Car audiovisual / DVD

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 05, 2002 at 01:00
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One of the most difficult things for people with children is keeping the kids entertained. I gather that prices of systems are coming down, like everything else that is new.

I was wondering if there are any sites or articles that people know of that I could read that would give us some guidelines about what we would need for the kids to watch DVD's. I have thought about buying a second hand Notebook computer with a DVD drive, but have some concerns about the reliability and wonder if it would survive and play on corrugated roads where my CD player sometimes has trouble.
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Reply By: Member - Nigel - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2002 at 01:00
I'm not trying to preach here, but we limit the amount of TV our kids watch at home, and we find they can keep themselves amused (most of the time) between the "regular" stops that are required when travelling with kids.

Also check out the Travelling with Kids section on this site.
AnswerID: 8231

Reply By: Andrew O - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2002 at 01:00
Whilst I agree with Nigel and the need to limit TV viewing, on our last trip we successfully used the laptop DVD player when doing long days on bitumen. I took the view that on the dirt roads, the corrugations would probably screw either the DVD drive or the HDD, not forgetting that it is hard to secure a laptop in an ideal viewing position for the kids, so it was bitumen only. On our long days, this really helped keep the kids quiet, especially as it was given as a reward in the afternoon driving. Also, once you get a GPS, mapping software, digital camera, the laptop is almost an essential item!
Cheers Andrew O
AnswerID: 8233

Reply By: xr500 - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
our kids are 8 and 11 years both girls and we take activity books, novels and they have even played chess but we have only travelled 4 hours at a time but it is tough...hehehe and when they argue they have to be quiet "NOT A WORD" till the next town.
happy travelling !!
xr500
AnswerID: 8245

Reply By: Greg - QLD - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Andrew,

I've done a bit of research on this and the "VDO Daytona" model although a top end unit has some of the best features.

Eg. You use it for Sat Nav when around town. Run Karaoke CD's in it when going on trips. We only have it installed in our van not the 4WD but this is the next plan.

With the 4WD I'm planning to remove the screen from the laptop and direct cable it to the back of the Sat Nav screen thus saving space in the front. We've drawn up plans to customise the passengers sid dash to fit the laptop on a slide-out tray so that it doesn't have to be sitting on someones lap or shoved behind the drivers seats while travelling.

Plug the laptop into the GPS, Sat Nav and in car Mobile phone and it's a complete home away from home.

In addition to all this gadgetry you can get additional screens to either mount from the roof or into the backs of passenger/drivers seats so that all can see what's going on.

Having said all this we won't be running DVD's on ours as a) the scratch really easily and it's a waste of money and b) like others have said, we limit home much TV the kids watch at home and the point of getting away is to "Get away".

We just returned from 4 days at Mt Kaputar near Narrabri in NSW (9 hour trip each way) and our 3kids (4, 2.5 & 1) just amuse themselves. with a plastic tub each of toys tied to the back of the front seats with a bit of elastic. The elastic keeps it up off their legs for comfort and the lid works like a table for all the colouring and things that kids do.
Also a music CD of their favourite sing along songs worked well

Cheers and happy travelling
Greg
AnswerID: 8246

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2002 at 01:00
Travelled a lot and long distances on family trips as a kid. Mum used to hand out lifesavers one at a time and we used to see who could make them last the longest. Kept us amused and quiet. Can't talk much when you're carefully sucking on a lifesaver. LOL.

:-) Melissa
AnswerID: 8255

Reply By: Ian KimberleyCruiser - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Andrew, in my 80 series I have a Clarion in dash stereo/TV system with a little 5 inch screen. It cost $1000 as display stock in a shop in Adelaide a few years ago. Sitting as close as you do, the screen is suprisingly effective. the screen retracts away from prying eyes when not in use and you can still listen to TV when the screen is away or off. The Diversity TV antenna works very well when you are in TV range. A 12v/240v video mounted on a shelf behind the cargo barrier cost under $300 and the kids can still reach it to change videos.. You have to forget the hand brake connection if you want to watch it on the move though. Unfortunately that is illegal if the screen is in view of the driver. So I wouldn't do, or reccommend, that of course, but I am certain it works!

We have a 2 yo, 6yo, and 9yo and it was worth it's weight in gold. They don't watch constant videos, but life savers, toys, games etc don't work for the 24 hour trips we often do to Perth from the Kimberly. The oldest often reads even while the other two watch a movie.

We also now use a laptop DVD on the centre console, but haven't tried it on dirt yet. We give the kids lightweight headphones and listen to our own music or it can plug straight into the Clarion unit (as does the video camera) for the theatre experience sound.

Clarion, Sony and Kenwood all have combined in-dash 7 inch screen DVD/CD players now that range from $4500 to $6000. Sony even have a 10 disk DVD/CD stacker. Check out their Australian cites "www.clarion.com.au" etc.

There is a huge range of other brands and screen arrangements including pop-out, pop-down and in headrest types available. Just depends on $$$$$.

Happy viewing,
Ian
AnswerID: 8736

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