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Old 03-10-2003, 09:54 AM   #15
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I agree that a laptop is the best deal going with E-mail, web browsing, GPS, DVD, & TV all integratable into one package at much less cost than each bought separately. However, some laptops have a jerky or otherwise poor TV image, so try before you buy.

If you want a LCD TV check out the Panasonic TC-11LV1 - it has an 11" screen and has a built-in DVD player. It is designed for 110 volts AC, but uses a brick-type transformer with 14V DC output so it should work fine with a 12V cigarette lighter cord. List price is $1500, street price ~$1000.

I would have no concern about an LCD panel travelling in the trailer as they are used in laptops and portable DVD players that get bounced around regularly.
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Old 03-10-2003, 11:24 AM   #16
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If you want a do-it-all notebook that's a replacement for a desktop, check out the Sager NP8886 or NP8887 notebooks. There's a forum for Sager owners sponsored by their leading reseller, the Sagerforums.com by PCTorque.

Personally, I'll probably get the NP5660 with the wide-angle panel (2.8GHz, 1GB memory, and 60GB 5400 rpm drive) and no TV capability because we want to be able to use the computer and a TV at the same time... except perhaps when watching DVDs with the notebook on the writing table on the left side of the couch (thus the wide-angle panel). The 5670 is right around the corner though with 128MB M9 video and 3.0HT processor, so I may wait for that... or the M10 version with a 7200 rpm drive this summer.

The NP5660 should also work well with the ATI TV Wonder USB if we TV on the notebook. Some of the things to watch out for with a USB tuner is to make sure it's one that takes the audio through the USB with the video, instead of plugging into the soundcard. The audio and video are less likely to get out of synch. Also look for an S-Video input for a satellite tuner (most notebooks only have an S-Video output) or composite video input for VCR.

The only problem with USB tuners is that they sometimes can't keep up with the frame rate. USB2 should fix that, but I don't know if any of the current tuners have that. I also don't know if the IEEE1394 Firewire input could be used from a tuner that output that.

One of the major problems with the LCD TVs is when they put speakers on the side and make them 6-7" wider... too wide to fit on the typical Airstream credenza.

Sharp is now finally importing the narrower version of their AQUOS line with the speakers on the bottom, such as the LC-15E1U available in black, silver, and white. They also make a 20" version that's only 19.5" wide, so it may fit on the credenza without too much overhang.

The Sharps are only 640 X 480 VGA resolution, and not HDTV, but frankly neither are most small (42" and under) plasma panels, which are also only 480 lines high, but by 854 wide for 16:9, and THEY look awesome. The Sharps DO input 13V at 4.5A for 15" and 5.4A for 20" for boondocking. The narrower models, which are about $100 cheaper than the ones with the speakers on the side, are still pretty expensive for standard definition.

Especially compared to the new 16:9 17" Sony SDMV72W, which is 1280 X 768 and displays ATSC (HDTV) 720p natively (and it scales 1080i, which is essentially 540p), as well as 480p from a progressive scan DVD player, up to 720p. At 18.5" wide, it should also squeeze onto an Airstream credenza. However, like most Sonys, its DC input is somewhere around 21 volts, so you'd need to run it with an AC adapter in an inverter (same as the sat receiver) for boondocking.

Keep in mind, the Sony has NO TUNER. AFAIK, none of the HDTV grade LCD monitors have even an NTSC (Standard Def TV) tuner, since they expect the owner to pop for a $600 HDTV Satellite/OverTheAirATSC/NTSC) combination external tuner.

That's now the case (tunerless) with the 4:3 Samsung 151MP and 171MP, which are 1280X1024 (and can thus do 720pX1280 HDTV in the center 3/4 of the screen), and have component video inputs. You CAN get an optional NTSC tuner for these at extra cost. The models these are replacing, the 150MP and 170MP, DO have the built-in NTSC tuner, but are only 1024X768 and can only display SDTV, not HDTV.

Besides Samsung, there are other 17" Korean LCD monitors that can be had with an NTSC tuner. Keep in mind that "cheap" applies to the tuners too, and that VCRs usually have NTSC tuners, so you may not need one with the right monitor.

Frankly, I'm not into HDTV, which is STILL a mess after all these years and if Hollywood has their way, will eventually only work on HDCP copy-protected DVI inputs that aren't the same as PC DVI. One thing to note is that you DON'T need a special antenna for HDTV... the Winegard batwing is fine. Most of what I watch, such as NASCAR, will probably be 4:3 for a long time to come, and that 20" 4:3 Sharp is sure attractive for that!

With a 16:9 panel, you get a 4:3 image in the center 3/4 horizontal of the screen with black bars on either side. And with a 4:3 panel, you get a 16:9 image in the center 3/4 vertical of the screen, with black bars on top and bottom, which most are more familiar with from watching 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 DVDs on a 4:3 set, or watching 2.35:1 DVDs even on a 16:9 (1.78:1) set. Here's a good site to compare screen size and aspect ratios.

The main thing with LCD is that you don't have to worry about screen burn-in in the non-black section, the way you do with CRTs, especially the high-intensity ones used in rear projection.

Anyway, I've been looking at this too, so I'll pass this on in case it helps anyone.
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Old 03-10-2003, 11:55 AM   #17
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"I was wondering if they traveled well. I worry about all the bouncing around in a trailer and whether this type of TV could take the abuse."
Did you have a LCD watch at any time? A cell phone with a LCD display, or a laptop with a Plasma??? Don't go to a home store, look at a car stereo store....... Or look on EBAY in Mobil TVs.... Oh yaaaaaaa!! you can get 12Volt DVD players and VCR for some times less then you can for 110Volts
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Old 03-10-2003, 12:01 PM   #18
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I'd have no concern about traveling as long as they were fastened down securely with something like TV Grips. The shock felt from the trailer body would be a lot less than that they'd experience if allowed to bounce.

Frankly, I don't see why they wouldn't be a lot more rugged than heavy magnetic yokes fastened on a glass CRT neck, or the thin metal shadow mask suspended behind the face of a CRT.
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Old 03-10-2003, 12:43 PM   #19
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With some careful shopping you can find the Sharp LC-15E1U for less than $700.
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Old 03-10-2003, 03:29 PM   #20
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And they've extended the $100 rebate coupon to March 31st.
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Old 03-10-2003, 06:15 PM   #21
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See, what I'm talkin about is the gear that runs on DC only. The A/C stuff is great for those that go camping where there is A/C, but for those that ruff it and it rains that day, well, when in Rome right?

The stuff that is designed specifically for cars on a 12v neg ground type of thing is what I'm lookin for. Most of that stuff is well over $1k right now.

I love the big screen LCDs out there, but since I don't plug into A/C often, and don't haul a generator, would this Sharp work?

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Old 03-10-2003, 07:18 PM   #22
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I don't see why the Sharp wouldn't work with the proper cord.

A poster on another forum bought a Phillips Model 580M DVD player (Wal-Mart had 'em on close-out for $70) that only came with an AC adapter that put out 12V. This Radio Shack cord was all he needed to go 12V.

You'd need a more robust one with the Sharp... something rated 5A or more.

I'm betting there's a lot more choice than the existing 12V components if we look at 120VAC home components that use an external DC power supply.
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Old 03-14-2003, 11:28 PM   #23
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Travel well? They made it halfway around the globe in a ship, then survived UPS/Airborne/FedEx shipping. If they can survivie that they can survive anything you and your A/S will throw at them.

I've been using an NEC 15-inch LCD display for the last year, and an Apple PowerBook for two years. So far neither has shown any signs of disliking RV life. I also have a Power Mac G4 tower that lives in my A/S. I place it in my truck for traveling.

Viewsonic has some interesting alternatives for those of us who want LCD televisions in our trailers. One is an external TV tuner that has a pass-through connection your computer's video output. Unfortunately, it's only an RGB connector, not DVI, but it does allow you to use your LCD as a computer monitor or a television by turning a switch. Viewsonic also makes a 17-inch widescreen LCD with computer inputs and HDTV capability. The street price is under $1,000, but it is hard to find.

I wish Sharp would make an Equos line without speakers. I have better speakers than those tinny little things they put in the tv cabinets.
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Old 03-15-2003, 12:57 AM   #24
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Lets not forget those power converters 12v to 120v

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Old 03-15-2003, 08:34 AM   #25
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Lets not forget those power converters 12v to 120v

Hart
Do those drain the batteries faster?

Regards,

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Old 03-15-2003, 09:58 AM   #26
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When going from 120VAC to 12VDC, they're called converters, and when going from 12VDC to 120VAC, they called inverters.

Both are often only about 80% efficient but with a converter, it really doesn't matter since you usually have plenty of 120VAC.

An inverter that's only 80% efficient means that you use 25% more battery power than you would with a similar 12V version of the appliance. At TV levels, the loss isn't very significant with only a couple hours a day of use.
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Old 03-15-2003, 10:43 AM   #27
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Thanks Maurice!

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Old 03-15-2003, 11:37 AM   #28
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Don't similar 12 volt appliances use built in inverters?

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