In Cord-cutting status report #1, I said:
“I have considered replacing the TV in our den, a 2002 vintage 36″ flat tube HDTV without digital tuner, since it can only handle component, S-video and composite video inputs, not HDMI. To get around this, I have tried two different HDMI-to-component video converters without success. An HDFury Gamer 2 Component likely would work, but at a cost of $160, I may hold off until I reach a decision.”
Since then, we did make a decision (Cutting the TV cable with TiVo Roamio OTA), and it was a success.
But like all newer electronics, the TiVo outputs HD video via HDMI rather than as component video (we have been watching composite, i.e., under VIDEO1 on the TV, for the last month). So to see HD, we need to either get a new TV or go with the HDFury Gamer 2 HDMI-to-component converter.
Pros for old TV+HDFury:
- Cheaper than a new TV, which would easily cost $300+ to get equivalent size and quality.
- I don’t have to move and get rid of a 217 lb. object.
Pros for new TV:
- Longer life expectancy.
- HDMI ports for newer Roku boxes, PCs, and any new devices that come along.
If you have been reading here for awhile, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I opted for the old TV+HDFury. But the decision is causing me some cognitive dissonance.
Best case is that we get a few more years out of the old Panasonic, then it blows up spectacularly.
1st worst case: we get less than a year.
2nd worst case: we get way too many more years out of it, and the increasing kludge factor forces me to revisit this decision.
Time will tell. The HDFury arrives today.
(Later) It’s plugged in and the TV looks great! Thumbs up for the HDFury Gamer 2.
I had a moment of perplexity when I saw no picture for KTUL-8.1, KOKI-23.1, KMYT-41.1 and KTPX-44.1. What these stations have in common is that they transmit in 720p. Our old TV can only accept 480i, 480p and 1080i resolutions as inputs, even though the HDFury can handle any resolution up to 1080p. I went into TiVo settings and excluded all but those three from the list of Video Output Formats to fix it.
So we will be seeing those four channels in 480p, same as non-Blu-ray DVDs (Enhanced-Definition). While our TV has a 36″ diagonal, a widescreen 16:9 picture on it has a 33″ diagonal, due to the set’s 4:3 aspect ratio (black bars at top and bottom). At that size, I can’t honestly see much difference. The color saturation, contrast, and smoothness of component trump resolution (he rationalized).
But even 480i MeTV looks great in component video vs. composite, plus it fills the 36″ screen. The Panasonic Tau Series TV, top of the line in 2002, still has stunning blacks. Just saw some on “Star Trek” episode “Dagger of the Mind”, guest-starring Lee Woodward’s brother, Morgan.
(No, I wasn’t referring to Lt. Uhura, though she is stunning… no, I don’t mean Uhura armed with a phaser. I’m talking about the color of space… “the final frontier”, not H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space” …nevermind.)
Other notes: Volume is noticeably lower on COMPONENT1 than VIDEO1. Same was true with the Cox cable box. Compensate by turning the TV up.
When changing channels with Channel Up/Down, it takes the HDFury converter a couple of seconds to negotiate the resolution for each channel. There was a bit of this with the Cox box, too. Not a problem if you use the Channel Guide to pick your channels as my wife does.
No artifacts at all in the picture. My cognitive dissonance has mostly abated. I am eager to show this to my “client” (the TV, not this post).