In-car screen therapy

if you are looking for an in-car DVD system, there’s no shortage of options currently available.

Thursday, 16th August 2012, 4:02 pm

Forget everything you thought you knew. That seems to be the best course of action when reviewing the latest in in-car entertainment systems. What was state-of-the-art a few months ago rapidly gets superseded by gear that’s better, faster, cheaper and more versatile. Here’s a round-up of the various ways you can enjoy the Digital Versatile Disc in your vehicle.


By far the simplest and most versatile method of playing DVDs in your car is to invest in a mobile player. These can be powered by rechargeable batteries or via a link to your car’s 12-volt power outlet and consist of a disc player with a flat TFT screen. This system is ideal if, for example, you have one child who wants to watch a film in the back of the car and needs the option to continue watching the film at another point, even after you’ve left the vehicle.


In-dash DVD systems can be split into two key variants. The first features an installation that’s usually double-DIN (standard height and width of a car stereo slot) sized and features a screen that emerges from the dashboard, flipping into position. The second is a regular DIN-sized player unit that sends a signal to screens located variously in the headrests of the front seats, in the centre console or on to a screen which folds down from a roof-mounted position.

Many companies will undertake conversions for you, installing screens in the front seat headrests as the screen units themselves are incredibly cheap and the head units that drive them are dropping in cost too. Manufacturers are now selling flip-down screens up to 10 inches although this isn’t going to do much for your rearward visibility!


Consider how you’re going to use your in-car DVD facility, fix a realistic budget and start looking around for best buys. If you’re new to the business, a portable or an in-dash system may well be the best bet.