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Is a portable DVD player the right choice for you? See more pictures of essential gadgets.

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Kids can drive you to distraction -- literally. While time in the car can be great for reconnecting families, hours in traffic can lead to fights, toddler meltdowns, and distracted moms and dads who need to pay attention to the road. That's why a lot of families have turned to in-car and portable DVD players to keep the peace during long road trips or simply while running errands around town. A lot of drivers are even finding that while waiting for soccer practice to end, an in-car DVD player can provide mom or dad with a few minutes of relaxation as well.

When it comes to in-car DVD players, buyers have several options. New car buyers can opt for a factory-installed system. Similar to other factory-installed options like a sunroof or air conditioning, for instance, these DVD players are installed when the car is initially built and are the manufacturers' original equipment. However, if buyers aren't in the market for a new car, they can still have the in-car small-screen experience. They simply have to have the car dealer or a car audio shop install an aftermarket DVD system in their "new" used car. Another option: Buyers can just go down to the local electronics warehouse store and pick-up a portable DVD player that requires little or no installation.

­All three options have unique advantages, but let the buyer beware; they have their disadvantages, too. Keep reading to find out which system makes the most sense for you.