So you’re in the market for a video player for your car, or still sitting on the fence about getting one, there are a few things you should be aware of first.
What types of Car Video Players are there?
There are quite a few different types of video players out there available for your automobile. First, however, you need to decide what you want to use it for. The obvious answer is easy – for entertainment. Either for you or the kids/spouse/dog, etc. You should know whether you are in the market for a front dash video player or a rear seat player, or whether you want both of them. They vary in ease of installation as well. Some you can pop batteries in, hang over the headrest and call it good. Some, if you want them installed in the vehicle, can be quite the chore.
First off though, I want to make it clear – In most states and countries the vehicle MUST be in park and/or the emergency brake on for you to legally be able to watch a video on a player from the driver’s seat. This law, however, does not apply to the people in the rest of the vehicle anywhere that I am currently aware of (unless of course its a permit driver and the passenger is taking responsibility during their learning to drive process).
In-Dash Car Video Systems
Generally, the most hassle-free way of getting video in the dash of your car is to install a DVD Receiver in your dash. They generally come with a nice touch screen for radio/system information/etc. Depending on the receiver and your vehicle type, you may be able to find one that fits nicely into the pre-existing hole in your dash where your old stereo system is and can feature retractable video screens. Another plus of some of these is that they can feature extra expansion capabilities that would allow you to connect a rear-view camera, back seat camera, extra audio speakers, etc. to them. There are also multi-zone or sometimes called dual-zone capable receivers that would allow you to send a signal from one source to multiple monitors and headsets. Meaning that if you were watching a movie in the front seat, the people sitting in the back with their monitors could watch and listen to the same video as well.
What Options are there for Backseat Video?
Passengers in the rear seats have a couple of different options, one of which being Headrest Video Monitors and the other being Overhead Video Monitors. Depending on your vehicle and budget would determine which would be a better option for you.
Overhead Video Monitors
Generally, these are sometimes a cheaper option than headrest video monitors and fit great in SUV’s or Minivans where there is more headroom for it. Most all of them are fairly easy and straightforward to mount to the ceiling of the vehicle and provide a great picture for your backseat passengers to watch. In some cases, you may mount the player to the built-in dome light of your vehicle. In this case, you will want to choose a player that comes with built-in dome light, so you don’t lose that functionality of your vehicle. In general, most of these will include a built-in DVD or blue ray player making it fairly easy for the movie to be switched out while on the go.
Headrest Video Monitors
These generally come in a couple of different designs. Some of which being ones that you can install in the headrests that come with your vehicle. Some you can mount directly to the back portion of the headrest without altering your standard headrest. And others come pre-installed in headrests designed for your vehicle, and you switch them out. Depending on your vehicle, you may be able to get one that remarkably resembles your original headrest fabric, size, and color.