Slug-Bug. I Spy. Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer. Remember all those games and songs that used to be a kid’s only defense against the boredom of long car rides? Luckily for today’s generation, road trip restlessness is a relic of the past, thanks to technological progress that has made car video systems an affordable aftermarket option.
If you’re looking to make car rides peaceful and enjoyable for everyone, adding a car video system to your vehicle is easier than ever. All you need is three main components, which can be assembled separately or combined in a single device: a video source, a screen, and an audio source.
Television video source options
Whether you choose a DVD or Blu-ray player for your video source, the component will serve as the “brains” of the entire video system. Common options include:
Head units for car video players
Located where the car stereo receiver (or head unit) normally sits, car video head units often have built-in screens and can include video outputs to power multiple screens around the vehicle.
Mounted units for car television screens
Some car video players have built-in screens that are mounted to the ceiling of the vehicle and flip down while in use so all backseat passengers can watch the same video. You can also opt for units mounted in the car’s headrests. These can be hooked up to the main head unit or operate independently, allowing each passenger to choose their own entertainment.
Standalone units for car video systems
One of the most affordable options for car video systems is a standalone unit that can be hand-held or strapped to a headrest. Many standalone video players are designed for automotive use, which means they can handle the vibration of a car in motion.
Car video screen options
The size of your vehicle and number of passengers will determine the number of car video screens you choose and the size you select. Another factor is whether all your passengers are willing to watch the same thing—which is an issue when passenger age ranges vary. Options to consider include:
Mounted car video screens
Screens that fold down from the ceiling are great for allowing all backseat passengers to view the same video, and various sizes are available to accommodate whatever size vehicle you have. Many larger vehicles, particularly minivans, have existing ceiling-mounted controls (such as lights) that can easily accommodate mounted screen wiring.
Individual car television screens
Multiple video screens can be linked to a single video-playing head unit, which means everyone is watching the same thing but not fighting over who has the best view. Most of these individual non-source screens are mounted within a headrest, but they can be handheld as well.
Removable all-in-one car video screens
If you want the advantages of a mobile entertainment system but you don’t want anything permanently installed in your vehicle, all-in-one video players with screens can be strapped to the back of headrests and moved from vehicle to vehicle—even to rental cars while on vacation.
Audio options for car video players
How your passengers will watch videos is only half the equation with a new car video system—how they will listen is the other half. Here are some audio options to consider:
Existing audio system for a car TV player
If you’re using a dashboard head unit as your video source, you can easily link it to your existing car audio system. That means the audio for will play through your speakers, giving passengers a surround sound “movie theater” experience. You can also link a separate video source, such as a ceiling-mounted unit, to your car audio system via an FM broadcaster, using the radio tuner to pick up the audio signal and distribute through the speakers.
Built-in speakers for car video monitors
Many ceiling-mounted units and standalone video sources include built-in speakers, but the sound quality is typically not ideal and only one video source can be used at a time.
Headphones for a car video screen
Wired headphones can be used with standalone video sources that have individual screens. Wireless headphones are ideal for dashboard head units and ceiling-mounted video sources where everyone is watching the same thing but the driver still wants to listen to music.
Additional uses for your car video system
If you think car video systems are only for DVDs and Blu-ray discs, think again. Many video systems, whether standalone or integrated into the vehicle, feature additional inputs that can be used for a variety of entertainment options including:
- Video game systems
- Satellite TV
- Online streaming
- Digital multimedia
Car video screens are also great for navigation systems and back-up cameras, adding functionality and safety to the list of benefits.
Audiosport Escondido installs car video players
The car entertainment system experts at Audiosport can help you choose the best car video system for your vehicle and budget. We have all the best premium brands at affordable prices, and our professional installation can’t be beaten. Check out our car video player specials or stop in and see us in Escondido today.