Roof mounted TFT screens

Submitted: Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 15:56
ThreadID: 14205 Views:3005 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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Are they worth it. Stratfield currently have cheap roof mounted screens and DVD players and I'm considering on getting one.

They look great in the store when watching a DVD, but what's it like in the car with all the light streaming in and sun glare happening. I know they'd be great at night but I plan to do the far majority of my trip driving during day-light hours. Don't want to by it and not have the kids use it because they can't see the screen.

I suppose $400 spent on window tinting would help, but the cost just keeps going up

Experience of other forumites sought

Regards
Andrew
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Reply By: Davoe - Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 16:04

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 16:04
not sure if it is the same brand but a guy at work bought a portable dvd from srathfield $400 and had alot of trouble getting it to read discs he did a 1200k round trip to take it back but being an intermittant fault it wouldnt play up in the store
AnswerID: 65528

Reply By: mick - Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 17:21

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 17:21
Gidday Andrew,

We bought a Portable DVD from Strathfields recently (not the roof mount), it works on 12 volt/240 volt and has a battery as well. It is a Shinco 5 inch, we hjave found it to be very good, no real problem with the glare as you can simply adjust as required. It can be also used a DVD player when attached to a TV. The onlt gripe I have is that maybe we should have gone the extra a got a 7 inch.
I also believe that things are in motion to possible making screens that can been seen by other motorists illegal.

Mick
AnswerID: 65539

Follow Up By: Snatchem - Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 18:39

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 18:39
Mick that might not be a bad idea if other motorists can't see the screen. I was in slow moving traffic the other day and and nearly ran into the landcruiser in front trying to work out what movie they were watching.

Snatchem
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Follow Up By: rolande- Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 19:34

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 19:34
Mick / Snatchem,
From what I have been told any screen which can be viewed from the drivers seat is supposed to be interlocked to the handbrake so that it will only work when the handbrake is engauged, but I am open to any other info to the contrary, sounds like a good regulation if it is true, (mine is portable and plugs into the back of the centre console)
Rolande
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Follow Up By: Hacksaw - Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 19:04

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 19:04
Vic law already states that if it can be seen by the driver, it is technically illegal. Doesn't mention that the driver has to be in the car in which the monitor is operating. Can't recall the exact wording, but beware that if an accident occurs and your monitor is determined to have been visible at the time, you may be found liable. Something to think about.
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FollowupID: 326617

Reply By: Member - AndrewPatrol - Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 18:50

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 18:50
We got a 5 inch $200 screen hooked up to a Sony Playstation via invertor. If I took it out I'd be dead within about 5 minutes. Not much trouble with glare especially if you setup some window blinds and let the spouse drive (they cant glare if they have to drive !!!!!!!) its like a cinema. On the way to perth from melb it was a godsend.
AnswerID: 65561

Reply By: rolande- Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 18:54

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 18:54
Andrew,
Went into a local Auto Barn recently who had 3 - 4 working side-by-side. You will really notice the difference between the el-cheapo and the better brands. Have never seen one working at a Strathfield so can't compare. I bought a 6" screen off EBAY earlier this year and thought it was O.K. until I compared it to a better quality unit, no comparison, and worth the extra cost. Auto Barn prices for drop down screens were $299 for el-cheapo and $399 for better one. Lots for sale on EBAY but you can't check the quality before handing over the readies. Take a look at the quality of Alpine and Pioneer screens before buying and decide for yourself, (realizing of course that Alpine screens are around $1800)
Rolande
AnswerID: 65562

Follow Up By: rolande- Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 19:37

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 19:37
Andrew,
Forgot to mention, 6" screen $130 delivered and DVD / MP3 player $260 delivered from EBAY. Both plug into rear of centre console for rear seat viewing only, player is shock resistant so no skipping and plays CD's / MP3's when they get bored with DVD's. Also has built in TV tuner when in town
Rolande
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Follow Up By: Savvas - Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 22:25

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 22:25
Hey Rolande,

What was the brand screen and DVD player you bought off ebay?

I wouldn't mind checking them out.
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Follow Up By: rolande- Wednesday, Jun 30, 2004 at 12:15

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2004 at 12:15
Savvas,
They were like the lilliput ones that are sold out of Hong Kong. Have to be careful of quality, but I found delivery and service to be very good. At the time, the cheapest screen I could find was Jaycar for $499, I paid $130. The difference is smaller now so it would pay to compare before buying. I would be tempted to wait for a sale at Auto Barn or Strathfield so that I could check quality before purchase, or wait for a cheap one to come up at auction. With hindsight, wouldn't pay $130 again for same screen, probably only around $80 to make it worthwhile
Rolande
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Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 21:05

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 21:05
There was some discussion here in SA last week about screens in vehicles and their legality (following on from Snatchems reply above).

Seems that if the screen(s), wherever mounted in the vehicle (roof, headrests) are visible from outside the vehicle then they will be illegal. SA Police Inspector talking on ABC radio indicated that motorists will be fined ($230 I think) if a police officer can see a visible screen form outside the vehicle whilst driving on public roads. Apparantly they are a real distraction to other motorists and there have been reported cases of people tailgating closely to see what is playing on the roof mounted screen of the vehicle in front!

Personally I don't agree with this as it is legislating purely for the stupidity of other people but this does mean you must be aware when installing these things. I agree with the handbrake interlock so the driver cannot watch a dash-mounted screen while driving. That would be pretty dumb!

Does this mean that the mounting position should be below the windowline so as to be not visible to surrounding cars in traffic? Should a screen be mounted in the passenger side dash have a screen that cannot be viewed from an angle so as to prevent distraction to the driver? Are screens purely for mapping/navigation purposes legal?

Cheers

Steven
AnswerID: 65585

Reply By: Mrs Diamond - Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 21:11

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 21:11
we have 3 el cheepo screens mounted in the gq.
would not be with out them on long trips.
as far as glare goes occasionally we just put a blanket over the offending window.
AnswerID: 65587

Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 22:15

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 22:15
"put a blanket over the offending window" Especially good when heading west at sunset;-)
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Reply By: Rokkitt - Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 21:22

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 21:22
Hi,

Just a query about the visibility of TFT screens from other vehichles: aren't the majority of these units either fitted to the roof, or the rear of the headrests as standard even by manufacturers, so how would it be possible to legislate against this?

Rod
AnswerID: 65589

Reply By: flappan - Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 10:40

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 10:40
Can any of these be used as a monitor for a laptop ?

Reason being , we use our lappy as a DVD player in the Vehicle. Very rear seat passengers dont get a real good view of the lappy screen. Would be nice to be able to put a monitor into the back for the others ?
AnswerID: 65638

Follow Up By: rolande- Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 13:59

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 13:59
Flappan,
Most inputs for these screens are by RCA or 3.5mm plugs. See if there is a video out on your laptop and then find a screen to match. Lots for sale on EBAY for around $150 landed.
Rolande
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FollowupID: 326579

Follow Up By: flappan - Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 14:27

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 14:27
No it doesn't.

I am playing around with the idea of getting a TV tuner Card for the Lappy , would work then.

I assume you can use both screens at the same time . . .
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FollowupID: 326582

Follow Up By: rolande- Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 14:36

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 14:36
You may be the first to find out!
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FollowupID: 326586

Follow Up By: flappan - Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 15:37

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 15:37
Lol . . . yeah . . . thanks . . .
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FollowupID: 326594

Reply By: Tev000 - Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 22:04

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004 at 22:04
I bought a cheapo portable digtrex DVD player($300) from big W speakers were pretty sad and then i bought an fm modulator($75) and now i tune the radio in and it sounds great. Great for long boring driving for the kids.its still portable and i sit it on pillows or luggage in the back seat.
AnswerID: 65733

Reply By: Bilbo - Wednesday, Jun 30, 2004 at 22:06

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2004 at 22:06
I think it's all pretty sad - DVD players in cars and 4wds!! God strewth, I thought we bought 4WD and campers to get away from all that garbage!! As for children in cars -what happened to "I-Spy". "Spotto" and "SHUT IT, NOW!!!!"

Bilbo
AnswerID: 65870

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