Traveling DVD players have proven far too convenient not to grow, and quickly.
"One of the primary reasons parents get DVD players [for their cars] is to keep the kids quiet on long trips," said Suzanne White, vice president of marketing for Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, Culver City, Calif. "One thing we've thought of is adding a function called QuickStart to our movies. The minute you pop it in, it's ready to go. There is no fussing and no buttons to push. I know that once the kids are strapped in their car seats, and mom or dad is in the front seat driving, they're not ready to fiddle with buttons. That function was definitely thought of for DVD players in the cars."
"DVD hardware [car players, portable players, video game units, laptop computers, etc.] has increased the number of ways that DVD can be used," said Bill Bryant, vice president of sales for Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn. "Demand has increased accordingly."
Car DVD technology "definitely" adds to sales and rental volume, said Bob Gettner, video buyer/coordinator for B&R Stores, Lincoln, Neb. "I don't know how many times I've been driving down the street and seen a minivan or SUV with its little flip screen down and playing a movie."
Doug Roe, entertainment category manager for Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh, said it's "very difficult" to directly correlate an impact on sales as a result of a wider availability of portable DVD playing electronics. "However," he added, "it is more common today for a family to own multiple copies of the same title. So there may be a copy for the house, as well as the car or for travel purposes."