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Thread: Possibility of using in dash DVD as a monitor?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Possibility of using in dash DVD as a monitor?

    First post here. I've been toying with the idea of a carputer for awhile. Unfortunately, I have one of the worst vehicle setups for installing one. A 2000 Trans Am. There are some very nice setups that have been accomplished, though. Today I had the thought that since many in dash DVD players feature touch screens and optional navigation systems would it be possible to hack into that to use those features as a computer monitor. Obviously a composite video signal could be shown but that would be lower quality than a RGB style connection. I also don't know if the touchscreen inputs are relayed out the back to the optional navigation hardware or if all that processing is kept internal and only GPS is handled externally. Just a thought since a fair amount of modification is required simply to install a double din and A/C controls are an issue in my vehicle. Some members here have moved them to the glove compartment. The ideal setup in a 2000 Trans Am is one that provides an in dash display since a motorized unit blocks the AC vents and is small enough to not require the A/C controls to be moved. I only ask about the possibilty of hacking into DVD playing headunits as it would expand the choice of displays (retaining touch screen features) and also provide a superior platform for DVD, CD, and radio playback while allowing MP3 and computer functionality.

    The best setup I've seen in a Trans Am is this one with regards to retaining a factory appearance and functionality:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Little Elm, Texas
    before you go any further, you should read here: New to CarPCs? Don't know where to start?

    and specifically here: New to CarPCs? Don't know where to start?
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Thanks for the links. I did do a quick search and didn't see anyone specifically address my question. Granted, my time to research the forum is slightly limited (I'm currently stationed in Iraq). I understand the limitations of the composite connection. That's why I'm wondering if any VGA-style (which is what I should have said rather than RGB) information as well as touchscreen input is being sent through the connection that some of these headunits make with external navigation hardware. Personally I doubt most of them do and even if they do custom drivers would have to be authored making the project beyond my current abilities. I guess I was more wondering if anyone had info on it actually being done. ANYTHING is possible!

    If only my dash was a little more PC friendly!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Hey man. Hows Iraq treating you?

    with regard to your post, Im looking at doing a similar thing to an Australian Ford Territory. The integrated screen in this uses a computer style RGB input (~5V 3 R/G/B with a sync line. To tap into this connection you need a graphics card that is capable of low scan speeds such as the arcadevga.. cant find their website, but there is one on

    Also here is a guy that has already done it:

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