Pushing the bounds of in-vehicle entertainment just a little bit higher, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. says it will offer an in-dash 6-disc DVD changer in an '03 model vehicle.

What's more, say the folks at Mitsubishi Electric, the unit plays both DVDs and CDs and takes up less space than other DVD changers on the market today.

Now a road trip can include the convenience of a pre-selected mix of both audio and videos.

The new unit takes up the same space and weighs the same as a current 6-disc CD changer, which Mitsubishi Electric hopes will get the attention of instrument panel designers constantly looking for ways to add features into limited space.

The trick was to figure out a way to handle the discs in the changer without taking up added room. Engineers at Mitsubishi Electric (which they point out is not affiliated with Mitsubishi Motors Corp.) designed and patented the disc-handling mechanism without taking up added room. The new unit is actually about an inch (20 cm) shorter than other 6-disc DVD units.

Mitsubishi Electric's Mike Antrim, executive manager for audio products, says the changer is versatile and will allow mounting in the IP as well as in the headliner with the DVD screen, or in a center console of vans and sport/utility vehicles.

Mr. Antrim says the changer will be configured into entertainment systems designed by Mitsubishi Electric that include the screen and player, as well as the changer, but notes that the supplier also can provide the components, such as the changer mechanism, to other vehicle entertainment system providers.

Automaker cost for the unit, says Mr. Antrim, will be about $100 more than a 6-disc CD changer and about $60 more than a single-disc DVD unit. Mitsubishi Electric expects to make about 60,000 to 80,000 of the units in the first year of production.