I thought about using an Apple TV box. It would save a couple hundred dollars but I'd loose the ability to play DVDs in the car. I'd have to rip them on a computer and put them on the AppleTV box.
I just bought a Honda Odyssey and I was pricing out a DVD player and flip down monitor. I could do a basic DVD player and 12+" flip down composite monitor for around $5-600, but then started thinking about doing a whole computer setup.
I don't need any of the other fancy functionality that a lot of you guys have implemented (Navigation, internet, etc.). It will really just function as rear seat entertainment for the kids and occasionally for me.
I have a MacBook and I was thinking about how nice it would be to just use Frontrow with the little remote to select songs and videos from a big library instead of having to load DVDs.
It's got a pocket in the dash that would fit a Mac Mini but then I'd want to get a VGA monitor rather than a cheap composite monitor. That almost triples the cost of the monitor and brings the project cost to about $1,200-1,300 which is more than I probably should spend.
Is there any better/cheaper/less complex option for easy access and storage of a video and music library besides a fulll blown computer? I suppose I could just hook a video iPod up to a composite monitor and get a remote control for it but would that really be easy to use for mom and the kids? Obviously the picture quality wouldn't be as good.
I looked at some of the other ultra small computer offerings and they're all at least as expensive as the Mac Mini.