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For those of you who thought your MDX was a great touring car... it just got better. We just took about a 1,200 mile vacation in the MDX with our children. To entertain them, I flipped back the center beverage tray, and placed on it a Panasonic LA-85 Portable DVD player. It has a 7" screen, and is easily viewed from the 2nd row. The kids watched movies the whole way. No yelling, raised blood pressure, etc.

The unit fits perfect, and is powered from the power outlet in the center console. Also, for surround sound experience, we connected a cassette adapter to the headset outlet, and plugged it into the MDX. It was like being at the theater-no kidding!

For those of you who want the ultimate upgrade- a couple of pointers. First, the Panasonic unit requires a 12volt to 9 volt converter. A Panasonic tested and approved unit is available from a company called Extend. Also, to hold on the DVD player, I used a rubberband to hold on to the beverage tray latch.
 
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Just curious,and you needn't tell me if you don't want to, but how much did this system cost?
 

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The DVD player was $651, ordered from the following source. http://www.amdv.com/. I picked them because of low price (Units at retail shops around my area were $900. Fortunately, I also received good service. Also, the Extend 12v/9v converter was $99. AMDV sells these as well.

Though a lot to pay for portable DVD, the unit also connects to your home TV (digital and analog outs)and video camera. It also comes with a remote control. Very nice. Here is a link with the features.

http://www.amdv.com/detail.tpl?cart=994444993331325&sku=PNDVD-LA85&productid=3040
 

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Mark, you beat me to it. We are going on a trip to Upstate NY tomorrow and I am planning to hoist my laptop PC which happens to have a DVD-drive in it exactly the way you described. With this additional "accessory", I hope my 3-year-old will be a little more bearable on a 3+ hour trip.

According to my research and testing, the battery should last at least 2.5 and, hopefully, upto 3 hours, so, no need for power converters.

To mdmdx: I cannot speak for Mark, but I would guesstimate that his "entertainment pack" accessory cost around $700-$800. And the best part about it - it is NOT attached to the car.

I'll let everyone interested know how the installation went (maybe with pictures) in 1 week.
 

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Remery, it's in the air! :):):)
Can't you make a comment appropriate for this thread rather than yet another unsubstantiated personal attack?!?!?

As I posted earlier today, that burlwood knob can be very handy! :)
 

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Vip9, I also have a laptop and considered using this instead, but decided not to because the laptop does not fit very well between the seats (you only have about 10.5" between the seats). Also, something to consider is the fragile hard drive running on your PC while your car is in motion. A serious pot hole could possibly crash your system, in which case the $750 would seem cheap. I will try to get some pictures posted.
 

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vip9 said:
Remery, it's in the air! :):):)
Can't you make a comment appropriate for this thread rather than yet another unsubstantiated personal attack?!?!?
As I posted earlier today, that burlwood knob can be very handy! :)
A bit cranky this afternoon aren't we? However, something for you to consider is the potential for your PC to be stolen if visible when you park it. If you remember, dancall had his MDX broken into and PC stolen. It's a great idea to use the PC as a DVD player thus getting double duty, but do you also use it to earn a living? If so, you should not leave it in the vehicle when you are not. If it were stolen, you, not your son, might be the unbearable one.;)
 

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remery said:
vip9 said:
Remery, it's in the air! :):):)
Can't you make a comment appropriate for this thread rather than yet another unsubstantiated personal attack?!?!?
As I posted earlier today, that burlwood knob can be very handy! :)
A bit cranky this afternoon aren't we?
C'mon, I guess I did not put enough smileys in my post. You should know better. ;)

I see your point with the break-in. I will certainly keep it out of sight or take it with me when I leave the car. Although, for this upcoming trip, it should be a door-to-door venture.

As far as "making a living, thus being careful..." comment - stuff happens, you know! I do take subway to/from work ;)
A shoulder belt might snap, my house burglarized, etc...

Anyway, I certainly hope that my experience with a "moving movie theater" this weekend will be as good as Mark's.
 

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I had rigged up a small platform that hangs off the drivers seat headrest so my 7-yr old could use my laptop and a mouse on a long excursion - he was on his Age-of-Empires kick at the time. (At least it's interactive, and I'm working on steering him toward Logo-type programming; beats drooling over Nintendo).

It worked great - the only downside is that we were traveling through South Dakota's Badlands.

"Wow, Trevor, look at that! Yeah, dad, yeah."

The best laid plans...
 

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Use Laptop as moving home theater system

Hi All,

I am also thinking about using my "spare" Dell Inspiron 7000 having DVD with 14 inch screen for this purpose. I have an inverter ($19) to convert 12V to 110V so as I can plug the laptop converter to it. Still trying to find a good and cushioned platform to hold it. My 12-year old boy told me to flip down one of the second row and use it as table (may need some velcro with heavy foam underneath the laptop) so he can see it from the third row (his all-time private reserved seat).

If anyone know of some kind of platform secured to the center console and have some vibration absorbtion built in, I would appreciate knowing it.

Happy MDXing :) :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Tdnone,

A good vibration damper would be a computer mouse pad (neoprene backing), which is just about the same size as the center flip tray. I didn't need one for the DVD player, but it would work okay for a PC. As for securing the unit, maybe you could use a really long piece of velcro and wrap it around the computer and tray, as opposed to glueing something to your MDX.
 

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Mark said:
Also, something to consider is the fragile hard drive running on your PC while your car is in motion. A serious pot hole could possibly crash your system, in which case the $750 would seem cheap.
Wow. Don't tell that to my wife. The only reason she goes on long trips is so she can get some work done without distractions. She prefers the middle seat by herself with my daugher up front so she can set up a private office back there.

Chris
 

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Laptop works great!

We just got back from a 5 1/2 hour trip to the Bay area (California) with my Sony laptop strapped on the center console top full flipped back. DVD heaven for the kids. No problems. Bought a converter at Fry's for $35 and had no problems with power. I think the kids appreciate the 14" screen too. Forgot the cassette adapter but will remember next trip for the "surround sound" effect.
 

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Sound?

Just for my own curiousity, since my 9.5 month old is still a while away from needing video in the back ...

How's the sound from the portable DVD unit? They seem to have fairly small speakers. Do your kids exclusively use the headset (which I suppose will also let the parents enjoy some quiet!) if you're not using that cassette-adapter to wire it into the MDX's system?
 

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Re: Use Laptop as moving home theater system

tdnone said:
Hi All,

I am also thinking about using my "spare" Dell Inspiron 7000 having DVD with 14 inch screen for this purpose. I have an inverter ($19) to convert 12V to 110V so as I can plug the laptop converter to it. Still trying to find a good and cushioned platform to hold it. My 12-year old boy told me to flip down one of the second row and use it as table (may need some velcro with heavy foam underneath the laptop) so he can see it from the third row (his all-time private reserved seat).

If anyone know of some kind of platform secured to the center console and have some vibration absorbtion built in, I would appreciate knowing it.

Happy MDXing :) :) :)
Not a good idea to sit in the 3rd row if you don't have to, IMHO. Not a lot of crumple room behind, should something unfortunate happen.
 

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Mark said:
Tdnone,

A good vibration damper would be a computer mouse pad (neoprene backing), which is just about the same size as the center flip tray. I didn't need one for the DVD player, but it would work okay for a PC. As for securing the unit, maybe you could use a really long piece of velcro and wrap it around the computer and tray, as opposed to glueing something to your MDX.
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the tip about a long velcro. Instead of the mouse pad, I am thinking more along the line of thick foam used in the shipping of disk drive (in retail box). It would absorb bumps much better. My laptop is about 10 lbs. Hope that it does not yank loose the top tray since the laptop will not fit between the 2 front chairs. About 1/3 of the laptop hangs beyond the tray.

Will go on a camping trip in the Sonoma Valley, North CA, aka, the other wine country rival to Napa Valley. I will report back the results.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #20
DVD Pictures

The following are pictures of my Panasonic LA-85 DVD player installed in an MDX. Notice that all that is needed to keep the unit in place is a simple rubber band. With the cassette adapter, the sound is awesome coming through the MDX sound system. Photos taken with my cheap new $19 "Jam cam" digital camera. (Hopefully the pictures will come along for the ride in this new forum format)

(images removed by admin)
 
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