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2011-11-16 8:50 AM

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Subject: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

We bought a portable DVD player 6 years ago and only used it on long car trips with the kids. We pulled it out for our upcoming trip and it is dead. Husband bought new cables but it is a no go.

We will be driving from Houston to Michigan for Thanksgiving with 4 kids. It sure would be nice to have some entertainment options.

Our original plan was to buy an ipad next spring (tax return) but now that we have to buy something for this trip we are wondering if we don't put out some extra money and get it down. We haven't even looked into what exactly the ipad will do for us.

So you've got 4 kids ages 4-16 in a car for two days each way - how do you keep them entertained?

 



2011-11-16 9:05 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

A DVD player will play movies, that's it, but a movie can entertain 4 kids at a time.

An iPad will play movies, music, if you have a wi-fi connection you can surf the internet, you can play a ton of games, write a paper and drop it onto your PC through several apps, learn a language, and so on. BUT only 1 person can play on it at a time, although a few apps do have multiperson games.

We have some travel games we take along. Travel Bingo, 4-square, Scrabble and such. My brother used to take a notebook along and list all of the different state license plates he would see, and how many of each. When my sister and her family were driving from CA to FL and them up to MD I put together a notebook that had facts and coloring pages on each state they would be driving through. The younger kids might like something like that.

Good luck with your trip, that's a very long drive. 

 



Edited by ironannekidd 2011-11-16 9:08 AM
2011-11-16 10:02 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

I would say that if you don't get an iPad with a 3G connection and internet service it's not very useful in this scenario, unless you can turn your existing phone into a wifi spot.  Either option requires a monthly service fee.  The apps are only going to amount to simple games without the internet.  If you wanted to stream a movie, for instance, you'd have to have internet service.     Unless you really wanted an iPad anyway, I would just get the DVD player.

When we were kids we brought books to read or played games together, or just looked out the window or napped.  I guess that's not an option these days?  We took a lot of road trips as kids.

Edit to add:  You could download movies in advance through iTunes.



Edited by BikerGrrrl 2011-11-16 10:02 AM
2011-11-16 10:55 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

Headrest mount in case you go with the iPad (which I would recommend)

http://www.amazon.com/Arkon-iPad-Mount-Custom-Holder/dp/B004M8ST54/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_5

2011-11-16 11:00 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
BikerGrrrl - 2011-11-16 10:02 AM

I would say that if you don't get an iPad with a 3G connection and internet service it's not very useful in this scenario, unless you can turn your existing phone into a wifi spot.  Either option requires a monthly service fee.  The apps are only going to amount to simple games without the internet.  If you wanted to stream a movie, for instance, you'd have to have internet service.     Unless you really wanted an iPad anyway, I would just get the DVD player.

When we were kids we brought books to read or played games together, or just looked out the window or napped.  I guess that's not an option these days?  We took a lot of road trips as kids.

Edit to add:  You could download movies in advance through iTunes.

Yes, when we were kids, we used to do everything in the car.  We played games, etc.  Lots of road trips too.  The difference now, is that the kids are strapped into the car for hours on end.  When I was younger, we were able to move about the car freely....heck, I used to sleep in the floorboard or the back window seal.  Things have definitely changed since then.

Yes, the Ipad is nice to have, as it can play games, movies, etc.  Plenty of App's to keep people entertained.

That being said, you will have 4 kids and 1 Ipad?  They would have to share time.

I do think they make something that you can put up and play movies for everyone on the Ipad (hangs on the back of a seat, or between the chairs), kind of makes a DVD type player out of it and it may even have a speaker hookup or something.

All that being said, we bring books, coloring books and try to play games some.  We also have Ipod Touches (one for each child, 2 boys), where they can play some games on them (some are educational, so it works out well too).  We have not downloaded movies yet, but we plan to do that for some upcoming airplane trips to see how it works out.   You can also set restrictions on them, so they don't access stuff that you do not wish for them to access, which we like.

The Ipod touches can keep them entertained pretty well, and are flexible in that they can play games, listen to music, watch a movie, and each one can do/have what they want to play/watch.  I would imagine the 4yo has much different taste than the 16yo.

We found ours for sale on Woot, and got a pretty good deal on the 8gb version, so it made it worth a purchase.  For what you would pay for an Ipad, you might be able to get 4 of them for about the same price (but then you are left out of the equation).



Edited by pilotzs 2011-11-16 11:02 AM
2011-11-16 11:03 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
BikerGrrrl - 2011-11-16 10:02 AM

When we were kids we brought books to read or played games together, or just looked out the window or napped.  I guess that's not an option these days?  We took a lot of road trips as kids.

Obviously it is. And you and I could get along just fine without a computer or cell phone.



2011-11-16 11:13 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

Our oldest has an itouch he got years ago from another family member, he also has a gf I am sure he will be texting.

We don't let them watch movies the whole time. We set limits. Generally, movies are only for night time when they can't see well to read. I actually plan on sitting back with my girls 8 & 9 and doing lots of school stuff (I homeschool) we have also made a list of the states we will visit and talked about what makes them special/cool. So it's not going to be 13 hours of movies two days in a row. We will also have the kids take turns.

If we went with an ipad the two girls sitting next to each other would have it for X amount of time and then it would go to another child.

And yes, it does make a difference when the kids are strapped in carseats. The 4 year old is in a 5 point harness, the two other girls are in booster chairs and everybody else is in regular seatbelts. We also traveled at night when I was a kid and that isn't part of our plan since we don't want to be exhausted and have to drive for 2 full days as it is.

Our standard is no electronics unless the ride is at least 4 hours. Most of the minivans carting kids in our area are showing movies between ballet and baseball practice.

 

 

2011-11-16 11:22 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

We used to have a minivan with the DVD player in it and the headphones for all the kids. That worked out pretty well, but they would watch a movie then look out the window, then sleep, the eat a snack, then watch another movie, then bathroom break, then etc.........

We got rid of our Minivan (and the DVD that was attached to it) and now we have iPod touches for the two oldest and either me or my wife gives the youngest our iPhone.  we buy the refurbished off of the apple website so they are a generation older and discounted.  There are enough free games out there to download and you can get one for $1 - $5.  that way they can all watch their own movie on it or play a game or whatever they want to do.  We don't let them on the internet yet.  My kids are 3, 5, and 9.  They all know how to work the iPod touches so there is no holding anyone's hand.  If they all want to watch the same movie we just let them watch my wife's iPad and run the volume over the bluetooth in our car speakers, so they can all hear, otherwise the volume isn't loud enough for the one in the 3rd row to hear it.  It still amounts to the same routine though.  watch a movie, play a game or two, look out the window, color, play with action figures, eat a snack, bathroom break, watch a movie, sleep, etc.......  So I'd say that it's not a necessity, but it helps.  I think you'd get more bang for your buck out of the iPod touches though.  4 will cost about as much as the base level iPad and really do all the same stuff.

2011-11-16 11:24 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

 

I'd go iPad if you are planning on buying one anyway. There are plenty of multiplayer games you can load on it and depending on what size memory you buy you should be able to get quite a few movies and such loaded on it.

2011-11-16 11:38 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
jgaither - 2011-11-16 11:22 AM

We used to have a minivan with the DVD player in it and the headphones for all the kids. That worked out pretty well, but they would watch a movie then look out the window, then sleep, the eat a snack, then watch another movie, then bathroom break, then etc.........

We got rid of our Minivan (and the DVD that was attached to it) and now we have iPod touches for the two oldest and either me or my wife gives the youngest our iPhone.  we buy the refurbished off of the apple website so they are a generation older and discounted.  There are enough free games out there to download and you can get one for $1 - $5.  that way they can all watch their own movie on it or play a game or whatever they want to do.  We don't let them on the internet yet.  My kids are 3, 5, and 9.  They all know how to work the iPod touches so there is no holding anyone's hand.  If they all want to watch the same movie we just let them watch my wife's iPad and run the volume over the bluetooth in our car speakers, so they can all hear, otherwise the volume isn't loud enough for the one in the 3rd row to hear it.  It still amounts to the same routine though.  watch a movie, play a game or two, look out the window, color, play with action figures, eat a snack, bathroom break, watch a movie, sleep, etc.......  So I'd say that it's not a necessity, but it helps.  I think you'd get more bang for your buck out of the iPod touches though.  4 will cost about as much as the base level iPad and really do all the same stuff.

Sounds exactly like our trips in the car.

2011-11-16 11:43 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
I vote iPad too. I bought one when the iPad2 came out and we really use it a lot. I'm seriously considering buying a second one since it is nearly impossible to get it away from my wife!


2011-11-17 4:11 PM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
KeriKadi - 2011-11-16 11:13 AM

Our oldest has an itouch he got years ago from another family member, he also has a gf I am sure he will be texting.

We don't let them watch movies the whole time. We set limits. Generally, movies are only for night time when they can't see well to read. I actually plan on sitting back with my girls 8 & 9 and doing lots of school stuff (I homeschool) we have also made a list of the states we will visit and talked about what makes them special/cool. So it's not going to be 13 hours of movies two days in a row. We will also have the kids take turns.

If we went with an ipad the two girls sitting next to each other would have it for X amount of time and then it would go to another child.

And yes, it does make a difference when the kids are strapped in carseats. The 4 year old is in a 5 point harness, the two other girls are in booster chairs and everybody else is in regular seatbelts. We also traveled at night when I was a kid and that isn't part of our plan since we don't want to be exhausted and have to drive for 2 full days as it is.

Our standard is no electronics unless the ride is at least 4 hours. Most of the minivans carting kids in our area are showing movies between ballet and baseball practice.

 

 

Wow. Maybe the wife and I should take classes or something.

We are driving Dallas-Albuquerque over Thanksgiving with two 4-year-old girls. Two iPad2s with games and 60+ movies between the two and two iPhones (ours) that they can watch Netflix on.

We do make them watch one iPad together for movies at least.

2011-11-17 5:50 PM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

We are driving from MA to TX this weekend. We do frequent trips of 1500-1700 miles but this whopper is 2100 miles and we get to do it twice in 10 days.

We have a system for everything...travel clothes, travel food, and a system of drinking and bathroom breaks..not drinking after bathroom breaks for a couple hours. Try to time bathroom breaks with meals or gas stops. Make a list of food to order at stops so we order quickly.

We have built in DVD players in both our minivans...now that our kids that travel with us are 13-17 they aren't really interested in them much. They may watch 1 or 2 movies in a 12 hour day of driving.  We also have a portable DVD player as our youngest doesn't like scary stuff.

Our kids enjoy their MP3 players, texting, can't read or they get sick. Other thing besides games we do is listen to books on tape. Our youngest is reading Lord of the Flies next term and we may read along and get the audio to listen too. My husband doesn't think it is a great book for kids. I may go to library to pick up some audio books tomorrow. It is hit or miss, sometimes we find great ones others are dogs. Listening to Harry Potter is a great way to spend time riding..narrator is awesome.

How much are portable DVD players these days. I'd lean towards getting one or two or 1 with two screens as the price is cheap. When we flew to China with young kids...we bought a Panasonic and it was quite expensive back 8 years ago. You could rent some DVDs at Redbox to have some new ones that are interesting for $1 a day instead of buying or renting some. Easy to return when you get to your destination or along the way. 1 new I pad I see as lots of debate who gets to use it now. I know you are a great parent and would help structure it fair for your kids but the newness and excitement may make it harder on younger kids.

Do you have an inverter so you can plug in things to charge? It is very helpful on long trips as batteries run out.

2011-11-17 7:26 PM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

We went with the iPad. My husband has loaded a few movies into it and we will load a few games and educational stuff. The portable DVD player was going to be $200 and that is something we use maybe once a year so we decided to go with something we planned to get anyway in the iPad. We also picked up a headrest attachment so hopefull that will help allowing more than one or two to watch at a time.

 

2011-11-17 7:37 PM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

Makes sense that you went with ipad. It would be neat to have a second screen.

Do you have an inverter to put in so you can plug in to use or recharge?

Not sure how long battery life ipad has.

Safe travels!

2011-11-17 8:44 PM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

KathyG - 2011-11-17 5:50 PM

Other thing besides games we do is listen to books on tape.

Before kids, we used to listen to books on tape on road trips (including motorcycle trips) which we did extensively. I hear that you can check out books on tape (cd and electronic) from the public library.

Now, we listen to animated movies endlessly. This will be our first trip where we're going to try headphones. On that note, iPad speakers are probably not powerful enough to hear in a car. We plug it into the car audio or use an external speaker.



2011-11-17 10:24 PM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

I'd go laptop with blue ray player...  much more versatile and cheaper than ipad...  best of all you can check movies out from the library and you don't get stuck in Apple's i-tunes monopoly...

2011-11-18 8:49 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
BikerGrrrl - 2011-11-16 11:02 AM

I would say that if you don't get an iPad with a 3G connection and internet service it's not very useful in this scenario, unless you can turn your existing phone into a wifi spot.  Either option requires a monthly service fee.  The apps are only going to amount to simple games without the internet.  If you wanted to stream a movie, for instance, you'd have to have internet service.     Unless you really wanted an iPad anyway, I would just get the DVD player.

When we were kids we brought books to read or played games together, or just looked out the window or napped.  I guess that's not an option these days?  We took a lot of road trips as kids.

Edit to add:  You could download movies in advance through iTunes.

Without a doubt get the iPad.  DVD player is a single function device.  iPad is so much more.

As for "simple games" the iPad has a version of Risk that allows up to 4 players to play.  My family has killed a few hours on a trip by passing the iPad around each turn for a game of Risk.  Lots of others like this as well (almost any major board game you can imagine).

As for movies you can download them ahead of time on the iPad.  No internet connection required.  Once you get one you'll have tons of more uses for it as well.  And there are more ways to get movies on it than iTunes... just sayin...



Edited by TriRSquared 2011-11-18 8:50 AM
2011-11-18 8:57 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
I agree with the iPad. You don't have to worry about skipping or scratched discs. Most new movies come with a digital copy that allows you to put it on a mobile device. If you have older DVD's you can find programs on the web to get them into a format for use on an iPad. I'd give you a name and a link but don't want to get BT in trouble. Should be easy enough to find though.

A head phone splitter works well too for having multiply people listen to a movie.
2011-11-18 9:16 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
I would try to preload as many movies as you can, because streaming movies with 3G might be too slow.

If your kids like books, check into the library for free books that you can borrow for 14 days (typically). They have audiobooks too.

The speakers are really quiet, so you'll either need a multi-headphone jack, or some type of speakers.

The nice part about the iPad data plan is that you can sign up one month, than cancel it the next month, so you are not locked into a yearly contract. Whenever we go on road trips, I will pay for the $15 data plan from AT+T and use my iPad for gps, etc., since we don't own smartphones.

The battery does last a while, but I suggest an inverter or ipod-car charger just in case. Goodluck on the drive!
2011-11-18 9:24 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???

See.... I was worried about the sound with the iPad. What can we do? We have a 2004 Toyota Sienna so I don't think plugging it into the sound system is an option. We did get a head rest attachment so the kids will be able to see it but I guess the kids in the way back won't be able to hear it, bummer.



2011-11-18 9:30 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
What about something like this:
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=portable+speakers&um=1&ie=...

I haven't used this personally, but something that works off batteries could work. Or you could get headphone splitters with multiple headphones.
2011-11-18 9:45 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
In cars with no aux/usb plug, I have the Altec Lansing portable speakers which uses AAA batteries. The only challenge is figuring out where to put it when the iPad is headrest mounted. I ended up buying an extension cord for the mini plug (the build-in one is about 6") and placing the speaker pointed back in a cup holder.
2011-11-18 9:51 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
KeriKadi - 2011-11-18 10:24 AM

See.... I was worried about the sound with the iPad. What can we do? We have a 2004 Toyota Sienna so I don't think plugging it into the sound system is an option. We did get a head rest attachment so the kids will be able to see it but I guess the kids in the way back won't be able to hear it, bummer.

We have one of these... Then get a couple of headphone extensions.  Problem solved...

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-RockStar-Headphones-splitter-mini-phone/dp/B001KWVT0C

2020-03-04 2:24 AM
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Subject: RE: What should we get - ipad? Portable DVD player???
If I were you I will choose the iPad. Because it can play movies, play games, play music, etc. You can download movies on your computer. Then use a video converter, like Joyoshare Video Converter, to convert the movies to iPad-compatible format. Next, use iTunes to sync the videos to the iPad. Therefore, you can watch movies in the car without Wifi, 4G.
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