When we would soon be facing a 7 hour car journey I thought to myself "what can I do to keep the children entertained?" I looked to amazon and found this twin screen in car dvd player on offer at a fantastic price and ordered them straight away. They were delivered really quick.
They hook up the back of the front seats, connect to each other and then plug into the cigarette lighter socket (works without being plugged in but the battery doesn't last that long). You put the dvd in one and both sides play it. I would not be without this now for all long trips. The kids LOVE it and it keeps them quiet in the back instead of the constant whinging and "are we there yet??" that I used to get before!
The screen and sound quality is brilliant but doesn't overpower the whole car, so me and hubby can still listen to music upfront instead of having to listen to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on repeat!
We had never really considered in car entertainment in the past and normally found that providing enough books and games was enough to stave off our daughters' boredom when travelling. However, we had quite a bit of travelling to do over the Christmas period, and with the prospect of bad weather, we could all be in the car for many hours. Because of this we decided to buy the Nextbase SDV47AM - Twin Screen 7-inch Portable DVD Player especially as my husband spotted it on Amazon before Christmas reduced from £189.99 to only £99.99 which we thought was a fantastic saving. (Incidentally it is still being offered at that price - January 2011). This turned out to be a fabulous buy because not only was the price good, we hardly heard a peep from the back of the car on journeys to Devon and York and, best of all, we never once heard that question that we all dread - are we nearly there?
Although it is only one DVD player, you get two screens and these can attach to the back of the front car seats. My husband attached them and connected everything up and he found it pretty easy and it did not take long at all. You do need to make sure that your car has a cigarette lighter though, as this is what they are plugged into in order to be powered up on the journey. The screens are seven inch which was plenty big enough for the girls to watch their favourite Disney films on and the picture on the screen was excellent.
The girls found it easy to use the controls on the DVD player and could do everything they do on our one at home such as pause, rewind and so on. They can either use the controls at the side of the main screen or there is a remote control. There is an in-built speaker or they can each listen using individual headphones. These are not included with the player though so we did have to order them separately. I would recommend that you do get some head phones though as, if you are driving, you probably don't want to be listening to a DVD that you cannot see. Also, with the girls wearing the headphones, we were able to listen to the radio and our noise did not interfere with theirs.
We found that the DVDs played best when we were on the motorway. Occasionally, on less well maintained roads, if we hit a bump, this would cause the DVDs to stop or jump which did not go down too well in the back. It did not happen very often though, and it was easy to fix. More of a problem for us was the fact that although there are separate screens they do have to agree about what they are going to watch. Luckily our girls are of a similar age and do like the same sort of films and as they are also quite good at taking turns it was not too much of a problem. I would imagine that with children of vastly different ages and different sexes it would be harder to keep everyone happy and then it might be best to invest in individual players.
When it is not in use, you can keep everything in a handy smart carry bag. This has got different compartments and plenty of space to keep the screens, all the wires and any additional headphones that you might have with it. Also, it makes it very easy to remove everything and to pack it all up quickly when you leave the car.
There are two other things worth mentioning too. Firstly, you can also use this DVD player out of the car which is quite handy when you are staying in hotel rooms and they want to carry on with the film they were watching. The screens have clever stands attached which means that they can be placed on virtually any surface to watch. Also, I like the fact that you can insert your USB into the system and be able to view what is on it - especially photos. When we visited my parents we were able to use the DVD player to show some recent photos very easily.
Overall, this DVD player is brilliant and I can't believe that we have never bought one before. It made the journey go so peacefully and quickly with no complaints from the girls at all. In fact we had trouble getting them out of the car at the other end! As long as you get headphones for them, you will be made for any journey! I'm not sure how you would manage with three children though!