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Old 03-09-2003, 07:39 PM   #1
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Flat Panel TVs

Has anyone tried installing a Flat Panel TV in their trailer.

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.

But if they can, then they have come down a lot in price and they sure would fit nicer than a conventional TV in an Airstream.

Thanks for your comments,

Mike F.
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Old 03-09-2003, 08:42 PM   #2
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I've been looking at them as well. They are in cars, so I assume they are just as safe in RVs.

The good ones are still pretty expensive, but deals can be found.

Bottom line is that I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't or couldn't work.

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Eric
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Old 03-09-2003, 08:54 PM   #3
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My niece was just looking into a Toshiba 14" w/vcr for $300, my brother said you could get the Toshiba in a 20" w/vcr and dvd for $400. I need to find out where they got it at...
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Old 03-09-2003, 08:58 PM   #4
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Jason,

Are those portables that run on DC fed right off the DC circuits or are they regular TV/VCR combos??

Are they LCD flat panels or just flat tubes? Those prices are REALLY good if they are LCD DC vehicle video units like in limos, minivans, etc.

If they are I too want to know who sells them at that price!

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Eric
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Old 03-09-2003, 10:25 PM   #5
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I just put one in my MH (Aquos 15 inch LCD). It does not stay on the counter while driving. It lays on the couch to travel. I am looking at mounting options. The input is labled as 12 VDC, but the line cord is to a 120 VAC adapter. I am looking at the accesories to use on 12 VDC only. Of course then my DVD won't work since it is AC only.

From a space standpoint it is great. I replaced a 13 inch Sony and now I have my kitchen counter back.
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Old 03-09-2003, 10:29 PM   #6
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I think there is a big difference between how smooth your tow vehicle rides and your trailer. To understand this one time I sat in the trailer while my wife pulled me around the campground at 10 MPH for 10 minutes. I couldn't believe how much rougher the ride was. Don't worry I would never try this except under the most controlled environment possible. My wife and I both had walkie talkies on in case something went really wrong.

I'm trying to figure out if these flat screen technology can take the extra abuse from being inside a trailer bouncing down the road. The pop down screens in cars today used to entertain the kids are much smaller screens that don't experience even near the abuse they would in a trailer.

I have started to see them in high end motor homes. But again the road in these 40 foot diesel pushers will be smoother. Haven't seen them offered in any trailers yet.

Ideally I want to find a flat panel in the 12" to 20" range to use as my primary TV in the trailer. There are two types of flat panel technology - LCD based or Plasma. The LCD based are under $1000, and the Plasma are over $1000. I'll bet the combination unit referred to with the VCR and/or DVD was a flat screen regular sized TV. I'll be impressed if it was truely a flat panel and curious where they fit the VCR or DVD player.

The issue still gets back to the durability of the technology. I don't want to spend between $500 and $1000 and destroy it after one road trip.

- Mike F.

- Mike
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Old 03-09-2003, 10:34 PM   #7
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Mike,

I don't think it was just for show, but at the Sarasota rally they had a new 27 Ft CCD with a wall mounted 15' Aquos flatscreen LCD TV.

I don't think they would have installed one if they thought it would not survive the road trip, or the warranty period. Just my $.02 worth.
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Old 03-09-2003, 10:39 PM   #8
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Thanks Brett,

That is exactly what I was looking for. Now I will have more confidence in trying to do this.

P.S. Was that the new longer International with the shocking ORANGE accents in it. What did you think about it?
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Old 03-09-2003, 10:42 PM   #9
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I agree. I doubt seriously that an LCD could not withstand a trailer being towed.

Another example is a laptop. I haul that thing around all over and I am not as nice as I should be to it. I can promise you that the trailer ride is nothing compare to me lugging mine in an upadded backback riding a bike, or padded bag tossing it in the car, plopping it on a desk, etc.

For the durability is not the issue, it's size and cost.

Regards,

Eric
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Old 03-09-2003, 10:43 PM   #10
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We use a 15" LCD flat panel HDTV ready television in my A/S. After the ac adapter the set draws 14 volts @ 3 amps. When watching a DVD movie the picture is excellent. I use my laptop which has a DVD drive to watch movies. However there is something for all to look out for. Even though the LCD television has a tv tuner it is not an HD tuner so you do not get a really good picture using an antenna or a satellite dish. The picture is a little fuzzy and has a bit of distortion to it. When you see them playing in the stores they look great because they are playing a DVD movie for sales appeal. So folks when you purchase that flat panel tv make sure you have a HDTV tuner in it. Example: HDTV ready tv $ 699.00 US. Same tv with HDTV tuner $ 1,299.00 US. Look before you buy. They do travel well in our A/S and take up little room, only about three inches thick. We enjoy ours but would enjoy it more if we had a HD tuner in it as well.
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Old 03-09-2003, 10:53 PM   #11
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Mike,

Yes it was the one with the tublar orange dinnete seats. My Wife liked the floorplan, but said she would want it in the Lavender interior color scheme not the orange. The coach decorator added to the theme with a fake gurnsey cowhide beadspread. The media center was a nice touch and it had a dinette and a L shaped couch. Plenty of room and storage.
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Old 03-10-2003, 07:30 AM   #12
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Can you tell me the brand 15" LCD that it is and can you also give us a rough cost?

Thanks,

Eric
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Old 03-10-2003, 08:13 AM   #13
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You may concider buying a laptop.

I know that laptops can be pricey, but you can buy a new laptop for around $1,200 with a DVD player and a 15 inch screen.

I bought one, then bought a WINTV tuner made by Haughpauge(sp) for $70. It plugs into the usb port and works great. Gets better reception than my 13 in tube TV.

Think about it... For just over $1,200 you can have a 15 in. TV, DVD player, and have a way to check e-mails, keep track of finances, utilize digital camera pictures on the road, and just about anything else you could think of.

I am going to get a GPS antenna w/software in the next month, too. A seperate GPS with similer features cost $999.

If you look at the whole package, it can save you a lot of money.

Also, laptops work off 120v, or 12v if you purchase a seperate adapter for about $40, or with included battery.
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Old 03-10-2003, 08:43 AM   #14
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I'm sorry, my mistake, I'm guessing they were flat screen t.v's, so my previous input was irrelevant. What you guys are discussing is very interesting.
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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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