The most effective way of eliminating those cries from the back seat of, “Are we there yet?” is to install a video entertainment system. These take two forms: a single roof-mounted screen that flips down or individual headrest displays. (To avoid arguments you’ll want to buy these in a pair!) There are pros and cons to each and systems vary widely. That’s why we put together our guides to the best car video and DVD systems.
With both flip-down and headrest systems you need to think about screen size and resolution as well as video source. Not all of these include a DVD player! You’ll also want to look at what’s included in the system and the ease of installation.
Flip-down systems work best where there’s plenty of headroom, like in a minivan or SUV. Our guide to the best flip-down car DVD players and monitors explains why we prefer these to headrest monitors. It goes through points like input formats, remote controls and headphones, and also suggests you consider overall sturdiness and ease of cleaning!
Headrest monitors and DVD players come in two forms. They can be tablet-like devices that mount to the existing head restraints, or they are built-in to head restraints that replace the factory ones. As with the flip-down systems, our guide to the best headrest monitor car DVD players takes you through the points to consider, and adds a couple more.
We do suggest you look for pass-through technology. This is the ability to mirror one screen to the second. It’s the only way of letting two back seat passengers watch a movie together. You also want to consider the adjustability of the mounting poles. These slide into the top of the car seat, and there’s no standard separation distance between them. Definitely something to check before buying!
Even if you’re taking only a single road trip, a car video system makes it a lot more enjoyable for passengers sitting in the back. Let our guide help you pick the right one.