FlickMaven

One blogger's take on movies, television shows, books, and music -- the good, the bad, and the bottom line

Monday, March 05, 2007

A word on what equipment I use to view content. I've got the 46 inch version of the JVC LT40FN97 40" 1080p Flat Panel LCD TV. Here's a great review of the 46 inch set, which [something I didn't know when I bought it] is considered to have about the best picture available.

I have not hooked up any external speakers, because of the cost as well as how my room is laid out. The onboard sound, including quasi-surround, is OK, but not spectacular. Having the wireless headphones helps.

I have Comcast cable, with all the movie channels. I use two different converter boxes, both Motorola. One is the hi-def box with dual tuner DVR capability. I view this converter box through either video 3 in [component cables] or HDMI 2 in. HDMI gives a subtle but discernible improved picture over the component cables, but HDMI will not allow me to use my wireless headphones. Thus, I have redundancy with the component in, when I need to use headphones.

The other set top box supports "digital" cable, but not hi-def. It is dedicated to my Humax DRT800 DVD-R/RW Recorder/TiVo Series2 DVR Combo. The TIVO box is not hi-def, but short of spending $800 for a TIVO HD box, it's the best I can do. The box does have a DVD player/recorder which, when set for progressive scan, gives as good a picture for DVDs as my [supposedly] DVD and VHS Recorder/player Combo with Up-conversion.

DVD play quality is OK, but definitely not HD quality. I can view it either through video 2 [regular AV cables], or through HDMI 1. The HDMI picture is significantly better quality than the AV cables, but again, I can't listen with the headphones on the HDMI input. Maybe one day, finances willing, I'll get the Blueray or HD-DVD players. We'll see....

Finally, when perversity strikes, or when I'm recording three other programs [2 on the HD DVR, and 1 on the TIVO], I can watch over the air HD, enabled to a certain extent with this Radio Shack Antenna. For some reason, reception can be hit and miss, but this antenna, with something like 12 powered position settings [remote to change the settings included], maximizes reception. If I want basic cable, I also have the capability to watch the basic channels [2-98] with a co-ax line directly into the set.

3 Comments:

Anonymous TMink said...

For me, the surround sound really adds to the experience. The intro Denon gear is great sounding electronics, and the intro athena speakers would be killer.

I have an Outlaw sub that really moves some air and makes the low frequency effects striking. So I guess I am kind of a surround sound convert, and dangerous that way. Give one a listen!

Trey

2:19 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Ditto on the Surround system. For pedestrian TV viewing (Seinfeld re-runs, Good Morning America) it has little impact.
But, for movies, sporting events or action shows it is essential. Once you put a SS system in, you will know why.
Don't go cheap on the speakers - the Athenas are very well regarded and are reasonably priced.
Avsforum.com is a good place to do research when you are ready to buy. Lots of good information there on who bought what, and why.

10:47 AM  
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