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Old 03-07-2011, 06:08 PM   #1
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Default 12 volt TV / DVD players.

I'm not sure if this is the right section for this thread "Computers, Internet, Tech stuff", but I couldn't find a better place to put it.

In our Roadtrek, we have a nice LCD TV. Roadtrek also installed a DVD player. They are both powered by 120AC. Internally, much of the electronic equipment, runs on 12 volts DC. There is a transformer in the cabinet. Since our vehicles already have 12 volts, it just makes sense, not to invert 12 DC up to 120 AC, and back down to 12 DC. We loose power (as heat) in both of those conversions.

There are 12 volt DC LCD TV's, that even have the DVD played built in. This would allow us to eliminate one more piece of equipment, and open up a little more storage space.

Here is a link to a number of different sized 12 DC TV's.
http://www.12volt-travel.com/12-volt-te ... c-684.html

Here is a voltage converter, that can take a variable voltage (battery voltage), and output an even 12 volts. I don't know if this would be necessary, or if these TV's have something like this built into their cabinets.
http://www.trcelectronics.com/Meanwell/sd-50a-12.shtml

To connect this to the "Computer" part of the thread; many of these TV's have VGA/HDMI inputs, for use as a computer screen.

Has anyone here done anything like this, or considered it?
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photog
I'm not sure if this is the right section for this thread "Computers, Internet, Tech stuff", but I couldn't find a better place to put it.

In our Roadtrek, we have a nice LCD TV. Roadtrek also installed a DVD player. They are both powered by 120AC. Internally, much of the electronic equipment, runs on 12 volts DC. There is a transformer in the cabinet. Since our vehicles already have 12 volts, it just makes sense, not to invert 12 DC up to 120 AC, and back down to 12 DC. We loose power (as heat) in both of those conversions.

There are 12 volt DC LCD TV's, that even have the DVD played built in. This would allow us to eliminate one more piece of equipment, and open up a little more storage space.

Here is a link to a number of different sized 12 DC TV's.
http://www.12volt-travel.com/12-volt-te ... c-684.html

Here is a voltage converter, that can take a variable voltage (battery voltage), and output an even 12 volts. I don't know if this would be necessary, or if these TV's have something like this built into their cabinets.
http://www.trcelectronics.com/Meanwell/sd-50a-12.shtml

To connect this to the "Computer" part of the thread; many of these TV's have VGA/HDMI inputs, for use as a computer screen.

Has anyone here done anything like this, or considered it?
There is a very good and complete discussion of this topic here:

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...pging/1/page/1

We did a conversion like you reference, and really like it. Ours is shown in the link a ways in.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Try these websites....
http://www.jensenrvdirect.com/
http://www.asaelectronics.com/
As far as I know they've been making 12V TVs and RV/Marine accessories for decades, and much of the stuff
they make is OEM stuff in many lines of RV, all classes and sizes. I looked into them 2 years ago, but because
they have very few physical retailers per se (except somewhere in Elkhart, IN), and I like to touch and see
the products before buying, I went with a 110-120AC Sharp from Best Buy Canada. Warranty and being able
to return the product in case of problems was another consideration.
Jensen/ASA Electronics have been around forever.
I also convert 12VDC to 110AC where necessary, using small portable inverters, and it has worked well for
me for over 2.5 years now.
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Try these websites....
http://www.jensenrvdirect.com/
http://www.asaelectronics.com/
As far as I know they've been making 12V TVs and RV/Marine accessories for decades, and much of the stuff
they make is OEM stuff in many lines of RV, all classes and sizes. I looked into them 2 years ago, but because
they have very few physical retailers per se (except somewhere in Elkhart, IN), and I like to touch and see
the products before buying, I went with a 110-120AC Sharp from Best Buy Canada. Warranty and being able
to return the product in case of problems was another consideration.
Jensen/ASA Electronics have been around forever.
I also convert 12VDC to 110AC where necessary, using small portable inverters, and it has worked well for
me for over 2.5 years now.
We looked at all the 12v TV and DVD combos when we were deciding what to do (a couple of years ago). At the time, the 12 units were pretty low quality and targeted toward truckers who wanted basic entertainment. Poor picture quality and viewing angles were the norm. From what I have been reading lately, the newer 12v units are much better, in particular the Skyworth ones. They even make a LED version that is more energy efficient. I haven't seen them myself, however. They may be good option. If we could have found a very low power, good picture, TV/DVD, we would have gone that way, but unfortunately, none existed then, so we had to do a piece part version, which does work well though. For those of us that want to run on batteries for extended periods, low power drain is essential, and eliminated a lot of the contenders.
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster

We looked at all the 12v TV and DVD combos when we were deciding what to do (a couple of years ago). At the time, the 12 units were pretty low quality and targeted toward truckers who wanted basic entertainment. Poor picture quality and viewing angles were the norm. From what I have been reading lately, the newer 12v units are much better, in particular the Skyworth ones. They even make a LED version that is more energy efficient. I haven't seen them myself, however. They may be good option. If we could have found a very low power, good picture, TV/DVD, we would have gone that way, but unfortunately, none existed then, so we had to do a piece part version, which does work well though. For those of us that want to run on batteries for extended periods, low power drain is essential, and eliminated a lot of the contenders.
I understand all of that, I went through it as well, researched the various options ad infinitum, and
went with the best solution I could find at the time.
btw, I think I'd be wary of Skyworth, unless as you say, it's improved a lot. I recall reading some negative reviews
of it 2 years ago, just before I decided on the lower draw AC powered Sharp LCD HDTV option.
There may be better low draw options available in conventional AC powered TV/DVD combos is my point, I guess.
Good luck.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike

I understand all of that, I went through it as well, researched the various options ad infinitum, and
went with the best solution I could find at the time.
btw, I think I'd be wary of Skyworth, unless as you say, it's improved a lot. I recall reading some negative reviews
of it 2 years ago, just before I decided on the lower draw AC powered Sharp LCD HDTV option.
There may be better low draw options available in conventional AC powered TV/DVD combos is my point, I guess.
Good luck.
As it turns out, ours is a very low power use AC powered tv (Vizio), but it uses a "brick" converter and runs the tv on 12v, so we went direct 12v with a stabilizer. We pull less than 2 amps even with the standalone 12v DVD player in use.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Yours is a Vizio LED model? They (LED TVs) were just being talked about up here when I bought
my Sharp LCD HDTV. Even without the undoubtedly lower draw LED technology, our Sharp only
pulls around 4amps when I invert it off the coach batteries. We never need to worry about
drawing down our batteries by watching TV at that rate, including the other lightweight loads
like the Motorola DSR209 12VDC satellite receiver, but we're also usually pretty mobile so we
recharge fairly regularly. I could probably replenish the TV draw down with one 85W 4.5A solar
panel, if I ever get around to doing all of that "techy" stuff.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Yep, ours is a 19" LED model. They are very efficient and generate very little heat.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

That's what I mean about best solution available at the time. There's probably a better solution than
LED technology, on a test bench in a lab somewhere. It'll be better than LED and even more efficient,
but that's the nature of the beast, forever changing and improving. Still, if we all waited for the perfect
answer in a perfect world, we'd still be watching the 13" CRT that Roadtrek put in them (mine at least).
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Just stumbled across this thread, and it has been somewhat helpful.
We have just purchased a LTV Freedom 2B, that so far we are very happy with. However the PO removed the original 13" CRT and the original VHS player (not a big loss), the only thing he did leave on the van is a big ugly dome thing (visiontrac or tracvision) that I'm not sure what to do with!! Now we want to install a 13" - 15" flat screen with a DVD player (either a combo or separate)

The problem I'm having is that I know squat about TVs. Last one I bought was 25 years ago, and I still have it, as you can tell I'm not a big TV watcher, but thought we shouild get one for the RV if only to get local weather reports. After reading this thread it would appear that the best option would be to get a 12 Volt TV, however after that I'm lost, LCD, LED, HDTV etc don't mean anything to me, and trying to find a 12v unit locally is proving very frustrating.

Could someone point me in the right direction and advise where and what I should be looking for???

Thanks
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

You could try either a low power draw LCD/LED flat screen. I got a 19" Sharp LCD TV which weighs
about 4 kgs. just over 2 years ago, before LED TV was more widely available.
It also has the handy feature of low power draw, and it only draws 29W, but it's a 110-120V AC type.
I run it off a small 100W 12v-110v inverter that just plugs into one of the coach 12V DC cigarette
lighter outlets. Some other folks have gone with Vizio (Walmart/Costco brand?) LED TVs and are
happy with them. As for the dome thing on the roof, if you're a Bell ExpressVu satellite subscriber
it might be tweakable for satellite TV on the road. I doubt it's Shaw Direct compatible. If it's only
good for US satellite, you might be able to get a subscription if you know someone in the US where
you could get your bills sent from Direct TV or Dish Network.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
You could try either a low power draw LCD/LED flat screen. I got a 19" Sharp LCD TV which weighs
about 4 kgs. just over 2 years ago, before LED TV was more widely available.
It also has the handy feature of low power draw, and it only draws 29W, but it's a 110-120V AC type.
I run it off a small 100W 12v-110v inverter that just plugs into one of the coach 12V DC cigarette
lighter outlets. Some other folks have gone with Vizio (Walmart/Costco brand?) LED TVs and are
happy with them. As for the dome thing on the roof, if you're a Bell ExpressVu satellite subscriber
it might be tweakable for satellite TV on the road. I doubt it's Shaw Direct compatible. If it's only
good for US satellite, you might be able to get a subscription if you know someone in the US where
you could get your bills sent from Direct TV or Dish Network.
Thanks Mike, looks like I need to make a trip to the city to find a Walmart or Costco!
After some more poking around where the old TV was mounted and straightening out the spagetti-like wiring I found a 300W inverter, so I guessing I'm not restricted to 12V only.

As for the dome thingy, I think I will be removing it (if I can do it without undo damage to the roof) and it will become a Kijiji Item!

John
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Best Buy also has some decent stuff, on sale from time to time. I think I waited a few weeks for the one
I researched online to go on sale and got about $60 off. Google is your friend and you can see something
in the store, and then go home and see what others think about it, at websites like CNET and some of the
other techie reviews sites. I usually beat stuff to death on the net, before I part with my cash.

Another idea, if you plan to travel soon in the US, is to look for the same or similar TV in the States. If you aren't in
a hurry and it's something you can order online at Walmart.com for example, you can set up an account with them,
and order it using their site to store system. Then time the delivery to when you're near the pick up store in the
USA. I've done it twice, once for a GPS and once for a laptop. Both were much better priced south of the border.
There's a thread on here somewhere with more details of how to do it, if you need more info. If you're away in the
US for 7 days, you can bring back $750 duty/tax free, 48 hours allows you $400. You can probably find a pretty
decent small flat screen TV for less than that.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: 12 volt TV / DVD players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Best Buy also has some decent stuff, on sale from time to time. I think I waited a few weeks for the one
I researched online to go on sale and got about $60 off. Google is your friend and you can see something
in the store, and then go home and see what others think about it, at websites like CNET and some of the
other techie reviews sites. I usually beat stuff to death on the net, before I part with my cash.

Another idea, if you plan to travel soon in the US, is to look for the same or similar TV in the States. If you aren't in
a hurry and it's something you can order online at Walmart.com for example, you can set up an account with them,
and order it using their site to store system. Then time the delivery to when you're near the pick up store in the
USA. I've done it twice, once for a GPS and once for a laptop. Both were much better priced south of the border.
There's a thread on here somewhere with more details of how to do it, if you need more info. If you're away in the
US for 7 days, you can bring back $750 duty/tax free, 48 hours allows you $400. You can probably find a pretty
decent small flat screen TV for less than that.
Thanks agaian Mike, we do have a trip to Syracuse for a car show in July planned, so perhaps we will compare prices in the meantime. The higher Canadian buck should help as well!

John
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