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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Westinghouse is a 32" 1080p LCD HDTV that briefly went on sale at Best Buy for $280, at a time when most such TVs are at least $330, and some are up to $1000, yet don't have much better sound or video quality.


It's easy to see why it had to go on-sale. You have to enter Tuner Activation codes to tune broadcast channels or cable QAM channels (different for each). What a nutty idea! (Their support person said it was to try to make sure people who only connected to cable systems through HDMI wouldn't waste time scanning for broadcast or QAM channels, which is a slow process. So they came up with the bright idea of making the TV hard to set up.) I went to the indicated website, typed in my serial number, and got an activation code that did not work. Called the indicated phone number, went through the voice menu, and got the same non-working activation code.


Only by calling during business hours and talking to a live tech support person was I able to find the correct access code. They said they knew the website and voice menu gave incorrect info for some serial numbers.


You can find reviews of this device at Best Buy which complain it doesn't have a digital tuner, and can't receive QAM channels. These are wrong - they probably didn't talk to a live person. For example, on my Comcast cable setup, channel 4-3 is Universal Sports.


Rather minimal inputs - e.g., just 1 HDMI connector, plus antenna, composite video and component video, and L+R analog sound, VGA (up to 1920x1080 resolution, very nice, also supports 1024x768 and 800x600, and maybe some others) and the only output is a headphone jack, which could be adapted to analog sound output.


To get a clean picture from broadcast, or from non-HD cable, or from an old VHS tape, you need to turn on "Noise Reduction", and maybe reduce "Sharpness" slightly. Then it works fine, and produces a very clean image.


Every time you turn on the TV, you need to get adjust the aspect ratio, or you get "Standard", which is less than full screen in both directions. The other options are "Fill Screen", which distorts NTSC pictures so everyone looks fat, and "Overscan", which looks nice, but sometimes cuts off a small amount at the top. They should have a setting that fills the screen as much as possible, but maintains the aspect ratio for NTSC mode video.


I love to turn on Closed Caption, so I can see the words I can't quite make out. But like most TVs, closed caption covers part of the picture. Wouldn't be bad if I could make the caption background transparent - but that only option only works for broadcast channels. Huh? I really wish TV makers would recognize the closed caption should be displayed below the TV image, even if that means displaying a slightly smaller image.


Used properly, this has nice picture and nice sound. A big step up from my failing 13" analog TV and 15" computer monitor. It was a lot of hassle to figure out what was needed, but it works nicely in the end.


The remote control is pretty basic. I honestly prefer that. Complexity is often bad.


All our other video stuff, like an old TIVO, is low-def, and Comcast now charges $16/month for an HD DVR, so we will stay with non-HD cable, But I love the extra detail that shows up in the HD QAM channels. Someday I may add an HDMI switch, and add in a Blu-Ray and an HD recorder of some sort.


Though I'm tempted to switch to Verizon FIOS, which may be cheaper, especially with HD, now that Comcast's introductory prices have ended.


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If you want on-line capabilities, I suggest you get something like the $100 Google TV devices, or any of the similar things that let you use TVs as a computer or streaming video device. I don't speak from experience - it's just what the Best Buy people suggested. Then it's almost like getting a $1000 TV.


(But sigh - it would be hard to add 3D capabilities to a 60 HZ TV like this one. If someone creates a device that makes alternate frames left/right, and sends a signal to blanking goggles, each eye would flicker at an annoying 30 HZ.)


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I still think the whole HD thing was an industry scam in which they conned or bribed the FCC to force us all to buy new TVs and video equipment. With this TV, I've finally started to give in.


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By the way, in case you don't know how to use QAM - many cable systems, like Comcast, give you channels, including some you would otherwise have to pay for, mostly in HD, on "QAM" channels, if you bypass the box. The best way to do this is to amplify the cable signal with a very good low two way noise amplifier (forget everything from Radio Shack or BestBuy - they produce funny ghost lines on the screen), split it, send one split to the cable box, and one to the TV. You might get away without the amplifier. The cable box drops the QAM channels, hence the need for the split. OTOH, some channels are encrypted and can only be seen through the cable box.
 

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I have the same tv. The code 48795 is indeed wrong for QAM. I have tried the after hours methods as well. (call in and SMS text) I have to now wait until Monday for open hours. Do you remember the code they gave you?


Thank You


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, didn't see your ad til too late. Anyway, code is supposed to vary by serial #.


Hope you got yours working.
 

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I finally figured out how to activate the vr-3225 tuner. The codes they provide for the serial number do not work. After trying the website activation, text message and finally calling support and having them tell me I should return the TV (even though it as beyond return date), I finally came across a universal QAM activation code that they had posted in their site: 14159


This should work for any serial number. Hopefully this helps others and saves you the time I wasted with this stupid Westinghouse activation setup.
 

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I got the same tv but my problem is that the channel signal is weak and i have a problem seeing them. Anyine knows of a firmware or anything that I could install or do to help me with this?
 
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