How To Install a Headrest DVD Player In a Car (2023)

How To Install a Headrest DVD Player In a Car

Installing a headrest DVD player for your car is the most diplomatic things you can do if you have a family, especially if you take to the road regularly.

While you might enjoy listening to music on the road, it can be a little boring for children sat in the back, especially on those long journeys. You could give up your stereo and play some nursery rhymes for them, or even better: you could entertain them with a car DVD player each.

A headrest DVD player is one of the best car accessories and makes absolute sense for those long trips, and the best ones will allow you to do much more. As well as watching a movie, any half decent device will allow you to connect a smartphone, tablet, or a gaming console so the kids can keep themselves entertained while you take care of the driving.

It’s a no-brainer really, especially if you have children and you regularly hit the road. Just imagine, no more complaining about getting there, or even worse: giving up your car stereo.

This article explains how to install a portable DVD player, by locking it into the headrest of your car seats. There are different types of connectors to the headrest, but the wiring is pretty much the same. And the best thing is you should be able to get the job done in less than 1 hour.

Types of Headrest DVD Players

Before we install the headrest DVD player, let’s take a closer look at the different types, so you can make an informed decision about the one that’s best for your car and budget.

Vehicle Specific Headrest DVD players are designed specifically for certain cars. These are generally more expensive as the headrest surround of the DVD player will be finished in exactly the same color and material your car seats are.

Universal Headrest DVD players are as you can imagine, universal and will fit in any vehicle. Like the vehicle specific players, these devices are a headrest with built in DVD player. The headrest posts are adjustable and come with guides to ensure they fit the size of your post diameter.

Active Headrest Players are another different type of car DVD player, and these, although the mounting brackets differ are pretty much universal, too.

The other two come with a headrest itself, whereas the Active Headrest is just the portable DVD player. With these, you secure the mounting bracket onto the seat posts and lock it to the swivel plate that protrudes from the back of your portable DVD player.

(Video) DVD Headrest monitor installation video HD -

How To Install an Active Headrest DVD Player

Vehicle Specific DVD players are the nicest as these blend perfectly into your car interior as long as you do a good job with the installation. The Universal headrests with built-in DVD player can look a bit awkward, in my opinion. I do explain the differences with the installation of these, but I will explain the full installation process for an active headrest DVD player as these are the most popular.

How To Install a Headrest DVD Player In a Car (1)

Of course, each brand is slightly different, but active headrests are basically the same installation: secure the mounting bracket to the seat posts, fix the swivel plate onto your mounting bracket, and then wire it up.

To install the mounting hardware, you first need to slide up the headrest. Your active headrest DVD player will likely come with different sized adapters (grips) that will sit around your headrest posts. Choose the size that will fit on your car seat posts and put them on each headrest post.

Now the bracket that holds the DVD player onto your headrest needs fixing on the back of your device. For my player that includes two mounting brackets, one that secures into the back of the DVD, and another spring-loaded bracket that secures onto the adapters that sit tightly around your 2 seat posts.

They aren’t all spring loaded, it just depends which brand you get. So, whether it is or it needs to be screwed on the mounting bracket needs to be secured firmly to your seat posts.

Once you have your bracket secured between your seat posts, you can slide the swivel plate bracket into the back of the device and then secure to the holding bracket.

For this you should just slide the bracket into the fitting, and then screw them down securely. As I say, each car DVD player is different, and some seat post brackets aren’t spring loaded, but instead you secure them around the seat posts with screws. Whichever type you have, the process is pretty simple.

Now you should be able to check that your headrest DVD player is securely fastened, and that you can manoeuvre it around at different angles on the brackets without it coming loose or slipping.

Once your portable car DVD player is secured to the headrest, you need to wire it up. First connect the AV power cable. Plug it into the back of your DVD player and neatly conceal the hanging wire behind the seat panel.


The best way to make this neat is to either tuck the cable in behind the lip of your car seat, or remove the back and hide them inside the car seat altogether. You don’t want hanging wires as it looks messy and it could lead to accidents with young children.

How To Install a Headrest DVD Player In a Car (2)

Once your wires are concealed down the back of the seat, the rest of the cable should come out from the bottom of your seat and go up the side of the center console. Tuck it neatly up the center console, and lead it to your accessory port, or cigarette lighter, so you can connect to your vehicle electrics.

If you intend installing dual portable DVD players for your car on both headrests, it will help if you have 2 accessory ports, so you can plug each one in a separate port. However, many cars only have 1, so if this is your car, fear not, because you can simply buy a splitter, which is basically an adapter with more ports. B07FDQLL7K

A great feature of having 2 headrest DVD players is that there will be no arguments with the kids about who watches what.

Having 2 monitors allows them to play separate things, with headphones on of course, but if you connect them both they can also watch the same movie or play the same game.

To do this, simply connect the AV output of one unit to the input of the other on the RCA connectors, and vice versa. Once they’re all connected, both monitors will be able to display the same thing simultaneously.

Install Universal DVD Headrests

Universal DVD Headrests are an all-in-one headrest and DVD player. To install this simply take out your car headrest and replace it with your headrest DVD player.

How To Install a Headrest DVD Player In a Car (3)

Initially, you should insert the guides into the seat post openings so the post securely fits and won’t rattle about, and then slide the headrest into the openings.

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The AV cable for these DVD players will be concealed down the seat post and inside the car seat. So make sure to insert that before sliding down the adjustable posts.

The wires will then be installed and hidden inside the back of your seat, but to connect it to the cigarette lighter, you have to open the back seat panel.

So, whether it needs prying off or the fastening tape that holds the back panel on needs pulling away, get access to inside the back of your seat. And then as with the Active Headrest DVD installation organize the wiring neatly.

Install Vehicle Specific DVD Headrests

These are the same as Universal headrests, and will of course be a perfect fit and exact match for the interior of your car. They look smart because they are designed for your car, but they are the most expensive.

Also, these will likely connect to the central control box of your car rather than the accessory port. Your Vehicle Specific Headrest DVD player will come with full installation instructions, so simply follow the manufacturer’s guide.

Do More Than Watch Movies

Headrest DVD players are great for the children who want to watch movies on long journeys, but there is so much more you can do on them. You can also connect a gaming console and play games, and even watch videos from YouTube or Netflix if you connect your iPhone or tablet to the portable DVD player.

For this you will need the right extension from your smartphone so you can plug into the HDMI port. Your headrest DVD player will come with a HDMI cable, but you will need an extension to connect with your phone.

Getting the right adapter will depend whether you have an iPhone or Android, but most likely they will be a USB-C or a USB-A. And you will run the HDMI from the monitor to your adapter, which will be connected to your smartphone.

You can also get a Bluetooth DVD player for a car, with others boasting WiFi connectivity. This will give you more options for connecting your external devices, but for the best connection a HDMI lead is best.

How To Listen To Headrest DVD Players

Most portable DVD players for a car won’t have speakers installed, so you need to connect them in one of two ways.

(Video) Best Headrest Monitor For Car 2023

Most will come with a built-in FM modulator, which takes the audio program and converts it into a FM radio station. This will allow you to play the audio through your car stereo and out via your speakers.

But of course, listening to Pixar movies or first-person shooter games isn’t the best way for you to enjoy a long trip while you’re behind the wheel.

So, the ideal way is to let the kids listen to their devices through some headphones. The best car DVD players will come with wireless headphones, but if yours doesn’t it will definitely have the option of connecting some wired headphones.

Even if you invest in a dual DVD player for a car, your children will be able to listen to different things at the same time on each monitor, if they are watching different things of course. And the best devices will allow the listener to switch what they’re listening to from one device to the other.

Installing a Headrest DVD Player

Installing a Headrest DVD Player is so easy, and allows your passengers to enjoy their favorite 007 movies or let the kids watch the latest animated movie to keep them occupied.

You can install them within 30 minutes if you know what you’re doing and just want to conceal the wires behind the lip of the panel.

But for a professional job, you should remove the panel on the back of the seat and ensure the wires are secured in the firmly, and then run the wires nicely concealed so they run up to your accessory port.

Of course, if you have vehicle specific portable DVD players, you should connect them to the central control box. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds and your instruction manual will have a step-by-step guide for how to do it.

Good luck with the installation and let your kids start enjoying those long road trips.


How much does it cost to put DVD player in headrest? ›

A headrest DVD player is a DVD player that is installed directly into the headrest of the two front seats, allowing passengers in the back seats of the car to watch DVDs. A headrest DVD player is a great option for families and vehicles of all sizes, and installation can cost between $150 and $350.

How do headrest DVD players get power? ›

Each headrest requires 12 volt power from the vehicle's electrical system. This can be accomplished either by connecting power wires included with the headrests to the fuse box or with cigarette lighter plugs which are sometimes included in our packages.

How do you install a headrest in a car seat? ›

Installing an adjustable headrest into the original seats of the car is a very easy process. All you've got to do is line up the two spokes of the headrest with the 2 holes on top of your seat, slide it in and lock it in place with the help of the tab provided at the plastic bit that surrounds the holes.

Is driving without headrests illegal? ›

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is not legal to remove the headrests from a vehicle. It is unlikely that police would cite an individual for this infraction, as there is generally not much attention paid to it.

Can I replace my car headrest? ›

If you want to change out the headrests in your vehicle because the current ones are old or in poor shape, or because they are uncomfortable, you need to make sure the replacements will work with your model of vehicle, and that they are safe enough to install and still provide you with added protection during a rear ...

Are car DVD players worth it? ›

If you are looking to upgrade your vehicle's infotainment options, a DVD player is a good place to start. These units can be portable or permanently installed, depending on your needs. They provide a wide range of features and are a great way to entertain children, and even adults, on long road trips.

Why do cars in movies have no headrests? ›

In a lot of cases, the headrests will be missing. The adjustable cushions are there to help protect your head and neck in the event of an accident, but in fiction, they tend to get in the way of the camera when it's trying to photograph passengers. Which is the same reason why rearview mirrors are often removed, too.

Should the headrest be above or below your head? ›

Good positioning is critical

To work well, the top of the restraint should reach at least as high as the top of your ears, and preferably the top of your head, and be relatively close—4 inches or less—to the back of your head. Adjustable restraints are the most common type.

Do you use headrest while driving? ›

[4] While you may not be able to prevent a collision, you can reduce the risk of whiplash from an accident just by adjusting your headrests. You may not have thought of your headrest as a safety feature like you would seatbelt or an airbag, but it can help keep you safe and reduce the risk of whiplash.

What is the purpose of the drivers headrest? ›

In case of collision, either rear or front-end, our body experiences sudden force so powerful that our neck and head may abruptly jerk forward and backward. The headrest can help keep that motion under control, which may otherwise cause whiplash injury or worse.

How do car headrests work? ›

The inertia caused by an impact from the rear presses the upper body into the back of the seat. This movement triggers the back rest and lever, which bring the headrest forward automatically to decrease the distance between head and headrest. This reduces risk of injury by preventing stretching of the neck vertebrae.

What year did headrests become mandatory? ›

FVMSS No. 202, which became effective on January 1, 1969, required that head restraints be at least 700 mm (27.5 in) above the seating reference point or limit the relative angle between the head and the torso to 45 degrees or less during a dynamic test.

Are headrests worth it? ›

Office chairs with a headrest help to reduce pain associated with working long hours. Office chairs with a headrest also help to protect you from neck, shoulder, and back pain which are some of the most common problems associated with using an office chair for a long period of time.

Do headrests prevent whiplash? ›

Correctly Adjusted Headrest Can Prohibit Severe Whiplash In A Car Accident. We know how important our pillow is to preventing neck strain, but the proper use of a well- engineered headrest can dramatically reduce the injury caused from whiplash in a car accident.

Are all car headrests interchangeable? ›

And then there's the option you're asking about: seeing if another headrest fits in your car. They're not all interchangeable.

What is the headrest in a car called? ›

But think again. Head restraints — also sometimes called headrests — don't just hinder rear visibility and give you a comfortable place to rest your head in the car; they play an important role in protecting the head and neck in a vehicle crash and help prevent injuries like whiplash. More Safety News.

What is the correct placement of headrest? ›

The seat back angle is relatively upright, and this allows the head restraint to be positioned close to the back of the head. The top of the head restraint is level with the top of the occupant's head, which will also help to prevent injury.

Should my head touch the headrest in a car? ›

If your head is resting against the restraint, it's fine, but it doesn't have to be touching unless that's how you drive comfortably. The distance from the back of your head should be as small as possible, however, and safety professionals recommend less than four inches or 10 cm.

Is it OK to leave DVDs in car? ›

Most of CD, DVD, Blu-ray are made of polycarbonate, which can easily lose its shape when we leave in the car. If the temperature is above room temperature, lipsticks, lip lotions, oils, waxes can melt.

What do I need to know when buying a DVD player? ›

  • 1080p. This is one of the more important terms to know when buying a DVD player. ...
  • Progressive Scan. ...
  • DVD Region Coding. ...
  • Up-converting DVD players. ...
  • USB or Memory Drive Connectivity. ...
  • Parental Lockout. ...
  • Dolby Digital. ...
  • DTS Digital Theater System.
Mar 21, 2021

What are the disadvantages of DVD players? ›

What are the disadvantages of DVD?
  • It will take years for movies and software to become widely available.
  • It can't record (yet).
  • It has built-in copy protection and regional lockout.
  • It uses digital compression. ...
  • or vague.
  • The audio downmix process for stereo/Dolby Surround can reduce dynamic range.

Why are the headrests in new cars so uncomfortable? ›

A lot of the new cars have headrests that are tilted forward, so much so that at times it feel like they're pushing on the back of your scalp. This in turn makes the driver feel like they can't keep their neck in its natural position. The reason for the way these headrests are is simple – safety.

What car had speakers in the headrest? ›

For the Nissan Juke there's an array of eight speakers, but the most important are the UltraNearfield speakers built into the headrests of the seats.

Can you add car seat anchors to a car? ›

Tether anchors are installed in or can be added to most vehicles. A tether is also part of a new system called “Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children” (LATCH). LATCH connects a car seat to the vehicle without using a seat belt (C).

What is a car seat Adaptor? ›

Car seat adapters connect an infant car seat to a stroller. You can purchase a travel system—a stroller and compatible car seat set that brands offer—but if you instead purchase those items separately, they probably don't work together as a unit.

Why do you need a car seat adapter? ›

Car Seat Adaptors allows you the freedom and convenience of turning your stroller into a Travel System. Using these adaptors, you eliminate the need to wake up and transfer your newborn from the car to the stroller.

How much does it cost to install headrest monitors? ›

Generally, an install for a pair of headrest monitors is $119.

How much does it cost to install rear seat entertainment? ›

Figure somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 extra for a factory unit — depending on the vehicle and the complexity of the system — and just slightly less for an aftermarket solution.

How much does it cost to install a car entertainment system? ›

Shop car electronics professional installation
EntertainmentRegular PriceBest Buy Totaltech™ Member Price
Standard Speaker Installation$79.99Included with qualifying purchase 1
Component Speaker Installation$129.99
Standard In-Dash Car Deck Installation$79.99
In-Dash Car Stereo Installation with Touchscreen$129.99
4 more rows

What is the price of car DVD video player? ›

DVD Player For Car

The price of Car DVD Player products is between ₹8,500 - ₹10,999 per Piece during Feb '22 - Jan '23.


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