Laptop as DVD player in car

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 15:41
ThreadID: 34699 Views:2282 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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I am wondering how people have set up their laptop so the kids can watch dvds in the back. I have seen this one ..

Has anyone got it?


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Reply By: Member - Malcolm P (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 16:30

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 16:30
I have used a work laptop on many trips with my 3 children and sat it on the arm rest/ glove box inbetween the 2 front seats. No problem on the highways obviously best at night.

Another alternative was that we put a large "soft" bag on the floor inbetween the seats on the floor and the smallest child sat cross-legged on the seat and they could move it around themselves, but that leads to arguments as to who can and can't see, we found that either worked for some time before there was another complaint about something.

On the the corrugated tracks I found it impossible no matter where it was or hung on to the seats as the disc jumps about too much.
I wouldn't bother getting anything specific. Anyway you have to take it out when not in the car.
Last trip we didn't even bother, but we stopped more regulalrly.
AnswerID: 177242

Reply By: murray murray - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 17:16

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 17:16
we don't use a laptop, but have a portable dvd player with a 7" screen. Laptops are larger, of course. The dvd player came with a harness to strap it to the front seats, but the angle of the front seats have to be the same and in the upright position. With the front seats in the normal drive position the backward angle made it impossible to view the screen. So the harness was useless. We use a polystyrine ball filled foot stool and sit it to the rear of the console. This is the same set up Malcomn mentioned in the reply above. We have an old truck and the boys could still watch it over "most" dirt roads. We did Central Aust last year and only the Oodnadatta Track, in some places, interrupted their avoidance of the beauty outside the car. This system may not work if you have 3 in the back.

AnswerID: 177248

Follow Up By: JJ - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:03

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:03
I just don't get it! There is more to life than damn DVD players! You're on holidays, for heavens sake. Leave all that crap home (where they probably get too much of it anyway)! Are parents these days just too lazy or too selfish to bother to entertain their kids or involve them in discovering what's beyond that stupid screen? $349 bucks to shut the kids in a closet, so to speak! Bah, and not healthy! And why the hell would they want to be watching that garbage on interesting and badly corrugated dirt roads? Come on, get a life and enjoy your kids while you can! I know I will cop some chit from this, but who cares. Some things just leave me wondering too...
FollowupID: 433462

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:56

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:56

I understand where you are coming from. My wife and I debated fitting a system to our car but ultimately decided against it, mainly for the reasons you outline.

But, you make the assumption that people are on holidays any time they jump in their car and this is obviously not so. On a seven hour drive up the freeway at night to visit the in laws for a weekend, these things would be invaluable. Unless a freeway at night offers the sort of interest in 'discovering what's beyond that stupid screen'.

I assume that you are a parent, but unfortunately children don't always oblige us by behaving in a way that promotes the idyllic, happy little family unit. They can be irrational beasts and if you have always managed to have happy engaged children for every minute they sit in the car, then I would like to know your secret.

The secret, of course, is in limiting the use of DVDs, etc to when they are really needed and by keeping your children interested and engaged in the world around them when not watching DVDs. Not related to travel in the car, but without the 30 minutes of peace offered by a Wiggles video, most young parents would never have sex again.

A question of balance and parental control I guess.
FollowupID: 433514

Follow Up By: JJ - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:25

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:25
Hi Matt,
DVDs were not heard of when our kids were young (from ages 2, 4 & 5 on)! and distance (from the Centre) was a major factor for annual summer time visits to grannies... no air-con in vehicles then either! There's no secret & I don't claim that our lot were angels, but guess they just loved to travel Always had a 'lucky dip' bag of tricks, with new games, puzzles etc. up the sleeve, for when they got squabbly or a bit restless, and each had their 'box' of favourite books, cards & odd toys. When we all tired of the usual 'I Spy' etc. we made up our own games involving the countryside, traffic, #plates & stuff... a favourite being "guess the colour of the next car to come along"!
OK, I am with you re DVDs & fair enough on today's freeway travel, or short distant runs where the driver can do without noisy distracting games. And our daughter & son-i-l are no exception here! They're as DVD reliant as the next guy... preferring to run around in their F250 (with inbuilt DVDs) rather than use the Territory in town!
But my gripe is about bush trips & travel in general, not just getting from A to B on boring city freeways!
However, I guess it all boils down to how the other half live! If we all thought the same, done the same and agreed to everything; how boring! And we would have no forum to entertain us! As for sex! Bah Humbug! Been there done that, over the hills & far away...
FollowupID: 433539

Follow Up By: murray murray - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 16:23

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 16:23
Let's not get bogged down in "the good ol' days". Yes we travel with a DVD player and with the air con on. Yes our kids keep logs of our daily travels, calculate distances, work out fuel consumptions, take photos, write poems and read books etc etc. There are just some times when I like to kick back and enjoy the drive without feeling I'm the in car entertainment. They enjoy the distraction from an 8 hour drive and we all arrive with our humour in tact. When we get back home, everyone feels that they have had a holiday. We love our dvd player.

FollowupID: 433574

Reply By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 17:37

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 17:37
I havent got one, but it looks like a good idea. The only thing you would need to be careful of is making sure that your laptop will fit within the gap between the seats for it to work properly.

Damn good invention, fairly cheap to buy, but probably cheap and easy enough to build yourself (ot wife, mother in law etc.)
AnswerID: 177256

Reply By: Pilbara1 - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 20:25

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 20:25
I manufactured a bracket that bolted under the driver and passenger seat mounts (not sure if legal though was very secure) that sat upright and had a foot at the top to sit the laptop on. I made the top slope backwards for easier access to the key board and put velcro around the lot to secure it in place. Made the top section removable so was not a pain to get around. Kids used it for a few years until we bought individual DVD players (spoilt) which helped stop the arguments about what to watch next. Cheap as on Ebay.

Cheers and cold beers
AnswerID: 177287

Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 21:12

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 21:12
Hi Paul,

We have done it from time to time. We take "Stable Table" 's for the kids to draw, eat , play etc. on, when we go on long trips.

We place a back pack on the trans tunnel between the two kids feet and sit the laptop on a stable table on top if its for both kids. If the 2 y/o is asleep the 6 y/o can watch on her own on a stable table on her lap.

The only problem with the laptop is the 2y/o wants to fiddle.

We finally lashed out the other day and bought a dvd player with 2 screens (which also have TV tuner built in) and mounting gear. The DVD player also has ports for 2 game controllers (like PS1 controllers) and came with a disk with 300 arcade games.

Not bad for $349. (Strathfield)

Should work a treat.

Other option for you. The guy I bought my USB/SD MP3 in dash stereo from on ebay (Oz-Auction) has an in dash DVD player which like mine will also play MP3's off USB memory gadgets and SD cards with a 9.2" roof screen for just $349!

I was so happy with my stereo I bought another for a mate. If this gear is as good you couldn't go wrong.

Try this link Site Link

AnswerID: 177297

Reply By: - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 16:51

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 16:51
Thanks for the ideas, i reckon it might be out with the sewing machine, and make one.
AnswerID: 177486

Reply By: andoland - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 12:23

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 12:23

We recently bought one of these from vuegear and used it during our 6 week trip through the Gulf. It was great. Held the laptop in through bumps, washouts, rocky river crossings, etc and did not skip once.

Would recommend it to anyone.

AnswerID: 179190

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