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HDTV Tech Support and Shopping


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  • HDTV Tech Support and Shopping

    Greetings experts !

    I am working through a problem with my TV which I think I have figured out but I thought I'd tap you guys for suggestions.

    I have a Panasonic PT-53WX53 Rear Projection "HDTV-Ready" set. It's about 7-8 years old (I inherited it from someone who got a better TV). It's therefore not a real HD TV, it has a DVI input instead of an HDMI input.

    I have been using it with my U Verse HD DVR via a HDMI-DVI cable but it just stopped working. I still get sound via the component cables but no picture. I tested things by connecting another set top box to the TV and still no picture, so I know it is not the box, it's either the TV or the cable.

    Since Ebay has the cables for about $ 5 I figure it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy a new one just in case, but I suspect the DVI input on the TV has died.

    So question one would be to ask for any advice on how to test and/or fix the problem. I've tried hooking up to the TV via component cables but then the HD picture is way too big (probably because the TV is not pure HD).

    Second question deals with shopping. Although the current set is working, I figure that 1) it can't hurt to get a newer set, 2) I can more easily dispose of my current TV if it is still working (it's a big sucker and I'd love to have someone come and take it away) and 3) I deserve a new toy.

    So what suggestions do you have for a new set ? I figure I'll need a TV, a new TV stand and possibly some speakers for surround sound. I would like to keep the package under $ 1,000 if possible.

    I like the current set at 53 inches but that big of a size is not really a must, though I would like to have a decent sized set to experience HD.

    Thanks in advance for any hints.

    Feel free to also answer the questions I should have asked.

  • #2
    Re: HDTV Tech Support and Shopping

    My BF has a 50" Panasonic HDTV. It's freaking huge but it's awesome. I have a 42" Olevia HDTV. It's one of the "budget" brands, but it has a great picture. I've had it for close to 2 years (got it on sale at Sears for like $700... when it had a regular non-sale price of $1100).

    These days prices keep going down. Take a look online at like Best Buy or Sears or your favorite electronics store to get ideas of sizes and prices. Keep an eye on the sales too as sometimes a really good deal might come along when you least expect it.

    As for brands... Panasonic and Samsung are good ones. I still love my Olevia and would buy this brand again in the future. I have a 19" Dynex HDTV (one of Best Buy's "budget brands") in my computer room. Has a good picture but the speakers SUCK, so I hooked up my old home theatre system (which I thought had died, so I bought a new one, then this one suddenly came back to life, but the new system is better so I kept it) to it. The TV was on sale for like $150 so overall it was a good deal.

    And to get rid of the current TV, you can always list it on Craigslist for free.


    • #3
      Re: HDTV Tech Support and Shopping


      my guess actually is not that it is a problem with the DVI port on your TV or with the box technically.

      There is a copy protection scheme that works on DVI/HDMI connection called "HDCP". Your TV predates the HDCP standard being adopted, and I suspect your TV provider just enabled this copy protection on their boxes, hence no picture.

      Component would be the only other way to go and get an HD picture.

      Your TV is indeed a real HiDef TV - "HD-Ready" was used to refer to a TV that was Hi-Def but did not have a Hi Def tuner in it (ie: that thing that everyone needs now to get a signal using an Antenna). Perhaps the TV's scaler doesn't like the resolution your box is set to... it looks like your TV supports 480p and 1080i resolutions - so you should have your box's output set to 1080i (480p is not HD quality, but if 1080i doesn't work that might work and it will be at least as good as your DVD player so it might hold you over til you do buy a new set).
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      • #4
        Re: HDTV Tech Support and Shopping

        Thanks for the input so far.

        I did consider the possibility that the issue was encoding of some sort, but I am a U Verse subscriber and they have a user forum. I've posted about my problems there and nobody else seems to have a similar problem. I'd assume if they had changed copy protection stuff that others would have the problem too.

        I figure I'll spend $ 5 on a new cable just for the heck of it.

        I've tried HD on component, the problem is the picture is overly wide, way too big for the screen. I find I get reasonably quality on widescreen setting.

        I do know my TV is technically HD but given the old technology and such I am not getting full benefit of HD (for example DVI input won't take sound, so no true stereo sound).

        So I welcome ideas on new sets, or how to make old set work right.


        • #5
          Re: HDTV Tech Support and Shopping

          Turns out it was the cable. I got the new one via E-Bay and when I hooked it up everything is fine.

          But I'd still like to get a new one. Input is most welcome.


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