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Tivo with old Sony Trinitron SD

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by charlikin, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Feb 9, 2014 #1 of 29
    charlikin

    charlikin New Member

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    Dec 24, 2001
    New York, NY
    Well, I'm feeling very foolish right now. I have an old 27" Sony Trinitron that I bought in 1997. It still has a great picture - just takes a few seconds longer to warm up. I had sworn that I wasn't going to replace it until it died.

    It's been hooked up to a Tivo Series 2 DT which I had upgraded with a larger hard drive. The Tivo was getting slower, and when TWC went all-digital so that the second tuner no longer worked, it seemed like the right time to upgrade to the newly-released Roamio. Just got the entire thing hooked up yesterday, cable card, tuning adapter and all - only to discover that the Roamio displays most of the menus in HD so that they appear squishy and fuzzy on my SD screen. It's basically unusable.

    It looks like my choices are either to return the Roamio or bite the bullet and replace my beloved Trinitron. I'm not thrilled about replacing the tv since a larger one will take up more space on the tv cabinet, leaving almost no space for a couple of large knick knacks I have displayed. (This may not seem like an important concern - except that I have very little space for displaying things elsewhere in the room.) I know the Sony will eventually die and I'll have to face this issue then, but maybe I can still hold off a few years...

    Okay, I feel very foolish even posting this. Just wanted to get people's comments and advice (and perhaps some secret code for making the Roamio usable on my Trinitron!). Please be kind. ;-)
     
  2. Feb 9, 2014 #2 of 29
    HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...
    If you go get a 27-32" flat panel display, those are pretty cheap nowadays and can be easily wall mounted, saving the space on your shelf for your decorations. Is that doable?
     
  3. Feb 9, 2014 #3 of 29
    charlikin

    charlikin New Member

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    Dec 24, 2001
    New York, NY
    Thanks, HarperVision - can't mount anything on that wall (long story). But I'm intrigued by your suggestion of a smaller tv.

    The guidelines I've read say that for the distance I'll be sitting from the tv (usu. around 9 ft, though sometimes possibly closer), I should get between 40" to 80". I was thinking I'd stick to the low end of that range which in terms of horizontal dimension would be about 10" wider than my Trinitron.

    Would it be bad to go smaller?? (assuming smaller still exists - lol!)
     
  4. Feb 9, 2014 #4 of 29
    worachj

    worachj Active Member

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    Eagan, MN
    Have you tried changing the TiVo to display the TV aspect ratio as 4:3 classic?

    Settings==>Video==>TV Aspect ratio==> 4:3 classic
     
  5. Feb 9, 2014 #5 of 29
    charlikin

    charlikin New Member

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    Dec 24, 2001
    New York, NY
    Yes, the aspect ratio is set to 4:3. But the menus appear as though I have a much higher resolution screen - the text is small and sometimes smushed, esp. in the program descriptions. From what I've read here on the forums, the premiere models used to have an option to display the menus in SD, but the roamio doesn't have that option. Big omission, imho.

    It's really frustrating to me because other than that, the roamio seems really nice.
     
  6. Feb 9, 2014 #6 of 29
    javabird

    javabird Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2006
    Seattle
    Would a 27" flat panel HD TV on a stand fit in your cabinet? My mom had a similar problem and I helped her buy a nice flat panel Samsung for her bedroom a couple of years ago.
     
  7. charlikin

    charlikin New Member

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    Dec 24, 2001
    New York, NY
    Probably even a 32" would fit okay. It's just that everything I've read has said that the minimum I should get for my size room is 40". And I've read a lot of comments from people who bought at the smaller end of the scale and said they wished they'd gotten bigger.

    Anyone out there with a 32" in your living room? Are you happy with it?
     
  8. poppagene

    poppagene User

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    Dec 29, 2001
    Return the roamio and get a Tivo HD or Series 3 or Premiere with the option for sd menus on ebay or craigs list or through the sellers forum here.
     
  9. moonscape

    moonscape Member

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    Jul 3, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    This is such a personal decision. You're happy with your 27" 4:3 now, and a 32" 16:9 would be a nice upgrade. You can compare viewing areas here: http://www.cavecreations.com/tv2.cgi Only you can balance how much TV you want vs how much room you want to display your things.

    I remember when I went from a 13" to a 19" in my bedroom and at the time it felt a little like a 60" TV does now :) - and was happy with that for years. It's all relative: what we get used to, what our needs are. I'd go by that more than a chart that says what size TV one 'should' get for what distance.

    32" TVs aren't expensive these days, and in your circumstance could satisfy you for years (as you said your 27" would.) So - in several years if you decide you want a larger one, or have a new layout to accommodate one, they also will have come down in price and you could buy one then.

    I think you'll be happier than you can now imagine with the image quality of a new TV, and I say that as someone who understands =completely= hanging onto beloved older things.
     
  10. takeshi

    takeshi New Member

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    Jul 22, 2010
    That's really your call. Don't rely just on what you've read. You know your room size and your preferences and can use that to determine "good" and "bad" (highly subjective on any topic).

    I'd echo the suggestion to consider wall mounting. Both of our plasmas (50" & 65") are wall mounted and they really help to free up space in the room and on our furniture.

    SD has been on the way out for quite some time now. It doesn't make sense to cater to such a small niche.

    Again, subjective. Some are. Some are not. After owning a 50 I wouldn't get anything smaller. After getting a 65 I wouldn't get anything smaller. YMMV. You can't just poll on subjective matters and you have to decide based on your preferences and priorities. Try using masking tape to mark out different screen sizes to help you in your decision making -- it's what I did to help decide between the 60 & the 65.
     
  11. WO312

    WO312 Active Member

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    Jan 24, 2003
    Finger...
    Go to a store. Stand 9' from a 32" and see if it fits your needs. I suspect it will.

    And you will really appreciate the move from SD to HD.
     
  12. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    If you change the video to 'panel', does that fix anything?

    I definitely watch my Tivos on non-HD resolution, though at 16:9, sometimes (e.g. when going through my XS32 recorder).

    I used to absolutely use my S3 & TivoHD on a 4:3 TV too.. though that's not too relevant.
     
  13. Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    Sep 15, 2000
    At 9', unless OP has eagle eyes, I don't think you'll be able to make out the enhanced details of 720p, nevermind 1080p, over standard def.

    The "retina" point for a 32" at 720p is around 4-6 feet or so. 1080p is closer to 3-4'.
     
  14. waynomo

    waynomo My One Time TCF Club

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    Nov 9, 2002
    Seven...
    I don't agree with this. We have a smaller HDTV in the kitchen. I can tell the second I walk in if my wife doesn't have it tuned to an HD channel. And from farther than 9 feet.

    Retina point doesn't really address the overall observable quality of the picture.
     
  15. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    / Raises hand

    My old TV was a Sony Wega CRT (36'' I believe) and when it died, I had to find a replacement that would still fit in my entertainment center.
    I ended up with a 32'' LCD flat screen TV that just fit. The next size up wouldn't have.

    I would have liked to go bigger, but overall I am happy. When I had the Sony, I had the TiVo set to 16x9 and watched everything letterboxed. When I got the LCD, I was surprised to find that the 32'' 16x9 picture was slightly bigger than the letterboxed picture of the 36'' CRT. I was satisfied.
     
  16. charlikin

    charlikin New Member

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    Dec 24, 2001
    New York, NY
    Thank you so much, everyone, for your help with this momentous decision!! (Lol - talk about first world problems...)

    Hmmm...exchanging the Roamio for a Premiere is an interesting idea. Have to read more about the Premiere - I had read that the menus were really sluggish, but was that only with the HD menus?

    Meanwhile, I did go to Best Buy last night to check out just how big these 32" and 40" tv's are. Couldn't stand 9' back from the 32" because it was in an aisle, but I mocked up its size at home with cardboard and put it in front of my 27" Trinitron - it's really about the same size - slightly wider, a few inches lower. It would be nice to go up a *little* bit in screen size - too bad they don't make 37" anymore - that might have been just the thing. ;-)

    Another question: a lot of programs show text on the screen now - extra stats or tweets from users, stuff like that. I can't read any of it on my Trinitron, but would it be readable on a 32" HD or would it still be too small? Like, is it a matter of resolution or of size?
     
  17. javabird

    javabird Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2006
    Seattle
    It's a combination of both, but I think you'll find HD text is much easier to read because it's sharper.
     
  18. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Feb 4, 2008
    if you are mounting this in an older cabinet, one option to provide for a new wider TV is to modify the cabinet.

    I have done this, and helped others, basically chopping it down and placing the TV on top. That is, take the top off, cut the sides level to where the TV base is, and put the top over the base. You would never know it was modified. YMMV.
     
  19. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    Either that or replace the cabinet with a nice TV stand. That would allow you to place a larger TV on top and still have shelf space for equipment and knick knacks.

    Trust me when I tell you that you really want to go with a larger screen to get the most enjoyment out of HDTV. The new flat screens have a surprisingly small footprint compared to older CRT models. There are lots of models in the 36" range and larger to choose from that won't break the bank.
     
  20. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Also of note, the newer TVs use much less energy than a 27" from 1997. That alone could be worth the price of entry.
     

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