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Old 04-21-09, 11:15 PM   #1
technoid
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Default HDTV - New User Questions

My sister in law wants a new Sony HDTV that doesn't have a headphone jack, is there a way for her to use her headphones on it? The only audio out jacks I seen was the fixed output so she'd need some kind of small amplifier. Is there such a thing as a low cost small headphone amp? She's using it in a small bedroom so a normal stereo amp isn't an option. It needs to be small. She currently uses a 20 ft extension cable and watches TV on the other side of the bedroom at night. She works nights and doesn't want to distrub anyone. Also is there usually a way in the menu to turn off the speakers? I'll have to go back to best buy and look for that.

Also what does a normal DVD player look like on an HDTV? How about a VCR for that matter?

It seems the Sony she's looking at wants you to use the connections on the Side to connect a VCR to it, yeah I know VCRs are dead... but we both still watch them. Neither of us has went HDTV yet so we're looking at all the options since we just got FIOS installed. I'm retired now and want to keep using my DVD/VCR Combo to watch what we have, so I'm really worried what they'll look like on the Sony KDL-32S5100.

Any advice on brands or models are welcome too. We both like the new Sony 32 inch for our bedrooms. That's the KDL-32S5100 1080p or maybe the lower cost KDL-32L5000 720p. So any advice is welcome since I don't know much about HDTV.

Oh yeah, does anyone know what HDTV format Verizon FIOS uses, 1080p, 1080i, or 720p. Like I said... I don't know much about it. I'm the odd guy, a DVD still looks fine to me But yes, HD does look better.
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Old 04-21-09, 11:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: HDTV - New User Questions

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Originally Posted by technoid View Post
My sister in law wants a new Sony HDTV that doesn't have a headphone jack, is there a way for her to use her headphones on it? The only audio out jacks I seen was the fixed output so she'd need some kind of small amplifier. Is there such a thing as a low cost small headphone amp? She's using it in a small bedroom so a normal stereo amp isn't an option. It needs to be small. She currently uses a 20 ft extension cable and watches TV on the other side of the bedroom at night. She works nights and doesn't want to distrub anyone. Also is there usually a way in the menu to turn off the speakers? I'll have to go back to best buy and look for that.
Lots of headphone amps out there:
http://www.google.com/search?source=...earch&aq=f&oq=

My old rear projection HDTV had the ability to change the output volume or fix it, and you could also turn off the speakers. Features will vary with the model, though.

Quote:
Also what does a normal DVD player look like on an HDTV? How about a VCR for that matter?
Ehh, doesn't look so great tbh. You may want to get an Upconvert DVD player. They're really cheap nowadays and many have HDMI output.

Read up on this:
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6449_7-6859904-1.html

The VCR output will probably look about the same as the DVD if the tape is in good shape lol.

Quote:
It seems the Sony she's looking at wants you to use the connections on the Side to connect a VCR to it, yeah I know VCRs are dead... but we both still watch them. Neither of us has went HDTV yet so we're looking at all the options since we just got FIOS installed. I'm retired now and want to keep using my DVD/VCR Combo to watch what we have, so I'm really worried what they'll look like on the Sony KDL-32S5100.

Any advice on brands or models are welcome too. We both like the new Sony 32 inch for our bedrooms. That's the KDL-32S5100 1080p or maybe the lower cost KDL-32L5000 720p. So any advice is welcome since I don't know much about HDTV.
Unless you're going to be playing Blu-Ray's or gaming on it (PC or console), then the 1080p isn't really necessary for your purposes. I'd save the cash and go with the 720p (720p will do 1080i btw).

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Oh yeah, does anyone know what HDTV format Verizon FIOS uses, 1080p, 1080i, or 720p. Like I said... I don't know much about it. I'm the odd guy, a DVD still looks fine to me But yes, HD does look better.
Typically broadcast signals are carried in 1080i. That's what Time Warner carries in my area. Also, HDTV over the air will be 1080i.
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Old 04-22-09, 09:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: HDTV - New User Questions

ViN86 - Thanks for the info I appreciate it a lot.
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Old 04-22-09, 02:35 PM   #4
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np, glad to help.
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Old 04-22-09, 02:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: HDTV - New User Questions

You'll only need a cable such as this one:
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Old 04-22-09, 03:28 PM   #6
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You'll only need a cable such as this one:
I looked up the cable needed but the only audio output is fixed so there's no volume control, that's why the question about a headphone amp. I also looked for a headphone amp but didn't see one I liked so I thought I'd ask about it in-case someone had used one before they liked.

It looks like she can get a headphone output if she buys a Panasonic so she may look at one of those next, at least the specs for it says it had a headphone output.

I'm really concerned how the DVDs I have will look on an HDTV because I've heard SD material can look pretty bad on an HDTV.
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Old 04-22-09, 04:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by technoid View Post
I looked up the cable needed but the only audio output is fixed so there's no volume control, that's why the question about a headphone amp. I also looked for a headphone amp but didn't see one I liked so I thought I'd ask about it in-case someone had used one before they liked.

It looks like she can get a headphone output if she buys a Panasonic so she may look at one of those next, at least the specs for it says it had a headphone output.

I'm really concerned how the DVDs I have will look on an HDTV because I've heard SD material can look pretty bad on an HDTV.
Any decent upconvert DVD player will make the DVD's look just fine on an HDTV. If you get a Blu-Ray player I highly recommend going with the 1080p set though.
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Old 04-22-09, 05:02 PM   #8
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Any decent upconvert DVD player will make the DVD's look just fine on an HDTV. If you get a Blu-Ray player I highly recommend going with the 1080p set though.
Thanks... I'll look into the Upconvert DVD players. It seems like I remember reading when they first came out that they didn't do much? Have you seen one in action? Or better yet used one? I'm also considering looking into a Blu-Ray player, but of course being retired you have to watch your expenses pretty close. Do you have some favorite brands for the Blu-Ray?

One of our problems is, being old and retired... so we don't like that much of the new stuff so I'm not sure a Blu-Ray will be good for us. Are the Blu-Ray discs of older material good, or just a re-hashed not that good reproduction?

I need to go back to Best Buy and look at the Sony we like again, because if you can see the cables connected to the side panel inputs from the front of the TV I'd hate that. I don't want to see anything from the front of the TV.

Is it just me, or does a lot of people hate the Gloss Black frames? It just seems stupid to me to have a Gloss Black frame on something you watch all the time. I've worked as several things in my life and one of them was an engineer, and a Gloss Black frame seems brain dead to me. OPPs... I gave an opinon... I'll definitely loose the Pageant for that outburst.

I called FIOS support today and ask them what HD format they used, and of course he said they sent what the source material was in, 1080i or 720p. But he did say I could set some soft switch in the HD set top box to force an HD mode but what he said was too confusing to understand. So when I asked another question he said to call back once we had an HDTV and wanted to switch the modes because it was complicated and had to be done with the box off... or off-line maybe... I couldn't understand for sure so I gave up. I'll call and talk to someone else and see if I can get a straight answer, because this is stuff I need to know before I buy a HDTV... not after it

OPPs... forgot something. You said to get a 1080p Blu-Ray player, so does that mean all the output from it would be in 1080p? Or does the source material control it somewhat?

HA... I could give you the opinion I shared with other engineers a few years ago when this all started, but you don't want to hear it After that I kind of ignored HDTV since they seemed to be going in all directions at once
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Old 04-22-09, 05:24 PM   #9
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Thanks... I'll look into the Upconvert DVD players. It seems like I remember reading when they first came out that they didn't do much? Have you seen one in action? Or better yet used one? I'm also considering looking into a Blu-Ray player, but of course being retired you have to watch your expenses pretty close. Do you have some favorite brands for the Blu-Ray?
My dad has a Sony Blu-Ray player (Sony BDP-S550) and I am pretty sure it upconverts too cause DVD's on it look incredible. He has another cheap upconverter and it does an OK job, but the Sony player is amazing.
Quote:
One of our problems is, being old and retired... so we don't like that much of the new stuff so I'm not sure a Blu-Ray will be good for us. Are the Blu-Ray discs of older material good, or just a re-hashed not that good reproduction?
Well, the real improvement is that the image quality is amazing. Besides that, some have more features, but it's pretty much just the movie.
Quote:
I need to go back to Best Buy and look at the Sony we like again, because if you can see the cables connected to the side panel inputs from the front of the TV I'd hate that. I don't want to see anything from the front of the TV.

Is it just me, or does a lot of people hate the Gloss Black frames? It just seems stupid to me to have a Gloss Black frame on something you watch all the time. I've worked as several things in my life and one of them was an engineer, and a Gloss Black frame seems brain dead to me. OPPs... I gave an opinon... I'll definitely loose the Pageant for that outburst.
My TV has a glossy black frame

It's not that bad, just need to dust it to keep it clean.
Quote:
I called FIOS support today and ask them what HD format they used, and of course he said they sent what the source material was in, 1080i or 720p. But he did say I could set some soft switch in the HD set top box to force an HD mode but what he said was too confusing to understand. So when I asked another question he said to call back once we had an HDTV and wanted to switch the modes because it was complicated and had to be done with the box off... or off-line maybe... I couldn't understand for sure so I gave up. I'll call and talk to someone else and see if I can get a straight answer, because this is stuff I need to know before I buy a HDTV... not after it
That's a nice feature. I can only get 1080i from Time Warner. Also fwiw, 720p will look about the same as 1080i. But 720p is actually a higher resolution. (720 lines progressive scan vs. 1080 lines interlaced)

Quote:
OPPs... forgot something. You said to get a 1080p Blu-Ray player, so does that mean all the output from it would be in 1080p? Or does the source material control it somewhat?
Well, I think it will output at 1080p, but only Blu-Ray's will take advantage of it. DVD's are filmed in 720x480 resolution (or something close to that) so although the player will output 1080p, the picture quality is only as good as the DVD resolution.
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Old 04-22-09, 05:49 PM   #10
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ViN86.
Thanks again. I really appreciate the time you've given me. I'll let you know if I get anymore info on the force HD mode switch they told me about.

I guess I'll comment on one more thing I've looked it. The 60 vs 120 hz feature. I haven't seen it on a Blu-Ray movie just the loop played at Best Buy, but it seems to make the foreground look detached from the background at times. I guess that's what some call it looking 3D. At first I liked it, but after I went back I decided I didn't care for it. So I guess it's a 1080p 60hz set for me. Of course I'd like to see the Jutter on a 24p Blu-Ray disc on both but I guess that isn't going to happen. The 3:3 pulldown and 5:5 pulldown issue may be un-resolved until after I get the set... too bad.

To be honest... If I had a brain, and decided to stick with DVDs I'd probably be better off saving some money and getting the next model down SONY that's 720p and 200 bucks cheaper.

Later
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Old 04-22-09, 07:11 PM   #11
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Thanks again. I really appreciate the time you've given me. I'll let you know if I get anymore info on the force HD mode switch they told me about.

I guess I'll comment on one more thing I've looked it. The 60 vs 120 hz feature. I haven't seen it on a Blu-Ray movie just the loop played at Best Buy, but it seems to make the foreground look detached from the background at times. I guess that's what some call it looking 3D. At first I liked it, but after I went back I decided I didn't care for it. So I guess it's a 1080p 60hz set for me. Of course I'd like to see the Jutter on a 24p Blu-Ray disc on both but I guess that isn't going to happen. The 3:3 pulldown and 5:5 pulldown issue may be un-resolved until after I get the set... too bad.

To be honest... If I had a brain, and decided to stick with DVDs I'd probably be better off saving some money and getting the next model down SONY that's 720p and 200 bucks cheaper.

Later
That foreground background detachment thing is actually the "True Motion" feature that tries to smooth out the frames. It actually decreases picture quality slightly. My TV is 120Hz and I don't use the True Motion at all, except for sports games where I keep it on low.

The only real benefit with 120Hz imo is the 24p, which I have enabled on my PS3 for my BD's. Honestly, I can't tell that much of a difference. But the picture is amazing and it's very smooth.

If you have the cash, check out the TV in my sig. I got it for $1400 at Best Buy. It's an LG 42LH40. I love it.
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Old 04-22-09, 09:49 PM   #12
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That foreground background detachment thing is actually the "True Motion" feature that tries to smooth out the frames. It actually decreases picture quality slightly. My TV is 120Hz and I don't use the True Motion at all, except for sports games where I keep it on low.
Yeah... I know it's actually MotionFlow. I read a bunch of stuff on the AVS forums about it, but I forgot to mention that part. I suppose if I turned the MotionFlow off or to low I might like that set then. But if you say there's not really that much difference I believe you.

Quote:
The only real benefit with 120Hz imo is the 24p, which I have enabled on my PS3 for my BD's. Honestly, I can't tell that much of a difference. But the picture is amazing and it's very smooth.
Yes, the picture quality on the newest 1080p LCDs is very good and a great deal better than it was a couple of years ago. Of course they weren't 1080p then but I'm just talking about how much better the image looks now. I think the SONY KDL-32S5100 is probably the one we'll end up getting. I looked at it again tonight and I really like how much you can view the image from horz and vert angles. Most of the other LCDs I looked at started looking different if I bent down quite a bit, and we want to sit the new TV on top of a chest in our bedroom. I might end up having to get something else for that area to lower the TV though.

To me most of the sets a couple of years ago looked like a water coloring book, very few of them looked natural. Now all of the top sets look very good, some better than others, but all are very good these days.

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If you have the cash, check out the TV in my sig. I got it for $1400 at Best Buy. It's an LG 42LH40. I love it.
I'll take a look at it the next time I'm in Best Buy. I might have seen it already but I don't remember the model numbers. I looked at a lot of LGs and SAMSUNGs, both are very good too.

I looked at several Blu-Ray players and some Upconvert DVDs too. I'm not sure what I'll end up doing there. I'll most likely try out my current DVD and see what it looks like first. But thanks for all the info on them so I know more about what to look at.

Boy, moving from an old SD TV to a new HD setup can get expensive
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