Home » The Only DVD Players I Have Left Weigh Thousands Of Pounds

The Only DVD Players I Have Left Weigh Thousands Of Pounds

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It’s always strange when you discover a previously unknown feature a car you’ve owned a long time has, and that just happened to me this morning. The car is the 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan I got primarily for my wife, and I can’t really say my time owning it has been especially, um, pleasant. I’ve had the car for about four years, and while there are aspects of it I still appreciate – a great interior, decent acceleration, looks good for what it is – it’s also been a colossal money-shredder and something always seems to be broken on it. But today, I managed to discover that it has a whole feature I never knew about, and a sort of flashy one, too. It’s also a feature that made me realize something strange about the technology in my life: there’s one particular kind of machine that has dramatically reversed the trend of becoming smaller and lighter, and by a huge factor. The machine is a DVD player, and I believe that at this moment, I own two of them, and both weigh well over a ton.

Here’s what happened: every morning, I take my kid by car to his bus stop. I don’t do this because I think he can’t walk it – he certainly can, and he walks home from the stop – but rather because I got sick of him missing the bus, which seemed to happen every time I just booted him out the door to get to the stop. I mean, I could have sent him out even earlier, but mornings are hard enough as it is, so I just decided screw it, I’ll drive his ass to the stop in the mornings.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Normally, this is an excuse to use the Changli; however, I’m currently in the process of replacing the melty wires with heavier-gauge, non-melty ones, so we took the Tiguan, because it was easy. While waiting, I decided I should finally set the clock to the correct time, because why not? And while navigating through the center-stack infotainment menus for the clock setting (it’s not there, by the way; it’s done using buttons on the instrument cluster that seemingly have nothing to do with the clock or chronology or horology at all) I happened to notice this:

Dvd1

DVD menu options? What the hell? This thing plays DVDs? I thought it was just a CD player? Luckily, I had some old DVDs in the car, because I had used the Tig to take a bunch of DVDs to a used books/DVDs/stuff place to sell them or get store credit so I can exchange that for something of true value, like some Atari 2600 cartridges with torn labels.

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Anyway, I stuck in a DVD:

Dvd2

Holy shit, this thing actually works! As you likely guessed by the bare feet, it’s a Tarantino DVD, in case you were wondering. The image quality on this old 2010-vintage screen is pretty decent, but, of course, the screen isn’t exactly huge, especially by modern standards. And it all makes me wonder why? Who was this for? I mean, a Tiguan was a likely family car, sure, but it’s not really like kids could watch something from the back seats.

Strapped into a kid seat, this would be your view:

Dvd4

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That’s not great. Even if I shove over to the middle, it’s not much better:

Dvd5

The small size, distance and angle are all pretty terrible for seeing that at a distance. Plus, the screen blacks out and just has a message that the display will not show when the car is in motion, so while you can hear the movie, it’s not like anyone can watch this on a road trip. Really, it’s just viable for the font seat passenger and driver to watch a movie on a small screen in the front of their car, while parked, and I suppose that particular situation may be great for…someone, sometime, it hardly seems like a really useful thing.

I couldn’t find any reference to DVD playback in the owner’s manual, which is strange, but while looking I did learn about something new I was not aware of: compass zones.

Compas

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Did you know about these? I thought a compass was just, you know, a compass, magnetically pointing to the Earth’s magnetic North. The Tiguan’s compass must be one of those solid-state three-axis magnetometer-type compasses, like an AK8975 or something. “Compass zones” are used by compass-makers to calibrate and better balance their compasses and to accommodate for any variation based on geographic position. I had no idea this was a thing! What a morning of learning this has been!

But! It plays DVDs! I have gotten rid of my other DVD players because even though I have a basement full of machines that use 5.25″ diskettes and cassettes and cartridges and other obsolete media, I never had the same affection for DVDs, which always felt too fragile and clunky and hard to stack and generally an ass-pain. So as soon as movies could be collected just digitally, I was happy to free myself from DVDs.

But it seems I still have two DVD players. My Tiguan, weighing in at about 3,400 pounds and also the amazing $500 Toyota Sienna minivan David gave me, which has a much more usable back-seat focused DVD setup:

Dvd6

The Sienna weighs about 4,200 pounds, which means that combined, the two DVD players I still own weigh somewhere around three tons. That’s a hell of a change from the last DVD players I owned, which, combined, probably weighed, oh, like eight to ten pounds? This is the first time in my technological life that I had machines in the past that were far smaller and lighter than in the present, that did the same basic job.

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Of course, my current DVD players are self-propelled and can haul a bunch of people and other stuff places and play DVDs, but if we’re just talking DVD playback functionality, I’ve taken a colossal step backwards.

So now if I somehow find that I only have a particular movie or whatever on DVD, at least I do have options. Ridiculous options, but now’s not the time to be picky, right?

 

Relatedbar

This Is Where I Complain Some More About My Wife’s Piece Of Shit 2010 VW Tiguan

These Plastic Caps VW Put On Wheel Bolts Are Stupid And Confusing

This 20 Year Old Toyota Sienna HVAC Design Is Garbage And I’m Not Having It

 

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Ohgodwhyme
Ohgodwhyme
13 days ago

If you have VW with the RNS310, RNS510 or RCD510 (as in Jason’s VW), then there is an easy path to getting CarPlay/Android Auto. You can buy a RCD330 Plus unit as a direct replacement with no wiring required. It has a USB-A port on the bottom right corner of the unit. You can utilize a connection port in the back to relocate the USB to a different place in the car if you don’t like having the wire dangling from the head unit.

Only downside with the unit is you lose nav (if you have a RNS unit) but ideally you would be using Carplay/AA anyway. I guess you would also the ability to play DVDs (which is something I never considered).

I just added the RCD330 my MK6 Golf R along with a backup camera that pops out of the VW badge when in reverse (neat!). The RCD330 unit swap was about a 15min job. The backup camera install was at least a half day of removing trim pieces and running wires. But these 2 things make the car feel like a newer model (without the annoying haptic buttons). Well worth it if you plan on keeping your (roughly) 2005-2015 VW for a while longer.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
13 days ago
Reply to  Ohgodwhyme

I want someone to write a guide as to which one to buy on AliExpress. They’re $150 cheaper. I hate that the bluetooth in my 2009 GTI is for phone calls only and not audio. Who makes calls any more?

Ohgodwhyme
Ohgodwhyme
11 days ago

I bought from a place that has a good rep and deals only in OEM components. I did not want to deal with fake ones from AliExpress. Since you have also have a MK6 Golf, you would get the same one I did:
https://www.rcd330.com/product/noname-187b-androidauto-rcd330-plus-rear-usb/

If you had a pre-2009, then you would need a CANBUS adapter as well but luckily you will not need that. You can order the unit with the option to reroute the USB port to the buttons just in front of the shifter (otherwise you would use the USB port on the front of the head unit). Adding the new USB button port is pretty easy and will add about 10min to the install time.

If you want to go with the AliExpress route, check videos on YouTube. I recall some of the RCD330 installs mentioned they purchased from AliExpress and may provide a link to what they bought.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
14 days ago

Yay, compass zones! One of my Jeeps has instructions for setting the correct zone, then calibrating the compass…it’s been a decade or so since I had to do it, but if I recall correctly it involves doing repeated donuts in a parking lot.

And I’m very proud to say that, during the last round of computer upgrades at work, I fought (and won!) against corporate IT’s demand that I return my old optical drive-equipped computer so it could be destroyed. It’s now stashed away safely on my bookcase, and is the only computer left in the department that’s capable of reading the company’s vast DVD-R collection. (Document control has a $30 optical drive from Amazon, but it can only read the newest DVD-Rs.)

3WiperB
3WiperB
14 days ago

Our 2008 Cadillac STS will also play DVD’s on the “infotainment” 8″ touchscreen (640×480). In fact, it’s a in-dash 6-disc DVD changer, with a separate DVD based navigation slot. It also has a set of RCA jack inputs in cubby under the armrest, which is the only way to get audio into the radio. The RCA jacks won’t play video while driving, but the audio does play through, allowing music to be streamed through the system. It has Bluetooth, but only for phone calls, since Bluetooth for music hadn’t been invented yet.

Last edited 14 days ago by 3WiperB
Logan King
Logan King
14 days ago
Reply to  3WiperB

The nav system in my 2003 Seville also could play DVDs do video input, though they only actually wired the RCA in on export models of the car (???) even though it was as simple as yanking the unit out and connecting some wires to it.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
14 days ago

> I’m currently in the process of replacing the melty wires with heavier-gauge, non-melty ones

As it happens, I know just the guy who has a stash of nonstandard small tires he’ll never use up. Happy to introduce you.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
14 days ago

Nice! I still love DVD’s, and really any physical media

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
14 days ago

You didn’t see it in the user manual because it was likely there is a separate Media manual for the car as there is for our Rav4.

Ben Chia
Ben Chia
14 days ago

Wait, what Tarantino movie was that? Asking for, erm, a friend…

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
14 days ago
Reply to  Ben Chia

Don’t worry, we don’t kink shame. And podophelia is not that out there. Now toxophilia, that is a little bit of a long shot. And exophilia is out of this world

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
14 days ago

Not to mention copro- and necrophilia.

Bram Oude Elberink
Bram Oude Elberink
14 days ago
Reply to  Ben Chia
Anonymous Person
Anonymous Person
15 days ago

Odd. We still own 2 DVD players. They don’t weigh much at all The heaviest one is a combination DVD/VCR hooked up to our 32″ TV in our living room along with our Wii. We still use it to watch older shows on DVD and once in a while we even put in an old VHS tape. (we don’t have Cable TV or cell phones)

The other one is hooked up to the old-school stereo in the basement and is only used as a CD player.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
14 days ago

Wow. You folks are seriously behind the times. I like that. It reminds me of me.

Citrus
Citrus
15 days ago

One use of a DVD player while parked could potentially be to play some, er, encouraging videos when engaged in certain activities which could potentially, with a certain configuration of participants and lack of safety equipment, require the purchase of a larger CUV.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
14 days ago
Reply to  Citrus

Huge improvement on inside a Beatle.

Stacks
Stacks
15 days ago

As a tech collector/hoarder, you really don’t have a computer with an optical drive hanging around anywhere?

Stacks
Stacks
15 days ago
Reply to  Stacks

Or a game console from the past 20 years?

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
14 days ago
Reply to  Stacks

I honestly don’t think he does. Otto may have a modern gaming system, but Torch likes the oldies. I firmly belive he suffers the new laptop only because it is necessary for work. He probably gets rid of anything slightly obsolete, because he prefers MASSIVELY obsolete.

Ostronomer
Ostronomer
14 days ago

As someone who appreciates a bit of tech hording, slightly obsolete machines are slow, while massively obsolete machines are charming.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
15 days ago

Does the VW have SatNav? or did that model and year have the option for it? If I remember, some SatNav systems of that era used DVD-ROM to store their map data. So if the system had a DVD drive, it’s no great shakes to add media decoding and make it a movie player, too.

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
15 days ago

Ah, yeah, kid gonna kid… mornings can be hell, especially when one has a lot going on. So good compromise there, chauffeuring in the morning and walking/bussing in the afternoon. People don’t always realize what a big deal that is, as they should if they want their kids to talk to them when they’re grown and out of the house 🙂
As for going digital, it gets downright annoying being dependent on the whims of whoever run the streaming services. That’s why I still have a DVD player *and* a VCR in addition to a Blu-ray player. Even though I don’t go out of my way to collect VHS tapes I find that somehow I have a surprising number of titles on VHS that were never released on DVD/Blu-ray so I’ve hung on to my VCR.
The shuttering of FilmStruck is something of a bellwether and rather the cautionary tale about getting rid of physical media:
https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/10/26/18029104/filmstruck-cancelled-killed-turner-warner-bros-criterion

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
15 days ago

This. There’s no way I want to depend on the web for movies, TV, etc. Even streaming Sirius through my iPad to my stereo receiver can be a pita at times. My internet sucks, and trying to watch stuff that streams is usually a waste of time. Thanks TMobile…

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
15 days ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Hmm, I have Tmobile home 5G and it rocks. Location, location, location.

Stoney got got (potentially)
Stoney got got (potentially)
15 days ago

Don’t enable laziness in the boy! Make his ass walk and like it, like it was his job. The kid’s gotta pull some of that Cheerios weight off of your wallet.

Otherwise, DVD’s are funny 🙂

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
15 days ago

Probably there was an option for either a roof mounted or back of front seat screen.

I have to agree that is pretty much useless to play DVDs nowadays, but, there are cars that pack together with DVD players those ancient AV inputs. If you are lucky some will have a HDMI, which is even better.

You can use a converter, plug something like a Chromecast and then you can stream stuff. If it have individual audio sources at backseat, pure win.

Data
Data
15 days ago

Viva la physical media! You can pry my UHD’s, Blu-Rays, and DVD’s from my cold, dead hands. I don’t worry about which streaming service has the movie I want to see, it’s on my shelf. I do worry about natural disaster wiping out my collection, though. I need a secret underground bunker/lair. To the movie cave!

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
15 days ago

“‘Compass zones’ are used by compass-makers to calibrate and better balance their compasses…”

This is conflating two different aspects of Earth’s magnetic field. The map above is showing variations in declination, which is to say the local horizontal angular difference between true north and magnetic north. The link instead describes “compass balancing zones” which are based on dip angle, which is the local vertical angular difference between horizontal and the vertical component of the magnetic field. Compass balancing zones are therefore much more closely tied to latitude instead of longitude:

https://ritchienavigation.wordpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/zone-chart-cropped_600x331.jpg

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
15 days ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

As a land surveyor I learned all about that difference. Thank the maker that GPS came along and saved us from all of that.

Tom Halter
Tom Halter
15 days ago

Depending on the audio capabilities of your car (if it has a discrete 5.1 amplifier and Dolby Digital playback) DVDs are still the best way to get surround sound audio in your car.

Sure the screen goes blank when you are driving, but if you are just listening to music, who cares.

And yes, finding 5.1 surround sound music can be a pain, but it is worth the effort. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard the original Quadrophonic mix of Dark Side of the Moon, especially Money with the cash register sounds spinning all around you.

Stink E. Jones
Stink E. Jones
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom Halter

+1 on DSOTM 5.1. Good stuff.

The trippiest 5.1 remix I’ve heard is Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi, with The Soft Bulletin a very close second.

AssMatt
AssMatt
15 days ago
Reply to  Stink E. Jones

I have yet to hear Zaireeka, but I’m sure that would take the cake in its intended form…but would also probably be a cheat of the spirit of the comment.

Stink E. Jones
Stink E. Jones
15 days ago
Reply to  AssMatt

OMG just the thought of trying to sync up 4 CD boom boxes is making my eye twitch.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom Halter

Thanks for the reminder. The couple times we saw Pink Floyd live they had huge speakers set up in the arena in the crowd seats. Darkside was a killer to listen to live.
Have heard what you mentioned too, but no comparision to the live effects.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
15 days ago

My Sony streaming box at home has a disc player. I figured it’s a easy way to get the best of both worlds, and there are still a ton of movies not streaming, or at least not regularly.

Current run stuff and endless superhero movies, sure, stream away; stuff like film noir gems, old scifi, and cult classics, DVD is probably your only bet.

(yeah, I still miss Netflix DVDs…had ’em until the end).

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
15 days ago

The DVD player works that way because you’re only supposed to use it to play porn when you’re parking somewhere on a hot date.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
15 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Someone stole my thoughts here…

Tyler Anderson
Tyler Anderson
15 days ago

Your DVDs happen to be two of my favorite movies. Great taste!

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
15 days ago

I also have a DVD player in a car. Between my cars I have a tape deck, a CD changer and a DVD player. what a time to be (have been) alive.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
15 days ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

I’ve always appreciated Ford’s mojo of giving you both the current state of the art and the previous thing too.

My ’02 Mustang with its CD player also has a tape deck, and my ’10 Focus with SYNC also has a CD player.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Nobody beats Lexus when it comes to offering the state of the art 10 years ago in new cars. the car with the tape deck is actually my newest car as a 2008. Hilarious.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
15 days ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

And Lexus was the very last manufacturer to include a cassette player, right?

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

yup.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

and they still have CD (and yes DVD) players on the 24 IS and RC

Drew
Drew
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

It’s a great way to convince people who might not want to move to the newest thing: “Hey, you still have cassettes, and we still have a way for you to listen to them. You can get a new car without leaving behind your old music.”

My ’02 Silverado also has tape deck and CD player, and I had an ’08 Focus with SYNC and CD changer (that didn’t actually function for most of its life–it would have been better to have a single CD player, I think).

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
15 days ago
Reply to  Drew

My mom was actually pretty annoyed when her then new CX-5 didn’t have a CD player.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
14 days ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

My new peterbilt doesn’t have a cd player, which is irritating due to having a massive audio book collection on cd and GASP! Mp3. Luckily peterbilt still uses single din radios. Easy fix.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
14 days ago
Reply to  Drew

Cassettes are having a resurgence. As someone with a large collection who lived through the LP / cassette transition to CDs and eventually recordable CDs and lossless digital files, and the huge quality of life improvements (better sound, no wear, skippability, no reversing), I can’t fathom why anyone would go back to cassettes.

I say this as someone who still has his intact CD collection, so I get the tactile aspect and the knowledge that you can access the music even after Spotify dies out. Cassettes are the worst format since 8-tracks, it’s not even close, and the renaissance of the cassette as a format is nuts.

Drew
Drew
14 days ago

Yeah, I agree. I have a fair collection of CDs and LPs, but absolutely no desire to return to cassettes. It feels like a weird nostalgia-adjacent thing driven by people just slightly too young to have dealt with cassettes.

DONALD FOLEY
DONALD FOLEY
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I think all the 2024 Subarus, except BRZ and Solterra, still have CD players.

Drew
Drew
15 days ago

When I had my Explorer, I bought a stereo that could play DVDs. Not for that feature, but I still tried it. Once. If you’re watching DVDs on one of these screens, you’re having a really rough go. Just look out the window. I don’t care if you’re parked in a closed storage unit with the lights off, it’s still going to be better entertainment.

A. Barth
A. Barth
15 days ago

the Changli; however, I’m currently in the process of replacing the melty wires with heavier-gauge, non-melty ones

Huzzah!! Please make sure your internal connections are in good shape first, though.

I don’t mind DVDs too much. If we were to pick a completely random example – like The Blues Brothers – I have the options of “buying” the film from the cable provider; renting the film from same; or playing the physical media that is over there in the cabinet. DVDs are less convenient but they also work in the absence of internet and they do not have ads [during the movie].

I could set up a Plex server but frankly it wouldn’t be worth the time.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
14 days ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Plex is a pain. Jellyfin just works, and it doesn’t force you into sketchy licensing or user account shenanigans you don’t control, because it’s free software (libre and $0). I normally don’t self host personal stuff because I do it professionally and the last thing I want is to do IT at home, but Jellyfin has been completely trouble-free, except when I had it set to transcode x265 in real time on an ancient underpowered PoS PC.

I now have it running on a $300 micro PC with AMD horsepower and transcoding is imperceptible.

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
15 days ago

I think you mixed up towing capacity with vehicle weight:

The 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan has the following weight specifications:

Curb weight: 3,433 lbs.

Maximum towing capacity: 2,200 lbs.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
15 days ago

I got Victor’s Eyebrow at that myself https://youtu.be/0K_Iw-ikBe0?t=83

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
15 days ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

To be honest, I’m surprised that the Tiguan only weighs 3400 lb. I figured it would be 3600-3800…

Goof
Goof
15 days ago

Perhaps it’s his wife’s dedicated autocross Tiguan?

Ted Fort
Ted Fort
15 days ago

I was about to make a snarky “I’m surprised a Tiguan weighs less than an ND Miata!” joke.

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