card and 2 gig cf card.has music ,gps,movies.want different songs just chage a card... but it isnt right for me i want more..... now for a project built around a pico -ITX mobo.....dream on.......


                            the original amd unit still works... over 8 years later . was time to retire it ....
                            Volvo V40 Phase 2 2002. T4 turbo upgrade.... currently no mp3 or carputer..... researching options


                            • #15
                              Can you modify your kenwood's software and hardware? The answer is hell no. which is why carPC's will never die. Its ok to take the easy route out but personally my car PC is near bulletproof, boots very fast, everyday and still looks OEM. I considered the pioneer DD unit in the beginning, although nice its no where near the capabilities of the carPC. Plus every touchscreen system I have seen from the after market companies have horrible pixelated GUI's
                              Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

                              AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) -