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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I become more aware of plasma and HDTV issues the following has become my predicament:


Questions:

1.) Should I invest in a plasma HDTV and the required accessories needed?

2.) If yes, what equipment would you recommend?

3.) If no, should I invest in non-HDTV plasma or wait for HDTV plasmas and Direct TV, HDTV to advance?


Now, I realize these are questions everyone seems to be asking. However, here is my unique slant:


My viewing location is a 40 foot motorhome, specifically a Monaco Dynasty.

I have to redesign the front cabinets to improve upon my current 20 inch TV viewing capability. My current cabinets only have enough room for my VHS and Direct TV receivers.

The following is a list of my “givensâ€

1.) 90 % of our viewing is a standard Direct TV feed. 5 % are local channels as we travel the country. And 5 % VHS (which we want to convert to DVD).

2.) My satellite dish is an automatic seek-and-find version, which locks on the standard Direct TV satellite.

3.) I want to use a TiVo or Ultimate TV unit if possible. Can I use these in a mobile unit without a landbased phone line?

4.) If I need to seek a different satellite to get HDTV from Direct TV, a new dish system may be necessary. I’m not even sure it is currently available. Thoughts?

5.) I don’t believe transportation (vibration) is a major issue since new highend motorcoaches have plasmas installed. I have yet to see a HD setup, however.

6.) A plasma would be mounted on the underside of the front cabinets or directly on the ceiling with the travel position being screen vertical.

7.) Cost is not a prohibitive factor, but value is. I don’t mind spending the extra dollars for HDTV, but it has to be functional and broadcast available (Direct TV) for the motorcoach.

8.) I have a SONY VAIO laptop, which I would like to view on plasma, if possible.

9.) Maximum feasible size for a conventional TV is about 24†flat screen because of size (height) and weight.

10.) 42†plasma size would be optimum. Viewing distance is from 6 to 17 feet.

11.) Is the standard Direct TV programming broadcasted at 480i or 480p format?


I apologize for the numerous questions, but I do want to optimize my TV viewing without reinvesting in 2 or 3 years down the road (pun intended). Thanks.
 

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tmilne,


In regards to :



3.) I want to use a TiVo or Ultimate TV unit if possible. Can I use these in a mobile unit without a landbased phone line?


I believe that the Directivo, since it gets its guide information in a downstream signal only has to phone home once a month (or whatever the normal time is for dialing in to report ppv info, etc.) Since Directv offers packages to Motorhome drivers, I wouldn't think they would view the Directivo as being that much different than their standard setup. (Maybe brining to a land-line phone occasionally, etc.) Please double check this.. :)


5.) I don’t believe transportation (vibration) is a major issue since new highend motorcoaches have plasmas installed. I have yet to see a HD setup, however.


I can't speak to the long term effects of vibration, however, I was recently on a cruise ship that had Plasma's in all the suites and in many areas throughout the ship. There is considerable movement and vibration on a ship too and these screens seemed to be holding up nicely. (Even considering that they probably don't give it the tlc that you would.)



8.) I have a SONY VAIO laptop, which I would like to view on plasma, if possible.


I would think that depending on how important this feature is to you, computer output does look considerably better on HD Plasmas versus SD Plasmas. With SD Res at 853 * 480 versus HD Res of 1024 * 768 (both for the 42" size), it's not hard to see why one looks more like a monitor you might be use to. While I tend to prefer the look of directv/broadcast on a SD plasma, the HD screen certainly does not look bad with directv signals - verus the sd screen does look bad with computer output. Does that make sense?




regards,

matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Matt for your response. My major concern is the ability to get HDTV with the regular 18" dish and the "regular" satellite. Must I get the 18 X 24(20) dish and access the "other" Direct TV satellite? I believe it might be called DTVNet or something like that. Thanks for the input.
 

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You will need a new antenna system for the HD birds because there are seperate from the main 101W content.


You might want to check out an auto tracking dome, which will allow you to watch DirecTV while driving. (well not you as the driver, but your passangers :)

HDNET and HBO HD content is carried on another satellite, and SHO-HD on a third. Im not sure if you can get a dome that works with both satellites, let alone all 3. I have experiance with single domes for TV uplink trucks, and if you want some help with one message me.


bob


Edit-

check out my message below. A dome would do fine for all 3.
 

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I went out and checked this out for you...


... This allows the TracVision antenna to identify the satellite it needs to track from among the many other satellites in orbit. As a result, KVH's DVB-compatible TracVision antennas will always acquire and track the correct satellite and can also switch satellites on command if your satellite service provider is providing programming from another satellite in a different orbital location.


So it looks like you can recieve all three (cool!) satellites with a dome. This would be much easier for you than using a 3-LNB dish that requires a skew angle to be set, plus you can use it in motion. btw HDNET comes free with your account if you have a HD-ready DirecTV box.


bob
 

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tmilne:


One minor point. HBO HD is actually on Sat A at 101. It was moved from Sat B quite some time ago. Of course, if it’s been moved once, it could be moved again.
 

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Silly question, but how far is your viewing distance?!


It sounds like it might be too short for the standard 42" system. The minimal distance, IMO is 12ft. Do you have that much between where the plasma is and where the viewers are?


If you don't have that much distance, you might want to go for the smaller size sets (32" or even 24") which can be viewed from a bit closer up.


Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide. A very interesting project!
 

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I never knew it was moved! Thats great. I have problems getting 119W because of trees sometimes.


bob
 

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They are going to move around the HD quite a bit. I wouldn't count on HBO-HD staying at 101 and I wouldn't count on it moving either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to call Direct TV this weekend and try to see what HDTV is on sat A today and maybe the future. If it is minimal, I'm thinking I'll wait for a while on HDTV plasma and go with a 27 or 30 Wide HD Samsung for a couple of years. Going to the 3 LNB head means manual setups while traveling and I have gotten real spoiled just pushing one button to get satellite lock on sat A only.
 

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The domes are automatic too... and they work with all satellites, even in motion. If you get the HD setup, look into it.


bob
 
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