Roof-mounted or seatback: A guide to in-car screens


Automobiles haven’t really changed that dramatically over the past 100 years. Sure, there have been enhancements with regards to performance, design and efficiency but the basic premise behind the mass produced motorcar has remained the same since Henry Ford rolled out the very first Model T’s.

Advancements in electronic technology, however, are happening at a much faster rate and the car industry has been working hard to get in on the act.

In-car entertainment, a concept that barely existed 10 years ago, is now very much at the forefront of manufacturers thinking.

DVD players are a common feature in many new cars and provide entertainment for passengers on long journeys. They can range in price and quality and there are a number of options available when it comes to the screen used for watching DVD’s.

Here we compare seatback DVD players with roof-mounted devices to help you choose the best for you.

Seatback screens

Seatback screens are ideal if you have children who want to watch DVD’s on long journeys. They are safer as they don’t act as a distraction for the driver and they also allow the backseat passengers to operate it without leaning over.

They fit neatly to the back of the front passenger or driver’s seat and don’t impose upon the car’s interior.

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Roof-mounted screens

The biggest drawback with seatback screens is that they are not accessible to the driver or front seat passenger. If you’re someone who drives a lot and who has an enthusiasm for in-car gadgets then a roof-mounted screen is the obvious choice.

It goes without saying that they should never be used by the driver whilst they vehicle is moving or running but they can help everyone make the most of roadside stops or breaks.

Their larger size does make them more suitable for larger cars though and this should be taken into consideration.

Choosing the right option

Ultimately, the type of screen you choose will be based on personal preference. As well as the size and positioning of your screen, you should also consider quality.

Everything from very basic LCD screens to high resolution options are available and you also have a choice over how the screen operates – with touchscreen options particularly popular.

Screens also come with a number of connectivity features which allow you to connect to the internet, Bluetooth and GPS. However internet connections will make the devices more expensive and you will need to pay a monthly subscription to your 3 or 4G provider.

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