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Rob Hephner

Professional Auto Sound Expert

Best Car Video System & Car Rear Video Systems

Featured On:

  • Car Sound Performance
Most every rear seat video purchase falls into two categories. They are either to complete the overall bling factor for a vehicle in which they will rarely be used by passengers or they are for the very important reason of keeping children occupied and not asking “Are we there yet?” every five minutes.

Honestly, both reasons for buying are practically the same. I rate reliability as the highest factor in buying a rear seat entertainment system, with fit and finish a very close second. Some people say they don’t care what it looks like as long as it works. But, you must consider that your vehicle may not be sitting in a locked garage all of the time and having something that does not draw attention to your vehicle because it looks like it belongs, could be an extremely strong buying point.

DVD is the preferred format for rear-seat entertainment. As of yet there are no Blu-Ray players for the vehicle. Honestly, I see no reason to worry about the HD format in a vehicle until enough discs are available that you would want use the ones you have in your home. Most children don’t care if Barney is in HD or not and otherwise you may not want the more expensive Blu-Ray discs lying around in your vehicle.

There are three types of stand-alone rear seat video systems; headrest mount, flip down, and portable. I don’t like the portable systems because they are potential hazard in an accident and they are just asking to be stolen. You will see that I rate custom headrest systems the highest because they better integrate into the vehicle and look as if they belong. You will also notice that my best buy picks are similar to my top five picks with some differences. There are a lot of brands of monitors for vehicles and I purposely only list the ones that I would use in my car as durability and reliability should be the top concern when buying one of these systems. You can feel comfortable that all the choices I list will not fail you in those areas.

Above all make sure you ask for a driver seat mounted turnoff switch that allows you to take control of the system as there is nothing worse than trying to get the attention of a child in the middle of their favorite Be-Bop dance.

With the best car video system with DVDs and other features, you can keep the kids busy while you take that cross-country adventure. These car rear video systems also add to the value of any car for the total bling factor.

Best Rear Video Systems by Rob Hephner

The Best You Can Get

  • Vizualogic A-1290 All-in-One Headrest Monitor

    Rob says: I have seen hundreds of rear seat video systems, from the very first one ever introduced, and the Vizualogic brand has by far the best product money can buy. The A-1290 is the tops in their line and what I would install in any of my vehicles. I can’t give a better recommendation than that and honestly every other product pales in comparison.

    There are many reasons the A-1290 is my top pick but the easiest to see is the fact that Vizualogic custom builds every headrest for the specific vehicle in which it will be installed. The electronic package is exactly the same but instead of making a basic headrest to be used in all vehicle and a few colors, Vizualogic designs each headrest based upon the factory headrest and then sources the exact material that the vehicle manufacturer uses, right done to the proper stitch pattern and style of construction.

    Beyond the cosmetic the A-1290 is exactly everything you would want in a rear seat system. Each headrest is identical in the fact that they both have a full function DVD player and 16:9, 9-inch LCD monitor. Both units can play their own DVD, or display what the other player has to offer. Additionally there are inputs for a gaming console or even an iPod with the ability to display video. Included are a full feature remote control and multi-channel wireless headsets that allow each viewer to listen to what they want to hear.

    Because of the top notch fit and finish and that these units give users the option of viewing DVDs and games simultaneously on both headrest monitors, or independently on individual monitors, this is my top rated system.

  • Audiovox - Jensen Custom Headrest Systems

    Rob says: While not the fit and finish of the number one pick, the Audiovox or Jensen custom series does approximate the factory size and color of most vehicles. Just like the number one pick these headrest monitors simply replace the existing headrests.

    These systems include a DVD player in each headrest and inputs for video games and iPods. It also includes two remotes so when one gets lost you’ll always have a backup.

    I place this system as my second choice because it installs with very little alteration to your vehicle and maintains a look that does not raise that much attention to thieves. Also, I listed both brand names as the systems are identical and the name on them only depends upon where you find these units.

  • Alpine PKG-RSE2

    Rob says: The Alpine product differs from my first two choices in the fact that it is a fold down unit. Fold down video screens are how the whole rear seat market was started and they offer and easy way to show video to all rear seat passengers. While they are limited to one viewing option they can have bigger screens.

    The Alpine PKG-RSE2 has a large 10.2-inch screen and includes wireless IR headphones so that the video can be viewed without disturbing the front driver and passenger. The unit has a built-in DVD player as well as inputs for video games and iPods. All can be controlled by the included remote control.

    Because of Alpine’s devotion to building quality products and ones that also have as many options as possible, I pick this unit as my number three choice.

  • Kenwood LZH-100W

    Rob says: Coming in at fourth on my top five is the Kenwood LZH-100W. If you only shop for a little while you will start to notice that a lot of video units look the same and the features are almost identical. For that reason, I am placing my picks based upon how I have seen these units perform and from many customers feedback.

    This Kenwood is very similar in features and style to the number three pick and has a 10.2-inch overhead monitor that folds down for viewing. Once again there is a DVD player included with optional inputs for video games and iPods. The Kenwood LZH-100W does have a built–in dome light that helps light the interior of the vehicle and since most fold down monitors go where the factory light was, it replaces that option.

    I place this unit fourth because of the strong support that Kenwood offers and its fit in finish as compared to other units.

  • Audiovox VOD 1021

    Rob says: Coming in fifth is the Audiovox VOD 1021. Once again, this is a 10.2-inch fold down monitor. It has a built in DVD player and offers dome lights as well.

    Not as feature packed as the other choices, I place this unit in my top five because it is well built and Audiovox as a company offers excellent customer support. Any product such as this should have customer support and because there are literally hundreds of choices in the rear set entertainment category, I though it important to point this out.

You will be happy with any of these

  • Audiovox - Jensen Custom Headrest Systems

    Rob says: Yes, this is the same system you’ll find in my top five picks and I place it at the top because of the fact that a custom headrest while more pricy is actually more economical in the long run. Since all that is required to install custom headrests in the removal of your factory headrests there is no cutting of your vehicles headliner or other factory altering procedures. If you decide to remove your custom headrest you can return your vehicle to factory easily and for little to no cost.

    These systems allow for maximum features with minimum installation cost and that is a best buy in my eyes any day.

  • Any Audiovox - Jensen DVD Fold Down Monitor

    Rob says: These two brands are made by the same company and are the same product. I listed in the top five picks what I believe to be their best offering, but as a Best of the Rest buy you can look at any of their DVD fold down options as a number two option.

    I place these units second because they are reliable, typically priced more competitively, and available in more places.

  • Any Kenwood DVD Fold Down Monitor

    Rob says: Once again I listed in my top five what I believe to be Kenwood’s best offering, but when it comes to a best buy I list them as number three. I do this because although they offer a slightly better product than the number two choice, it comes in the form of fit and finish. While I do believe that fit and finish are worth more money I lace them here because most will not notice the difference and that is what a best buy is, right?

  • Any Alpine DVD Fold Down Monitor

    Rob says: Alpine is known for their high quality product build and attention to detail in a products performance, fit and finish. For that reason I place them fourth on my Best of the Rest list. While many want the Best of the Best, you don’t have to buy the best to get good reliable performance.

  • Any Valor DVD Fold Down Monitor

    Rob says: The Valor brand of DVD fold down monitors rounds the list. I find this brand as a great value and they fit the criteria I laid out in my introduction to this category as a product that I would even refer to someone to buy.

    The Valor DVD fold down monitors offer features similar to every other DVD fold down monitor that I have listed above. While they do not offer as many color choices as some of the units and the finish is maybe not as good this is a product I would have no issue installing in a vehicle that I own.

Related Articles

When buying the best car video system, reliability is the biggest factor to consider. Also important in the best car rear video systems is fit and finish that makes an attractive value add to your car. Always the best price, our car rear DVD player systems have all the same choices for your regular TVs: HD format, Blue-Ray players and other features to compare. Car TV video system designs also come in three types: headrest mount, flip down and portable.