My Apple Powered Entertainment system in my 2011 Toyota Sienna (lots of pics)

MrMacMini

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2009
142
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So Cal....
The family and I decided to take a road trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix, AZ to catch some spring training baseball and we decided that we needed some entertainment for the 5 hour drive.

A little background on me:
I was a car audio installer for over 4 years before taking a technical support job at Alpine (reason why I only use Alpine products in my vehicles), and after 3 years at Alpine I moved onto one of the largest OE parts manufacture in the world, been here for the last 12 years.

I still love installing.....in my own cars....

I didnt want to install just anything, I wanted the setup to be unique, efficient, and minimal as possible. After lots of research and drawing things out. Here's what I came up with.

Equipment used:
iPad Mini 3 on iOS 8.1(jailbroken) - in the Dash, fully removable.
iPad 2 - used for rear monitors
Apple TV 3 - used for rear monitors
Alpine CDE-HD149BT - AM/FM/HD Radio/CD/BT Streaming audio head unit
Alpine PKG-M780 (discontinued) - Dual 7" Headrest monitors
Seagate Wireless Plus - 1TB HDD

Also purchased a bunch of factory brackets in order to mount the radio headunit in the factory rear DVD player location.

Everything works really well and I love how everything looks and functions, so I decided to share with everyone. I still have some touching up to do on the iPad dash piece but you get the idea.

Before:
2015-03-30 15.10.33 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

2015-03-30 15.11.16 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

20150321_102642 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

20150314_123243 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

Sienna1 by WC Productionz, on Flickr


After:
20150330_133307 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

20150330_133325 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

20150330_133334 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

20150330_144853 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

20150330_144915 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

20150330_145504 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

20150330_150107 by WC Productionz, on Flickr

2015-03-30 15.06.48 by WC Productionz, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

LNYMRKO

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2010
137
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This is awesome, great work man!

I assume the iPad mini 3 in the dash is connected to the car's speaker system? How does it all work with the Alpine deck also etc? I noticed the headphones in your pic there with the iPad's for the rear head rests.. do the kids just use headphones for the sound on them?
 

MrMacMini

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2009
142
1
0
So Cal....
This is awesome, great work man!

I assume the iPad mini 3 in the dash is connected to the car's speaker system? How does it all work with the Alpine deck also etc? I noticed the headphones in your pic there with the iPad's for the rear head rests.. do the kids just use headphones for the sound on them?
The ipad mini sends the sound via Bluetooth to the Alpine head unit. I opted for keeping a headunit so that I can still use the steering controls and have access the radio, in case 1 day I forget the ipad at home.

The rear screens run independent. My daughters can watch anything they want via the Apple TV and the 1TB wireless Seagate. If we all want to want to watch the same thing, I have it set up so that I can airplay from the ipad mini to the AppleTV and have the sound feed back through the Alpine headunit.
 

bleepjay

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2008
43
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0
Can you explain how you have the Apple TV sending video to the rear TV's? Did you have to custom wire that (including power)? Are you using the Ipad to 'choose' what to play, sending to the appletv to view?
 

iPrabhu

macrumors member
Sep 25, 2012
53
4
0
Great work

Would you able to provide detailed step-by-step guide?
Also, is your iPad mini equipped with cellular or is it just WiFi?
 

MrMacMini

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2009
142
1
0
So Cal....
If you are using Bluetooth for audio how are you syncing the audio with the video?

I tried this and the audio is about a half second off from the video because of the Bluetooth Latency.
My audio and video seem to sync fine. I can see a delay if I really pay attention but its minimal. I was worried about the same thing, but don't really have a problem with it the way it is.

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Can you explain how you have the Apple TV sending video to the rear TV's? Did you have to custom wire that (including power)? Are you using the Ipad to 'choose' what to play, sending to the appletv to view?
For power, I opened up the AppleTV removed the power supply and wired in my own adjustable power supply.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BYTEHQO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

As for video I used an HDMI to composite adaptor and connected to the rear monitors.

http://www.amazon.com/Tendak-Composite-Converter-Adapter-Supporting/dp/B00KBQZC4M/ref=sr_1_23?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1427922753&sr=1-23&keywords=hdmi+to+composite

The ipad 2 is the "hub" for the rear monitors. The Seagate Wirless Plus HDD creates its own wifi network, both the ipad and appletv are connected to the same wifi network being put out by the Seagate HDD and that's how Im able to airplay from the iPad to the appletv.

Hope that makes sense.
 

MrMacMini

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2009
142
1
0
So Cal....
Would you able to provide detailed step-by-step guide?
Also, is your iPad mini equipped with cellular or is it just WiFi?
Unfortunately, I didn't take many pics during the build, so a detailed step-by-step would be difficult, but if have any specific questions I would be happy to answer.

And, yes, the iPad mini is 4G (TMobile), I also have an unlimited data plan from TMobile on my phone which I tether to the iPad mini when I hit my 5GB of data on the iPad mini.

The best part about TMobile is that using Spotify and Pandora does not count against your monthly data totals. So I always have streaming music no matter how much data Ive used.

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Now there really won't be any reason to look outside when on a roadtrip! Well, as long as you're not the driver...
When your driving from CA to AZ, there isn't much to look at, nothing but desert. LOL

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What's the mod your performing on the AppleTV? Did you use an HDMI-to-RCA converter and then split that RCA signal to the two Headrest units?
The mod Im performing in the pic is removing and adding the power supply.

The beauty about the Alpine PKG-M780 monitors is that it comes with a Hub/brain, both monitors connect to it and receive its power and audio/video signals from it. That hub also has all the power connections and all the inputs.

You can see the hub/brain in the pic where Im modifying the appletv. Its at the top right corner of the table.
 

rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
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Out of the Reach of the FBI
Can you speak to the interface that allows you to access files (movies as well as music, I assume) on the Seagate drive via the Apple TV? I have a CarPlay setup in my car, and don't need anything as elaborate as what you've done here, but I am interested in the viability of using the HDD as a pseudo server for movies on my AppleTV in the house.

Very nice work, BTW.
 

bleepjay

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2008
43
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0
Thanks for explaining the power situation. I figured that's what you did but just wanted to see if there was an alternative way.

As for running the power, it looks like you have 3 pieces that need power for the airplay (apple tv, hard drive, and hdmi -> composite). How are you handling that? Are you running power directly, and having it switch on with power or are you running that off of a cigarette lighter or adapter of some sort?

I'm trying to do this, but want it as 'plug and play' as possible so when the car turns on, it turns on, and vice versa.

Thanks again for this. I'm glad to see it can be done.
 

MrMacMini

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2009
142
1
0
So Cal....
Can you speak to the interface that allows you to access files (movies as well as music, I assume) on the Seagate drive via the Apple TV? I have a CarPlay setup in my car, and don't need anything as elaborate as what you've done here, but I am interested in the viability of using the HDD as a pseudo server for movies on my AppleTV in the house.

Very nice work, BTW.
Here's a link for the Seagate Wireless Plus.

http://www.seagate.com/external-hard-drives/portable-hard-drives/wireless/wireless-plus/

and here's a link on how to make it work with an apple tv in your home:

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/005136en?language=en_US

Both these links should help explain how they work together.

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Thanks for explaining the power situation. I figured that's what you did but just wanted to see if there was an alternative way.

As for running the power, it looks like you have 3 pieces that need power for the airplay (apple tv, hard drive, and hdmi -> composite). How are you handling that? Are you running power directly, and having it switch on with power or are you running that off of a cigarette lighter or adapter of some sort?

I'm trying to do this, but want it as 'plug and play' as possible so when the car turns on, it turns on, and vice versa.

Thanks again for this. I'm glad to see it can be done.
Everything was hard wired into the vehicle for the exception of the wireless plus. I use it on flights and other places so I need it to be portable. It has an internal battery so I just have to carry around its USB charging cable so that I can keep it charged.

They way everything is setup, as soon as the ignition is turned on, every component turns on, even the iPad mini, thanks to it being jailbroken, when it connects to the headunit via Bluetooth it wakes up the screen and unlocks.

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Brilliant. Awesome work man!
Thanks!
 

rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,239
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Out of the Reach of the FBI
Here's a link for the Seagate Wireless Plus.

http://www.seagate.com/external-hard-drives/portable-hard-drives/wireless/wireless-plus/

and here's a link on how to make it work with an apple tv in your home:

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/005136en?language=en_US

Both these links should help explain how they work together.

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Everything was hard wired into the vehicle for the exception of the wireless plus. I use it on flights and other places so I need it to be portable. It has an internal battery so I just have to carry around its USB charging cable so that I can keep it charged.

They way everything is setup, as soon as the ignition is turned on, every component turns on, even the iPad mini, thanks to it being jailbroken, when it connects to the headunit via Bluetooth it wakes up the screen and unlocks.

----------



Thanks!

Thanks! I wish Apple would just let users have unfettered access to external storage from the Apple TV, without having to dedicate a Mac to it.
 

MrMacMini

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2009
142
1
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So Cal....
Thanks! I wish Apple would just let users have unfettered access to external storage from the Apple TV, without having to dedicate a Mac to it.
I Agree, I have an older AppleTV 2 that Im looking into jailbreaking it so that it can access an HDD directly, eliminating the need for a second ipad.
 

rkrnfan

macrumors newbie
Apr 3, 2015
1
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Dash system and jailbreaking

Totally love this. The dash looks absolutely perfect. How did you get it that way? I see some folks out there sell customized dash mounts, but they are pretty expensive.

Also, I was curious about the specific jailbroken app you use to have the iPad turn on and unlock upon ignition start. I haven't quite delved into the jailbreak community yet, but this gets my attention.
 

MrMacMini

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2009
142
1
0
So Cal....
Totally love this. The dash looks absolutely perfect. How did you get it that way? I see some folks out there sell customized dash mounts, but they are pretty expensive.

Also, I was curious about the specific jailbroken app you use to have the iPad turn on and unlock upon ignition start. I haven't quite delved into the jailbreak community yet, but this gets my attention.
I purchased an iPad mount kit from here: http://www.soundmanca.com/
Expensive, but worth it. In a nut shell, I used the iPad mount from the previous link, an aftermarket radio kit which filled in a lot of the gaps, then it was a lot of CA Glue, body filler, sanding, primer, and painting.

I ran out of time so its not perfect. Hard to see in the pic, but Ill be working on it again this weekend, sand it down, get all the imperfections out, and repaint.


As for the jailbroken app that allows me to turn the iPad into sleep mode when it disconnects bluetooth (aka ignition is turned off), is called Activator. There are so many options you can do with that app, assign new gestures, etc.