Eric Stewart: Running Off At The Mouth

My JVC GENESSA 42″ 16:9 4.5ms 1080p LCD HDTV LT-42X788

by Eric Stewart on Apr.06, 2008, under TV

So, here’s what I’ve noticed so far – this is kind of also a review of Bright House Networks cable in Tampa, particularly when combined with this TV:

  • One reviewer on NewEgg for this TV noticed issues with dark scenes and shades of black. I really didn’t see it until I was watching Battlestar Galactica. It’s not horribly annoying, and I think an issue more with the filming of the scene than the TV, particularly when you’re looking at an SD signal.
  • The news in HD was downright scary. I would swear that one newscaster had a really bad makeup job that day.
  • Watching a show that is mostly in HD but has a few SD scenes in it can be difficult to watch, particularly if for some reason the SD scene isn’t upconverted well, as tends to happen on some “embedded” scenes in newscasts.
  • The big big big annoyance with this TV is that the HDMI audio is not translated to 5.1 and outputted to the Optical Out. Pardon the language, but this is fucking annoying. If you’ve got alternative methods, I guess that will work; but in an ideal universe, I could have digital cable and the PS3 going through HDMI, and then simply the optical out from the TV to the receiver to send the sound out to the 5.1 speakers. But no, I had to run an optical in from the PS3 and a coax in from digital cable (this actually works better than using two different optical ins because I’d have to tell the receiver to switch between the two; it sees the optical in and coax in on the same setting – DVD/LD – so all I have to do is make sure the PS3 is off). I don’t know how common this is with HDTVs, so you might want to review the manual before you purchase.
  • Bright House doesn’t provide HDMI cables. I had to buy one (if you’re a member, I suggest Sams, or buy online). I had a coax audio (basically just an RCA cable) in storage.
  • My HD-DVR has a bunch of ports on the back; a friend suggested plugging in an external hard drive to expand the storage of the box. I can’t recall off of the top of my head (I’m not at home but visiting some folks for the day) what hard drive I got, but it is a Seagate produced 500 GB unit in an external enclosure. I do know that it doesn’t appear to see the drive via Firewire, but I had fully intended to use the eSATA/SATA2 port. I’ll let you know if Bright House disabled the port (which would be fucking stupid, but not beyond BHN), or if the drive is for some reason not compatible with the HD-DVR.
  • A keen eye will see compression artifacts in certain cases when it comes to HD signals.
  • The HD-DVR/Digital Cable box outputs 1080i no matter if the channel is SD or HD, so it’s not always easy to figure out what the incoming signal actually is.

That’s it for now – the audio thing really pisses me off but I’ve worked around it, and since the DVR is outputting sound on both the coax and the HDMI, I can turn the stereo on or off as I desire and still hear sound (the PS3 would require going into a menu to change from the optical out to the HDMI audio out).

If there’s more, I’ll let you know … 😉


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