Review: Philips PET7402A Portable DVD Player

Philips' Double-Screen DVD Player a Good Option for In-Car Viewing

The Philips PET7402A Portable DVD Player. Photo © Philips

The Philips PET7402A is a portable DVD player designed with car use in mind. This makes it an attractive option for folks who like to keep passengers — especially those with a penchant for asking, "Are we there yet?" — entertained during long trips.

The device also comes with an AC adapter and TV connector cables so you can use it at home. But while homebodies will appreciate that option, the biggest selling point for this device remains its road-worthiness.

As such, your guide decided put the player though its paces during a three-day road trip with relatives. Read on to see how it fared.


Easy installation: Installing the Philips PET7402 inside a car is quick and easy. All you need is a screwdriver to mount the brackets behind the headrests of the driver and passenger seats and you're good to go. Once the support brackets are installed, it's also quite easy to take out the monitors. You basically just clip them on and off — quite useful when you want to temporarily remove the monitors so you don't end up tempting thieves to break into your car.

Nice video quality: While the 7-inch screen's image quality isn't quite on par with some of the nicer single-unit players out there, it's still quite good for standard definition. Despite having an LCD display, I do notice some faint lines — sort of like the ones you see on an older standard definition CRT TV.

But the lines shouldn't be that big an issue from the distance you'll be watching inside a car. And if you primarily have young kids watching, they likely won't even care.

Price: Given that you get two monitors, the price for the Philips PET7402 is quite reasonable. I've reviewed single-unit players that cost more than the PET7402 set.

Listening options: Like most portable DVD players, the Philips PET7402 is best listened to with a nice set of headphones for better sound. Each monitor has a headphone slot, which is great when you have more than one passenger at the back during long trips. For folks without headphones, the volume on this device is loud enough to be heard on the road, even in cars without the best sound-proofing. Just keep in mind the sound quality goes down when the device is turned up higher.

Fast-forward speed: I've always wondered why some players don't have high enough fast-forwarding speed. But that isn't a problem with the Philips PET7402, which can go forward with up to "32x" speed. This is especially useful for home-burned movies that don't have an option for scene selection.


Second screen kinks: Although the Philips PET7402 worked fine during most of the trip, there was one time when the second screen didn't turn on automatically when I started the car up after filling up for gas. The secondary monitor basically had to be turned off then on again before it worked. In fact, it feels as if the second monitor was treated almost like a red-headed stepchild. It doesn't have a stand, adapter or splitter for home use.

Granted, you normally won't use two monitors at home but it just seems that the second monitor didn't get as much attention as the first one.

No remote: A remote control would've been pretty helpful as getting to the controls can be a bit tough. This can especially be an issue in a moving car where your passengers are all belted up or if you have younger kids who need help working the controls. Getting a disc in and out of the Philips PET7402 is also a bit tough when it's mounted in a car.

Wiring issues: During long trips, the wires that connect the monitors to the car port and to each other can easily get tangled. The fact that the connection slots for the second monitor are situated underneath instead of the side (like it is in the first monitor) makes it easier for them to come out or loosen, which happened once during my trip.

No battery: The lack of an internal battery means you can't take either monitor on a plane, a pity since their size makes them quite easy to take along on such trips. This also means that you have to manually search where you left off in a movie in case you stop for gas during a road trip.

Limited options: You don't get as many options to fine tune your screen settings like you do with some other portable players. The Philips PET7402 also doesn't have DIVX support, which is always a nice extra to have in any portable player.


Given what it offers for the price, the Philips PET7402A is a solid portable DVD player for folks looking for a device they can mount inside a car. Those looking primarily for a portable DVD player they can use outside of a car or on plane trips will likely want to consider something else. But for folks mainly interested in a player that will keep kids occupied during long road trips inside a car, the Philips PET7402 fits the bill quite nicely.

The Philips PET7402 Portable DVD Player

Price: $149.99
Comes with: Two 7-inch monitors, car mounting brackets, car lighter port adapter, AC adapter, AV cables

Formats played

  • DVD
  • Video CD
  • MP3 music
  • JPEG photos

UPDATE: Since our original review five years ago, the Philips PET7402A has been replaced by the PD9012/37. Compared to the older 7-inch version, the PD9012/37 sports a larger 9-inch screen, though the resolution is low at 640x220. Given that DVD media is low resolution to start with, however,it shouldn't be as big an issue, especially from the distance this player is designed to be viewed it. Overall, the review score for the older variant still holds true for the new version. For alternative players, check out our DVD and Blu-ray Player Roundup as well as tips on How to Pick a Portable DVD Player.

Jason Hidalgo is’s Portable Electronics expert. Yes, he is easily amused. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhidalgo and be amused, too. For similar articles, check out our Portable DVD Player hub or our section on Smartphones and Tablets, which have supplanted DVD players as the new media players

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