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Laptop as DVD

 
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RINO SHAWN
Geocacher


Joined: 18 Nov 2004

Posts: 194

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:11 am    Post subject: Laptop as DVD Reply with quote

Just curious if anyone out there has come up with a safe way to mount/hang/drape from headrest(s)/? a Laptop computer to use it in the same manner as those smaller personal DVD players that are so popular.....wow I somehow made that all 1 sentence Rolling Eyes

I own a Toshiba laptop...I have used it several times on long car rides to keep the kids quiet by just letting them watch a favorite DVD movie.....I've been looking for some kind of bag that would allow it to attatch to the headrests just like the personal DVD players do....the only problem is....those bags are way too small.

I was having issues with the sound not being loud enough...but remedied that by buying a FM transmitter...It just plugs in to the headphone jack on the side of the laptop...and I can tune in the Radio station on the car to the right frequency and have the sound come thru the speakers of the car.

I have a power invertor that I use so I don't worry about the batteries running dead half way thru a movie.

Having the DVD going works soooo good....not a peep out of the kids.....sometimes we have reached the campground that we frequent when the movie still had about 15 minutes left....the kids will actually stay quiet and stay in the car to finish the movie Shocked

I suppose I could just buy an actual DVD player made for this king of use...but I bring the computer with anyways....may as well utilize it.

Any ideas?? Rolling Eyes
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5savages
Geocacher


Joined: 13 Feb 2005

Posts: 204

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:06 pm    Post subject: I got just the thing... Reply with quote

I had that same conundrum just a couple months ago. We had a trip coming up and decided instead of buying a dedicated DVD player at $200 or so, we'd get an el cheapo laptop for $500. Once bought, mounting it was a challenge. A bit of hunting around found this:

http://tinyurl.com/bn69y

This is the cheapest price I found, and it's still a bit pricey at $52 after shipping, but I can whole heartedly recommend it after using it for 5200 miles last month on our two week trip to Oregon. Another thing I did was to rip 20 DVDs to the harddrive so I didn't have to drag the DVDs out, or remove the PC when changing movies. To get all those to fit, I encoded them to mpeg files of about 700 MB each. Not the greatest video quality, but for the kids it was plenty good.

The laptop specs say it's good for laptops up to 14 inches. I have one that's 15.4" diagonal and it fit just fine.

Pat
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5savages
Geocacher


Joined: 13 Feb 2005

Posts: 204

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One other thing. The FM transmitter is a good idea, we did that too. Another thing you can do now that you have the FM transmitter is get some of those cheap FM radios with headphones and when you get tired of listening to Barney or Dora or whoever, you can have the kids listen through their headphones.
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RINO SHAWN
Geocacher


Joined: 18 Nov 2004

Posts: 194

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes!!!! Cool Thanks Pat! That is exactly what I was looking for. I like your idea of the FM headsets also.

Another neat thing we did with the laptop a couple weekends ago: I have Rand McNally Streets and Trips on the laptop and my Palm Pilot....I plugged in my extra GPSr reciever to the laptop (my cheapie extra is a yellow etrex)...Rand McNally has different views besides the map that you can choose to overlay off to the side of the map...One of them is called "kids view"...It shows speed in MPH, elevation, and heading in a "kid like" theme.....and the little cursor that moves on the map as were traveling becomes different things at different speeds.......stopped or bareley moving..it is a turtle.....a little faster it becomes a man walking......than a man riding a mountain bike.......than a rabbit.....than a eagle.....and finally a cheatah..........(I must admit that curiousity overcame me 1 time to see if anything displayed faster than a cheatah while on a backroad. Twisted Evil ) Nope Rolling Eyes

Anyways, the kids thought it was very cool...and they even got the hang of reading the map and knowing what roads we were on and what direction we were heading.

Shawn
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