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Old 02-23-2006, 12:06 AM   #1
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This is probably the dumbest question I ever asked but just to make sure before I go buy a new TV set and DVD or VCR set up to use in the camper, I need to know for sure.
If I were to haul a TV with me with no outside antenna I assume most places out away from town would have bad reception. So, this is what I need to know (I think I know the answer to this, but! )
If I play a DVD or a VCR tape in my camper I should not need any "reception" because the VCR or DVD player is attached to the TV. Right? I should get good reception on my TV if using my own movies, RIGHT????
I hate to even ask this question, because I think it will work fine. But I would hate to invest in these things to find out it won't work.
Someone with a TV and DVD player should know the answer to this. Even if TV reception is bad, the TV will play my movies real nice and clear and voice would be good also. DVD is only a few inches from the TV and it just has to work.................RIGHT?
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:17 AM   #2
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Think of your VCR and DVD machines as substitutes for an antenna. When there is no antenna reception, you CAN watch VCR or DVD movies.
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:19 AM   #3
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...and please do not buy new equipment with vhs technology. Go with the DVD. It's just as cheap and the picture is superior. And in my neighborhood - dvd rentals are more readily available now - by a long shot.
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Old 02-23-2006, 05:59 AM   #4
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Your best bet is a small TV DVD unit Around 150 bucks. As we have found TV reception to be poor to none in a lot of the sites we stay at Mountians ect. I put a cable input on mine many years ago and have never used it. I carry a good portable jump start unit along as they are a handy thing to have anyway and I use this for the TV as my inverter bothered my unit {sound mostly]. I keep in the TUG pluged into the lighter so it charges up the next day
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Old 02-23-2006, 06:23 AM   #5
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I believe the TV shelf is rated for about 15 pounds but I'd go much lower if possible. LCD units are thin and light. Nice to have is a TV that comes with a 12v plug as well as the 120 plug. More efficient if you're camping without shore power.

Broadcast TV reception can be weak but with some favorite DVDs you won't care and you'll be good to go.
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Old 02-23-2006, 06:49 AM   #6
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Karalyn,

You asked for the time, and I'm going to tell you how to build a watch.

Yes a DVD or video player will work fine when you don't have TV reception. A TV station broadcasts signals over the air from a tower antenna. Your TV antenna catches the broadcast signal and sends it through wires to your TV where it decodes them into a picture and sound.As you get further from the TV broadcast tower, the weaker the signal and the poorer quality the picture.

A DVD or video tape player also uses wire to send the signal to your TV, but the signal originates in the box just inches from your TV, so the TV gets the full signals. If you start to see poor quality pictures from the DVD or video, it means the signal is degraded and you may either have a poor connection on either device or a bad cable in between.

Hope that helps!

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Old 02-23-2006, 08:42 AM   #7
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I'm gonna put in another vote for the suggestion of the TV/DVD combo. The price of the combo isn't signficantly higher than just a TV set. The primary advantage of the combo is gonna be that of set-up and storage. No wires connecting the two machines - just one power cord etc. Just place the set on a table or counter, plug it in and go. MUCH simplier!

At home, I don't mind having a stack of machines and a rat's nest of wires (ask my wife - she'd be more than happy to confirm that). Camping? K.I.S.S. is the way to go (Keep It Simple Stupid).

VCR - Unless you've got a very large library of tapes, it's not worth it. I think you're gonna have a very hard time finding a compact deck or a smaller TV with the VCR built-in as well (unless you look for a used one).

There was a report in the news a couple years ago about a store chain in the UK which was dropping VCRs completely. As part of their justification they were quoted. "The shoplifters won't even steal them!" Tape is dead. Film is next (for the photographers in the group).

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Old 02-23-2006, 09:01 AM   #8
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If you don't intend to watch TV much anyway, just buy one of the LCD DVD players! I saw some awesome top-end ones yesterday at Sam's with widescreen and excellent sound for less than $250!

The best part about them is that they fit nicely on the top of your dashboard and run on 12v off the "power port" (formerly known as "cigarette lighter hole") in your dashboard. They're so cool cause you can watch your favorite movies while you're going somewhere. You don't have to be distracted any more by the road, or what's in front of you. If you're REALLY good, you can watch your movie while you drive and share the details of the movie with a friend on your cell phone while you're driving, and never once have to be distracted by driving itself!

Just kidding... honestly though, the portable DVD units are excellent if you really don't plan on using TV.

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Old 02-23-2006, 10:13 AM   #9
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I bought an Orion/dvd at walmart last yr for $150. But being that i never got tv off the Delta Antenna... i just watched dvd's..... Dont bother with any VHS stuff... as said its outta date anyways..... Unless you plan on having satilite I would just get a portable dvd player... thats what I did... dont have to box the tv up and stuff and haul it around.... I love the portable dvd....
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:34 AM   #10
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I started out with a 9"TV W/VCR. I only watched the TV once or twice and the VCR a few times. It was just too big and cumbersome, so I just got where I left it at home and took a book instead.

I got an 8.2" DVD player for about $150 around Xmas time. It's a great little unit and just right for the trailer. It folds to almost nothing, runs off 12V or 110 or it's own rechargeable battery. An added plus is that the DVDs don't take up as much room as the tapes, either.

For current news/weather I have my hand crank radio.
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:59 AM   #11
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OK! It's settled. We have you buying a combination TV/DVD unit.

Now...you'll be needing DVDs. Just the classics at first. The ones you can watch over and over and over....

I'm thinking...

Airplane
Animal House
Blazing Saddles
Blues Brothers
Young Frankenstein
Princess Bride
Which Monty Python I wonder....Holy Grail I suppose.
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:21 PM   #12
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Steve... this is just frightening... have you been at MY DVD collection?

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Old 02-23-2006, 12:40 PM   #13
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Karalyn,

When I was living in the Bigfoot, I purchased a small protable DVD player. Because the campgrounds also had a cable connection, I aslo purchased a inexpensive VCR and used it as a tuner to connect to an antenna or to cable. This worked great and I could watch "anything" in the camper.

Since moving again we only use the camper for "camping". What I have found is that the small DVD player is what we watch the most. On buggy Minnesota nights or in the rain we all just sit at the camper table and plug in a DVD.

We are never close enough to at town to get good reception, most of the campground that we stay at do not have cable, and VCR's just take up to much room.

So I would suggest a portable DVD player. Expect to pay $150 at most, and if you watch for bargins you can get one for under $100.

- Good Luck!
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:23 PM   #14
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Just because this might not be obvious to everyone...

If you are hauling a computer (presumably a laptop/notebook/tablet/whatever-you-call-your-portable) with you, it likely has a DVD drive, and it definitely has a screen, so you already have everything needed to watch DVDs. Very small portable tuners are available to plug into it for those times that there is a signal to receive, and a larger separate monitor (including any TV) can be hooked up for a larger screen if desired.

I wouldn't buy a laptop PC just to use as a DVD player, because those portable players which Roger mentioned are so cheap, but a laptop would normally have a much bigger screen, and does other stuff as well.

If you camp to get away from your computer, you can ignore this option!

Like almost everyone else, I would not bother hauling a VCR, or carrying the associated bulky tapes.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:28 PM   #15
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Just because this might not be obvious to everyone...

If you are hauling a computer (presumably a laptop/notebook/tablet/whatever-you-call-your-portable) with you, it likely has a DVD drive, and it definitely has a screen, so you already have everything needed to watch DVDs. Very small portable tuners are available to plug into it for those times that there is a signal to receive, and a larger separate monitor (including any TV) can be hooked up for a larger screen if desired.
Im glad someone mentioned laptops - since thats what I plan on using. They're small, lightweight and I have noticed several campsites that offer wi-fi internet, which I think will only become more common. On one hand, Im taking work with me, but on the other hand...I can stay much longer and not completely lose track of whats happening at work and in the world! Boy, do I [b]love living in the 21st Century!
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:21 PM   #16
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...and please do not buy new equipment with [b]vhs technology.
Boy, do I feel old. Yeah, I have an (old) TV/VHS combo unit in the Fiber Stream, but most of the trailer's furnishings are cast offs from the house. I still have an extensive VHS library. <sigh> Not to mention my Vinyl record collection...

In California one can no longer just throw this stuff away, one has to pay to have it "recycled". If I gotta pay to get rid of it, I'm sure gonna make sure it's dead before I do. Use it up, wear it out, make it do...

My new laptop plays DVD's & CD's & MP3's.
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:00 PM   #17
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WOW, I never expected all these replys. Thanks everyone. It seems that most would suggest the Portable DVD without the TV (as reception is usually bad out in the sticks anyhow.)
I do have a laptop computer but it is older. If it has a place to put in a DVD are you saying I am set up already? All I would need to do is buy some DVD's, get a 12 volt plug in and I am set to watch my movie out in the wilderness?? Otherwise go get a Portable DVD with a nice size screen and use that.
Wow, looks like I go looking for a nice size portable DVD or a TV with one attached so as I get a bigger picture. Relaxation, here I come without boredom on those rainy days.
Thanks again everyone for your opinions!!!!!
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:06 PM   #18
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Not to mention my Vinyl record collection...

My new laptop plays DVD's & CD's & MP3's.
Huge vinyl record collection here also! I used to work at a radio station a wee bit 40 years ago, and brought home a bunch of extra samples. 45's 33's etc. I don't have the heart to sell them or thorw them out, but I never play them anymore. They are too bulky. Hmmmm, wonder if those old records could somehow be made into CD's?

Any way, you said your laptop plays MP3's (what are those??????????)
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:26 PM   #19
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...I do have a laptop computer but it is older. If it has a place to put in a DVD are you saying I am set up already? All I would need to do is buy some DVD's, get a 12 volt plug in and I am set to watch my movie out in the wilderness?? Otherwise go get a Portable DVD with a nice size screen and use that...
Exactly what I was thinking. I don't know what "older" means to you, but DVD capability is relatively new in laptops; since a DVD and CD are the size and shape, they all look like they handle DVDs, but you need both the right version of hardware and some software (the normally comes with the computer). If a DVD will work in the machine, and the computer has a drawer that pops out to load the disk, then the face of the drawer will normally say "DVD" right on it.
Quote:
...
Wow, looks like I go looking for a nice size portable DVD or a TV with one attached so as I get a bigger picture...
You can even combine two approaches and use a portable DVD player even if it only has a really small screen (the really cheap ones) and plug it into the cheapest LCD (flat panel) TV or computer monitor you can find, to get both image size and portability.
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:40 PM   #20
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My solution to the DVD/Laptop problem was to purchase a USB DVD reader/writer. Solved the problem with my older (Gateway 2500) laptop.
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