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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-07-2009
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Inexpensive DTV Solution

I have been debating about how to continue to get TV reception when cruising now that the DTV switch will happen next month. I really don't have the room for a larger TV on my boat and none of the major brands seem to be interested in marketing smaller screen TVs that will operate on 12VDC. I was reluctant to drop several hundred dollars on some no-name brand of LCD TV with questionable reliablity. My low-cost solution was to buy a DTV converter box that operates on 12VDC and use my Panasonic portable DVD player as a monitor.

The converter box is an Artec T3AP and only cost me $25 shipped on Ebay. Note that it isn't marketed as a 12VDC unit, but it uses a 12VDC power supply with a standard 5.5mm power plug. Easy to buy or make up a cable to plug it in on the boat. Tried the converter box/DVD player combination out at home the other night using an indoor amplified antenna and it worked great. We'll see what kind of reception I get when at anchor off the New England coast this summer.
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Old 05-07-2009
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Books.
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Old 05-07-2009
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i added the same unit to my 15" flat screen on the boat back in december and it is great
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Old 05-07-2009
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Well, you could always turn your laptop into dtv. I just bought a Hauppauge win-tv stick($100.00 from best buy). Works ok in Lake Michigan. Otherwise take Tagers advice or reaquaint yourself with the Admiral.
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Old 05-07-2009
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what i did was to take a 12 volt 15" computer monitor that i had laying around and feed the composite video from the dtv converter to it. then i took a set of powered ( 12 vdc ) computer speakers, with a plug converter in to the dtc converter. it gives me nice stereo sound, that my wife can plug her ipod into, with a whole lot less power usage than a car stereo would.

the benefits are that i can shut off what ever part i want, ie if i want i can hook the laptop to the screen for a larger view, or the ipod into the speakers, etc
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Old 05-07-2009
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We bought a 20 inch Flatscreen Yosiba combo HDTV/DVD with both and analog and digital tuner..from Circut City when they were heading out of business for $125. We never even intended on having a TV but we always were using my17" labtop to play movies. It runs off of an inverter so need need to bother with the 12V adaption. I found a $12 antennae at Best Buy (remember the old rabbit ear kind) which we hooked up when it was raining last weekend and we got 8 channels inas good HD definition as I get at home with cable. You do not need anything special to get HD signals, in fact you get a better pitcure when no using cable as you have a larger bandwith. We put this TV/DVD on a swing out wall arm so it usually lays flat on the bulkhead and covered out of theway when not in use.

It will not change out patterns of reading books, listening to music or peace and quiet when we are at the boat, however its an unexpected nice addition when working on projects.

Dave

So we have our movie player and an added bonus if we want it
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Old 05-08-2009
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Jim, smaller DTVs seem to be stuck above the $200 price point. I found a Happauge DTV/Analog combo tuner (a USB stick) on sale for $45 last year. took about a month to get the drivers updated from Happauge so they'd work in Vista, but it has worked well since. And you get options like recording to the hard drive--no DVD or VCR etc. needed any more.

Best bet? If you have a laptop, got some kind of tuner (card or stick, there are a number of them out there) for it and use the laptop. If you don't have the laptop...You can get a damn fine one for under $700, 16 or 17 inch screen and many bells and whistles. Some models might even have the DTV tuner built in, HP and others offer them.
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Old 05-08-2009
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I considered the laptop/USB tuner solution, but my laptop is old with USB 1.1 ports. Wasn't sure a USB tuner would work very well with it and the speakers are weak to say the least. Considered buying a netbook, but then you need an external drive to play DVDs. Couldn't beat this $25 solution.
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Google this...similar to the one we bought...$245. Digital tuner get 12 dollar antenna and you have no need for converter box and have HD to boot as welll as a space saving flat screen and DVD. Get a 700 watt inverter for 50 bucks and your set.

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