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Philips Portable Blu-ray Player

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With school ending, our summer plans of visiting family and friends and exploring the great American highways are swinging into full gear. I greatly look forward to the years of my boys devouring novels, rocking out to their latest music craze and daydreaming out the window as we drive. But for now - with three boys age 5 and under - our car activities are generally limited to books on tape, coloring, Leapfrog's Tag books and movies.

My husband and I purchased our current vehicle long before we had kids and so we didn't think of extras like a built-in DVD system or the need for 500 additional cupholders. So for now, our long-distance car travels involve a portable DVD player. Recently we had the chance to try out a new portable DVD that Best Buy carries: the Philips 9" Widescreen Portable Blu-ray Disc Player with Dual Screen.

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This little baby is like the Rolls Royce of portable DVD players. Let me run down some of its kid and parent-approved features.

'?¢ Dual 9" screens. Many portable DVDs come with a 7" screen, but let me tell you - those two extra inches matter.

'?¢ Three ways to power. Car adapter, rechargeable battery pack and AC adapter. Choose the power method that works best for your situation. [One note: the car adapter powers both screens while the AC adapter only powers a single screen. This likely won't be an issue for you, but with more and more cars coming with outlets and more and more devices jockeying for power just something to keep in mind.]

'?¢ LCD widescreen display. Crystal clear images. No cropping.

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'?¢ Multiple playback formats. Whatever your format, this DVD can probably play it - Blu-ray Disc, DVD, DivX, MP4, H.264, FLV, MOV and WMV.

'?¢ Remote. To keep you from lugging yourself into the back seat yet again just to press the play button.

'?¢ Saves your place. The gas stop. The bane of many a DVD player that restarts the entire movie from the beginning when you restart the car. Not so with this one. It plays even when the car is off and if you do lose power, it will restart the film where you left off.

We've already taken the Philips 9" Widescreen Portable Blu-ray Disc Player with Dual Screen on 3 trips and it's performed flawlessly. The kids are happy, we are happy and that always makes an 8 hour drive go smoother. Best Buy currently has the unit on sale as well as offering 6 month financing.

We've taken a few long car trips without a DVD player...learn from our mistake and visit Best Buy to pick one up before your first summer car trip.

Kate Bayless is a writer, editor, gear guru and mom of 3 boys. You can visit her www.katebayless.com and @katebayless.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. A sample from Best Buy was provided for this review.

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