1. Look for a car DVD player that you can afford. Car DVD players can be simple or very extravagant. Portable units that sit between the seats and plug into the cigarette lighter are generally more reasonable as opposed to a full-blown in-car theater system (from $100 to $3,000 and more).
2. Most people who are looking to add electronics to their vehicle will want to future-proof their purchase by choosing car DVD players. Anything else that is not as advanced will simply be outdated.
3. Inspect your car for the best place to install a car DVD player. You'll want your car DVD player to take advantage of the best-quality inputs available.
4. Bring a DVD with you when you shop. There are three competing, incompatible formats: DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM. Even if a player says it takes your format, make sure to test it.
5. Buy an all-in-one car DVD player or individual components if your budget is small (under $250) and your needs are simple. An all-in-one unit includes a videocassette player (VCP) or a DVD player, speaker and screen.
6. Component systems tap into your vehicle's stereo and pipe sound directly to headphones for quiet viewing. Most high-end car stereo retailers carry these systems. Choose a component system ($400 and up) where a single video source can run several screens, usually liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). The car DVD player screens can pop out of the dashboard, drop down from the car's ceiling or mount in headrests.
8. A diversity antenna, also known as a dual-antenna, is used for better TV reception when the car is moving and is recommended.
9. Making sure that your vehicle's electrical system can handle the demands of a mobile entertainment system is very important. You may need a professional installer to determine this for you.
10. Remember that the audio encoding-Dolby Digital or digital theater system (DTS)-on the DVD itself is critical.
Tips: Car DVD players can also play audio CDs. If you burn CDs on your computer, bring along a homemade disc to test it.
-A laptop computer with a DVD drive can serve as an entertainment system for smaller cars with one viewer. Mobile entertainment systems are theft targets. Invest in a good car alarm.
Warnings: Front-seat viewing is illegal, not to mention idiotic while a car is in motion. Make sure to install your car DVD player in a proper place!
Daniel Urmann is a contributor and author for the website Just Car DVD Players.
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