Ok after much research I think I found the best solution. Let me know if anyone has any better suggestions. Here is the email I just sent my friend.
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:02 PM
To: My Friend
Subject: Your audio video TV fix
I was searching all over and finally found just what you need for cheap too. (My OCD kicked in and I googled away)
Option 1a) 2.5" Hdd player-NTFS-media AV-CX-MP3 DVD DIVX Jpghttp://www.google.com/products?q=hdd...tf-8&scoring=p
(check location and shipping cost)
-Can store and play your JPG photos
-Can even play your .AVI videos you download too.
This will keep your monitor active as well. Hard drive is not included, but guess what I still have your old broken laptop here so we can pull the hard drive out and you're all set!
Option 1b) Three port input switch box (just used for audio only)http://search.ebay.com/search/search...rca&category0=
You'll use this to switch between three audio inputs 1)AirPort Express 2)occasional Laptop 3)The 2.5 Hdd player
You'll probably want to be able to switch between the VGA of the Laptop vs the VGA of the Hdd Player so you might want to add option 1c) below as well.
Option 1c) VGA / Audio switch boxhttp://search.ebay.com/search/search...=32%26fsoo%3D2
Option 2) Share and Switch box the audio input from your Cable box.
(TV will keep video active as you listen to music)
((just buy the Option 1A above))