How To Play a DVD on a Car Navigation System

by Shannon Johnson

There are two kinds of navigation systems for cars: ones that come built into the dashboard of your new vehicle and portable devices which are plugged into your car's power outlet. The in-dash systems are the ones that typically have DVD technology that allows them to play DVDs either right on the screen or using an external screen such as monitors mounted in the back of seat headrests. Most using the in-dash screen, however, will not allow you to play the DVD while the car is in drive.

Make sure your DVD navigation system has video outputs that use the same kind of cable that your monitors use if you intend on installing monitors into your seats or using external devices. To do this, you will most likely need to remove the player from your console. If the cable outlets do not match, purchase a DVD adapter and connect each device's cables to it to create one line of cables.

Have a professional help you run the wires through the seats and under the car's carpeting to avoid the exposure of wires if you choose to install monitors.

Remove the navigation system's map DVD-ROM and replace it with your DVD. The system should open the movie and start playing it automatically. Some cars have a separate DVD slot, or multiple DVD slots. If this is the case, you will not need to remove your maps. Keep in mind that most cars will not operate the DVD if you use the in-dash screen and the car is in motion. This is a safety feature and cannot be turned off.


  • check If the car's navigation system has a built-in DVD player, as many of them do, it is not necessary to install monitors. You should be able to watch your movie right on the in-dash screen.


  • close Do not attempt to install back seat monitors if you are not familiar with car mechanics. Doing so without a professional could cost you your seats.

Items you will need

About the Author

Shannon Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in health and organic and green-living topics. She practiced law for five years before moving on to work in higher education. She writes about what she lives on a daily basis.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera gps navigation system in car image by jedphoto from