At Last,Portable TV's are back - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-31-2009, 09:22 PM   #1
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Ever since the FCC decided that we all needed to switch to Digital Television there has been a big hole where portable TV's used to be.
The very moment the Transition took place every portable TV was rendered non-portable as we needed a digital converter box to continue to tune the new digital broadcasts. The converters are not too portable.....with a few exceptions of course.

Anyway the move to LCD TV was also an exciting change again nipped in the bud somewhat by the digital transition.

So I have been waiting ever since the for inexpensive truly portable TV's to make a return.

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/5414...900-9-Portable/

This set is on sale at Office Depot here for $99.00 thru Saturday I think.

It is small and thin with a sharp 9" widescreen picture and it runs on 12volts d.c.
There is a built-in battery and it comes with the 12volt cable too.

This is natural TV to have around as it very lightweight,has a lot of features,a really nice non-hd picture,a/v input and can be tucked away in almost any spot in an Egg.

Now I admit to being somewhat biased to having a TV all the time but I also support myself by playing with them essentially.
Aside from this though I think this is an ideal set to have especially since I was broken into and my big set was stolen and I do not feel like going through that again. Some of us also do not want to take a TV into the woods really but they still come in handy for watching the news and weather.

Also it is a typical Chinese cheap piece of junk but seems to work OK anyway.

They also have a 7" and tiny handheld models on sale now but I think the 9" is really the smallest screen to view from a distance like from the table to the bed.

This is not the only one like it I have seen but the first one that was in-stock for under $100.00 so far!

Just wanted to share this.

Ed


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Old 01-01-2010, 12:58 AM   #2
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Ed, for xmas Santa left a 7" lcd hd portable for my Burro. With 2.5 hours of battery, 12 volt cigarette cord, and 12 volt wall wart. I think Santa must have shopped at Kohls (I saw the same box there right before Christmas). $49.95 after $20 rebate.

The antenna screws off to reveal a coaxial connector if I need to use an external antenna or the satellite dish and receiver with inverter. I am thinking I could velcro above the closet for viewing from both beds.

For our larger camper my brother in law gave us a 15" LCD HD (also uses 12 volt wall wart, so I am sure I can find a cigarette cord). He picked it up on Black Friday for $99 (at CVS no less)

Gotta love these new thin TVs, either can be put out of sight inside a cabinet. I am truly surprised by the clarify of the picture on both.

There are lots of options out there finally.

Mike
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
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What has been your experience with the reception on these new portable TV's using the internal telescoping antenna inside a house? Last year, before the mandated switch to digital (however, most stations were broadcasting both digital and analog at the time), I purchased a Radio Shack model portable digital TV. It worked fine in my car outside the store but, when I tried the TV at home in a bathroom area, where I planned on using it, I couldn't pick up any digital broadcasts and the 2 or 3 analog stations it picked up had poor reception (I live in Dallas where there is no shortage of stations). Needless to say, I returned the TV but I am still in the market for a couple portables if the quality of these items has improved in the last year.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:12 PM   #4
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Brian, I would not say that mine is much different from your experience. We live in a rural area with all all the broadcast signals coming from 40 miles away. If I sit on the east side of our house on the first floor I pick up a couple of stations, If I go to the second floor of the house I received many more, but if I sit on the west side I receive nothing. If I go outside I receive almost all available.

So probably similar to your experience, but I figure it will work better in our Burro. We'll see in the spring.

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Old 01-08-2010, 07:37 AM   #5
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The reception with the built-in or included antenna is terrible.
This is not the TV tuner design flaw though but the way antennas work and the nature of the new digital signals.

This is my least favorite feature of our digital "Upgrade" by far.
As we all know by now if the signal is not strong enough with digital we either get nothing at all or heavy "Tiling" or blocks forming in the picture. Tis is just the nature if digital vs. analog where we were able to watch even a snowy,fuzzy weak signal picture and we became somewhat skilled in doing so.

There are no real shortcuts to getting more antenna free of signal obstructions to get a decent digital picture.
Right now this is still somewhat new and you need to experiment to get it to work or get lucky with your location.
I have not had good luck so far with the antenna built into the trailers and I put an antenna in the air on my own when camping.

Existing antennas will work fine if they are decent and for the band you are trying to tune and combined VHF/UHF antenna that you have been using will work now too.

The digital signals are much weaker than the Analog were though so you need higher gain antennas than before.
If tuning UHF channels now they are more prone to interference from trees and buildings than vefore too.

Overall the pictures are great if they are at all.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:19 PM   #6
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Today I picked up a very cheap set of rabbit ears with UHF loop, as well as a powered amplifier. The rabbit years bring in twice as many stations as I received with the built in antenna. When I through the amplifier in the chain, I doubled my channels again. Still only up to 11 (including sub channels, but only think I am missing three main channels. I will play around in the camper if the temp ever clears 25 f.

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Old 01-10-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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It's not a "portable," but I installed a 12v Coby AM/FM/DVD/TV unit with an ATSC (HDTV) tuner in our Scamp. It's actually designed to be used as a kitchen under-cabinet TV & radio, but it uses a 12vdc "wall wort" adapter to get its juice. I just wired it in with a trio of 7812 12v regulator chips to make sure it didn't get over-volted when the battery is being charged.


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When stowed the TV folds up and out of the way under the unit. After that pic was taken I added a webbing belt that wraps from one side of the unit to the other to hold the TV tight in its stowed position when in transit.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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Peter I had looked at an under-counter tv setup before my wife picked up the little portable. There were some advantages to the portable (battery power was the main, we have lost power for extended periods and having an off the grid system for the house was important). Last winter we were without grid power for 12 days due to the major ice storm that hit this part of the country. We have already lost power this winter on 4 multi-hour periods.

My main concern with the under-counter I looked at was it was designed for AC only. Was the one you installed marked that 12 volt dc was an option? What are 7812 12v regulator chips? I love the idea of yours but do not know what you did to make it work. Sorry if this is obvious to some, but I have no idea how you could make that work.

By the way what do you have for an antenna setup?

Thanks

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:37 PM   #9
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No, the Coby TV I bought was not marked as a 12v unit. I had to go to stores and scope out their working displays until I found a unit that had a "wall wort" AC adapter marked 12V DC. The Coby had a 12v DC wall adapter rated at 3 Amp; the TV itself uses about 1.3 Amp when the TV/DVD player (its highest energy use) is running and about 1/4 amp when the radio is on, so it uses less energy that a standard RV incandescent light bulb.

78xx chips are voltage regulators, chips that cap the amount of voltage they'll pass through at xx volts, that you can buy at many Radio Shack stores or online. They have a maximum amount of input voltage and current (Amps) they can handle. The 7812 will regulate an input of up to 36 volts down to 12 volts, 1/2 Amp output and an 18 volt input down to 12 volts at 1/2 Amp of power. (Attaching a device that uses more power (Amps) than the chip's rating will cause it to overheat and fail or even cause a fire, so these numbers are important!)

7812s do require some soldering skill and have to be wired up correctly -- the battery connections have to be exactly as shown or they burn out the instant the power is turned on -- but if you've done any electrical soldering whatsoever it's simple soldering job.



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Since my Coby TV pulls more power than any one 7812 chip can handle I wired three of them together in parallel so they can share the load.

Don't know if this explanation helps . . . it's a little technical . . . but someday perhaps I'll do a better write-up on my install.

Oh, and as for my antenna setup, I am still trying to come up with a good-working HDTV antenna set for our trailer. The one I have works just fine in the city . . . but not at all anywhere else. My AM/FM antennas are tucked inside the upper cabinets of our trailer.


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Old 05-01-2011, 01:10 PM   #10
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I've been looking at this one
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Amazon.com: Digital Labs 7" Portable Digital LCD TV - Black (DT191SA): Electronics
Looks like a simple unit.
Will be looking into this antenna also

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Amazon.com: Philips SDV3132 - HDTV antenna - plate - indoor: Electronics
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:05 PM   #11
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Full disclosure first: We have a nice little ac/dc 22" tv in our rv.

But - I wonder if one of the reasons small tv's have struggled to find their way back into mainstream is the advent of laptops and tablet/slate devices like the ipad? After all you can stream netflix, hulu and a host of other movie and tv show providers almost anywhere you happen to be, as well as day of news, wifi permitting or simply run a movie or tv show title from the device if there isn't a signal, or read a book, or write, or email or....etc. While small cheap tv's might seem like a bargain they're just a one trick pony and the trick seems to be getting somewhat stale..
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterh View Post
No, the Coby TV I bought was not marked as a 12v unit. I had to go to stores and scope out their working displays until I found a unit that had a "wall wort" AC adapter marked 12V DC. The Coby had a 12v DC wall adapter rated at 3 Amp; the TV itself uses about 1.3 Amp when the TV/DVD player (its highest energy use) is running and about 1/4 amp when the radio is on, so it uses less energy that a standard RV incandescent light bulb.

78xx chips are voltage regulators, chips that cap the amount of voltage they'll pass through at xx volts, that you can buy at many Radio Shack stores or online. They have a maximum amount of input voltage and current (Amps) they can handle. The 7812 will regulate an input of up to 36 volts down to 12 volts, 1/2 Amp output and an 18 volt input down to 12 volts at 1/2 Amp of power. (Attaching a device that uses more power (Amps) than the chip's rating will cause it to overheat and fail or even cause a fire, so these numbers are important!)

7812s do require some soldering skill and have to be wired up correctly -- the battery connections have to be exactly as shown or they burn out the instant the power is turned on -- but if you've done any electrical soldering whatsoever it's simple soldering job.


Attachment 25858


Since my Coby TV pulls more power than any one 7812 chip can handle I wired three of them together in parallel so they can share the load.

Don't know if this explanation helps . . . it's a little technical . . . but someday perhaps I'll do a better write-up on my install.

Oh, and as for my antenna setup, I am still trying to come up with a good-working HDTV antenna set for our trailer. The one I have works just fine in the city . . . but not at all anywhere else. My AM/FM antennas are tucked inside the upper cabinets of our trailer.
Hey Peter. Just out of curiosity have you measured the current through each of those regulators when the TV is on?
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_bc View Post
Full disclosure first: We have a nice little ac/dc 22" tv in our rv.

But - I wonder if one of the reasons small tv's have struggled to find their way back into mainstream is the advent of laptops and tablet/slate devices like the ipad? After all you can stream netflix, hulu and a host of other movie and tv show providers almost anywhere you happen to be, as well as day of news, wifi permitting or simply run a movie or tv show title from the device if there isn't a signal, or read a book, or write, or email or....etc. While small cheap tv's might seem like a bargain they're just a one trick pony and the trick seems to be getting somewhat stale..
I certainly do not think so.

I think the reason they have struggled is that they were choked out before being born in a marketing move designed to make us think exactly as you have suggested!

There is very little parallel between the cheap portable TV I started this thread about and any computer based device you mention except that they both have an LCD screen.

Since starting this thread I have used the 9" TV I mentioned countless times where anything else would simply not be practical.

I also bought its 7" Little brother now that they are routinely on sale for $40.00 or so and have the exact same feature/benefit set as the 9" model.

Now I will admit that since I am an Audio/Video Contractor I probably have more use for something portable and fully self-contained than everyone else here put together but I will try to explain why I feel the need for these.

Just last week while huddled in my Basement waiting for Tornados to rip through STL I had a tiny TV in front of me watching the weather guys.I was also looking at Nexrad Radar live on an iPad of course and manning an amateur radio station all running on internal battery power.

Even though we can stream a lot now from the internet I still avoid doing so on a campground internet connection as it will surely choke the bandwidth down for everyone else.
I have a portable broadband device too and my iPad has a broadband connection but nothing is as simple as just pulling out a tiny TV and turning it on as far as I know?

I also use them everyday to check and view video signals in the systems I install and maintain and I also use them as a monitor when recording video as they are a lot bigger than any built-in monitor and on battery last a long time. The ones I have also have either a standard Vesa mount on them or a 1/4-20 thread tripod standard mount and can be easily positioned and supported as needed.

Now that they are down to under $50.00 I am happy again.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:01 PM   #14
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oh geez! now I have to have one....
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