A Guide to Buying the Right DVD Player for Your Car

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A Guide to Buying the Right DVD Player for Your Car

Portable DVD players have become more popular in recent years as the prices have gone down. A DVD player is a great way to entertain small children during car trips and can make a long car ride much easier for the parents, as well. When shopping, a buyer has a number of options to consider, including flip-down DVD players, in-dash DVD players, headrest DVD players, and rearview mirror DVD players. After deciding on the type of DVD player, the buyer also has to think about the features that he or she wants. The options include the size and type of screen, length of battery life, and the file formats that the DVD player can play. Many of the newer DVD players also come with extra features, such as audio/video inputs and outputs, GPS, and DIVX file compatibility.

Buyers have many choices, and it may be easier for them to consider which features are best suited to their needs in order to make a decision. Once it is time to shop, deciding where to shop may depend largely on which type of DVD player is chosen. If the DVD player can be installed fairly easily by the customer, then buyers can pick one up in virtually any electronics store or online on eBay or other retail sites. If professional installation is required, however, buyers need to purchase their DVD players from electronics stores that offer installation in order to get the best price on the cost of the installation.

Types of Car DVD Players

If it is the first time purchasing a DVD player for the car, a buyer may be surprised to learn that he or she has a variety of choices. Some of the types of DVD players to consider include headrest DVD players, flip-down DVD players, in-dash DVD players, and rearview mirror DVD players. The buyer's choice may depend on the difficulty of installation and the size of the screen.

Flip-Down DVD Players

A flip-down DVD player is one of the most popular models of DVD players on the market. This style of DVD player is attached to the roof of the vehicle in front of the passenger seats. The placement of these players is beneficial because it is easy for viewers to watch without straining or feeling uncomfortable. The buyer needs to think about how to attach the DVD player to the vehicle's roof with this model.

Headrest DVD Players

A headrest DVD player is located on the back of the driver's or passenger's headrest. It is convenient because viewers do not have to twist their necks awkwardly to see the screen. Most of these models allow the screen of the player to flip out to put in the DVD. One of the cons of this style of DVD player is that it is more exposed than other styles unless the owner purchases some kind of cover for it. 

Rearview Mirror DVD Players

A rearview mirror DVD player is installed on the car's rearview mirror. These are usually quite easy to install. Sometimes all one has to do is attach the screen to the rearview mirror. Some newer model vehicles actually have a DVD player in the mirror. These models are half mirror and half screen. The screen can also be turned off so that only the mirror is visible. The potential problem, of course, is that drivers could be distracted by the movie when they look in the mirror.

In-Dash DVD Players

An in-dash DVD player is a good choice for a car that does not have a lot of room behind the front seats. This players hooks into the front of the dashboard in a box that has to be installed. One potential problem with this type of player is that it could be a hazard for the driver who could be distracted by videos playing. The buyer has a couple of options for in-dash DVD players,, including single din and double din systems.

Double Din System

A double din DVD system has a screen, player, and amplifier. Usually the amplifier is installed into the dashboard of the car. Installing this kind of DVD player may take a lot of rewiring, and the buyer may have to remodel the dash if the player is too big or too small. Thus, it is important for the buyer to check dimensions before choosing a DVD player.

Single Din System

A single din system is mounted in the dashboard just like the double din system, but it only takes up half the space. The player is comprised of a screen, an amplifier, and the player. It is installed the same way a double din system is installed. 

Considerations When Shopping for a DVD Player

When a buyer is shopping for a DVD player for the car, it is important to keep a number of factors in mind. Some things to consider are the different formats the DVD player can play, the type of screen it has, and the battery life or power source. Many DVD players come with bonus features that can make the player even more fun.

Format Compatibility

The buyer should find out what format of DVDs a certain player can play. Some players are compatible with DVD-Rs and DVD-RWs, for example, in addition to purchased movie DVDs. A buyer may also want a DVD player that can play audio formats, including CD, CD-RW, CD-R, and mp3 formats.


Even with a portable DVD player for the car, the screens come in a variety of sizes. A buyer should look for a DVD player that is large enough to see clearly but that can still fit in the intended space in the car. In order to enhance the viewing experience, the buyer may want to look for a high resolution screen. 

Battery Life

It is also a good idea to look for a DVD player that uses battery power and has a long battery life, preferably at least six or seven hours of battery life. This allows viewers to watch movies without having to use the car's power source all the time.

Extra Features

Newer DVD players may also have extra features that make them even more useful. Some of these features include GPS, audio inputs and outputs, and DIVX file compatibility. These are just a handful of the features that DVD players now offer. Of course, additional features generally mean additional cost, as well. That is why the buyer should think about what features he or she really wants or needs before making a purchase.


Some car DVD players also come with GPS technology. A Global Positioning System is a device that helps a driver navigate. The buyer needs to make sure the GPS feature can still be used in the installation location in the vehicle.

Audio/Video Inputs and Outputs

It is a good idea to look for a player that has a lot of audio/video inputs and outputs. This allows the user to connect other devices to the DVD player so that children can play games, for example. A headphone audio output also allows viewers to watch movies without bothering the driver.

DIVX Compatible

A buyer may also want to look for DVD players that are capable of playing the DIVX file format. This format allows a user to copy a DVD onto a regular CD and then watch it in the player. Some companies also provide downloads of movies in this format. 

Finding DVD Players on eBay

When shopping for a DVD player on eBay, you may want to know how to make the most of the site's search features. One of the first things you should try is the keyword search feature. To use this feature, you type keywords, such as 'in-dash DVD player&' into the search box. If you feel you cannot get through all the listings, you might want to narrow down the search by selecting some of the categories or filters. 

You should also take the time to learn about the feedback feature that eBay offers. Before you make a purchase, you can check the seller's feedback to see what other buyers had to say about him or her. You should always consider both the amount of feedback and what the buyers actually said. After you have made a purchase, you can also leave feedback to help other buyers make their future buying decisions.


DVD players are a great accessory to have in the car, and they are particularly useful for long car trips with young children. The buyer can choose from a variety of models of DVD players. The options differ in the method and location of installation and in screen size and resolution. The buyer also has to decide what kind of features he or she wants in a DVD player. It is common to want a large screen with a high resolution, but factors like the installation location and the cost also have to be considered.

Other considerations include the inclusion of battery power and the length of the battery life along with the number of compatible file types that can be played in the player. Some newer DVD players may offer additional features, including GPS technology and audio/video inputs and outputs. Buying the right DVD player for the car may take some time and money, but the investment is worth it for all the entertainment value it provides.

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