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Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by renkablue, Oct 6, 2007.
Google is your friend....
You should look for a HDTV with 3 HDMI ports, 4 is better, because all the other types of ports will be useless before or after 2012 (if you need to upgrade your stereo equipment). Also, make sure that you HDMI ports are the current version 1.3.
Currently I do have the Tivo sound coming through the stereo, and since my equipment has aged with me, I can see your point...That is my reason to be on this thread to learn what are the good and bad of the products. If things work out I am planning the jump to upgrade TV and Tivo by the 1st of the year. I will be looking for sales that can fit my budget.
Why do you say this? Not challenging, just curious since we're considering it as a location . . .
1. Viewing angle. Being above the fireplace means that you're looking up at the screen. This is uncomfortable and, for LCDs in particular, can mean lower picture quality. The ideal height is that your eyes, when you are seated, are level with a spot half to two-thirds up the screen.
2. Heat. When you have a fire in the fireplace there will be a lot of hot air rising that will affect the TV
3. Soot. See #2 above
4. Wiring. If it's above the fireplace, that means it's in front of the chimney, which may complicate wiring.
If you want to have the TV there just so it looks pretty and you'll never actually watch it, then above the fireplace is fine.
Is there a device that you get that add's more HDMI ports to your TV?
Sure - an HDMI automatic switch. Many companies make them, I have one from Octava that I like.
Few TVs have more than two HDMI inputs and in most cases what you want is to put a switch by the sources and run a single cable to the TV. Otherwise you have to run multiple cables AND switch inputs on the TV. Automatic switches will detect source devices going on and off and switch, or you can use a remote control. Many A/V receivers do HDMI switching too.
As for HDMI 1.3, it's nice but not a "must have" in my opinion. Do look for it but to take advantage requires that all the components in your signal chain be 1.3, including the signal source. Oh, and there are three variants of HDMI 1.3, which you'll rarely read about. 1.3, 1.3a and 1.3b See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI
In addition to a switch, an AV receiver does as well.
If I had the money, I would get a Sony. But I am eyeing value conscious brands such as Vizio.
However, I have hopes that come Black Friday, there nay be other options available in my price range.
All the post are certainly very informative for me. I had seen ads for TV and noticed the lack of input ports in comparison to what I currently have. I didn't know that a switch could be the answer and if I understand correctly have less wires - then of course I will consider the wireless aspect. I have read lots of posts that people have problems with wireless.
I got a quite reasonably priced hdmi switch (with ir remote) from Monoprice.com. It can switch 5 signals although I only use two - tivo and dvd player. Coupled with a new harmony remote (720), it works pretty nicely.
Switches are not wireless. Instead of having an individual HDMI cable run from each play device (DVD, TiVo, etc.) to the TV and using the TV to select the input, you connect the device HDMI outputs to the switch and it has one HDMI output to the TV. Many A/V receivers nowadays can also switch, though few have more than two or three inputs.
In my setup, the TV is in the living room and all the components are in a hallway closet. Because I have to run the HDMI cable down into the basement, across and up to the TV, I need one about 20 feet long. If I wasn't using a switch, I'd need four HDMI cables (and my TV has only two HDMI inputs.) My A/V receiver switches two inputs and I use a 3-port switch to add two more (the receiver feeds one of the switch inputs.) You can get switches with five or more ports if you need that.
I gotta tell ya, Sony is still holding on to that PQ thing because they were (IMHO) the undisputed kings of the CRT direct view TV world. Nothing even came close on a properly calibrated Sony CRT, and in the pro world where CRTs are still in wide use, you rarely see anything else.
However Vizio is now my choice for value and quality. Panasonic may have better PQ but price is a factor there, Toshiba is also good, but again, pricey compared to Vizio.
Sony LCDs (again IMHO) are not worth the money. Don't get me wrong, they are good, but it also becomes a matter of personal preference. The RPTVs they sold in the 90s to me were awful because the picture looked too "videoey" for me. My RPTV back then was Toshiba, which IMO has the most film-like picture when well calibrated.
I think you can't go wrong with Vizio, and it's what I will be replacing my 14 year old Toshiba RPTV with in January.
Well, Vizio gives you a lot for the money, but every review I have read says that the picture quality is "good but not great". The reviews of LCD sets consistently have Sony on top.
My brother-in-law has his 60" plasma hanging above the fireplace. Makes me wonder how it would work if a fire was lit. The biggest thing about this however is that he has no room on the mantel for decorative items. In a traditional sense it's sorta ugly. You also have to spend money on an expensive remote system if you keep you components, like tivo, in a cabinet.
I have a 46" Polaroid (which is really from some no-name Chinese manufacturer) that I got at a Walmart a few months afo for about $1300 and I love it. It only has a 1000:1 contrast ratio, but I have no idea what that means and therefore it doesn't bother me. The picture looks great with my TiVo HD using HDMI cables I got online for $7 each.
DO NOT buy cables at a retail store!! They mark them up a HUGE amount, figure out what you need ahead of time and shop online. I saved easily over $100 (for just two cables!) from buying them at a store.
Here the Nov issue of The Perfect Vision that you may want to look at:
I saw a new model home early this year that had electric outlets (nothing else) centered above the fireplace. I laughed so hard at it that others started to look at me. The salesman said the home buyers had requested it. The TV would have been like 7 feet up in the air with no way to get cable or sat lines to it.
Oh and by the way, I'm a big fan of the Samsung LCD displays. I have a 40" and a 46" inch. The picture on them is incredible.
And my older Samsung DLP with the expensive bulb has been running almost non-stop everyday for 3+ years now with out needing a new bulb yet.
I sometimes question reviews, for example, if you are an audiophile you may remember the stellar reviews given to the Lexus Levison systems by all the top guys in the field, using the same adjectives usually reserved for Krell level home systems. After living with one of those systems for a year I can tell you the Ford Typhoon (Monsoon? some sort of wet storm ) BLOWS it away in almost every category except maybe imaging.
Of course, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am in the minority in my opinion even among my friends. I also will not dispute that the Sonys will measure better that Vizios (probably) but that I simply don't like the "feel" of the picture. Can't explain it.
In the days of RPTV I always thought Toshiba blew Sony away and that the Toshiba in my sig (which I am STILL watching) is possibly the best NTSC RPTV ever made.
I think the only way to tell for yourself is to get out there and sample PROPERLY CALIBRATED examples.
My personal opinion is that even though Sony and Panasonic might score higher with reviewers than Vizio, the price differential does not not equal the improvement in quality.
Besides, with quality FP as cheap as they are these days and affordable Chinese motorized screens like Elite around, why fool around with high priced panels anyway? Get a cheap Vizio for watching the news, and pick up a kickass LCD FP like the Panny AE1000 for those "special nights"!
I got the Panny AE900 FP about 10 months ago for less than the Toshiba cost me in 1994! It now comes down in front of the old gal for football and Discovery HD Theater nights! Soon a Vizio 42 or similar will replace the Toshiba for daytime viewing!
oh yeah, and I also agree with the above poster that Samsung is great as well and worth a look.