Car Monitor Buying Guide

A car monitor is a type of screen set up in a car that displays content from a player. The player may be built-in or stand-alone. It is used for entertaining passengers during long drives.

Types of Car Monitors


These are mounted on the ceiling. They allow passengers seated at the rear and sides similar view. They may or may not have built-in players. Those that don't have built-in players have to be connected to an external one. The same thing is watched by all passengers when flip-down monitors are used. Once the passengers are done with watching, they can flip the monitor up.

Sun visor

Sun visor monitors are designed for front seat passengers. They can have built-in players to display video or not. Their use may be prohibited by some state laws depending on the state since they may remove the driver's attention from the road. They may be specially designed to display a plotted chart or any other information that is useful to a driver.

Universal Monitor

The universal monitor has a broad range of applications. They can be used to display videos. They can also be used to play games much like a computer monitor displays computer games. These monitors are compatible with a wide array of external display sources like cameras, smartphones, and DVD players.

Panel mount

These are inserted into a flat surface in the car such as the equipment rack. It is suitable for those who want the screen without the bulky monitor body. When set correctly, they can improve the interior aesthetics of the vehicle. They can be open frame, which allow the user to select the kind of frame they deem fit for their monitor. They can also be fixed frame ones. Fixed frame monitors have their outlines set by the manufacturer.

Headrest monitors

This type of monitor is attached to the car seat's headrest. Only rear seat passengers can watch what is displayed on them. Their size is limited since car seat's headrests are usually small in width. Their size is significantly reduced in small vehicles. More than one can be installed. Passengers with different tastes do not have to watch the same thing. They may be fully contained or may require an external source. They can be designed to suit the car's interior décor.

Pay attention to the following when buying car monitors

Screen size

Screen size affects the physical dimensions of the images displayed on the monitor. Small screens show small images. One could strain to see if the images are too small. The screen size that is appropriate for a particular buyer will depend on some factors. These factors include what they want to use the monitor for and the space in the vehicle. A monitor used for navigation can have a small screen size. For watching videos or other forms of entertainment such as games, a larger screen size would be suitable. Big cars will be able to accommodate larger screen sizes than smaller cars.


The monitor's resolution will affect the clarity of displayed images. The higher the resolution, the sharper the images displayed. This factor is especially important in small screen monitors. If the screen is small, the image is going to be small and blurred therefore a high resolution would be required to make it clearer. Whether one is going to use the monitor for entertainment or navigation, it is important that they get high-quality images. High resolution means better clarity and better sharpness of the images.

Compatibility with player

Monitors act as output devices. They only display content transmitted to them from a particular source. Some monitors have built-in display systems. This kind of monitor is the most convenient and is easy to use. However, it may be a bit too costly. Monitors that do not have in-built players have to be attached to external sources. Some work well with DVDs, others with VCDs, others with cameras and others with smartphones. Some have a Bluetooth connection while others lack this connection. Buyers should purchase monitors that are compatible with many types of video equipment. Alternatively, they can buy a monitor that can work with the player that they have.

Panel type

Monitor panel type affects the viewing angle and the depth of the color displayed. They also affect response times and refresh rates. Most monitors use Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology. This technology offers many panels to choose from. The most common monitor panel types are the IPS and TN type. IPS panels have better viewing angles and color display than the TN. TN panels, however, offer better response time and refresh times.

The type of panel that will suit a customer depends on the use of the monitor. If it is to be used for playing games, TN panels would be suitable as they would give better gaming experience. On the other hand, if the monitor is for watching videos, IPS panels would be better than TN since they offer better displays. A panel that maximizes the good qualities of IPS and TN exists. It is called the VA panel. The VA panel could be the best choice for any use. It will offer good display as well as good response times.

Size of vehicle

A big vehicle is going to have more occupants. It is also going to have a roomy interior. Therefore, a screen of a larger size can be fitted within. A flip down monitor would be appropriate for this type of car. Once pulled down the monitor is in the line of view of every occupant in the rear seats. Also, it eliminates the need of having many headrest monitors installed on each headrest thus it is going to save the user money. Small vehicles lack space and may not be able to accommodate a flip down monitor. A headrest monitor would be ideal for a small car since it uses very little space.

Top Brands and Product Lines

Audiovox AVXMTGHR1MA Universal 7" Monitor Headrest Monitor System

It has a universal design, and its viewing angles can be adjusted thus its images are of high quality.

Power Acoustik PT-110CM

Its screen is very wide at 11.2 inches hence offers good quality viewing by many passengers.

Pyle PLRD145

It has very high resolution (1280 by 800 pixels) so displays images are of high quality.