Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Waste or Want #6: Portable DVD Player

Featured Product: Portable DVD Players



Description:
Portable DVD players are small electronic devices that play DVDs anywhere you want. Most come with an internal battery you can charge, a cord to attach into the wall, and a cord that attaches into a car's power jack.

Average Cost:
Anywhere from $50 to $250 depending on brand and quality.

on the one hand.....
It's so nice to have a DVD player that can accompany you in the car or on a long flight. You can charge up the battery and be ready to take it anywhere or you can plug it in. If you only have one TV you can also plug it in at home and let your child watch a kid friendly movie in another room while you and your spouse watch something more appropriate for adults.

on the other hand....
Portable DVD players weren't really around when I was a kid and I totally survived long car rides!! I had to find ways to entertain myself and I have good memories of being in cars. Besides, do we really NEED another electronic device? Is it worth the cost to clutter up our house and make television watching even more prevalent in our homes and vehicles? In addition to this, can't I just let my kids watch DVDs on my laptop if needed?

AND NOW! Cast your vote...

Portable DVD Players: Waste or Want?

AND don't forget to tell us WHY.

10 comments:

Alyssa Harper said...

I'd say...waste.

Kids don't need another excuse to watch TV. And boring car and plane rides? I've done both. Flew/rode trains 23 hours straight to Japan and drove over 10 hours with my boy. That's what an imagination, crayons, stickers, and making fruit loop bracelets are made for (among other things). With a little bit of work, you can funnel that short attention span into something more positive than staring blankly at a screen.

Don't get me wrong. A DVD player is like a magical baby sitter, but I'd still say no to a portable player. My boy's under 2 and according to the AAP, shouldn't be watching any TV anyway. Does he still watch some occasionally? Yes. I'm only human. Sometimes, doing dishes is impossible without it, but we try to keep TV watching to a minimum. Kids can learn a lot more from watching and imitating you than watching hours of Baby Einstein.

As far as traveling, I basically wanted to shoot myself at the end of that trip to Japan, but I really don't think a portable DVD player would have made much of a difference. Long-Distance Travelling stinks with small kids. No amount of electronics is going to change that.

Anonymous said...

Waste- There's so much more to do besides watch TV! Plus, as has been mentioned, you can use a laptop to accomplish the same thing...

Britta said...

Waste

I flew to South Korea and back- 5 flights in one day on the way home. I took a hand held gaming system and my daughter looked at it for a total of 5 minutes. To keep her distracted and occupied she wanted Attention! Besides, having the portable player takes away some chances to learn vital coping skills in children.

I did take a video player on a trip to Texas and every time I looked in the back seat my daughter had her thumb hanging out of her mouth and was glassy eyed. It wasn't nearly as good as the times she read, colored, talked and sang the entire time!

I vote to let kids enjoy learning those coping skills without the portable dvd players- even if that means mom and dad have to suffer a little.

Delia said...

Waste...

I would have said want when I had one kid, but for some reason with two kids and the youngest not watching it that well. Waste. Sometimes it's nice and it works, but it isn't magic for long trips as much as you think it would be. We have one so we tote it along but it only gets watched once...maybe twice on an all day trip. Plus...I agree with the others. I felt guilty/weird about pushing TV on them when we could be talking about what we see out the window, reading, drawing, eating snacks...etc....sleeping hopefully!

Delia said...

I don't have first hand experience but I wanted to add that I would be more motivated to bring one if I was the sole adult in the car. That might be a game changer for me and then I would say WANT in that situation.

Tannie Datwyler said...

I'd say.... undecided.

We own one - but we NEVER would have bought one. I was pretty much against it (and so was my husband). However, we were given one as a gift and when you have one... you use it.

I loved driving in the car as a kid. I used to listen to music, draw, color, look out the window, nap, eat snacks, play with my siblings. I never had a TV to watch and never felt the loss. I want my kids to have the same experiences and I think that I'm robbing them of that a bit.

On the other hand - it really has been pleasant on long drives. We drove to California (about 15 hours both ways, all in one day each way) and the kids did watch the DVD player a bit and it did make life easier. My kids are little though - I think that when our DVD player dies we won't replace it and by then the kids will be plenty old enough to entertain themselves.

As a side note - it really bugs me when I hear about kids watching DVDs and I know the drive is only 15 mintues or so. That's crazy to me. But honestly, on a long drive, I don't see why one DVD (or even two if you are desperate) a day hurts - your kids probably watch that much TV at home. I know we try to aim for an hour of TV a day (sometimes it's 45 minutes, sometimes it's 1 1/2 hours, but usually around an hour). So if I let them watch one movie in the car they aren't getting any more television than they'd get at home.

So... I don't know. I'd say WASTE unless it's a gift. :) How's that for vague??

Megan said...

Waste. We drove to Las Vegas and L was allowed to watch one movie, but we have a laptop and used that. Like has been mentioned there are so many other ways to entertain children in a car on a long trip. I remember listening to books on tape on long car rides and those memories are some of my favorite; my family's personal favorite was Hank the Cow Dog!

The Fishes said...

We have used the laptop as well, but more often than that I've used my video Ipod if I need to. It's much smaller and I can take it to Dr appts with me, running, wherever - that's been handy more than a few times! I'll even use one earplug for one kid and have them both watch a cartoon if needed (Sometimes Military graduations and meetings can get a bit lengthy!)

Overall I'd say a waste, but if it was a gift, I don't think I'd return it :)

Heather said...

I have to admit . . . I want one.

Of course it is unnecessary. Each item that has been on the "waste or want" series has been, in the end, unnecessary. But, for long car trips, I think these make life easier and I wish I had one. :)

Raylyn said...

I love all your comments!! I am against TV in the car, and every one else I tell thinks I'm wierd, so it's so good to hear I'm not alone:) I love enjoying the scenery, listening to music, and playing games. Staring at the TV definetly takes away from the car driving experience.