Rear seat entertainment?

Cody Templeton

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My 2013 Flex came with the stock Invision DVD system and although it worked great for a while one of the screens is starting to crap out in it. I don't really buy DVD's anymore either, so it's slowly becoming more useless besides the fact the kids can plug the Playstation into them since they have composite jacks. A lot of the time they just end up using their phones or something because they don't want to watch a DVD.

It seems the popular thing now is to get tablet mounts for the headrest posts and use tablets, then power them off the rear inverter wiring. I know that way I could hotspot WiFi onto them, plus the kids can play games or whatever on them too, and the screens aren't tiny trying to fit them into the headrests. Also, they can just use bluetooth headsets then as well. The IR headsets from the Invision system suck. Lastly, a lot of them have HDMI input too, so it would be even easier to plug game systems into them.

What's everyone running? Leaning towards something like this:

 
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Cody Templeton

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Went ahead and ordered these:


After reading around the different F-150 forums it was highly recommended to just use tablets with headrest mounts, this way they can be also removed from the video and used separately. Also, they support all of your usual stuff like YouTube, Netflix, etc. as well as mobile games and if you want to watch movies you can always load them onto an SD card and watch them that way. They accept HDMI in and out, so not only can you plug game systems and such into them, you can also link them together with and HDMI cable so they can share screen. They also will accept bluetooth headsets and also have their own internal speakers in the tablets, so you have those options too. Basically, they're just the next evolution of the old DVD-based rear seat entertainment setups, but the screens are much larger and touch which is great because the kids always seem to lose the remote or break it.
 
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Cody Templeton

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Started on the project tonight. Pretty impressed with the quality of the kits. They come with a 12v power port charger, a 110v wall charger, an HDMI cable, and a cable that includes L/R audio in and out, composite in, batt+ feed, acc feed, and ground. The headrest mounts are pretty nice as they adjust nicely and lock in tight. I haven't gotten to use the tablets themselves yet as I wanted to get everything installed first. They can easily be removed from the mounts without any tools as well.

I decided to run the full harness up through the seat and out the headrest hole to keep it as clean looking as possible. It's routed with the factory seat harness for the most part and will be nice and hidden under the seat as well. I haven't decided yet how I want to tie the batt+, acc, and ground in yet, but I'm thinking the acc will be the same feed I used for my remote amp turn on and the batt+ I'll pull from the fuse box somewhere. I'd imagine that way the tablets will charge when off and then the screens turn on when the acc is powered up.

Here's pictures thus far:
 

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Cody Templeton

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Picked up some 30 dollar bluetooth headphones at Wal-Mart today to keep in the seat pockets for the rear entertainment system. Having had the Invision system in the Flex with the IR headphones I quickly realized not to spend a bunch on them because they get lost, stepped on, chewed on by the dogs, etc. and have to get replaced. You definitely don't want to spend the least amount you can on them though. I remember trying a pair that cost about 15 bucks and they were uncomfortable and the battery life on them was terrible. I think 25-30 bucks is probably the good middle ground of something cheap enough to not cry when they get broken, but also decent enough that you actually will use them.
 
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Cody Templeton

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Got it all finished up tonight. Accessory feed is run off the same feed as the remote turn on for the amp from Fuse 38 so that it functions the same way as the radio power. Battery feed is spliced off the rear 12v port as it's on all the time. Ground is spliced off the rear 12v port as well, that way I didn't need to worry about putting another hole in the floor. Both harnesses are just tied together. You can see the routing in I used in the pictures. The RCA and composite jacks are accessible, but hidden under the floor liner.
 

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Cody Templeton

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You can see in these the harnesses have tons of room under the center console to tuck in, and everything ends up looking very clean. Just had to drill some holes in the center console to route the harnesses in behind the back panel.
 

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Cody Templeton

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Really happy with how it all turned out. Took my 14 year old out after I got it all done and had him test run it. He has a pretty nice custom build PC setup that we did, so he's not a stranger to quality hardware. He said the headphones were comfortable and had great audio quality for how inexpensive they were. Also, he said the screens are very nice quality, fast, and responsive. He also really liked the RGB lighting since it goes nicely with the OEM accent lighting setup. I was able to hotspot my phone and easily pickup the Wi-Fi on the units, and when the headphones turn on they automatically bluetooth pair with the screens as well. I'm gonna do some more testing on the setup and if all works out it will be replacing the Invision DVD system in the Flex that is slowly dying.
 
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