PIP? Why is it an afterthought on most LCD tv's? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-12-2007, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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One thing that I really, really want when I purchase a new tv is PIP. Most I've looked at don't have it. Others have it, but have one tuner, which as I understand it, means I can't be watching a ball game on CBS (SD OR HD) and do PIP to see what is on another channel via just my cable input. I would have to do PIP to a VCR or some other device with a tuner. If that is correct, that is just stupid; at least to this A/V novice. I like simple (see any of my other posts.) Maybe it would jack up the price considerabley to have a dual tuner. Or, maybe I just am shooting too high with my expectations to budget ratio.
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-12-2007, 11:48 AM
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Two tuners would probably be pretty expensive. Anyway, I don't think this is a very commonly used feature and therefore isn't prioritized. With DVRs getting more popular we'll probably see two-tuner PIP become even less common.
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post #3 of 26 Old 04-12-2007, 02:31 PM
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I agree with the OP. When you consider that flat panels like LCDs can offer lots of display real estate, it seems to be a crime not to offer the option of PIP or split screen PWP (picture with picture).

Cost of tuner chips are cheap. Quite a few of the third-tier, low-end (i.e., LOW PRICED) LCDs like Element, Protron, Polaroid, etc already include dual tuners and PIP/PWP capability. The "big name" brands don't have to include such niceties to entice buyers.

Look at the trend.....the earliest large panel displays were simply monitors and an outside signal source was required. Year after year, there are more tuner/signal source options being built-into displays to make them full-function televisions. More and more, the mainstream public will look for "HDTV Built-in" types of products because they don't want the hassle of picking set top boxes or other standalone units.

How would the proliferation of DVRs obviate the need for PIP or PWP capability?? Just look at DVRs themselves.....original TIVO had only 1 tuner. That was a big drawback in terms of being able to record one 'channel' and watch another. The 'smarter' DVR products put in dual tuners (like UltimateTV) and of course PIP is a natural extension of dual-tuner capability. Even TIVO has dual tuners now.

There'll be more PIP available in these panels as the manufacturers look for more bells and whistles to differentiate their products.
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-12-2007, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveK2 View Post


Look at the trend.....the earliest large panel displays were simply monitors and an outside signal source was required. Year after year, there are more tuner/signal source options being built-into displays to make them full-function televisions. More and more, the mainstream public will look for "HDTV Built-in" types of products because they don't want the hassle of picking set top boxes or other standalone units.

Set top boxes are here to stay, at least for the next 5-10 years. Cablecards haven't caught on, OTA HDTV is unknown and doesn't offer the same number of choices that you get with cable/sat, and video on demand requires a set top box.

The days of standalone TVs are coming to an end.
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-12-2007, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisherbert View Post

Set top boxes are here to stay, at least for the next 5-10 years. Cablecards haven't caught on, OTA HDTV is unknown and doesn't offer the same number of choices that you get with cable/sat, and video on demand requires a set top box.

The days of standalone TVs are coming to an end.

Where did anyone say STBs were dead?? And what do you mean by a 'standalone TV'?

The point is that LCD's, plasmas, etc came on the market originally as MONITORS. All signal sources were provided externally and inputs were limited. There are more capabilities like HDTV tuners, NTSC tuners, QAM tuners, dual tuners, DVD players, more and more inputs being built into flat panel displays everyday. A display with dual tuners (ATSC, NTSC, QAM capable) and a built-in DVD player can provide quite a bit of 'standalone' capability.

There is a large part of the public that would prefer the built-ins if they can get the right stuff built-in.
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post #6 of 26 Old 04-12-2007, 03:10 PM
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Forget 2 tuners. 1080p HDTVs with just 1 QAM capable tuner with PIP is hard enough to find. I am talking about less than a handful.
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post #7 of 26 Old 04-12-2007, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveK2 View Post

Where did anyone say STBs were dead?? And what do you mean by a 'standalone TV'?

The point is that LCD's, plasmas, etc came on the market originally as MONITORS. All signal sources were provided externally and inputs were limited. There are more capabilities like HDTV tuners, NTSC tuners, QAM tuners, dual tuners, DVD players, more and more inputs being built into flat panel displays everyday. A display with dual tuners (ATSC, NTSC, QAM capable) and a built-in DVD player can provide quite a bit of 'standalone' capability.

There is a large part of the public that would prefer the built-ins if they can get the right stuff built-in.

Come on, you know what I mean by "stand alone" TV. You did a pretty good job describing it in the second paragraph!

You said the mainstream public wants a TV that can do it all without a set top box...I disagree. While more and more LCDs, plasma, etc are being sold with tuners and other stuff that make them more than a monitor, more and more TVs are being used as monitors. What portion of the LCDs and plasmas sold today will ever have their internal tuners used -- 25%? For better or worse it's a cable (with cable box) and satellite world.
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post #8 of 26 Old 04-12-2007, 03:26 PM
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Proly the biggest reason I passed up Sharp in favor of VIZIO was PIP.

Since many people have PIP in their STB, it does not make sense to provide dual tuners.

My DVR is fine for the 2nd tuner.

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post #9 of 26 Old 04-12-2007, 04:51 PM
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The Olevia 747i 1080p LCD has two tuners (one actually, but it can split the signals it receives separately into two PIP screens):

http://www.hdtvsolutions.com/Olevia_747i_Review.htm: "But the Olevia has dual NTSC/ATSC integrated tuners, which are Clear QAM compatible. So on the 747i, one RF input goes to one integrated tuner, the other RF sends the signal to the companion tuner. This setup gives you a number of possibilities of program sources available for the PIP (picture in picture) and the cool Channel Surfing feature."

Here's the thread here on the forum where me and others reminisce/talk about our new toy: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=814773. I passed on other 1080p LCD's from Sony (my brand of TV for the past 20 years), Sharp, Samsung, JVC, Toshiba and Westinghouse because I want PIP and good standard definition to go with my 1080p LCD's high-def picture. It may not have the blacker blacks or most optimal contrast ratio, but for PIP whores like myself the 747i delivers. Look into it.


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post #10 of 26 Old 04-13-2007, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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You're slowly but surely selling me on the 747i. However, I don't feel all warm & fuzzy ordering anything of this value via the internet, without having a brick & mortar store close by that I could take a unit back (or just buy the thing to begin with.) Who (or what stores) sell these sets? And, better yet, where did you buy yours?
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post #11 of 26 Old 05-29-2007, 11:29 PM
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Why would you ever spend all of that money on a tv so you can watch commercials. Most people would either not use the functionality or use a DVR which would make the functionality pointless.
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post #12 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zgeneral View Post

Why would you ever spend all of that money on a tv so you can watch commercials. Most people would either not use the functionality or use a DVR which would make the functionality pointless.

What are you talking about? With PIP the moment one TV show goes to commercial the viewer can switch to the other (assuming that one isn't on commercial break) and avoid it. Personally I watch a lot of old gameshows and South American soccer. With split-screen I can monitor the ongoing soccer game without hearing the commentary (who needs it?) while watching/listening to my gameshows on the big screen (or flip them so the game is on the big screen and the gameshow on the small screen with sound). Of course this can only be done on an HDTV that is built with PIP in mind and not as an afterthought (i.e. Samsung HDTV's). In 1080p LCD land I've only found the Olevia 747i and Mitsubishi LT-46X31 models (and their respective 37" counterparts) to be PIP friendly with 1080i/p sources. And, like someone else mentioned earlier, Sharp had me as a potential client and lost me when (a) it didn't include any PIP features whatsoever and (b) the 'banding' showed up in force.


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post #13 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 05:34 AM
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For me, buying a new set that didn't have PiP/PoP would be like buying a car without a sunroof. It's just a required feature for me.

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post #14 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MrMike6by9 View Post

For me, buying a new set that didn't have PiP/PoP would be like buying a car without a sunroof. It's just a required feature for me.

YMMV

I bought an XBR2 even though it doesn't have PIP because all dvr cable boxes in my area have PIP on the remote. Don't they all have that? that is why to me you dont need PIP on a tv anymore. Maybe that is the reason a lot of the TVs aren't bothering to put it in and as the OP said an "after thought"
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post #15 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by tlwmsu View Post

I would have to do PIP to a VCR or some other device with a tuner. If that is correct, that is just stupid

No it's not. You just need to educate yourself about features. The feature that you want is called "Full PIP" (not PIP). It's the same as when they used to say "HD Ready". Many people used to get confused and think it was stupid that they didn't just include a HD tuner, but manufactures HAVE TO cut costs somewhere, otherwise the price of TV's would be staggering just because of the whims of a few people. So they cut the cost by giving you 'options' like this on features that aren't really all that important. It's considered to be a good middle ground for both manufactures and consumers. PIP gives you the OPTION of PIP as long as you have a second tuner available. Full PIP on the other hand, includes both tuners. They are considered to be two different features. Full PIP, for obvious reasons, is only available on the higher end TV's. Since cliental for these TV's are willing to pay a premium for these higher end features, the manufactures can easily bundle in the cost of the second tuner.

Regarding the Olevia 747i, it is a great TV. Last year it was Product of the Year and it will probably win that same award next year too when they switch it over to 120 Hz and LED backlghting. Check with Olevia customer service on what B&M carries this TV. Chances are there won't be many outlets simply because the majority of people tend to shy away from sets costing this much. Also be aware that just because a TV has PIP doesn't mean that you can always watch two programs at the same time. For example; some Olevias only allow certain inputs to be used at certain times. If you use HDMI with your computer then you won't be able to watch two programs at the same time. I don't think the 747i has this problem but other Olevia's certainly do. See their website for a list of which models are like this, it should be in the FAQ section
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post #16 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Planet HDTV View Post

Regarding the Olevia 747i, it is a great TV. Last year it was Product of the Year and it will probably win that same award next year too when they switch it over to 120 Hz and LED backlghting. Check with Olevia customer service on what B&M carries this TV. Chances are there won't be many outlets simply because the majority of people tend to shy away from sets costing this much. Also be aware that just because a TV has PIP doesn't mean that you can always watch two programs at the same time. For example; some Olevias only allow certain inputs to be used at certain times. If you use HDMI with your computer then you won't be able to watch two programs at the same time. I don't think the 747i has this problem but other Olevia's certainly do.

Some random pics of my Olevia 747i's PIP in action just to show off! Picture quality is **** because I videotaped my 747i in action, digitized the footage, took TIFF pictures and then converted the TIFF's into JPEG's. The TV's resolution/sharpness are truly 1080p worthy.

"Rome" on HBO (1080i) and "Super Mario World" on an SNES:


"Mario Kart 64" (N64) and "Without A Trace" (CBS HD 1080i):


"NiGHTS... Into Dreams" (Saturn) and "Hustle & Flow" (Showtime HD 1080i):


"Match Game" on GSN (1080i signal from an HD-DVR SA 8300 box) and "Goldeneye 007" for N64:


Picture-in-Picture with two 1080i OTA sources:


Same two sources swapped:


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post #17 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 10:30 AM
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More crappy-footage-digitized-then-turned-to-TIFF-then-turned-to-JPEG crappy photos:

The 747i's Split-Screen "Channel Surfing" mode (the main screen stays in the selected channel while the other screens update every five seconds on surrounding channels):




"American Idol" (WNYW-TV OTA), "The Unit" (WCBS-TV OTA) and "Fox Sports En Espanol" (TWC SA 8300 HD-DVR outputting 1080i):





"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (WNBC-DT OTA) and "Fox Sports En Espanol" (TWC SA 8300 HD-DVR outputting 1080i):




Merv Griffin's "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" in HD (with cameo appearances by Bob Barker and Marco Antonio Regil) from WABC-DTV OTA:





Finally my pride and joy: the pyramid of PIP. "David Letterman" on OTA WCBS-DT, "Deal or No Deal" and Spanish soccer (in little PIP) from the SA 8300HD DVR. If I wanted to "Deal" and the soccer game could have been HD and the 747i would have displayed all three 1080 signals at once. Try doing this with a new Samsung HDTV without breaking it in half!



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post #18 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Some random pics of my Olevia 747i's PIP in action just to show off!

Looks great, but why is the second last PIP square?
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post #19 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 10:40 AM
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The Scientific Atlantic 8300 models (DVR or plain cable box) will not make a 16x9 small PIP window. All content, HD or SD, gets crammed into a square screen. Just because some cable/satellite boxes offer PIP doesn't mean its PIP optimized for HD or your own personal use (example: I can't swap the audio in my cable box's PIP windows, something the 747i and Mitsu LT-46X31 LCD's do with a simple button tap on the remote). In my case I use the PIP on my 8300 HD-DVR to keep track of other shows so I can flip to it when I want to catch something, but not to watch something unless its a busy TV night (like it was back in March when I took that picture).


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post #20 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Planet HDTV View Post

No it's not. You just need to educate yourself about features.

Thank you for educating me. I even admitted in my original post that it might be cost prohibitive for the manufacturer to have a dual tuner in a tv in my budget!

I (and thus my wife) am admittedly behind-the-times regarding having numerous gadgets attached to the tv (STB, DVR, etc.) but we just don't want to over-complicate the issue of sitting down and watching tv. I have a plan in the works to :

A) Buy a new(er) and larger LCD tv
B) Buy a decent HT hooked up to said tv (Orb speakers & Pioneer receiver)
C) Buy a nice remote (ala Harmony 890) to simplify things
D) Eventually buy a DVR or media center computer to record programming
E) Buy a PS3 for my gaming and to play DVD's

I think the nice remote will vastly help us on our quest to have a no hassle tv-watching experience.
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post #21 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tlwmsu View Post

Thank you for educating me.

Glad it helped Don't feel bad, most people (even some in the industry) don't know that there are two different types of PIP

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we just don't want to over-complicate the issue of sitting down and watching tv.

That's understandable, but keep in mnd that 'convenience' is considered to be a feature, so you'll end up paying more for it. Most people just buy something with a second tuner (like a VCR or a DVR) and use that for the PIP tuner source.

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Buy a nice remote (ala Harmony 890) to simplify things

If you can wait a few months it will be well worth your time. At the last CES many companies introduced new Harmony like remotes. Some were much nicer than the Harmony so look for a price drop on it soon. One model uses station logos instead of station numbers, so if you wanted to go to NBC you would click on the NBC peacock logo. Getting great reviews so far. Plus it has a his and her button on the remote, so when your wife would press the 'hers' button all of the buttons on the remote would be set to only her favorite settings Some internet stores are starting to get the new remotes but B&M stores don't stock them just yet. Probably in a few months.

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"American Idol"

OH NO!!! He's using a 747i to watch american idol Somebody grab the remote away from him
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post #22 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 12:26 PM
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It was just that one night in March, when my 747i was but a week old, that I wasted precious seconds of my life watching that worthless piece of crap. Looked good in HD though, and for what it's worth I was impressed with the ease and comfort with which Seacrest hosted "AI." The guy may be a sellout and corporate whore but damn it if he didn't host the minutes of "AI" I saw that one (and just that one) night as if he were welcoming guests in his home. A sharp contrast with the hosting styles of, say, Conan O'Brien or Mario Lopez.


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post #23 of 26 Old 05-30-2007, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

I wasted precious seconds of my life watching that worthless piece of crap.

LOL

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I was impressed with the ease and comfort with which Seacrest hosted

Yeah he's the butt of a lot of jokes but he's a good guy. Enjoy your 747i, it's a great set. Olevia is coming out with some very cool new technologies (including 3D) so it's a great company. They also own Vivitar
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post #24 of 26 Old 07-07-2013, 09:40 AM
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Why with cable would you want to rent the box and pay that excessive fee every month? I have a 10 year old Sony projection 55" with dual tuners and have loved the feature especially for sporting events. It's easy to adjust the picture sizes and switch the sound back and forth. Don't rent a box. Would love to get a new 60" Smart Tv with similar capabilities. First to make one gets my business.
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-07-2013, 05:41 PM
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Why with cable would you want to rent the box and pay that excessive fee every month? ... First to make one gets my business.
Interesting first post. Unfortunately the thread you dug up is six years old...


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