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Got a Make-Your-Stuff-Obsolete Machine
Old 04-30-2010, 03:23 PM   #1
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Got a Make-Your-Stuff-Obsolete Machine

Today I got a nice 42 inch HDTV for $450 from Craigslist. When I flipped the switch, my DVR, Tivo, DVD player, and cable service all became obsolete.

IOW, when a regular-old analog TV picture is viewed on the larger screen, it doesn't look as good, so now I have to think about upgrading the other equipment. We get one 1080p digital channel, and it looks fantastic, but we can't record it with our TIVO.

But I shouldn't complain. It looks good, and it was light enough to put up high where we can see it from our recliners:

hdtv.jpg

Here's a question about closed captioning: It doesn't seem very effective. The person on TV will say:

"His name is Thor. Call me, Thor, I still have your tie."

and after 20 seconds, the CC will say

"I HIS NAME ITILL GOT YOUR BOW-TIE."

Is it supposed to work a little better than that??
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:32 PM   #2
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Somewhere in Hell the Devil is cursing you Al as he tries to crank up his snow-blower!

An iTouch, a big-screen TV...where will it all end?

The closed captioning thing is a "it depends" answer. It depends on the quality of who is doing the transcribing, and if the show is live or recorded. Recorded shows and movies usually have much better captioning in that it comes closer to when the words are spoken and is usually more accurate. Live TV is hit or miss. With live TV you will get a lot of delays, backspacing to make corrections, and sometimes they just give up because they are so far behind and they'll just skip what they missed and start fresh. And some transcribers are better than others.

Edit to add: I think at least some of the transcribing must be done with equipment like court-reporters use. I've seen the live feed monitor from the steno machines in court and the process of changing what sounds the reporter hears into the written word is similar. You can see the word changing through a series of similar sounding words as the transcriber touches more keys to better define what was heard. Sometimes whoever is doing the TV closed captioning moves on to the next word before getting it right, so you can see some really strange sentences appear.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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Al, welcome to the 21st century. Only took you a decade to get here.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:36 PM   #4
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Is it supposed to work a little better than that??
No, that sounds about right. You'll have to check it on a show with a bunch of Hawaii names...

It's good to see that the higher-end equipment is starting to trickle down onto Craigslist.

Congratulations, sounds like your hedonic treadmill just kicked into high gear!
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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Today I got a nice 42 inch HDTV for $450 from Craigslist. When I flipped the switch, my DVR, Tivo, DVD player, and cable service all became obsolete.
You are still way ahead of me T-Al... I have never recorded a tv program. Nothing on that I want to see that bad...

as for the closed captioning:

" Call me Thor, I still have your tie" ?
Are you watching Norwegian bondage porn with English subtitles again?
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:43 PM   #6
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Al, welcome to the 21st century. Only took you a decade to get here.
Congratulations on your 42" HDTV, Al! That's the same size as mine and I think you will enjoy it a lot.

I think they must have computers doing the closed captioning transcribing. Often it seems a little "off", but usually it is a little better than your example. The spelling is hilarious sometimes.

I didn't have to buy anything else when i bought mine, but then I don't record shows. I just get bare bones basic cable TV and that works for me. I'm used to it.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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I never upgraded from my 42" HDTV I bought in 2001. Paid almost 4x what you just paid, and so obsolete now (rear projection, not LCD). It came out before ATSC broadcast standard, hence no HD tuner. No HDMI. Piece of junk now, but as I do not watch much TV, it only will be replaced when it croaks.

Enjoy yours!
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:26 PM   #8
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This "everything else will be obsolete" thing is what is causing me to not hurry in upgrading from 32" CRT tv to 42" HDTV. Most upconverted SD tv signals look crappier on HDTV's versus just watching on my 32" CRT SDTV.

Prices for new low end HDTV's are getting down around $500 new when on sale, so I may have to make the plunge at some point. I've been eying the Western Digital WD Live that can play movies and music from any networked computer (wirelessly I think). Get an HDTV recorder/tuner card for your PC, and you have a nice media player. HTPC (home theater PC) are what these specially created computers are called, but you don't really have to build a specialty computer to use it as an HTPC. Just need to make sure it can play HD video files, and get the right kind of video/graphics card if it can't.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:29 PM   #9
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Really? I thought SDTV signals look better on an HDTV, particularly DVD movies.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:45 PM   #10
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Regular TV signals look great to me on my HDTV. But then, my vision is somewhat worse than that of Mr. McGoo.
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Old 05-01-2010, 01:13 AM   #11
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I don't mind the one-time cost of a bigger/better TV, although it's still quite a stretch from a Craigslist $50 29" CRT to a $450 42" HDTV. I don't particularly mind the expense of upgrading from a Series 2 TiVo to a Series 3 (or whatever number they're up to now).

But what torques my jaw is the higher monthly cost of HD cable, the higher TiVo subscription fee, renting the digital cable box, and so on. I know that our $55/month CATV bill is on the low end but I still can't believe that our family is paying $660/year for crap...

Of course paying $375/year for 3 MBPS DSL is simply essential access to intellectually stimulating & enriching entertainment.
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:08 AM   #12
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I've posted this before, so apologies, but...

Do you live close enough to broadcast towers to use an antenna? Since the advent of digital broadcasting, we get perfect HDTV reception of over-the-air network shows on a $19 set of Radio Shack rabbit ears (and you don't even need the ears part, just the round UHF loop). If we weren't renting an apartment, I would put a regular antenna in the attic.

So many folks have cable now that the amazing advances in broadcast TV went largely unnoticed.
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:31 AM   #13
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Al, Were you the secret power ball winner who finally came forward ??
and what is Lena getting with all your new found fortune ?
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
I thought SDTV signals look better on an HDTV
I'd say that the issue is size. The image is larger on the HDTV, so you notice the defects more. In the same way that increasing the size of a photo makes it look worse.

Sized.jpg

I've spent a lot of time playing with the 10 or so variables (saturation, back light, hue, etc.), and I've gotten a big improvement, but size still matters.

TVCompare.jpg

I'm going to move the HDTV back, further from where we're sitting. When we go to all digital, I'll move it forward again. Also, I've accepted some signal degradation that occurs with our splitter, but now I'm going to look into improving that.

The 1080p digital channel that we do get (CBS) is stunning! I can see Katy Couric's every eyelash. A much better improvement that I expected.

------------

I think there's something wrong with the closed captioning. On NBC nightly news, for example, only about 5% of the spoken words are captioned. I'm looking into that.

-------------

I figure I saved about $300 by buying this on Craigslist rather than new, but it sure is risky. Costco's return policy and warranty made this a difficult decision.

I'm doing real well with this money spending thing, so take heart fellow tightwads, it can be done. What does Lena get? She's off to Sweden in a few days.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:31 PM   #15
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Say what you will, but although I have no sources of real HD signals, I am not going back to the old TV. Like I said, DVD movies, though not HD signals, look great on an HDTV.

Like Nords, I am too cheap to pay for HD cable. And because my house is shielded from broadcast TV signals by a hill (reason for me to get cable 20 years ago), I still have no over-the-air reception.
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Old 05-01-2010, 01:39 PM   #16
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I think there's something wrong with the closed captioning. On NBC nightly news, for example, only about 5% of the spoken words are captioned. I'm looking into that.
Perhaps your old TV is really old, but my old analog TV had closed captioning. It was mandated by the government.

Never worked that well, so I turned it off. Would have been great for me to follow the news without turning up the volume.

The government can mandate something, but cannot enforce its quality. But what is new?
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:35 PM   #17
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Today I got a nice 42 inch HDTV for $450 from Craigslist. When I flipped the switch, my DVR, Tivo, DVD player, and cable service all became obsolete.
Perhaps it was for sale because the original owner had the same experience!
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:06 PM   #18
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Why is the dvd player obsolete?
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:39 PM   #19
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Why is the dvd player obsolete?
Because once you've seen Katy Couric's eyelashes, you can never go back. That is, you want all your video to be that good. Although the library doesn't have blu-ray (that is, HD) DVDs, it looks like I could get a significantly better picture with a DVD player like this:

Amazon.com: Philips DVP5990 HDMI 1080p Upscaling DVD Player: Electronics

which I am considering.
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:10 PM   #20
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Because once you've seen Katy Couric's eyelashes, you can never go back. That is, you want all your video to be that good. Although the library doesn't have blu-ray (that is, HD) DVDs, it looks like I could get a significantly better picture with a DVD player like this:

Amazon.com: Philips DVP5990 HDMI 1080p Upscaling DVD Player: Electronics

which I am considering.

What have you done with the real Trombone AL ?
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