Frequently Asked Questions About Flip-Down LCD Video Monitors
How should I decide whether a Flip-down monitor is the right choice for my mobile video system?
First, look at the roof area of your vehicle as there may be obstacles such as a sunroof, dome lights, or overhead console. These may prevent mounting a flip-down monitor all together, or in the right location for rear passenger viewing. If you are planning to install multiple screens and video sources such as games, VCR, DVD, etc., flip down monitors may not be practical. Headrest monitors might be a better choice for such an installation.
How should I decide on a wide-screen or a standard 4:3 flip-down screen?
If you're using a VCR or TV tuner for your primary video sources, it is probably best to install a standard 4:3 aspect ratio screen. Standard TV sets, VHS tapes, and (still most) broadcast television are formatted for this. If your primary viewing source is going to be a DVD player or modern video game, a wide-screen monitor will probably be the best. The great majority of movies on DVD are in the original widescreen format. On a standard 4:3 monitor, movies viewed in the widescreen format will be reduced in size to fit the width of the screen. This creates a black bar at the top and bottom of the screen, and significantly reduces the overall size of the picture.
Why would I buy a 16:9 screen over a 4:3 screen if it looks like I am getting a smaller picture?
Until recently, all television sets had an aspect ratio of 4:3. Therefore, all video signals were formatted to fit a screen that is 4 units wide by 3 units tall regardless of its size. This ratio closely matches that of our vision. But for many years, movies have been shot in 16:9 as the industry standard for viewing in a movie theatre. For such a movie to be viewable on a television set or transferred to VHS tape, a process called "pan and scan" was used to crop the picture down to a 4:3 aspect ratio. This generally has a negative affect upon how a movie looks, and not only from an artistic point of view. The smaller portion of the picture used must be enlarged, which often results in a "grainy" picture. Most savvy viewers today would prefer to watch a movie in its original format, even if it is smaller, rather than view a "pan and scan" version that has been cropped to fit the 4:3 screen.
How difficult is it to install a flip-down screen?
The installation of a flip-down monitor can be tricky. It will typically involve the partial or full removal of the vehicle's headliner, the ease or difficulty of which will vary from vehicle to vehicle. It will also be necessary to route cabling and wiring to the overhead location. We suggest that you refer installation to a professional installer who has experience in working with automotive interiors and electrical wiring.