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Philips PET744: The sugar-free way to entertain children

Kids. They sounded like a good idea at the time, but summer is here and there's no way to keep them quiet without feeding them constantly. Philips has a DVD-based solution

Sleet, hail and widespread flooding of the UK aside, apparently it's summer. And with summer comes holidays, and with those come bored, listless and fidgety children. Happily, Philips wants to reduce the massive harrassment under-occupied youths inflict on their parents and provide a way to anaesthetise them against the pain of imagination and creativity. That's right, the Philips PET744 is a portable DVD player, and we all know there's no better way to silence a child than by injecting Disney directly into its eyeballs.

The built-in 7-inch screen is large enough for those keen young eyes, which will be bathed in a full spectrum of 16.7 million colours. It's also got a decent, although non-HD, resolution of 800x400 pixels, which at this size means you'll be getting a crisp picture from your DVD collection. To keep fights to a minimum, there are two headphone-jack sockets, which means two sprogs can be entertained at once, in silence. A car-charger and mounting thingamajig are also included, for maximum on-road harmony.

The PET744 also supports DivX and other kinds of MPEG-4 from both rewritable discs and USB memory cards. This is good news for parents, who will no doubt have backups of their expensive DVD collections for those times when children decided to use the discs as frisbees. Such backing-up is technically illegal, but we think you'd be safe enough in this case.

Philips claims the battery can last for around six hours, which we think might be stretching it slightly. But if it transpires to be correct, that's enough power to watch Monsters Inc four times. Brilliant. Happily, a remote control is included, which Philips is keen to point out means parents can stay in control of everything. But seriously, as long as the kids get their bright colours, there'll be no trouble, right?

It's £150, which doesn't sound too much until you realise you need to buy one for each of the little tykes or they'll pull each other's arms off fighting over which brightly coloured cartoon to watch. The PET744 is available from this month and we're hoping to have a more comprehensive review of its talents soon.