Many, many issues being reference in your above post- some are related, and some not necessarily. Lots of mostly 'which device should I prefer' underneath Wink

That said, the laptop should be the easy part. It's so easy to find a basic new or refurbished laptop with HDMI now- you don't necessarily need a specific brand or model per se. Buy what you like that meets your specs and budget as such.

I see your large iPod/iTunes library as the biggest hurdle since we all know the space limitations of the various i-devices. You might consider a couple of different scenarios. First, you could consider maintaining a home media library that is shared over a network, separate from the various iOS devices storage space. Any of your guests could access it too. Run a simple external hard drive shared from a newer wireless router and you are good to go. Lots of variants on this particular choice too, hardware/software/app wise.

The other idea would involved narrowing down what you had stored on the iOS devices, and only keeping the 55GB backed up on a main computer (or HDDs) that you could choose to share if you wanted to. I.E. 5-10GB of songs per device, etc. YMMV. The app environment is so strong with iOS that you really don't need to keep everything stored on such devices with a robust wifi network at home or work.