I've had my new LCDDigital ATSC7 TV in it's intended use area for a couple days now and can add further to my previous reviews and to Zspocks review of the LCDDIGITAL8.4.
My external antenna is a Phillips 210 that I've weatherproofed and put on top of my RV with a height of around 7.5 feet. I have about 10 feet of RG-6 co-axial cable running from antenna to TV through 1 coupler. No amplifier. I'm in north county San Diego.
I am comparing the tuner sensitivity to a CRT 5" Jensen 12 volt analog and have to conclude that the Jensen has good analog reception on VHF low and high, but extremely poor analog reception on UHF channels.
The LCD digital7 pulls in all the same analog low and High VHF as the Jensen, but the Jensen has a clearer picture on a few of them. The Jensen is more sensitive to interference issues. On UHF channels the LCDdigital is far far superior.
Overall I get many more stations than before, and I've got to say I really like the digital channels with the programming info and clear picture and am looking forward to the switchover when a lot of stations will increase their output.
With the Jensen, on the best days I could pull in about 10 English speaking stations if I was willing to adjust the roof mounted antenna for southerly or Northerly ones.
With the LCDDIGITAL ATSC7 I can pull in about 25 English speaking stations including the .1 .2 .3 .4 digital stations if I'm willing to adjust the antenna.
The northerly ones are 92 miles away and can come in with 'good' signal quality. Granted the transmitter is a couple thousand feet high.
I've found a happy medium which pulls in all my required TV stations, and I know exactly where to point the ears and loop for the others.
It is possible to manually tune in a digital Station by keying in the stations frequency, but not by adding the -1 to it. For example in my area, channel 15.1 is actually broadcast on channel 30. If I punch in channel 30, and with correct antenna orientation, the TV will switch over to 15.1.
Once an analog or digital channel is typed in manually it goes onto the list of receivables and will work through the channel up or down buttons. If the digital channel is not strong enough it will be listed as a blank analog channel with 'NO SIGNAL'.
In my area, Channel 4.1 broadcasts in 1080i. Channel 4.2 is 460. If the signal is weak, 4.2 will come in clear, but 4.1 will suffer drop outs and macro blocking. Channel 4.0 will usually be unwatchable.
Some digital stations have 1080i and 720p broadcasts on their .1 and .2 channels. The TV itself does not have enough resolution to be able to tell the difference, so I program it to ignore the 1080i channels which would be more prone to dropouts.
To find out what real channels TV stations are broadcasting their virtual digital channel transmissions on, Pre and post transition, and the strength and availability of channels at your specific address and antenna height:http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=29
TVFOOL.com in case they don't allow me to post an URL.
This site can tell you exactly where to point your antenna and a lot of other info. Highly recommended.
The included rabbit ear antenna is pretty much worthless, and will pop out of its recepticle far too easily. I've left mine out.
My battery monitor shows that the TV draws 0.5 to 0.7 amps per hour. I can get it to draw .8 amps or 10 watts if I turn up the brightness, contrast and volume fully and the channel is broadcasting a bright screen.
Something to note, and a warning is that this TV will consume almost .1 amp per hour when turned off. There is a little power light that shows red when the power is off and blue when TV is on. I doubt this light draws that much current by itself. I think the main draw is the circuitry having to wait for for the input signal from the remote to turn the power on. This condition might also be true of other brands which have an internal battery.
If your are using the supplied Battery box, unplug the power cord or switch it to charge from power, otherwise your batteries can die without you even using the TV.
So in 'standby mode' the tv uses ~ 1/7 the electricity as if it were turned on.
This is not mentioned in the directions.
Other small complaints are that some stations will be super bright and washed out while others are dark. There is a programmable function where you can set 4 different settings.
Brightness, contrast, color, sharpness , tint are all adjustable on each setting.
This 'picture' button(with 4 different programmable settings) is very handy, well a necessity really.
The remote is not very ergonomic, and a light is required to see to see any of the button's digits in the dark. 1 is not right next to 2 but down on a diagonal, and each button feels exactly the same.
The sound is adjustable, but the tiny speakers on the TV don't really allow and difference to be noticed when turning the treble all the way down or the bass up or visversa. I sometimes use external 'walkman' amplified speakers plugged into the headphone jack and the sound quality is very good, especially in the digital stations , and the bass and treble adjustments are easily noticeable. It will go far too loud for the speakers and blow them if your are not careful.
The website shows a picture of the back of the tv labeling it 'rear speakers'.
There are no rear speakers, only holes for ventilation. The speakers are located on either side of the LCD screen on the bottom.
There is also an 'audio' button on the remote allowing you to set 4 different presets.
The included earbuds are absolutely horrible. I used them with my MP3 and they did not get loud or have any clarity, but maybe with the huge output through the headphone jack on the TV they'd be a good match.
Some other complaints, which might be the digital TV stations themselves is the program information on the digital stations does not always appear, and sometimes the sound will drop out with a subtle click for about a tenth of a second or so. This click might possibly be interference from my battery monitor which used to produce diagonal lines on analog channels 4,5,and 6 when on my Jensen, but not on the LCDDigital. The click happens on every digital station I receive more on some than others. Maybe 4 to 5 a minute at most. This micro click happens even when the signal strength is 'good' and no more often when fair or bad unless it is suffering macro blocking.
The signal strength meter shows only 'good' 'fair' or 'bad'. I would prefer bars, and for it to be a live reading. It can read 'fair', then suffer macro blocking and still read 'fair'. If I turn the info screen off then back on it will read 'bad'.
There is a 'PR' button which will list the available channels, but only 5 at a time, and if you want to pick another channel, it is no faster than the channel up or down button unless your going more than 5 channels away. The quickest way to change channels is to program it to ignore any you don't want or to manually type in the channels.
There is closed captioning on analog and digital stations, and one can set it to come on when the mute button is hit. Not all stations broadcast CC though, and those that do still have considerable delay.
There is an MTS button on the remote that allows some channels with with english language programs having a Spanish or French output, which could come in handy for some.
That is all I can think of to add at this point. I'll answer any other questions anyone might have, if I can.
I would recommend this unit, but don't know if it is any better than the less expensive brands.
If anyone lives in my area and wants to compare my LCD digital7 to the 8.4 or any other brands for tuner sensitivity for grins, let me know.
Yesterday I set up a large but old roof top antenna for a friend who just bought a new Visio. My LCD digital was able to pull in more digital stations than the Visio using the same antenna.
It wasn't a purely scientific comparison as the visio had 1 more coupler and 10 more feet of rg-59 attached. Also the distance from the co-axial cable to the antenna mast seems to have a large effect on reception. I was able to move the LCDdigital and co-axial cable away from the mast an reception improved.
But I have to conclude that the tuner is at least as sensitive as the Visio.