Philips Dual DVD Player PD7042

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

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Pete Barden
26 April 2012

Philips Dual DVD Player PD7042
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Features: A dual DVD player, allowing a single or individual DVD to be played on each unit. The players have a seven-inch screens, with a battery-powered playback time of up to two hours. Compatible formats include DVD, MP3 JPEG, MPEG4 and DivX. The package comes with two sets of headphones, in-car and mains power adapter, AV cable and a travel bag to store the units when removed from the vehicle. There's also a rigid headrest mount for in-car fitment.

Car mounting system? Yes. The Philips unit has a 'smart mount' system that screws to the headrest posts. In theory, it should be one of the best and safest mounting solutions. However, while it's quick and easy to remove the machine, the fixing arm makes the machine protrude several inches from the headrest, which could make it a little uncomfortable to view. It can also allow the unit to wobble over poor road surfaces, but not enough to seriously irritate.

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Ease of use: Setting up the DVD player is simple and quick, with just the split power lead and headphones to be installed when watching separate movies. Initial fitting of the mount requires four screws, but once in place the dvd can be quickly clipped in and out again. The supplied headphones are of the earplug type, which young children will find difficult to keep in their ears, or to refit if they fall out. We'd advise swapping for a lightweight pair of traditional headphones if you want to avoid regular roadside stops to reinsert.

Performance: The Philips units are reasonably well-featured and can entertain a wide variety of media formats. Screen quality is good, as is sound quality with enough volume to rise above the worst of road noise. The controls can be a little fiddly, and this serves to highlight the lack of remote controls units.

What Car? says An excellent, well-specced machine that comes at a reasonable price. The picture quality is up to the job, and three screen settings of dim, normal and bright make the in-car viewing experience all the more comfortable in varying weather conditions or time of day. There's also a power-off-resume feature that restarts the DVD at the same point if it's switched off mid-movie. However, the lack of remote controls is surprising for such a well-appointed package. It's a shame that the 'smart mount' leaves the machine protruding from the seat, but this DVD player is certainly worth considering.