High morals are a funny old thing in parenthood. We all start off with them (to a greater or lesser degree), then the saying “pick your battles” kicks in – about the same time as “the terrible twos” – and as such, so many of one’s moral stances go swiftly out of the window.
And so it was with in-car DVD players. Full of good old fashioned values harking back to a simpler time, I naively started off saying ‘we’ll just play eye spy, sing Old McDonald’ and the like – but as any mum or dad will know only too well, such old fashioned stuff only lasts a pretty small window with a C21st two-year-old (and indeed most parents). And when you’ve got a long road trip planned and a two-year-old having a “no-car-no” based tantrum, you need all the help you can get for a safe, sane, silent run, right?
When I bought Project Beast – with its twin DVD players buried in the deep leather headrests – road tripping life changed forever. Suddenly, even as 400+mile road trip from Norfolk to Cornwall, and even beyond, was no issue. Plug the little beauty into her favourite DVD of the hour and revel in the happiness, silence and all-round contentment. Heavenly.
The trouble is, now Road Magazine’s lovely toddler expects to find her favourite film in every car she gets in!
And, of course, whilst Project UP! (for all its charms and many enjoyable features) might be a range-0topping Black edition, it ain’t a top of the line Range Rover and so has no DVD player to entertain our Road Magazine toddler with… uh-oh.
Cue “no-car-no” tantrums and demands to always “go daddy’s car,” which of course I love doing, but ain’t always practical, or indeed economical at £100+ a Super Unleaded fill-up and 400 mile range in the supercharged V8!
Enter the saviour that is the British automotive aftermarket sales institution that is Halfords – who stock a very affordable, very high quality range of single (from £69.99) and twin (from £139) portable DVD players, powered by the car’s 12V supply, by Nextbase – exclusively for the Halfords brand.
The one we went for (with just one child to entertain) was the single, mid-size (& price), nine-inch version, RRP £119… or one tank of Range Rover super unleaded as I like to think of it.
The robust, smart, slim, neatly packaged DVD features a very generous nine-inch widescreen display – which is a superbly vivid and punchy, high resolution, LED, true colour, 800 x 480 pixel display.
The compact unit is also fitted with two small, but powerful stereo speakers and a 3.5mm standard headphone socket for use with headphones (with a set of in-ear headphones included in the price… making the journey more peaceful for mum and dad, if you can get them to stay on a toddler that is!).
And the DVD player also supports a huge range of disc types and formats, so it can be used not only as a portable movie player but also a music player and a picture viewer. And the set-up also generously includes a patented car stanchion mounting system, clipping to the front seat headrests, for a safe and secure mounting, and even a remote control… so you can keep turning the volume back down after sticky fingers button pressing and always be ready to re-start the DVD or rewind their favourite bits at the push of a button. Brilliant.
Additional features of this life-changing device include:
- Inbuilt anti-skip facility – to counteract the bumps in the road
- Supports infra-red wireless headphones
- Remote Control included
- Has USB slot for up to 16 GB and SD/SDHC slot
- Auto Resume Facility – go straight back to where you left off
- 12 month warranty and UK support
- Supports: DVD, MP3, CD, JPEG, CD-R/RW, DVD+/-R and DVD+/-RW
- Nextbase Headrest mount worth £24.99 included
- 12V set-up
- Please note mains adapter sold separately
And right now, if you order quickly, these (indeed any of Halfords range of) portable DVD players even come with a cool pair of wireless headphones, worth £14.99… so it’s a a bit of a no brainer folks.
Have a ‘moment of (parental) clarity: Get one for yourself for Christmas, never mind the kids.
Quiet journeys, catching up on some shut eye (as a passenger, obvs!), even a nice long chat with your road tripping partner – and limited Old McDonald sing-songs – are yours for the taking. Bliss!