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Transportation Apple Entertainment

The iPad As In-Car Entertainment System Killer 415

theodp writes "'s David Thomas speculates that the iPad could prove to be a serious problem for automakers that charge a ransom for rear entertainment systems. The base iPad, Thomas notes, costs far less than most DVD options offered by automakers. Ford charges $1,995 for a dual-headrest-mounted DVD system in its Flex crossover. In the Acura MDX, its single-screen system, with three wireless headsets and a 9-inch screen, costs $1,900. At $500 a pop, giving two kids their own iPads would cost far less than what the automakers charge for an ICE system. The article mentions some of the advantages of ICE, including being weather-tested to work from -5 to 160 degrees F (-20 to 71 C), and being far less prone to breakage."
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The iPad As In-Car Entertainment System Killer

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  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:21AM (#31921056)

    less than $100 for the TomTom and Navigon apps in the app store. New Android phones ship with the same capability built in. some people would rather pay the higher car payment than get a smartphone and pay the $30 a month data charge.

  • by Go_Ask_Alex ( 459685 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:33AM (#31921202)

    As soon as I heard about the iPad 3G, the first thing I though of was velcro-attaching it to the dashboard to use as a GPS unit, with full true Google Maps functionality ("My Maps"). A couple of 3m Command Jumbo Hook "velcro" strips should hold an iPad on the dash just fine, until some company makes a decent suction mount.

  • Laptop (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:37AM (#31921232) Homepage
    For the price of an iPad you could just buy a laptop, with a bigger screen, an actual keyboard, a decent non-restricted OS and maybe even an optical drive.
  • Re:Sick and tired (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OnlyJedi ( 709288 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:43AM (#31921282) Homepage

    Yes, bringing a collection of a hundred DVDs is far easier than storing those hundred on 64GB of flash memory.

    Seriously though, if you know what software to use (Handbrake has built-in presets for ipod and Apple TV; iPad is only a matter of time if those don't work) it is a piece of cake to DeCSS a movie and convert it to H.264. From there, just drag into iTunes and sync. For a one-time viewing, a portable DVD player may be more convenient. But if you plan ahead or have movies that your kids want to watch often in the back seat, storing a substantial portion of your movie library on the iPad wouldn't be so hard.

    The biggest hurdle to this that I can see is one of security. How do you keep your kids out of your private documents/email? I've seen this mentioned elsewhere; unlike the iPhone which is a more personal device, the iPad is much more geared as a shared entertainment device that also happens to do email and documents. Without some sort of user login to differentiate between family members may cause problems. But none of that has anything to do with the ease of getting DVDs onto the device.

    Blu-ray now; that's another story. But find me a portable Blu-ray player first...

  • Re:hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:46AM (#31921316) Journal

    they were. some people are stupid enough to buy the dvd systems in the car. I used to sell cars and seeing someone buy one of these meant a: they were stupid and b: you were making a major profit.

    ps: the $2000 ish units? They cost around $300 including installation.

  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:54AM (#31921398) Journal

    We have two vehicles - one with an integrated dual-screen entertainment system (screens fold down from the ceiling), and another vehicle with a $100 DVD player strapped to the back of the seat (actually came with two screens, but the wires going between them got in the way too much so we only use one screen).

    Let me say there is no comparison. Having an integrated system is so much better it's not even funny. There are audio IR blasters integrated into the ceiling which allow 4 people to listen to the movie simultaneously via wireless headphones. If the movie is piped through the car's sound system then it is in full surround through the Bose audio system. My HTC Touch Pro 2 has video out, so I can plug it into the car and play Youtube, encoded videos, etc, right through the integrated system. Wired headphone jacks throughout, DVD controls on the ceiling in addition to standard IR remote.
    And the best part is the screens fold flat into the ceiling and totally disappear. Out of sight, out of mind, can't be stolen, scratched or have crap spilled on them.

    The BEST option, if money was no object, would be to purchase a vehicle with a fully integrated entertainment system, then add an "automotive" PC that can play back through that system as a secondary display (with the primary display being a touch screen in the front).

  • by xgr3gx ( 1068984 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:59AM (#31921454) Homepage Journal

    What we need to do is stop bombarding kids with constant streams of electronic entertainment.
    If a kid always has a screen with moving pictures (be it a dvd player, game or whatever) in front of his face, how do you expect them to sit still when you take it away. It like digital crack.
    Yes, kids can be a pain - but part of being a parent is dealing with those situations by interacting with them in a positive way.
    I'm not saying no TV ever, but people wonder why kids have attention deficit disorder. I'm sure most of those kids can hold their attention perfectly fine when it's focused on a TV. How is a teacher supposed to teach a class when most of the kids are used to constant electronic entertainment?

  • by Lectoid ( 891115 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:07AM (#31921584)
    I don't know, my 3.5 year old daughter and 1.5 year old son love daddy's "omputer" far more than TV right now. They can draw and color wherever they touch, then send the picture to grandma. Play animal sounds by touching the picture. They can watch an awesome animated Toy Story book as it reads to them (I read to my kids everyday, but try as I might I can't make books animated). She can watch cartoons on netflix anywhere in the house. And that's just in the first few weeks, Who knows what they'll come up with months from now. I went on a trip a few weeks ago and took my iPad and my laptop. My laptop is still in it's bag.

    Now I am like some of you in that your against apple's walled garden, but it's a big damn garden and I've yet to find something I need that's not in here.
  • Re:And, guess what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:44AM (#31922094) Homepage

    Buddy of mine ripped the DVD player out of his and left the screen. he built a XBMC to feed the screen and headphones and carries 250 gigs of movies and TV shows in the car with no cluttler at all.

  • by nicktripp ( 717517 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:26AM (#31922688) Homepage
    "Anyone who has a kid knows if they like their kids movies then there's got to be a easy way for them to watch it." "I don't think Jr is really going to be all that excited about all the apps." I ripped all of my kid's DVDs for an iPod Touch because it was the easiest way for him to watch them. He can operate the thing without any help and it has a ton of age-appropriate learning/edu games from the App Store on there as well. He loves them. I limit his time with it pretty heavily and I've got the parental controls enabled, but that iPod is absolutely his favorite thing in the world. He's 3 years and 7 months old.
  • Re:And, guess what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 2obvious4u ( 871996 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:33AM (#31922816)
    I bought a WD TV mini [] and burned my movie collection onto a 500GB USB drive. I didn't rip out the old DVD player I just connected the WD TV to the existing AV ports. We still use the DVD player for movies we haven't converted yet, but have access to the rest of our movie catalog while in the car. The best part is that the DVD's aren't constantly getting scratched up by the kids. Oh and it frees up a lot of space in the glove box where we had a case of DVD's now there is just a USB drive and the very very small WD TV box.

Maybe you can't buy happiness, but these days you can certainly charge it.