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Information On Installing A Car DVD Player - How To Install A Mobile DVD Player In A Car

Information On Installing A Car DVD Player

Information on Installing Car DVD Players

So, you've chosen to install a car DVD player, or in-car DVD system on your own and don'tknow where to begin. You're not alone...

US electronic equipment retailer body,the Consumer Electronics Association, estimated US shoppers spend over$110 billion on in-vehicle electronics with a large percentage of that spendgoing on Do-It-Yourselfers who planned to install the accessories themselves.

However, unless you're an electrician or mechanic, or you tinker withelectronic projects or cars as a hobby, you might find the project a littleconfusing. It's not just a case of being overwhelmed by the thought ofinstalling this complex box of wires and wondering how to install this device.

Baffled by the terminology?
Don't know what DIN is and what it has to do with RCA?
Read on...

Installation |2 DIN Systems |1 DIN Systems |Other Car DVD Players |DIYInstallation Advice |Car DVD Glossary |Resources |

Here is an introduction to the world of car DVD player installation.

One of the things you will need to consider before even thinking about how toinstall a car DVD player is what toolsyou will need for the job. While each car and each car DVD system is differentthere are still some basic items you will probably need to complete theinstallation process. For most projects you will need a flat-head and Philips-head screwdriver, pliers and a wire striping/crimping tool atthe very least. You may also need a socket and ratchet set, utilityknife, panel tool, drill and bit set and torque driver set as well. Again, thisis a list of only the more basic tools and you are likely to need several otheritems as well.

While it is well established that "real men" don't read instruction manuals, most realmen don't do a really good job of installing their car DVD players either. Read theinstructions carefully and study any schematics supplied with the DVDplayer to make sure you completely understand the process in installing thatspecific car DVD player correctly.

While each system is different and unique it is usually made up of threecomponents:

  • the DVD player itself;
  • the car video monitor;
  • the sound system;

...and thereare fourmain different types of installation that will present you with four different degrees of difficulty.

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Each car model has a slightly different installation process. However, these general guidelines apply to any car capable of supporting this device.

  1. First, open the hood.
  2. Locate the car battery. Car batteries all have two metal clamps connected to them.
  3. Use a wrench to loosen and disconnect the negative battery cable clamp. It’s the one with the negative symbol that looks like this
  4. Next, you need to remove the old or original factory car stereo unit.
    • First locate the vehicle service/repair manual or consult with a local professional for proper instructions. Note that removing the original stereo system might require special tools and could be difficult for beginners because it’s necessary to disassemble some parts of the dash panel. Pull out the unit and disconnect the cables.
  5. Some vehicles require a dash adapter faceplate, in order to fit the unit perfectly, seamlessly. If necessary install it now. Pull out the car stereo wire harness.
  6. Connect an ISO wire harness connector and additional cables. If necessary install a car specific wire harness adapter. Refer to wiring diagram.
  7. Slide the new car DVD player into the slot. Fix it into the bracket. Reinstall the dash panels.
  8. Reconnect the battery cable.

Check external links for car stereo installation guide:

Safety Note

Make sure to distinguish the anode and the cathode when connecting the power. For secure package transportation the CD/DVD reader module is firmly fixed with a screw. Before the installations of the unit, please remove the screws from the top. If the screws are not removed, you cannot insert any CD/DVD disk.

Car DVD players come with a safety function that is connected to the handbrake. This feature prevents users from watching videos or TV shows while driving.

If you so choose, you can permanently disable this function by connecting the brake control cable to GND. It is the end-users responsibility to install and operate this unit in a manner in accordance with local, state and federal laws.


The wiring diagram includes plenty of strange acronyms. See what these cables are and where to connect them:

  • GND: It’s a power wire that needs to connect to ground (notice the negative sign →-).
  • BATT or B+: A power cable that should be connected to the permanent +12V power. It is used for memory backup to keep the settings stored. The 12V permanent battery wire will always offer electricity whether the vehicle is on or off.
  • ACC or IGN SW: The ACC wire offers power only when you insert car key into ignition switch and turn it to ACC position. This way the device can detect the ignition switch state.
  • BRAKE or BRAKE- CON: Handbrake connection cable that needs to be connected to a handbrake signal wire (GND) in order to comply with several local, state and national laws that prohibit watching videos while driving.
  • BACK or REVERSE-CON: This cable connects to the reverse signal. It is used to trigger the rearview camera mode.
  • ANT-CON or PWR ANT: Antenna amplifier output control.
  • MUTE-CON or MUTE-TEL: The mute control wire is used to interface with a factory hands-free system. It can mute the car DVD player while the hands-free system receives a call.
  • AMP or AMP-CON: Amplifier output control. This control cable can trigger the external audio amplifier to turn on automatically when the car DVD player is powered on.
  • ILLUM: Illumination control cable, which is wire that can detect the headlight switch state and dim the light accordingly.
  • KEY: Usually, KEY1 and KEY2 are wires used for controlling analog steering.
  • CAN BUS, CAN RX/TX: It’s a special connection for CAN BUS system. Typically, the car model’s specific head units come with the required CAN BUS adapter.
  • RL+-/RR+-/FL+-/FR+-: These are the acronyms for the rear left, rear right, front left and front right sound output channels. Each channels have + and – poles.
  • SUB or WOOFER: It's usually a mono output, and often has a crossover circuit so that it only plays bass. It can be connected to amplifier or active sub woofer.
  • AUX and AUX VIDEO-IN: Aux (usually RCA type) ports are used to connect external audio and video signals. It enables you to connect other audio/video players to the head unit.
  • VIDEO OUT: analog video signal output for external monitor.
  • CAM-IN or CAMERA-IN: rearview camera video signal input.
  • IPOD: A special Apple device port is used to connect an iPod to play music.
  • USB: Depending on the model, it can support audio/video playback from USB flash drive, or support WIFI/3G dongle.
  • SD or Micro-SD: SD and Micro-SD are memory card types. Usually if you insert a card with songs of videos pre-loaded, they will play.


AUX: The auxiliary port is also known as an auxiliary jack or auxiliary input. Aux allows you to use and external audio/video source and play it through the car audio system. It's often used for iPods and MP3 players, cell phones, tablets and media players. Typically, it only requires an inexpensive cable that connects to a headphone output on your phone, mp3 player, etc. to the input on the car stereo.

Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances. In cars Bluetooth is generally used for hands free calls and streaming music from phones to the car stereo system through what’s called an A2DP profile.

WIFI: Wi-Fi, also spelled Wifi or WiFi, is a popular technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data or connect to the internet wirelessly using UHF radio waves.

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2 DIN systems

DIN is an international standard for Car stereo / in-dash car entertainmentunits: 2 DIN simply means a standard double decker slot size.

This system is mounted in the car dashboard and will probably pose you the most difficulty, especially if you are installing it fromscratch. But since double DIN car DVD systems also look the coolest, it isdefinitely worth the effort...

Two DIN car DVD systems are usually made up of a screen and DVD player,with the amplifier being built into the dashboard unit. You may find that you will need unit mounts andconnectors to get the DVD player to be seated properly. Installation of this type of system requires a lot of re-wiring and,if the edges of the DVD player is too big or too small for a non-standard stereo space, you may evenneed to remodel the dash to make sure the unit fits snugly. Check the dimensionsof your dashboard slot before buying your new car DVD!

2 Din Car DVD Player With 7 Inch Touch Screen
Double-SizedIn-Dash Car DVD Players

You are probably going to need to run wires from the player to the speakers,any auxiliary input devices you might want to run (such asrear view cameras orcar bluetooth kits) as well as running a wire to both ends of theemergency break cable as it may be illegal in your country to be able to operate the screen when thecar is in motion, unless its using a rear view camera. You will also need to wirethe car DVD player to the power supply.

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1 DIN systems

This type of DVD player is similar to the 2 DIN in that it is mounted in the dashand is requires a great deal of wiring to get it installed. However, the1 DINCar DVD playeronly takes up half the space of the 2 DIN model and you may need to remodel thestereo port in the dash to make the DVD player fit snugly. Like the 2 DIN system it is made up of ascreen (often retractable), amplifier and DVD player. Connections, wires andmounting brackets are always needed, but not always included.

Big Screen Car DVD Player 1 Din - Removable Front Panel
Installation of this system is similar to that of the 2 DIN player.

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Alternative Design Car DVD Players

This type of system is easier to install than the one, or two DIN DVD player butwill still present you with some unique problems. While you won't have to fitthe new electrical components to existing parts of the car you will still haveto do a substantial amount of wiring to get the system hooked up to apower supply and/or stereo system. To install this type of car DVD player youwill probably need wire, screws, glue or some other adhesive.

Car Headrest DVD Player - 7 inch TFT - FM Transmitter Audio
Car Headrest Monitor
/ DVD Player

Roof mounted 10.4 inch TFT LCD Monitor and DVD player
Car Roof (Ceiling) Monitor

Car Sun Visor DVD Player

To install a headrest monitor you will need to remove the fitted headrest andrun power and connection wires down through the hole... with most cars youshould be able to take the cover off the bottom of the seat and put an unwoundclothes hanger, or some other kind of wire, up through the slot to findthe cable and fish it out... It then can be run under the carpet to the main car unitin the dash, or toanother connection box in another location.

If you want to install a sun visor DVD player or overhead car DVD playeryou will need to consider two things: how to fix the player to the roof, and howto wire the DVD player so that the cables remain hidden. Whenmounting the overhead monitor you will need to install it in the middle of thecar for ultimate strength. You will then need to conceal the wires wiresunderneath roof panels, running them from the player to the dashboard or powersupply. This will require a lot of work as panels, the car's kick plate and evensometimes the seatbelt will have to be removed. Sun visor DVD players are alittle easier to mount, as wires don't have to go so far to get to the powersource/main adaptor. However they will still require some careful work removing andre-attaching panels.

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Clip-on Car DVD players

This type of car DVD player is the easiest to install by far, and mostflexible when it comes to moving from place to place. Clip-on car DVD players usually include sun visor DVD players, headrest DVD players and arm restDVD players. You should be able to plug them into the cigarette lighter andstrap them on to the allotted location.

Car Armrest DVD Player - 8.0 Inch TFT Screen + 350 Deg Swivel
Arm Rest Car DVD Player

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Some Things To Consider

The information above is only a snippet of the material that youwill need to help you through the installation process. Installing a car DVDplayer is not something to be undertaken lightly, especially when installing 1DIN or 2 DIN car DVD players and overhead DVD players, which can be quite complicated toplace and wire.

If you are serious about installing the DVD player and have the resources todo it it is important that you work methodically and carefullyto avoid confusion or delays. Here are some things you might want to considerdoing:

  1. Research the project:
    Read and make sure you understandinstructions for the components you are going to install. It might even be agood idea to go onlineand see if anybody has done any wiring plans for your particular car model.
  2. Prepare for the task before you start:
    If you're taking on amajor task, like installing a 1 DIN, 2 DIN or overhead DVD player, you will needto ensure you have all the necessary tools, accessories and cables. You will alsoneed to give yourself at least a day without distractions to complete the job.
  3. Remove existing components carefully and methodically:
    It is important thatyou don't lose or damage the old stereo unless you want your brand new unit to go withthe car when you sell it. Laying out panels and parts in relation to theirlocation on the car with all their screws on the panel will also prevent a 30-minute game of hunt the screw.
  4. Make your work tidy:
    Try to make wires as tight as possible andprevent them from coiling up.

Do-It-Yourselfers who rush into car DVD installation projects might well find they are left with a time-consumingproject which ends with an ugly and sometimesunsaferesult.

There's nothing worsethan a car with wires scattered all the way through it. A professional installerwould make sure wires were tidied away somewhere behind the paneling of the carin nice neat straight lines. And, by taking time when installing the carDVD player yourself you can achieve similar results. It is also important to be aware of audio and visualproblems that could come up from an hastily-assembled system. These mightinclude flickering screens, black holes in sound, or rattling components amongstother things.

Incorrectly installed systems can, at their worst, be a hazard to the system,the car and yourself. If two wires are exposed they can short, creating ashort-circuit that will, at the very least, turn your new stereo into an expensivebrick and, at worst, fry the electrical circuit in your car. However, this isminor compared to the possibility of a car fire. Wire that has been piled tooclosely together for too long will fuse generating a temperature so hot it cancombust causing a car fire.

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Car DVD Installation Glossary

  • Changer
    = a CD changer; a device which holds several CDs and plays them on demandwithout having to eject or manually sort discs. Needless to say you can nowget DVD changers too.

  • Crossover
    = a device that limits the range of frequencies sent to different speakers.

  • DIN
    = just stands for "Deutsches Institut für Normung" (DIN, the GermanInstitute for Standardization), similar to ISO. The relevance for car DVDsystems is that DIN means a standard sized dashboard slot, so 1 DIN meansthe device takes up one slot, and 2 DIN means the unit is ‘double-decker’and uses the space of two slots.

  • DTS
    = "Digital Theater Systems"multichannel audio - basically another surround-sound standard like DolbyDigital 5.1.

  • DVD-A
    = DVD audio - just like a music CD, except more features and higher quality.

  • RF
    = Radio Frequency - probably talking about the wireless headphones. RF isgenerally better than Infra Red because you don’t have to be in the 'line ofsight' of the transmitter.

  • Inverter
    = A power supply device you can plug into your dashboard cigarette lighterto supply AC to power-hungry devices.

  • In-dash
    = a device such as a DVD player installed in your dashboard, typically inthe place of your old car radio.

  • GPS
    = Global Positioning System - in your this means navigation / map displaysoftware linking to a signal receiver and a readout on your screen.

  • GUI
    = Graphical User Interface - i.e. you can control the device using on-screenmenus, often with a touchscreen

  • Headliner
    = the coverings that make the ceiling inside your car.

Car Ceiling Headliner Diagram
Car Headlining Diagram

  • Modulator
    = An FM transmitter that turns an audio input source, e.g. an MP3 player oraudio line-in, into a radio signal for you to tune into using your carstereo.

Wireless Car MP3 FM Modulator - USB + SD Card Digital Music

  • Monitor
    = a screen that receives a signal from e.g. a DVD player or TV tuner - if aproduct is described as a Monitor it typically means it does NOT include theactual input player, e.g. DVD player unit. This is fine if you are buyingthat separately or you are building an in-car PC.

Car Dashboard LCD Touchscreen Monitor - Car PC Accessory

  • Motorized
    = where the TFT screen of a display, usually in a dashboard unit,automatically folds and slides inside its housing when not in use.

  • Power port
    = a grand name for the little dashboard cigarette lighter socket

  • RCA
    = those red and white (for audio) and yellow (for video) connectors used fore.g. connecting your DVD player to your home TV

  • RDS
    = Radio Display (/Data) System - the function where your radio can displayrich data such as the name of the station or the track name, for FM radiosignals.

  • Receiver
    =(confusingly enough) the device that transmits your video signal to ascreen, e.g. a car DVD player

  • S-Video
    = high quality video connector often included on graphics cards, monitors,dvd players, and consoles as an alternative to RCA or VGA + Audio.

S-Video Cable picture

  • Sub
    = subwoofer

  • Versatile
    = a vague term that generally just means "feature rich", e.g. a car DVDplayer that also has a built-in GPS and connects with external storagedevices.

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Installing A New Stereo Or Car DVD Player In Your Car: Resources -

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