Thursday, September 16, 2004

Dang these newfangled gizmos!

Remember the good old days when hooking up a television was a one-step process? Screw a coax cable into the TV and you were done.

Of course, that simplicity came at the expense of video quality and programming choices. But after spending the last couple of nights mucking around with the new TV, I'm kind of longing for that innocent time before set-top boxes, DVRs, Progressive Scan, Dolby Digital and all the rest.

Here's the current state of my new TV's setup:

• The DishPVR 721 is outputting S-Video and standard RCA-Jack audio into the Video2 input of the TV.

• The Progressive Scan DVD player has been reconfigured to output in 16:9 mode. It's outputting Component Video and RCA-Jack audio to the Component Video1 input of the TV. Separately, it's outputting Toslink Optical Audio to the A/V receiver for Dolby Digital output.

• The PlayStation 2 has also been configured for 16:9 output and is outputting RCA-Jack video and audio to the Front Video input of the TV.

• The DVD Recorder / Player is receiving an RCA-Jack video and audio signal from the DishPVR but is currently not outputting anything to the TV.

• The TV is outputting an RCA-Jack audio signal to the A/V receiver to pass through audio from all video sources without having to change audio sources on the receiver. But this doesn't carry Dolby Digital.

And here are the next tweaks on tap:

• The DishPVR will get the Toslink Optical output to the A/V receiver. It'll still have its RCA-Jack audio connection to the TV.

• The Progressive Scan DVD player output to the A/V receiver will switch from the Toslink output to Digital Coaxial Audio (the DishPVR only has a Toslink output, but the DVD has both).

• The PlayStation 2 will switch to Component Video output to take advantage of its Progressive Scan capability.

• The DVD Recorder / Player will get an RCA-Jack video/audio connection to the TV's Video1 input.

And, lastly, I'll screw a coax cable from the $8 VHF/UHF antenna I bought today into the back of the TV.

Ah, simplicity.

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