Author Topic: Help me with flatscreen HDTV  (Read 3682 times)

dodojojo

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Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« on: June 23, 2014, 05:48:16 PM »
Up until this afternoon, I was still using a $50 CRT tv from Craigslist.  Yup, flatscreen HDTV virgin.  Please forgive me if these questions are rather lame.

My new flatscreen tv's tuner seems to not be as good as the converter box.  Whereas with the box, I could pretty much get all the channels with the antenna in one position, my new tv struggles with getting quite a few channels.  Okay, a few of them I don't care about.  The fewer QVC on my tv, the better.  But it also struggles with channels like NBC which I had zero problems with the CRT/converter box combo.  Is there something I can adjust or do with the tv itself?  I really don't want to get up and play with the rabbit ears each time I change the channels.

Can I connect my converter box to my flatscreen and bypass the crappy tuner in the new tv?  It's a little redundant but if the converter box gets better reception, why not?  I haven't tried it yet as I don't know if this will somehow screw up my tv...

I also noticed that some of the channels look awful on the flatscreen.  They looked perfectly fine on the CRT.  Are these non-HD channels and that's why they look so awful on the flatscreen?  These the channels I couldn't change the picture aspect on my CRT.  These channels happen to be some of my favorites though.

I'm little bummed with these issues, it's disappointing that my CRT is better in some aspects.  On the other hand, I do appreciate being able to read the questions easily on Jeopardy.  Hmmm...the trade-offs.

dsiee

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Re: Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 06:34:54 PM »
You can connect your external tuner (assuming that is what your converter box is) to your new TV without a great risk of damage (no greater than connecting DVD player).

The crappy looking channels are probably the non-HD ones like you said. You may have an option to turn on analogue channels on your new TV which may allow you to get the channels you are missing out on (Assuming analogue TV is still being broadcast where you are).

It probably isn't that your CRT TV was better but your external tuner is better than the one in your new TV (as a rule of thumb, anything that is dedicated or external is better then an integrated alternative). The crappiness of the channels just wasn't perceptible with the resolution of the old TV and there was no HD option to compare to.

dodojojo

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Re: Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 07:58:29 PM »
Dsiee, thanks for the help.

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You can connect your external tuner (assuming that is what your converter box is) to your new TV without a great risk of damage (no greater than connecting DVD player).

The converter box is what I bought to convert HD signals to work on my CRT.  I'm assuming that's the same thing as a tuner.

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You may have an option to turn on analogue channels on your new TV which may allow you to get the channels you are missing out on (Assuming analogue TV is still being broadcast where you are).

When I set up my flatscreen, I did see the tv was scanning for HD and analog channels.  At the end of the scan, it showed it only found HD channels.

I was able to improve both situations with a little more fiddling.  The preset picture settings are horrible.  There's only one user setting which allows me to adjust brightness, color, etc.  The optimal setting for HD channels doesn't make the non-HD look very good.  And vice-versa.  So I've compromised and set the picture to work with both.  M favorite channel is one of the non-HD channels.

I moved the antenna to another area--a place I'm not crazy about, but it seemed to be the place that worked for the channels I use the most.  Still not as good as the converter box, but an improvement. 

I'll try to connect my converter box to the tv and see if the reception improves.  I had offered my old tv combo to a friend--may have to rescind the converter part of it.

RayS127

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Re: Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 03:30:55 PM »
Up until this afternoon, I was still using a $50 CRT tv from Craigslist.  Yup, flatscreen HDTV virgin.  Please forgive me if these questions are rather lame.

My new flatscreen tv's tuner seems to not be as good as the converter box.  Whereas with the box, I could pretty much get all the channels with the antenna in one position, my new tv struggles with getting quite a few channels.  Okay, a few of them I don't care about.  The fewer QVC on my tv, the better.  But it also struggles with channels like NBC which I had zero problems with the CRT/converter box combo.  Is there something I can adjust or do with the tv itself?  I really don't want to get up and play with the rabbit ears each time I change the channels.

Can I connect my converter box to my flatscreen and bypass the crappy tuner in the new tv?  It's a little redundant but if the converter box gets better reception, why not?  I haven't tried it yet as I don't know if this will somehow screw up my tv...

I also noticed that some of the channels look awful on the flatscreen.  They looked perfectly fine on the CRT.  Are these non-HD channels and that's why they look so awful on the flatscreen?  These the channels I couldn't change the picture aspect on my CRT.  These channels happen to be some of my favorites though.

I'm little bummed with these issues, it's disappointing that my CRT is better in some aspects.  On the other hand, I do appreciate being able to read the questions easily on Jeopardy.  Hmmm...the trade-offs.

Your TV should allow you to alter the source that it receives a signal from. Try looking around in the settings etc, these types of options are usually well hidden. Failing that...you may be out of luck.

theSchmett

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Re: Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 04:03:23 PM »
Was your CRT "cable ready"? Or are we talking about over the air stations? Yo mentioned qvc which I think is cable only.

You may need something between your cable and the TV to decode for the TV, which if I remember right some old TVs did. Basically, a Cable Box

If these are over the air, antenna signals, then idk.

BC_Goldman

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Re: Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 05:19:20 PM »
I saw a large improvement over the external tuner when someone suggested just running the coaxial cable to the cable jack in the wall. Not sure if I'm getting basic channels for free or if the wires in my condo act as a larger antenna.

dodojojo

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Re: Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 06:08:19 PM »
Cable?  That's crazy ;)  Nah, I use an antenna for OTA channels. I have my tv set to "Air" to scan for channels. 

I was able to play around with the picture settings and have a pretty decent tv to look at now.  It's a pity there's only one user setting which I can adjust.  The preset settings are pretty awful.  It would have been nice to have two modes which I could adjust--one for the HD channels where I can use the richer colors and one for the non-HD channels where the best settings are light and bright.  So I compromised and have one setting which works okay across all the channels.

What still drives me nuts is that I can't get the tuner to work like I could for the old converter box.  Basically, I could leave the antenna in one position and channel surf through all the channels.  With the new tv, I can get all the channels but I have to get up and move the antenna every few channels.  Not fun and relaxing.

I did hook the converter box to the tv and as expected, it was great in terms of reception.  But it also converted the HD signal to analog which pretty much makes the flatscreen irrelevant.

I also tried connecting to two plugs in the wall.  I assume they are for cable and an external antenna (though I'm pretty sure the building doesn't have one).  Unfortunately, this gave me exactly zero channels.

I do enjoy watching sports on the new tv though.  It's so nice to actually see the score and other game info.  No longer need to use my phone see how much time is left in a game or the score.

BC_Goldman

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Re: Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 06:24:34 PM »
Not cable. Just the cable hookups that are usually found in the living room or bedroom walls for if you actually had cable.

dodojojo

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Re: Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 06:36:56 PM »
BC, yes, I think we're talking about the same things.  I have two wall hookups behind my tv and one is for cable (which I had when I moved in 8 years ago and they cut it after a couple of years...) and the other I assume, is for the building antenna.  Not sure, I don't think we have a roof top antenna.  Either way, the tv tuner didn't pick up any channels.  I had actually tried it before with my CRT setup.  I thought it would be a great to get rid of the unsightly rabbit ears. I was able to pick up some channels but not all the channels like my rabbit ears did.

dodojojo

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Re: Help me with flatscreen HDTV
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 07:57:54 PM »
Ok, does this constitute a facepunch? ;0

So I'm able to get nearly all the channels I used to get.  There are about 3-4 I can't but again, they're channels I don't care about.  So um, sorry for wasting your time....

With the CRT, I had the antenna plopped on top of the tv.  I figured I couldn't do that with a flatscreen so I was trying all these different areas to put the antenna.  I mean some of the spots were literally just a few inches away from that sweet spot.  Finally, I got fed up and delicately balanced the antenna on top of the flatscreen.  Guess who gets all the channels now without having to get up from the sofa?  Hehe...

I don't know how long it'll stay up there.  I'm sure the cats will find a way to bring it down.  Hopefully it doesn't bang into screen on its way down.  Maybe I can velcro it in place.  Plus, I'm not sure if the reception will hold when I swivel the tv which I do a lot of so I can watch from the kitchen (when I swiveled the CRT, I would move the antenna to sit diagonally which worked because there was plenty of space).  In any case, no need to spend money to fix this problem so I'm happy if somewhat sheepish.

Of course now that I've got it working, there's nothing to watch!  Time to finish a book.