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smokedog2
04-09-2006, 09:03 AM
Well, our very interesting discussion of tequila and tents appears to have fallen off the page. How about discussing the not so inexpensive hobby of TV?

My wife went on a furniture buying spree the only thing I got out of it was an entertainment center that will only fit a flat panel display (SCORE!).

Iíve heard that plasma screens suffer from burn in and someone recommended something called DLP. I am also moving the TiVo downstairs with the kids and either need a second TiVo or a suitable substitute.

My questions are what type of flat screen TV would you recommend? The entertainment center will fit a 50 inch model.

Second, has anyone used a computer instead of TiVo as their primary recorder and how big a pain was it to get that working?

My understanding is that you can still buy a lifetime TiVo subscription up until April 15. I plan to go check that out next week. Iím paying far too many people every month.

If you have TiVo, you cannot go back to regular TV.

This is boating related. I need it resolved and installed before the water temp gets too high. Iíve also been working until well after dark in the yard cus I am not doing anything come boating weekends. I bought a new mower for my son, the joys of training a 10 year old. This year he learns to drive the boat!

Cub Scouts today - model rocket launches. Iíve never launched a model rocket and neither have they, it should be interesting. Almost as interesting as tequila.

SD2

JoeTechie
04-09-2006, 10:32 AM
The chores of HAVING to get a new flat panel... you are so pained we can tell.

First, DLP is a PROJECTION technology for rear or front projection screens, not flat panels. It involves millions of tiny mirrors, and I'm not a fan... yet.

Plasma offers much faster pixles and much greater color depth, and offers true black so contrast is amazing... however they have very short lives, and are very expensive. Not ready for prime time IMHO.

LCD's - VAST array of possibilities and lots of minor technologies inside the larger LCD banner. The long and short - so much changes so quickly - think of buying a set that you wont mind replacing in 3-5 years (vs 6-10 for more TV's)

My first check is for inputs. If a flat panel does not have DVI, or HDMI, forget it and run away. You sohuld always be feeding a flat panel a digital signal. Conversion from or to analog is a complete loss of a generation of signal (like dubbing a cd to tape then burning a cd from the tape)

Next look at contrast, brightness, and anagle of view. All are slightly important (and all sales people will throw them at you so try to understand that they are simply throwing numbers that mean very little and move on - all while nodding apporpriatly)

Black level is to me one of the most important points for a flat panel LCD tv. By their nature - an lcd is lit with a backlight, so they are never black unless they are off (and even then they are sometimes strangly grey) so no "true black" to reference too. This makes contrast a problem - some new sets are actually switching off and on during darker passages thus creating a blacker black.

Higher Refrsh rates will improve ghosting.

When comparring "dot pitch" - use a diagonal, not vertical or horizontal number - diagonal cannot cheat.

Higher angles of view can decrease the clarity of the actual picture (they use oddball fresnel lenses that cloud the picture)

Find a DVD you like and know well - and take it with you. Like people always said to take a cd with you when testing speakers. One with a high contrast and lots of reds (the hardest color to reproduce well)

Ok, I have lots more, but I have rambled long enough. I need to go clean up the boat - had a great day on the lake yesterday (till a bayliner came and kept screwing it up with his wake) - today: all rain - perfect for doing taxes!

Hope this helps,

-Joe

JoeTechie
04-09-2006, 10:37 AM
Oh, DVRs - yes, currently the price you are paying is for the guide. Tivo, all the cable companies, and the 2 sat companies now charge for that guide. There is a public domain guide on the internet that people that build HTPCs (home theater PC's) use for free. So if you get a pc for this it will need a high speed internet connection. Ususally easy to access or put in wireless.
I've built some very HTPCs that perform as a DVRs and also CD jukeboxes w/ onscreen guides, etc. Not a fan of the DVD jukeboxes yet - just not as good ripped as on the dvd, and take up way too much space.

-Joe

Smrtz
04-09-2006, 11:30 AM
Hey guys this unit is really awesome! if you are looking for PVR with satellite.

pansat 6000 (http://www.dvb101.net/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=154)

Dont know if any of you guys have had experience but there are truely lots of alternatives!

JoeTechie
04-09-2006, 06:14 PM
I prefer my ViewSat. :)

-J

zabooda
04-09-2006, 06:43 PM
Better to be a toastee eighteen times than a toaster just once.

Ben Franklin (???)

lowdrag
04-10-2006, 02:23 AM
I thought about doing the lifetime subscription when I got our TiVo. The only thing that steered my away from it was when I saw that it was only good for the machine you currently have. If you upgrade your box or it goes bad you just lost you lifetime subscription. At least that's the way it was when I looked into it.

smokedog2
04-10-2006, 07:30 AM
Copper wire on a rocket Ė you should have seen the fiasco with the string on an arrow for putting up a rope swing at the lake.

Yep life time TiVo is for the box but the hard drive is really the only part that will die. I can fix that.

I'll get this worked eventually.

SD2

Smrtz
04-10-2006, 10:31 AM
what does the Tivo service cost?

JoeTechie
04-10-2006, 01:23 PM
Note to self : Do not let Ed play with the Tow Missle again.

-J

NH Moomba
04-10-2006, 11:08 PM
I was just shopping for the flat screen this last weekend and have decided LCD is the way to go for me. I am looking at the Mitsubishi 37 inch. It has the cable card slot I want and a couple of HDMI ports. It also is 1080 progressive scan vs the 1080 interlaced. Nothing is yet broadcast in 1080P but I didn't want to get stuck with the older 768 pixel technology. One of the things I like is that you can hang it on the wall and the controller/brains can be located elsewhere. Before I spend 3k, what does Joe techie think? Also, I have Tivo but have realized it can't record HDTV. I think some of the DVR's you can get through the cable can but they have ultimate control and won't let you record a pay per view and then automaticaly delete some stuff from what I have heard.

Andy

JoeTechie
04-11-2006, 11:43 AM
The LT3780 is a really nice set! Only 37" vs the common 40-42, but amazing color and clarity. Mitsubishi really does a fine job with it. I am not a fan of upconverting signals, or line doubling, but this seems to do it better if that is what you want. And the 1080p ready is very nice anti-obsolecence. Also not a fan of memory card readers in tvs... wrong format, but as a gimick it's cute.

I can't find any bad reviews of it.

Curious...Are you a gambler or do you plan on getting an extended warranty ? For Plasma it used to be a no-brainer - now most extendeds limit the life of the lamp and the parts that are going to break so you really do not get much for the money.

Oh, and Sony has HDTV Tivos... They are actually DirectTV satellite recievers as well as Tivo units, but will record and use the tivo program guide for cable as well.

I have heard of the digital cable HDTV DVR's being a problem in the past, I think they have solved most of that by now... but I do not keep up with all of them. I am a DISH guy, so we had DVR and HDTV DVR long long ago. ;)

-Joe

Smrtz
04-11-2006, 04:47 PM
Hey Joe, what are you running besides viewsat? and which model?? platinum or extreme?
Have you tryed any other fta receivers?

Dreambox is also supposed to be an amazing unit!

Wolf-
04-11-2006, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by JoeTechie

I have heard of the digital cable HDTV DVR's being a problem in the past, I think they have solved most of that by now... but I do not keep up with all of them. I am a DISH guy, so we had DVR and HDTV DVR long long ago. ;)

-Joe

I've been running a custom built DVR off of Dish for about 3 years now.
We moved to HiDef in the living room (32" sanyo 16:9 flat glass tube, 1080i) Dec 04.
In Jan 06 we put in a Mitsi HiDef projector in the office (720p).

I'm having a hard time with Dish right now in that they only DVR they offer in HiDef (ViP622) only supplies HD to one unit and SD to the other unit. I'd need another receiver (ViP211) and have to pay 3 outlet fees (if I'm to believe the CS reps)

Their customer service folks seem unable to grasp the idea that some of us have multiple hidef monitors/systems in the same household.

I've not switched to the new HiDef packages because I don't like the new equipment, doesn't meet our needs, and will end up costing us $15-$20 more a month so I get one additional channel I'd really like, ESPN2HD for the World Cup this summer.

Charlie's fight with the cable company has lost us OLN, so won't be able to see the Gravity Games this year.

Downside to custom built DVR, you need to be a geek to get it working, and a geek to keep it running well. Saw your notes about DVD jukeboxes and agree on the space issues. I've got 1TB in the DVR and have all the kids movies ripped to Xvid/DivX format for them. Some movies are ripped to about 700mb each, with the cartoons ripped to about 300mb or so each. Advantage of the custom DVR is that I can have it convert tv recordings to Ipod MP4 format for road trips or airport waiting. Dish has just announced their new portable player (PocketDish) The system is a WinXP using SnapStream BeYondTV 4 for the recordings. The ability to setup the programming from the web is very nice. However as a Dish customer. had to kludge together an IR transmitter to change the receiver when the DVR changes.

NH Moomba
04-11-2006, 08:06 PM
Thanks Joe, the 37 inches works best for my wall. I think I am a gambler when it comes to extended warranties - especially with an LCD. The plasmas generate a lot more heat and of course the pictures fade after a while. The guy at Tweeter Etc... ( a local Home Theater store) says some of the newer plasmas actaully come with a recharge port. As far a the cable card slot goes, I think you are mixing that up with the memory card slots for showing digital pictures. The cable card slot allows you to plug in card that replaces the cable box for encoded channels and pay per view - one less box you have to hide.

To keep this somewhat boat related and because I am too lazy to start another thread, has anyone had any experience with a viscoelastic noise reduction paint they sell at West Marine? It sounds like snake oil but I will do anything to try to quiet the noise coming from the fiberglass bass reflex engine cover on the Outback. I'm guessing it is pretty much the same stuff as the rubberized undercoat you can buy at the auto parts store. I think next year it might be time to get a V drive as much for the noise as the better wake.

Andy

Wolf-
04-11-2006, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by NH Moomba
To keep this somewhat boat related and because I am too lazy to start another thread, has anyone had any experience with a viscoelastic noise reduction paint they sell at West Marine? It sounds like snake oil but I will do anything to try to quiet the noise coming from the fiberglass bass reflex engine cover on the Outback. I'm guessing it is pretty much the same stuff as the rubberized undercoat you can buy at the auto parts store. I think next year it might be time to get a V drive as much for the noise as the better wake.
Andy

I'm assuming you are talking about the stuff from "Silent Running".
The idea is that the paint converts sound energy into heat energy.
In a large engine area, or over a wide area that would probably be ok.
In the domed environment of a directdrive, not sure how well that heat will dissipate, or actually how much will be created???

I don't know anyone that has used it on smaller recreational craft.
I have seen on one of the malibu forums, a guy redid his directdrive cover with felt and foam to reduce noise.

JoeTechie
04-12-2006, 12:34 AM
I'm noise proofing my LSV this weekend. Have foam/vinyl sheets, and Dynamat. Dynamat and the like are either asphalt based or mineral loaded copolymer vinyl based sheets with adhesive on one side and aluminum heat shield on the other.

Thre are 2 kinds of noise reduction. Removing harmonic vibrations, and reducing overall sound levels through absorbsion and dissipation. Car and boat body panels vibrate. The vibrations can create a harmonic that causes a low level bass rumble or rattle. By adding mass to the panels - you can greatly reduce the vibrations ability to be transferred. Asphault was the first, now mineral filled copolymer vinyl is replacing it. Both add mass and disipate vibrations amazingly well. Both handle heat well, but the true heat resistant versions have a metal shield to reflact heat back and even insulate. Viscoeleactic polymer sprays do the same thing to a lesser degree, but can be used in conjunction where sheets are very hard to apply. I do not see them as a replacement and are very expensive per sq foot.

Foam, fiberglass, and the like convert noise to heat - ok, just a little heat, but we all know the physics of energy so it has to go soemwhere. Plain old egg crate reduces noise bay about 1.5 dB, so does paperboard. Fiberglass panels can reduce noise by 3dB. Professional acoustic foam panels by up to 9db. FYI a 3dB reduction is a halving of the perceived sound.

Mixing all of these in the right way can greatly reduce noise in any vehicle or boat.

Hope this helps,

Joe

JoeTechie
04-12-2006, 12:42 AM
Smrtz - I have a Platinum, and just ordered a new extreme for the other room.
I had a pansat 2700 first - good starter, but I like the features and speed of the viewsat.
Love FTA.

Wolf - Get the DVR's on eBay and skip the outlet fees. Oh, and I agree w/ the geek comment to a dregree. The new software and parts are becoming much more stable, and therefore more general user friendly. Most anyone who would have one built is already an AV geek w/ some computer background. All my clients are.

-Joe

zabooda
04-12-2006, 01:43 AM
With noise proofing, the material sounds like something similar to the undercoating material used for cars. The material was put on thick. The conversion from sound waves to energy and absorbed by a passive system is rather exaggerated. I don't get the low frequency rumble and I don't get much vibration at all. If I had low frequency rumble, I would try to isolate the vibration (dampening) or correct the vibration.

Smrtz
04-12-2006, 09:01 AM
Joe next time you need anything let me know Ill hook you up!!

Cheers

Jay

Wolf-
04-13-2006, 08:12 PM
Looks like Tivo won their patent infringment case against Echostar.


http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2006-04/tivo-sends-echostar-packing/
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060413/ap_on_bi_ge/tivo_patent;_ylt=AvnbrEfThDzpnNyVRaRTgg2s0NUE

JoeTechie
04-14-2006, 10:49 AM
I'll take Echostar to win in the third for $50 please. Oh, sorry - geek betting. :)
This will be an interesting one to watch, as the term DVR is going to be defined more in the process and that narrow or broad definition will effect a lot of companies. My current feeling is that echostar will have it overturned on appeal... or just BUY Tivo Inc, since they were not allowed to Buy DirectTv... stupid Cable Lobbiests!

Zaboodda - Undercoating is more of a protectant for the areas of your vehicle that can come in contact with corrosives (salt, etc) and abbraisives. An unintended after effect is to increase the dampening ability of those parts slightly, but it is only slight. Most undercoating is simply tarlike substance with black pigmant, or plasticized rubber with pigmant. Auto companies are learing that they can improve ride quietness by adding a few simple things, and are now promoting such - The new Ford foam filled frame is one I have seen recently. And all parts have a harmonic that can create rumble or rattle. It is the ability to dampen these that improves overall "noise" Basic metal noise dampening converts clank to click. Harmonics reduction is like trying to stop a tuning fork from doing its job.

-J

Wolf-
04-14-2006, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by JoeTechie


I'll take Echostar to win in the third for $50 please. Oh, sorry - geek betting. :)
This will be an interesting one to watch, as the term DVR is going to be defined more in the process and that narrow or broad definition will effect a lot of companies. My current feeling is that echostar will have it overturned on appeal... or just BUY Tivo Inc, since they were not allowed to Buy DirectTv... stupid Cable Lobbiests!

The penalty is worth more than Tivo is at the moment.
I'd love to see Charlie eat up Tivo and then have his hand in the DTV pie.

smokedog2
05-23-2006, 09:15 AM
Back to the subject. Consumer Reports rated Panasonic and HP in the top 5 for TVís

It is down to these two:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7731564&type=product&productCate goryId=pcmcat31800050028&id=1140392418573

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7679185&type=product&productCate goryId=pcmcat31800050028&id=1134703131623

For stereo support


http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=6619046&type=product&productCate goryId=pcmcat40200050002&id=1082519264431

or this

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7308219&type=product&productCate goryId=pcmcat40200050002&id=1118842988253



This for the rear speaker(s?)

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7703951&type=product&productCate goryId=pcmcat40200050002&id=1138085316650

Iím going to pull the trigger this weekend. Anyone see a difference?

Right now Iím leaning toward the Panasonic TV and the cheaper stereo. Will the Panasonic display from a computer? The HP will (I think).

tx

SD2