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.


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!


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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