For about a year now Darren, my husband, has been going on about buying Holly a DVD player for the car. To start with I couldn't see the point and always said no, mainly due to car security. The player he wanted was one that was incorporated into the headrests. Too much temptation for the opportunist walking past. The only way I could see was to cover it up with hanging a coat over the headrest.
We didn't really make that many long journeys to warrant buying Holly a DVD player for the car. This all changed however whilst we were on holiday in Turkey. My uncle sadly passed away, so this would mean taking my Dad down to Essex to attend the funeral. Of course once at the funeral we met up with relatives we had not seen for over twenty years since moving to Derbyshire. On the journey home my Dad said he would like to go and meet up with some of his cousins again so I said we would take him down again a few weeks later, which we duly did. A few weeks later my Dad had two telephone calls from his cousins, one inviting us down to Essex for a barbecue and another inviting us to her wedding in North Wales over the August Bank holiday weekend. I must admit by this time I was getting fed up of listen to Holly's kids CDs.
Darren then spotted the Philips DVD portable with docking for an Apple iPod whilst reading his Nuts magazine and the thought of another 3 hour drive to Wales and back again listening to Cbeebies or In The Night Garden just proved too much for us both. We checked out where we would be able to purchase the DVD player and found it on Amazon. So I went searching through all my survey sites so see what Amazon vouchers I had access to and cashed them all in.
Now I must point out that I am not very technically minded so I will describe it a best as I can.
The Philips DCP951 Portable DVD player with Docking for Apple iPods.
The player is black in colour 18cm high 23.5 cm wide and 4cm deep. The TFT screen is 10.5 cm high and 20cm wide. The perfect size for using in the car and for slipping into a bag to carry around with you. It is supplied with a 12v adaptor to plug the player into a cigarette lighter and a power adaptor lead to plug into your house sockets, a remote control and a small cover case for storing your player when not in use.
Under the TFT screen it has a large round button with up and down arrows and left and right arrows for selecting what you want to play on your DVD. In the middle of this button is a small button saying OK. When the machine is on, the outside of this button is lit up blue. To the left of this are two small square buttons one saying menu and the other a start/pause button. To the right of the large round button there are another two square buttons, these are for skipping to the previous or next chapter. Looking down onto the top of the DVD player is the open button which you slide to open the door on the back to place your DVD in. A monitor button which switches between ratio of 16.9 or 4.3. A source button to select either disc, iPod, SD/MMC card or AV card and the power on/off switch. On the left side of the player are two holes for headphones to plug in, another two holes for AV in and AV out, the volume dial, a slot to insert an SD/MMC card (haven't tried this yet) and the hole for the power socket. The power socket is illuminated to show when the battery is charging up, if there is no light the battery is fully charged. A fully charged battery lasts for about two hours. On the right of the player is a button to push which ejects the iPod holder, this holder can also hold the remote control. At the back of the machine is a pull out stand, allowing you to stand the player on a disk and an opening flap where you insert your DVD. If you have your iPod connected into the DVD player, the player charges up your iPod.
The Remote Control
This is the about the same size as the iPod. 6.5cm wide, 10.5 cm long and 1 cm deep. It can only be used when you are using the DVD player as normal and does not work with the iPod.
Watching a DVD
This is very easy to do, open the flap insert the DVD, close the flap. When the machine is on, it reads the disk then starts playing, all you need to do is select what you want to watch by using the up and down arrows and pressing OK. The picture quality when watching a DVD is very good. You can also put CD's in the DVD part and you can listen to these instead.
Connecting your Apple iPod
The machine comes with three adaptors one for the Apple iPod touch, which I have got, another for the Apple iPod Nano and the third the Apple iPod classic. You slide which ever adaptor you want into the docking section on the side. You then slide your iPod into the adaptor until it connects with the connector at the bottom of the docking area. Once connected you press the source button, it then comes up with a menu, you select videos, then this just accesses the videos via your iPod. You then press on your iPod touch screen which ever video you wish to watch. You can also listen to any music files you have on you iPod through this machine or if you have any photo's on your iPod you can set them up as a slide show.
Copying DVD's onto your iPod.
I wont concentrate on this part much as this would be better in the iPod category, but basically you insert a DVD into your computer/laptop. Open a DVD to iPod mp4 converter, these can be found on the internet, convert the DVD to correct iPod version you have, plug in your iPod to your computer and import the converted DVD to your iPod.
The DVD player in the car.
Unfortunately the machine doesn't come with anything for you to secure the machine into the car. My husband managed to get hold of some thick Velcro and made something to secure the player to the headrest. You just plug the player into a cigarette lighter and this powers the machine. We are lucky as we have a VW Touran and this has got a lighter socket in the back as well as the front, however the lead will fit to the front lighter if needed. The best way also for using the machine in the car is to use the machine with the iPod and when the child is as young as Holly it is better to have an adult sitting in the back to pick out the programme selection. Otherwise if you use a DVD disc you have to take the DVD player out of the holder to remove and change the disc because the DVD slot is at the back off the machine and the iPod is at the front of the machine to the right hand side. Also if you are like us, we already have a load of CDs in the car, and using the iPod, this means the DVDs can stay in the house and all you need to take is your iPod containing the programmes or films you want to watch.
Ease of use.
My husband is the original Mr Techno Gadget Man, I however am not Mrs Techno Gadget women. My technical brain is still set firmly in the 20th century with four TV channels and no remote controls. I have mastered Sky+ but only because I had no choice. If my daughter accidentally presses something on the TV remote control and this changes channels from Sky to either Free view or the TV or even the AV things, if pressing the Sky remote on/off button doesn't work I switch the TV off and tell her there has been a power cut and wait for Darren to come home. This machine however is very easy to use for watching DVDs, plug in, switch on, put in the DVD, wait for he machine to read the disk, then press play. It is slightly more complicated when using it with your iPod but still very easy.
We have used it in the car a couple of times but the machine has now made it into the house. My husband brought it in when he wanted to watch a GP but Holly wanted to watch Cbeebies, everybody was happy we stuck her a DVD in and there were no more tears of either Darren or Holly. Now when I want to get on with housework or cook tea, I stick this on for Holly and it keeps her amused, I can even sneak in some educational DVD's and she will sit and watch them. I have checked the electric meter when it is on and it doesn't use nearly as much electric as the 46" TV (when this is on the electric dial spins round so fast it looks as though it is about to come off the spindle). Holly as even started to learn how to use it (kids seem so clever when it comes to things like this). For me the machine is a god send, we have two DVD players connected to the TV however to get them to work I have to press a button of a box situated at the side of a cabinet, which button I have no idea, then I have to change the channel on the TV to AV and I get a little confused so I just don't bother so Holly has never been able to watch any DVDs, now she can.
How much did it cost.
We bought ours through Amazon, the recommended retail price is £199.99 but through one of their concessions (extremepc's) we paid £155.47 plus overnight carriage at £11.17 but after cashing in all my Amazon vouchers spent only £76.64 on it. I have checked on Amazon and can now only see it for £199.99 or £154.99 used.
Thanks for reading. Anna
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