An in car DVD or TV system may feel like a luxurious purchase, but such systems are actually surprisingly affordable.
Furthermore, if you often travel with children or grandchildren (or restless adults!) these items can make long journeys far less stressful than they might be otherwise!
It’s worth noting that live in car TV isn’t really a realistic prospect in a moving vehicle. If you’ve ever had to set up a TV ariel (or perhaps even a coathanger!) you’ll know that maintaining a TV signal in something that moves isn’t feasible. That said, watching DVDs and media files stored on memory cards is very easy. If you have some form of in-car Wifi you may be able to stream TV and film content too.
The in car DVD / TV systems recommended below offer a surprising number of options and features. If you want to make your next family road trip the most stress-free ever, take a look at what’s on offer.
Before we start we must emphasise that these systems are not intended for drivers to watch while in command of a vehicle – something very foolish than we would never recommend not condone.
1. The Ultimate HD In Car DVD Option
If you like products with all the requisite “bells and whistles,” then this is the in-car DVD for you.
For starters it has an HD screen, though this isn’t the “full HD” you’ll see on a traditional TV. The product includes a region-free DVD player, but that’s just one option for watching content.
You can also make use of the SD card slot and USB port to play video files from a range of supported formats. There’s even a game disk, in case your passengers get bored with their video entertainment, and a remote control for those who find leaning forward in their seat too much effort!
- Great quality picture.
- Lots of playback options.
- Positive online reviews.
- Only a single screen.
2. The Actual TV Option
This is a very different beast to the last option. It’s a full blown Freeview TV in portable form, and it’s possible to power it with a rechargeable battery, or from a car cigarette lighter.
As we explained at the start, it’s not feasible to watch live TV with an ariel while you’re moving along, but it will work just fine when stationary – making it ideal for caravans and motorhomes as well.
While you are moving, you can instead watch media files and listen to music using a connected USB stick or MicroSD card. You can also use this to record live TV when you have a signal – for viewing later. Please note however that this option does NOT include a DVD player.
- A genuine portable television.
- Runs on battery, mains, or 12V power.
- No headrest mount included.
- No HD.
3. A Simple Option for Families
This twin-screen system from Bush ss perfect for families, as your back-seat passengers can not only have a screen each, but each watch something different. This is a perfect way to keep everyone happy.
This system doesn’t offer that many added extras, but comes with everything you need. There’s a remote control, 12V and AC adaptors, and earphones all in the box.
While it should be possible for both passengers to watch the same DVD, some reviewers have had issues with this feature – so you may wish to check before buying.
- A low-cost twin-screen system.
- Allows two passengers to watch different DVDs.
- No USB or SD card input option.
- Fairly low resolution.
4. A Flexible Alternative
This one’s a great option for people who want to take their in car DVD player elsewhere, as it’s designed as a completely stand-alone portable DVD system. Despite this, it comes with the necessary headrest mountings for in-car use.
This makes it perfect for people who want to use it in the car, then chuck it in hand luggage to watch on a plane, for example.
The DVD player has a USB input and an SD card slot, so playback options aren’t restricted to DVD alone. The battery life is notably good as well – quoted at up to five hours when away from power.
- Truly portable.
- Lots of playback options.
- Can be linked with a second screen if you buy two!
- Speaker volume isn’t especially loud.
5. The Feature-Packed Twin Pack
This Voyager-branded in car DVD system costs a little more than the Bush twin-pack above, but justifies the extra cost with some additional features.
The screens are slimline LEDs, and the headrest mounts are sophisticated, making for easy removal when parked.
The screens also come with USB and SD card inputs, something notably absent on the cheaper Bush system. Teenagers with their own electronic media files are sure to appreciate this feature.
- Great headrest mountings.
- Option to add wireless headphones.
- Some reviews raise reliability concerns.