Nextbase SDV49-AC

* Essential 'staycation' kit for your car * We look for the best in-car' package * Single and twin units reviewed...

Nextbase SDV49-AC

Nextbase SDV49-AC
Cost: 189.99
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Features: The two players have nine-inch screens, and can be used to view a single DVD on both, or individual movie on each unit. It's compatible with DVD, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, CD-R/RW, CD Audio, XviD, MPEG4, MP3, JPEG and DivX. There's also an SD card slot and USB 2.0 connectivity. A built-in rechargeable battery pack gives two hours' playback time. Also included is a car mounting system, mains and 12V power supply, remote controls and AV cable.

Mounting system? Yes. A pouch-type fixing system that holds the player tightly to a plate that straps and clips to the front seat headrests. The system is easily installed and removed, but holds the units firmly in place.

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Ease of use: Fitting the two units is straightforward and takes no more than five minutes. However, like all twin units, there are several leads to cause a trip hazard as passengers get in and out. Operating the machines is simple and the remote controls make the job even easier. The supplied headphones are of the earplug type, which can prove difficult for younger children to insert in their ears. We'd advise swapping for the more traditional over-ear design. Changing DVDs is a little awkward, too, when the units are strapped into the mounts.

Performance: The nine-inch screen is a usefully bigger than the seven-inch units we've tested, while picture and sound quality are perfectly adequate for the job in hand. Other functionality all works well, too, with a clear menu system that's easy to master.

What Car? says This machine is our favourite all-round package. It's compatible with most popular formats, has SD card and USB functionality, along with features such as last-played memory. The bigger screen size, performance, mounting system and price make a compelling case. It's not the cheapest, but there are no major gripes and it has all the features that will help ensure long car journeys are far more peaceful for all occupants. Yes, there are superior machines in our test, but as an all-round in-car package, the Nextbase can't be beaten.