Best Overhead DVD Players to Keep Entertained on the Road

Best Overhead DVD Players to Keep Entertained on the Road

When it’s time to hit the road, not only do you want some classic tunes playing, but some films for your passengers would also be welcome. Whether it’s for fun for the family, a road trip with friends, or looking to impress business clients during a ride-share, there are plenty of uses for in-car entertainment.

Figuring out what you want from your new DVD player is just the beginning, though. Once that’s decided, you can delve into the technical features to find one that suits your needs.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Overhead DVD Player

When considering DVD players for cars, there are several factors, from the signal to the sound and visual and, perhaps most importantly, the cost. Firstly, here are the basics of what to look for when buying and installing an overhead DVD player. We’ll then move on to the players themselves, in our review list.

Who’s Watching?

First, you want to ask yourself who will be using the player and how often. You could be a family with kids, with a desire to keep young viewers glued to the screen during those long road trips. Distractions are always helpful when you want to get on with the all-important job of driving!

With Uber and Lyft often offering their passengers entertainment to gain a higher driver rating, a decent overhead DVD player is a great way to add something extra to your service. Limousine services might also want to bring an air of glamour for their clients, and offering the latest Hollywood blockbuster is one way of achieving this.

Core Features

Getting down to the technicalities, here’s how to understand what to look for when it comes to the core features of an overhead DVD player.

Screen Size

Usually, screens are measured diagonally using inches. An overhead player will range between 10 and 15 inches, with the screen needing to be larger when situated above eye height. You must ensure that the driver isn’t distracted, though.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio format concerns the ratio of an image’s width to its height. Fortunately, all you’ll need to know is that 14:3 is television format, while 16:9 is your widescreen cinematic standard. These two are often switchable, but, more often than not, your player will likely be widescreen, which is best for films.


This spec involves monitor resolution and screen quality, clarifying available pixels per inch. The industry standard for high-definition ‘HD’ is 1080p, with the width of the picture being 1920 pixels per inch and the height 1080. You’ll find that this is towards the top end, although there are products with a higher resolution available, usually starting upwards from 800 x 480.

It’s also vital to consider lighting, as sunlight can potentially render the screen unwatchable if it’s not bright enough.


Just as important as the visual quality is the sound, as you want to hear what’s going on without distracting others. Most DVD players will come with in-built speakers. This is usually welcomed, but we find that these can sometimes be rather loud and a potential nuisance to whoever’s driving.

With an IR transmitter often being standard, a set number of viewers can watch using infrared. Then there are FM transmitters, using a shortwave frequency with an extended range that anyone can tune into with their headphones.

Unit Size

Self-explanatory, but still significant; you need to measure the player’s size against the car’s interior. Not only does the roof need to bear the weight, but driver visibility is essential, as it can’t distract them or obscure their view in any way. Remotes are also vital, as you’ll need to navigate the DVD from a distance easily.

Compatibility Features

To make the most of your DVD player, we also advise that you try to maximize the number of inputs and file formats that are supported. Not only does this expand your current viewing opportunities, but it’s also a great way to futureproof yourself against changes in video technology standards over the coming years.

Video and Audio Inputs

Ideally, you want as many of these as possible, with USB, HDMI, and SD ports making all the difference when extending your range of available options. Whether it’s a DVD player that can stream television live through your phone or simply sharing pictures and music, you wouldn’t want to limit yourself.

Format Compatibility

Much like inputs, you don’t want to close yourself off. With players offering region-free capabilities, you want to keep yourself open, especially when traveling long distances and across borders. Imagine discovering at the last minute that the player won’t play!

Functionality and Space

Starting with the installation, you need to ensure that the mount is secure and in place, fastened tightly to the car roof. It then needs to be accessible to users of all ages, with the screen viewing angle being at a range of 25 to 50 inches. The unit’s appearance should also fit into the vehicle’s aesthetics, and they usually come in neutral shades.


It’s not just the general DVD specs you want to keep an eye on, but also the extras. While some people may just be looking for the best straightforward and simple DVD player without any fancy add-ons, others will want to make the most of it.

More add-ons usually mean more money, but there are many essentials, from the headphones to the remote and batteries. Plus, with streaming services and even gaming, you want to get the most out of it if you can.

There’s more to consider, which we’ll take a look at in our full buyer’s guide, but for now, here’s a run-down of the best overhead DVD players currently out.

ProductScreen SizeAspect RatioResolutionSpeakersUnit SizeUnit DimensionsRating
Rockville RVD12HD Flip-Down12 Inch1970-01-01 16:09:00800 x 480Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and FM Transmitter9.1 pounds13.46″ x 12.13″ x 2.48”5
Rockville RVD10HD Flip-Down10.1 Inch1970-01-01 16:09:001024×600Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and FM Transmitter5.95 pounds10.67″ x 12.13″ x 1.97″5
Wonnie Portable DVD Player14.1 Inch1970-01-01 16:09:001280×800Built-In and Headphone Port4.39 pounds13.7″ x 9.7″ x 1.4″5
Rockville RVD14BGB Flip-Down14.1 Inch1970-01-01 16:09:001920×1080Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and IR/FM Transmitters9.6 pounds16.14″ x 10.43″ x 2.56″4.5
Boss Audio Systems Flip-Down10.1 Inch1970-01-01 16:09:001024×600Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and IR/FM Transmitters8.3 pounds9.6″ x 12.8″ x 2.2”4.5
Pyle Vehicle Flip-Down13.3 Inch16:9 and 4:3 Switchable1280×800Built-In Stereo, Wireless Headphones, and FM Transmitter10.98 pounds16.2” x 13.0” x 9.75”4
XTRONS TFT Monitor10 Inch16:9 and 4:3 Switchable1280×800Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and IR/FM Transmitters8.8 pounds18″ x 13.8″ x 7.8”4
XTRONS HD Digital Widescreen15.6 Inch1970-01-01 16:09:001920×1080Built-In, Wireless IR/FM Transmitters8.8 pounds19.69″ x 5.51″ x 20.08”4
Sound Storm Laboratories Ceiling Mount13.3 Inch1970-01-01 16:09:001920×1080Built-In, Wireless IR/FM Transmitters7.5 pounds16.50″ x 14.00″ x 6.50”3.5
Pyle Roof Mount TFT-LCD Monitor14.1 Inch1970-01-01 16:09:001920×1080Built-In and Wireless IR Headphones8.7 pounds2.7″ x 15.83″ x 13”3.5

Top 10 Best Overhead DVD Players 2024

1. Best Overall Overhead DVD Player: Rockville RVD12HD Flip-Down

Rockville RVD12HD Flip-Down

Why we like it: With its uncomplicated design, this is the all-around people pleaser, keeping everyone entertained on those long road-trips.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 12 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 800 x 480
  • Speakers: Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and FM Transmitter
  • Unit Size: 9.1 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 13.46″ x 12.13″ x 2.48”

No strangers to the game when it comes to decking out your car, Rockville Audio has delivered a fair few auto-based DVD players over the years. This particular model is one of their superior offerings, with it not just providing a DVD player, but the ability to copy files and films through its USB input as well.

Being a company that made its name in audio equipment, it should come as no surprise that the sound is high-quality, and there’s the option of playing the radio through its FM transmitter. With its dual-channel infrared headphones, films can be watched quietly in the back, while drivers can simultaneously kick back to some good old-fashioned, road-trip tunes.

Who’s It For?

This DVD player offers a dual functioning set-up, with music and films working together, so it would be the family’s obvious choice. Playing music in surround sound through the car’s stereo while also allowing younger passengers to listen to their films is a plus.

Not forgetting the games disc, it’s pretty clear who Rockville has in mind with this model. While the games themselves aren’t going to be competing with Nintendo anytime soon, the remote doubles up as a controller when flipped on its side, which allows for some light gaming.

Functions and Installation

When it comes to standard DVD players for the car, this is the pinnacle, although it doesn’t offer much beyond the standard features, with no streaming services. If it’s just the player itself you’re after, though, you can’t go wrong here, as it remains stable on all those long bumpy road-trips, with its anti-skip mechanism keeping it firmly in place.

Installation is known to be a little tricky, and you may decide you need to call in a professional for help. If this doesn’t sound appealing, and you want a few extra features with securer installation, then maybe try out Rockville’s more upmarket model for a little extra.


  • Dual functioning transmitter with two headphones
  • USB and SD input for loading films
  • Maintains stability against bumps
  • Game disc with 300 games


  • No streaming services
  • Professional installation is best

2. Best Budget Overhead DVD Player: Rockville RVD10HD Flip-Down

Rockville RVD10HD Flip-Down

Why we like it: The cut-price family option, this has the basics that you'll need from any DVD player for just a fraction of the cost.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 10.1 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1024×600
  • Speakers: Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and FM Transmitter
  • Unit Size: 5.95 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 10.67″ x 12.13″ x 1.97″

This player is Rockville Audio’s inexpensive option, with just the basics needed for running DVDs. You can pay a bit extra and increase the screen size, but this is their fuss-free line. There are a few notable differences from their older model, and this older version includes headphones, which is a significant bonus.

This newer edition provides everything else you’ll need, though, even offering better resolution, along with the FM transmitter for stereo surround sound. When playing the films straight through it, there is no last-scene saving, so you’ll need to remember where you left off, making it a little inconvenient.

Who’s It For?

Being the cheaper option, this player holds up surprisingly well against those many bumps and spills from the extended road-trip, especially when faced with the joy of younger users and their non-stop prodding and poking. Late-night viewing is also not an issue, given that its LED trim lights are bright and easy to manage (but can be a little difficult to turn off when the car’s parked).

There’s also the Rockville standard disc of 300 games provided, which will keep eyes glued, and its ability to play music files will keep drivers happy.

Functions and Installation

As with many of the Rockville players on the cheaper end, the instructions aren’t great, and you’ll probably be looking at a professional installation. This model does offer HDMI ports, though, which is a huge selling point, even if the adapters provided aren’t of the best quality.

As mentioned, you can opt for the slightly older model, or you could choose their more expensive DVD player, which offers more stability and extra features.


  • Inexpensive DVD player
  • In-built FM transmitter
  • HDMI, USB, and SD Card slots available
  • LED trim lights with full customization


  • Adapters and built-in speakers are a little weak
  • Hard to follow instructions

3. Best Portable DVD Player: Wonnie Portable DVD Player

Wonnie Portable DVD Player

Why we like it: Accessible and easy to manage, you can use this portable DVD player quickly almost anywhere inside the car.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 14.1 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1280×800
  • Speakers: Built-In and Headphone Port
  • Unit Size: 4.39 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 13.7″ x 9.7″ x 1.4″

So, this may not technically be an overhead DVD player, but it can be secured in place, making the most of its ever adaptable screen. You have the choice of securing it anywhere, as its screen swivels every which way, both horizontally and vertically. Making the most of its flexibility, from mounting it on the headrest to up above, is useful.

Still, if you want it fully secured overhead, then the XTRONS Monitor is also pretty flexible. On the audio side, its headphones are limited, but you can choose to connect an auxiliary cable to the car stereo.

Who’s It For?

It offers a screen that can fit individual passengers’ needs far more efficiently while also saving places on the DVD, preventing potential bickering from kicking off. You can then easily take it with you when leaving the car, letting you pick up from where you left off.

This convenience makes the player perfect for those long trips, whether it be family or a group of friends who are coming along for the ride.

Functions and Installation

They’re not the most secure devices when traveling, plus the buttons are known to be a little awkward. If you plan on positioning them over or anywhere near the driver’s head, they must be secure when the vehicle is moving, as it could be a disaster if they fell at the wrong moment.

They don’t weigh much, though, so installing a custom-made mount shouldn’t be too much hassle, and you could even use one from another previous player if ready to hand.


  • Easy to maneuver
  • Saves film position
  • Lightweight and thin
  • Flexible positioning


  • Buttons can be awkward
  • Needs securing

4. Best Premium Overhead DVD Player: Rockville RVD14BGB Flip-Down

Rockville RVD14BGB Flip-Down

Why we like it: A sturdy family-friendly overhead DVD player packed with extra functions and add-ons to keep everyone content.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 14.1 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Speakers: Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and IR/FM Transmitters
  • Unit Weight: 9.6 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 16.14″ x 10.43″ x 2.56″

As a premium player, this is one of Rockville’s pricier models, but you do get what you pay for here. The picture is excellent with one of the highest resolutions around, and it’s in widescreen, meaning you’re closer to that home-cinema experience during road trips.

Running multiple headsets will keep many viewers happy and distracted at any one time, all while providing strong acoustics. With the ability to read several different file types as well, this player is likely to play the vast majority of your film catalog.

Who’s It For?

It’s a resilient piece of kit that’s perfectly designed for use with large families, providing optimal picture quality. Sturdy and functional, its anti-skip mechanism keeps the DVD from jumping at any inopportune moments. Transmitting sound to the headphones, the player has dual channels available, with stereo being optional, keeping everyone sorted on any long journeys.

Functions and Installation

Providing HDMI, USB, and SD card capabilities, this player comes fully equipped, along with being able to save the last scene. However, one major issue is the installation -it has proven to be somewhat tricky when putting it in place, and the mount itself has sometimes proved to be insufficient.

If you want something more stable and manageable to install, then Rockville does have a cheaper option, but it is a little more limited.


  • High-quality audio
  • Sturdy and resilient
  • Highest resolution
  • Last scene memory saving


  • Installation is tricky
  • Mount may be insufficient

5. Best Sounding DVD Player: Boss Audio Systems Flip-Down

Boss Audio Systems Flip-Down

Why we like it: Providing as many viewers as possible with high-quality audio, this is the ideal DVD player for groups of people.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 10.1 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1024×600
  • Speakers: Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and IR/FM Transmitters
  • Unit Weight: 8.3 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 9.6″ x 12.8″ x 2.2”

It should be no surprise that Boss Audio would provide some of the best sounds with their overhead DVD player. Delivering high-quality audio, the player comes with two pairs of headphones, establishing its professional sound quality even further.

With its interchangeable cover offering a choice of black, gray, and tan, it easily fits into the car’s overall infrastructure. The powerful dome light overhead cements this fact, as it becomes an integral component for the vehicle overall.

Who’s It For?

This player provides larger groups and families with radio and surround-sound music, making full use of its IR and FM transmitters. Tune in as many headphones as you want at any time, using its dual-channel capabilities through infrared and its strong FM frequency.

Plus, there’s no drop in sound quality, making it an easy choice if many viewers are tuning in. Using its 270° swivel screen providing maximum exposure, watching it shouldn’t be a problem either.

Functions and Installation

Despite having decent audio, it does fall in the options department, which, if you’re willing to deal with its sound hiccups, you’ll find better served through the Pyle Flip-Down player. There are also some known issues with it draining the car battery when stationary, so it’s best to make sure it’s disconnected when not in use. Fastening it securely in place is essential when installing it, as the screen tends to rattle otherwise.


  • Good quality audio
  • Unlimited headphones
  • Headphones included
  • Interchangeable covers


  • Can drain the car battery
  • Screen can rattle

6. Most Diverse Viewing Options: Pyle Vehicle Flip-Down

Pyle Vehicle Flip-Down

Why we like it: The feature friendly flip-down offering many options and formats to choose from when watching your DVD player, including the chance to stream TV.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 13.3 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 and 4:3 Switchable
  • Resolution: 1280×800
  • Speakers: Built-In Stereo, Wireless Headphones, and FM Transmitter
  • Unit Weight: 10.98 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 16.2” x 13.0” x 9.75”

Typically working with vehicle audio equipment, Pyle has delivered this feature-heavy overhead DVD player. Its flip-down monitor manages to provide lots of options, although it is surprising that its audio is lackluster given the company’s history.

That said, the interface is intuitive, making it easy to navigate, but it’s better at close-range as the infrared is pretty weak. While it lacks in signal strength, though, it more than makes up for it with convenience, saving the last scene with all formats and not skipping either.

Who’s It For?

It’s best for smaller cars as the signal strength isn’t great, but you do have the option of streaming TV, so there’s always something to watch if you run out of DVDs.

You may also find a high-pitched buzzing when using the FM transmitter, as it shifts with the car’s acceleration, but you can filter this out using a separate plug. If this is an issue, then the XTRONS monitor offers a fair few options.

Functions and Installation

Functionality is where the Pyle Flip-Down comes into its own, as it has more than enough features to keep you busy, connecting to streaming devices such as the Firestick through its HDMI. Offering all the options for listening to music you’d usually find with such a player, there’s also the bonus of television.

The installation process is hassle-free, although you will need to tuck a lot of excess wiring away.


  • Plenty of features
  • TV streaming capable
  • Last scene memory and anti-skip
  • Easy to navigate


  • IR Signal and audio is weak
  • FM transmitter can make high pitched buzzing

7. Most Versatile DVD Player: XTRONS TFT Monitor


Why we like it: Multifunctional and sleek, this is a versatile quality player, allowing larger groups to interact and share.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 10 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 and 4:3 Switchable
  • Resolution: 1280×800
  • Speakers: Built-In, Wireless Headphones, and IR/FM Transmitters
  • Unit Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 18″ x 13.8″ x 7.8”

When it comes to smooth, sleek designs, XTRONS go all out, giving their products polished glitzy exteriors. Providing a range of in-car entertainment, their TFT Monitor is one flashy looking piece of kit, both smooth and thin in appearance.

How does it hold up as a quality region-free DVD player, though, and is it worth all the fanfare? Well, to start with, it doesn’t drain the car battery when parked, which is a good start given that its dome light is relatively bright, along with its picture quality.

Who’s It For?

There’s quite a bit packed into this player, with it being more than gadget-friendly – offering link-ups and video sharing. Using its high-quality HDMI port, passengers can share files of their own quickly and easily through their phone, which is excellent for those on the way to a business meeting.

Given that the display rotates 180°, this also makes it ideal for large groups, as it can fit snugly into any limo. The USB port is sometimes slightly temperamental, though, as it’s a delicate piece of hardware.

Functions and Installation

Replacing your interior roof lighting, along with providing door control, the player quickly becomes an integral part of your vehicle’s infrastructure. Turning on and off with the door’s opening and closing, it uses positive and negative wiring when switching. It does have some trouble with the adaptor connections, though, which, HDMI aside, may take some work.

If it’s flexibility and easy access you want, then the Wonnie offers that, although that does need some fastening down, with the XTRONS installing securely.


  • Video sharing through phone
  • High-quality HDMI port
  • 180° rotating display
  • Positive and negative door control


  • The USB port can be an issue
  • Connections take some work

8. Highest Resolution DVD Player: XTRONS HD Digital Widescreen

XTRONS HD Digital Widescreen

Why we like it: This is great for the film enthusiast who wants to bring along home-cinema quality on every drive, with its high-quality HD screen.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Speakers: Built-In, Wireless IR/FM Transmitters
  • Unit Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 19.69″ x 5.51″ x 20.08”

Providing sleek designs with flashy exteriors, XTRONS are overhead DVD player regulars, offering digital quality viewing. This gadget is no exception, with its super thin design taking up little space in the vehicle.

With widescreen viewing in HD, it’s the closest you’re going to get to a home-cinema on four wheels. With the screen rotating 180° too, it’s easily accessible for everyone in the car.

Who’s It For?

At first glance, the obvious answer here would be film purists who don’t want to miss a single pixel. Easily fitting into a ride-share or even a professional limo service, the player also comes with two headphones for passengers.

While screen quality may not be such an issue for younger viewers, likely having seen the film a hundred times already, some animations still require a certain standard. It’s no good viewing the latest Pixar CGI laden blockbuster with glitches and grain. If this is the case, then the Sound Storm offers family-friendly high-quality and resolution.

Functions and Installation

HDMI offers the option of sharing films, but it’s a player mainly targeted towards watching movies in crystal clear quality. On the downside, its remote is relatively awkward to manage, while the player itself tends to be pretty noisy, which isn’t surprising given what it’s running.

While it may not be so attractive or offer HD, the RVD Flip-Down also has the same resolution, along with more in the way of functions and stability when installing.


  • First-rate resolution and screen
  • Thin design rotating 180°
  • Widescreen HD quality
  • Two headphones included


  • Infrared is awkward with remote
  • Player can be noisy

9. Best All-in-One DVD Player: Sound Storm Laboratories Ceiling Mount

Sound Storm Laboratories Ceiling Mount

Why we like it: Offering a quality screen with decent resolution in a family-friendly package, this is a versatile player that can be easily adapted to fit a variety of needs.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 13.3 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Speakers: Built-In, Wireless IR/FM Transmitters
  • Unit Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 16.50″ x 14.00″ x 6.50”

While this DVD player may not appear to be much at first, it does pave the way for some interesting extra functions. It’s a deceptively light piece of kit, despite its bulky appearance and set-up.

Providing interchangeable covers, you can fit it into the car’s overall make-up, allowing it to blend in seamlessly. An intense dome light tops it off, ensuring that it doesn’t get in the way once inside the car.

Who’s It For?

Given its size, it will need a bit of space to not get in the way, in which case a larger vehicle or van might be best. Once it’s in place, though, you do have a range of options, including hooking up a Blu-Ray through its memory card slot.

It does have a large LCD widescreen and high resolution, making it best for families looking for picture quality. If you’re not so bothered about it being family-friendly, then the XTRONS Widescreen also offers high-quality HD.

Functions and Installation

You do have the opportunity to play CDs and MP3s, although this does tend to be a little temperamental on occasion. It’s still a useful piece of hardware for the range of connections to be made, although it has trouble reading files outside of the AVI format, making for somewhat limited sharing.

You will likely need a professional installation, with its bulky frame. If this is too much of an issue, then the Rockville Flip-Down might be more for you, as it provides a powerful remote.


  • High resolution
  • Memory card slot with Blu-ray, CD, and MP3 optional
  • Interchangeable covers with black, grey, and tan available
  • Powerful dome lighting


  • Remote isn't powerful
  • Limited file reading

10. Most Basic DVD Player: Pyle Roof Mount TFT-LCD Monitor

Pyle Roof Mount TFT-LCD Monitor

Why we like it: With a minimum amount of fuss, this delivers your overhead DVD player pure and simple without any hassle.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Screen Size: 14.1 Inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1280×800
  • Speakers: Built-In and Wireless IR Headphones
  • Unit Weight: 8.7 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 2.7″ x 15.83″ x 13”

On the market for twenty years and running, this player from Pyle is a veteran in the world of overhead DVDs. Despite being old, though, it’s a simple but reliable DVD drive without any fuss, offering the basics of what you’ll require for watching films on the road.

Needing little in the way of setting it up, all you need is the roof of the vehicle, and you’re ready to go. It will fit into pretty much any car and doesn’t take up too much space either, being a straightforward model and design.

Who’s It For?

Anyone who’s not so technically savvy and just wants to watch DVDs will appreciate this player, although music is available with CD and MP3s being optional. This DVD may be a good fit for older vehicles limited in functionality, such as the back of a vintage camper wagon.

There’s an anti-skip mechanism, and you should find it useful in the rear of older cars where wiring is limited.

Functions and Installation

Along with its anti-skip, there’s last scene memory so you can save your place, as well as dome lighting overhead. You don’t get a headphone jack, so you’re going to need to rely on the IR when listening outside of the in-built speakers.

With a few more functions and a cheaper price tag, the Rockville Beige Flip-Down might not be so bare-bones, but it still offers simplicity with a quality DVD player.


  • Anti-skip last scene memory
  • Simple design
  • Powerful dome lights
  • CD and MP3 capabilities


  • Limited functionality
  • No headphone jack

Guide to Buying the Best Overhead DVD Players

Not everyone wants to fiddle with the nitty-gritty technical details when it comes to DVD players, but there are some easy tips and tricks to help ensure your purchase goes smoothly. We’ve already explored the key factors to consider when buying an overhead DVD player, and here we’ll take an even closer look, breaking down how you can get the most from your DVD unit.

Safety First

First things first, you need to ensure that the mount is secured tightly to the roof, as it’s not just the driver that could get hurt, but the passengers as well. We’ll look at whether or not professional installations are better further down, but the unit must be able to endure any sudden jerks.

It’s also the case that some larger screens can obstruct the driver’s view, so you must make sure there’s enough space inside the vehicle so that this isn’t an issue.

DVD Player Troubleshooting

You don’t have to be a technical whizz to understand the fundamentals of checking out your player when things go wrong.

Check the DVD

This may seem like an obvious one, but check the DVD itself first, making sure there aren’t any scratches or blemishes on the surface. If this is the case, make sure to wipe it with a cloth while being careful not to scratch it further.

Disc Keeps Bumping

Bumpy roads aren’t always easy to avoid. If you often spend time driving over rough terrain or in remote areas away from the freeway, it’s best to ensure your player comes with an anti-skip mechanism. The Rockville Black is our favorite in this regard. We find it much more stable when compared to other options.

Power Failure

There’s always a lot of wiring that comes with an overhead DVD player, especially when it’s running off the car battery. Mostly the wiring gets hidden from view, so you want to regularly check all the connections, making sure nothing is frayed or disconnected.

Screen Not Coming Down

Usually, it’s the case that the screen is connected directly to the car battery. First, try restarting the car to make sure that enough power is getting through to the player. Then, if this doesn’t work, check the fuse, seeing whether or not it’s blown and needs replacing.

Check the Settings

You may find that the DVD player’s menu settings can help you. It could be a case of the screen not being bright enough, or the volume isn’t loud enough, in which case you may simply need to make adjustments from the player itself. Align them with the rest of the car, ensuring factors such as the vehicle’s stereo volume being in sync.

Cleaning Your Overhead DVD Player and General Maintenance

Keeping your overhead unit free of dirt and muck is essential, which is especially difficult when continuously faced with prodding greasy hands. External weather conditions can also be an issue, such as a particularly frostbitten night. While many players have protections against this, you can help extend the life of the unit yourself.

It’s going to be a hassle removing and reattaching the mount every time you want to fix it, so it’s best just to focus on the player itself. It goes without saying, but always make sure to unplug everything first to avoid any nasty shocks.


For cleaning, you’ll need either some cleaning tips or cotton swabs, along with lens cleaner fluid, an air-canister, and the required screwdrivers. Remove the cover with the screwdrivers, then dip the swab or tip into some solution, gently rubbing it across the lens, and be careful not to scratch it. Then, using the air-canister, blast away any dust and debris.

A canister is best, as anything else, such as a hoover, could damage the interior. You may want to test a DVD at this point to ensure it’s all working before putting it back together. To clean the player’s surface exterior, you want to use the mildest of soaps to avoid staining.


Maintaining the DVD tray motor is similar to cleaning, in that you need to open up the player just as before. Keeping the tray lubricated is a must, as you don’t want that favorite classic film jamming in the machine. You’ll find this is simply a case of unclipping and lifting the travel rail out, using a swab to lubricate it with fluid or denatured alcohol, checking for any bends where people may have been pulling at it.

Removing the drive belt may require tweezers, then you can either clean it with a swab or replace it if need be.

You can test it using a multimeter for the motor before unplugging the motor plug and spraying it with electrical contact cleaner. When removing or replacing the motor, you want to depress or unscrew each end of the bale before carefully lifting it out.

Assessing the DVD player mount after you’ve finished is always vital, as, going back to safety, you don’t want it to come crashing down later on.

Overhead DVD Player FAQ

Here are our answers to the most commonly asked questions when it comes to overhead DVD players.

Should I Buy a DVD or Blu-Ray Player?

A DVD player is an ideal base unit to start with, as you can always add extras over time. There are also overheads DVD players that work with Blu-Ray. Still,  you want to make sure the player is stable and reliable before building it up with extra functions.

How Do You Install a DVD Player Overhead?

As mentioned in the safety section above, you need to ensure that you’ve installed the player correctly. You may feel you can do it yourself, and some players, like the Plye Vehicle Flip Down, are easier to install than others. Along with safety, it’s also the matter of convenience you need to consider, as the flip-down needs to achieve its purpose without being obstructed.

How Can I Make My Overhead DVD Player Look Good?

It may seem like a simple point to make, but clashing colors aren’t desirable. Few would want a gentle cream-colored exterior with a bright red player stuck in the middle. Make sure to see what colors are available and, if at all possible, whether or not the player comes with interchangeable covers, like the Boss Audio Systems Flip Down.

Where Should I Position an Overhead DVD Player?

Some players are more adaptable, fitting in freely around the car. The Wonnie Portable is a good example of this. Others you’ll find have less adaptability. You’ll want to fix these in a central position for maximum exposure.

It’s best to use a swivel screen, with a few offering more flexibility on this front, like the XTRONS TFT Monitor. Sunlight is also essential, especially with rays hitting the screen, which is why a brightness of 400 nits or above is best, if available when viewing from an angle.
cream overhead monitor

Closing Credits

Whether it’s for convenience or functionality, whatever you opt for, you want to choose something that fits everyone’s needs.

From keeping the passengers happy to making sure the driver isn’t distracted, there is a lot to consider here. Getting the all-important balance between the two can be tricky, but with some research, you will be able to reach your final destination without hearing the dreaded words ‘are we nearly there yet.’

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