Best way to power a tv - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-12-2011 Thread Starter
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Best way to power a tv

What is the best way to power a tv/dvd on the boat? Should I purchase a 12 volt tv/dvd or a 120 volt and use a inverter. I do not have access to shore power. Does anyone know what would use less battery power?
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-12-2011
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.... Does anyone know what would use less battery power?
Leave the TV at home! (Sorry. couldn't resist.......)

Ron

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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-12-2011
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A dedicated 12V TV will use less current. Try the truckers TV's sold by trucker supply places. Less expensive than "marine" and built just as tough. Skyworth is one brand. You can see upwards of a 30% difference in power consumption between an inverter to power a TV and direct to 12V..

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post #4 of 11 Old 05-12-2011
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Very true. The process of voltage inversion isn't all that efficient. If power is an issue, go with the 12 volt appliances.

Also consider if you are going cruising elsewhere, that 12 volt appliances will be scarce in other parts of the world. If you stick with standard voltage appliances replacements will be easier to come by.

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post #5 of 11 Old 05-13-2011
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Many Chinese LCD TV's are 12V with an AC adapter like a laptop these days. I bought a new 24" 12V LED TV for my boat for $200 and wired it directly to the boat electrics via a fused relay.

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Power consumption is always listed on the device. The real issue if I read between the lines is keeping up with the electric demand.

Personally I have an under cabinet combination TV/DVD/CD/AM-FM radio. It uses up no counter space and the screen folds up flat. I have it hardwired into the battery banks on the boat through the switch and fuse panel.

I have two separate banks of batteries. One bank supplies the "fun" stuff like the TV, inverter and computer. The other supplies the electronics and navigation lighting. I have an alternator output on my motor that recharges the necessary items. I have a shore charger that has two outputs for both banks and a small generator too. The only time I use the generator is when I've been away from shore power too long. I often spend weeks out or at anchor. I never suffer from lack of electricity.

Pick your appliances wisely, calculate your normal usage and plan your battery banks and charging means according to that. You can't go wrong regardless of which appliances you choose. Always separate the necessary from the fun stuff. It's dangerous to be without radio, navigation equipment and navigation lights. Save plenty of battery life for those things first. You'll live if you can't watch the TV or chat with people on this forum.

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post #7 of 11 Old 05-13-2011
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Be careful when buying a TV with a DC input. I grabbed a Vizio last year, thinking I hit a home run and it turned out to be 19v, which is also common for a laptop. As a result, I subsequently bought a 12v to 19v converter (still uninstalled), but I'm really thinking about a do-over.


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post #8 of 11 Old 05-13-2011
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Many smaller TVs do come with a 12 V power brick and can run directly off the boat batteries. The problem is that some units are sensitive to voltage variations and the increase in voltage when the engine is running or the batteries are being charged can cause damage. Proceed at your own risk.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-13-2011
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Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
Many smaller TVs do come with a 12 V power brick and can run directly off the boat batteries. The problem is that some units are sensitive to voltage variations and the increase in voltage when the engine is running or the batteries are being charged can cause damage. Proceed at your own risk.
This is the sole reason I am tempted to keep my 19v TV. I understand that the 19v to 12v converter will level those spikes. I've heard some suggest a 12v to 12v box for the same reason.


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post #10 of 11 Old 05-13-2011
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Get a LCD flat screen TV that runs on 12 volts typical draw 3 amps.

google 12v travel for a selection.

No problems running them from an unstable power supply in my experience.
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