Panasonic, Car Toys Debut DVD Mobile Theater

Don't leave home without it---home theater, that is. You can now take your movies on the road, thanks to Panasonic's mobile DVD theater. The complete package---in-dash DVD player, surround processor, video monitor, and 5.1-channel audio system---was unveiled at a Car Toys store in Seattle on Friday, April 9. Car Toys specializes in aftermarket automotive sound.

The first-ever commercially available mobile theater was installed in a minivan. Others have been installed in SUVs and ordinary sedans for demonstrations throughout the country. A national advertising campaign will accompany the demos.

"The availability of the first in-dash DVD player is a landmark in consumer-electronics' history," says Gene Kelsey, vice president and general manager of Panasonic's Audio Division. "We're pleased that Car Toys could help make it a reality.''

According to a Panasonic press release, the model CX-DV1500 DVD player fits in the dashboard "like any car stereo, and it delivers the video and audio benefits of DVD-format movies with digital surround-sound and conventional CD-audio playback." A flat, 7"-diagonal LCD monitor, model CY-VM1500, fits between the front seats for viewing by backseat passengers or in an overhead rear panel. It can also be mounted elsewhere in the back of the vehicle. Your kids will never have to complain of boredom on long road trips again. In fact, they'll never even have to look out the window.

In full mobile-theater mode, the DVD player feeds a CY-AC300 Dolby Digital/DTS processor and three amplifiers that drive front, rear, center, and subwoofer speakers. "It's very exciting to be the first retailer to have this product to offer to consumers,'' says Car Toys President and CEO Dan Bretter. Car Toys has 21 stores in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado.