Monday, November 22, 2010

TV Upgrade Project

Out with the old, in with the new.  For images of the process of replacing the front and rear TV's, look at the photo album (password is shadow).  Step one, remove the old TV sets.  These are the old tube type, big and heavy.  Amazingly, just a few screws to remove and the old sets were loose and removable.  Your situation may be different :)  Then some rough opening and other sizing considerations.  I went to Walmart with the measurements.  As it turned out, Vizio had a set that fit each location pretty well.  These are not high end TV's, but they are a new generation of LED sets, very thin and light weight.  So I thought I would give them a try.  Some reviewers comment on poor sound quality, and I think it is just average.  But the picture is really very good. And at some point I may get a surround sound system as an add on.  But for the space I use them in....they are working out fine as is. 

The rear TV is now a 22" LED HDTV.  It fit really well INTO the old slot left to right.  It was plenty big for the viewing area of the bedroom, and I did not have to create an outside the cabinet mounting process.  I basically set it on top of the DVR box, secured by brackets to hold the top in place, and the weight of it to hold in onto a padded strip at the bottom.  The base strip establishes the viewing angle, recessed about an inch from the bottom of the cabinet frame.  I build a DVR box below it, and it now houses a DVD Recorder / VCR combo --- Direct TV seems to not want me to have Satellite service --- see my other post on the antenna servicing these TV's.  I was going to stain the box to match the oak cabinets, but decided a black box would look good with the electronics and be a better match. 

The front TV is now a 32" LED HDTV.  I debated the install options. The rear TV fit inside the cabinet nicely.  But because I wanted a larger unit up front, it would not fit inside the existing cabinet.  Rather than take the cabinet apart and perform carpentry resolutions beyond my skill level....I mounted it on a typical wall mount bracket.  The bracket is attached to a 1x10 board screwed into place, with mounting base attached.  The TV bracket is attached to the rear of the unit and they inter lock for mounting.  The DVR box fits below.  Again, I painted the box black to match the electronic devices.  The bracket allows pivoting for viewing angle.  The DVR box now houses a regular DVD player for movie watching.

Direct TV?  Maybe some day.  I did some final wiring adjustments and now have very nice HDTV to both TV sets with my over the air via the crank up JACK antenna, and I am very pleased.  Do I miss some of my old stations --- ESPN, HGTV, BRAVO, and others --- yes.  On the other hand, free TV is good quality, and should foster extra time for other activities. 

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