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Thinking of Updating TV Etc.


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#16
Channeal

Channeal

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It's me again, I am afraid! :)

My new DVD player/recorder arrived on Sunday. I haven't even begun to set it up yet though. Our TV and related equipment are housed on a couple of ledges on a (very old fashioned now!) Yorkstone fireplace (I think the ledge that the DVD equipment will go on was actually constructed by the previous owners for a fish tank!). Anyway, I have been busy disconnecting all the old equipment and am intending to give the whole area a good wash/clean while I have the chance, before installing the new equipment. I am hampered though by the fact that my daughter has this nasty flu virus now and is watching TV much of the day.

What I want to ask about though is the HDMI switcher thing which you recommended me to buy and which only arrived today. I am struggling to make any sense of it, tbh - not helped by the fact that the only instructions provided are in German! :)

It obviously has the 3 sockets, one of which will be used to connect the new DVD equipment. It also has the little thing resembling a computer mouse which presumably communicates with the little remote control thing so that you can switch between whatever is connected to the 3 sockets remotely.

What I do not have is a lead to connect this thing to the TV, so I presumably need to get one? Àlso, it has a little socket for DC/5V. What is that for, please?

Thanks very much.

Edited by Channeal, 03 January 2017 - 12:31 PM.

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#17
terry1966

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from my understanding there should be 4 hdmi connections 3 in and 1 out, you connect an hdmi lead from the out to the tv, then you connect upto 3 different devices by hdmi lead also to the input side. then you put the tv on the hdmi source and can watch whatever device you like, by just selecting the number the device is plugged into on the switcher, either by pressing a button on the top or by using the remote.

a light on top shows which device is the current devices picture being displayed on the tv.

 

so for example 1 is connected to your new pvr, 2 is connected to a laptop, 3 is connected to your chromecast. and whatever you switch to will appear on the tv screen.

 

yes the mouse type thing is the infa red receiver, and plugs into the side of the switch, then when everything is connected you can hide the switch and cables behind the tv and just leave the receiver visible so you can use it and the remote to change inputs.

 

from my understanding if all devices are wired up to the hdmi standards and have a power source wire then you will not need an external power source to power the switch, but you might need to buy an external 5v power adaptor to plug into it if you find one or more devices you connect to the switch will not show a picture on the tv when in use.

 

i don't foresee you having any problems with things like the pvr and say a laptop but am not so sure about the chromecast device because i think that doesn't have it's own power and draws it's power from the hdmi connection too just like the switch, so in that instance you may find you need to use a power adaptor on the switch especially if the other input devices connected to it are switched off.

 

we'll look into what power adaptor you need later if you have problems, or maybe return it for one that does come with external power.

fingers crossed though if it's like this one :- https://www.amazon.c...red+switch&th=1

then it will work with the chromecast no problems according to 1 review.

 

Size: V1.3 HDMI SwitcherStyle: 3 port Switch Verified Purchase
I use this to switch between a Humax Freesat box and a Chromecast, as our second tV only has one HDMI socket. It's small enough to hide behind the TV, has a remote control and above all, it works a treat!

 

:popcorn:

 

this is the sort of power adaptor you'll need :- https://www.amazon.c...5v power supply

but we'll need to get some info first to check you buy one that'll work with your switch, if you need one. ie, what size jack plug and polarity it needs the one shown has a 5.5 mm plug with + on the inner and - on the outside (usual polarity, but rarely in my experience a device will require - on the inside and + on the outside.).


Edited by terry1966, 03 January 2017 - 05:29 PM.

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#18
Channeal

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Thanks very much for your reply.

You are wrong about the Chromecast: one end plugs into the TV and the other into a mains socket , so hopefully it will not cause any problems. In any case, I do not anticipate keeping the Chromecast attached to our main TV once the new equipment is in use: it was only brought in over Christmas for the purpose of watching movies. It is usually attached to the TV in the bedroom and is mainly used for listening to music via Spotify.

I think am going to need to buy an HDMI cable to connect the HDMI switcher thing to the TV as I don't think I have got one. Will check my spare cables though.

I am intrigued as to why anyone would want to connect a laptop to a TV! Please can you tell me what the purpose of doing that might be? (Am really showing my ignorance here, I think)

Thank you.
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#19
terry1966

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I am intrigued as to why anyone would want to connect a laptop to a TV! Please can you tell me what the purpose of doing that might be? (Am really showing my ignorance here, I think)

 

lots of reasons, but mainly i'd guess to watch videos stored on the laptop or stream videos off the internet to the tv. maybe even to have better sound to listen to your music or watch music videos or play games on a bigger screen.

probably the exact same things you do now with the chromecast device and your phone but only using a laptop.

 

personally i have 2 pc's connected to my tv, one which runs 24/7 and is a dedicated media/file server (htpc :- https://en.wikipedia...Home_theater_PC) and is used more or less exactly the same way as your new pvr device, in that it has a quad hd tvtuner in it and records the tv programs i want plus it also holds all my video collection so i can easily watch a video when i don't want to watch a recording. this is connected only to the tv without a monitor.

 

then i have my main pc which is connected to the tv and a monitor so i can easily stream from the internet and watch netflix for example when the urge takes me on the tv while doing other things like write this post on the monitor.

 

the main advantages to using a pc instead of a dedicated device like your panasonic pvr is that you have a lot more options on what you can get it to do, the main disadvantage is it's not always so easy to set things up in the first place, but the benefits you get when setup are well worth the effort and probably the extra expense in my opinion.

 

the way you control all your devices also makes a big difference in a users enjoyment too.

for example i bought an expensive remote control system for my parents and set things up so they can do more or less anything with just the one remote, press a single button and it turns on the tv, sound system and skybox so they can start watching tv without the need of swapping remotes. it was probably one of the best gadgets i've ever bought for them that they really liked and use.

 

if you're not going to use a second device with that tv then you really don't need to have or connect the switch and can just plug the pvr directly into the one and only hdmi port on the tv.

 

:popcorn:


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#20
Channeal

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Many thanks for your detailed explanation about the reasons for which anyone would want to connect a laptop to the TV. I am constantly amazed by all that can be done with computers etc. :)

 

It is great that you were able to set up the remote control system for your parents and that they are enjoying using it. I only wish that my children were interested in techie stuff, but sadly they are not; I live in a world where I seem to be absolutely the only one who has any kind of interest in any of this stuff! :(

 

If the Chromecast goes back to its usual home, I would only need to use the switcher thing for our NowTV box - although funnily enough, the past few days we have been watching Amazon Prime movies (via my phone and the Chromecast) and are actually thinking of switching from NowTV to Amazon, as it is cheaper and the selection of movies seem to be much better. At the moment, we use it for catch-up TV, but hopefully the new equipment will do away with the need to use it for that.

 

I will keep the switcher thing anyway, as even if we don't use it now, it might always come in handy in the future.

 

Thank you.


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#21
terry1966

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never used nowtv and know nothing about it, personally i only have freeviewtv but one of my daughters has sky and one has netflix so because they can use a certain amount of devices for family i am lucky enough to have access to both without the need to actually have my own accounts. :D

 

reason i love gadgets is because i'm so lazy, my parents aren't really interested in them and neither are my daughters, unless they just work without them needing to learn much if anything.

 

my parents are getting on a bit now(70+) so bought them one of those robotic carpets cleaners for christmas to help with the house work, they think it's great now but took a day or so for them to get used to something new, same with the remote but once they can use something without needing to think about it they usually love the new gadgets.

 

be interested to learn how well that switch works when you finally get the hdmi cable and test it with 3 devices, tvnow, pvr and chromecast, never used one myself and can't see me ever owning one but it's always nice to know something you've suggested works well.

 

:popcorn:


Edited by terry1966, 04 January 2017 - 07:16 PM.

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#22
Channeal

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Just a really quick visit to say that I have got as far as doing the initial setup on the new equipment. It seemed to go well and amazingly I did not cause it to explode or anything nasty! :-)

Unfortunately, my daughter came in just as the setup process was finishing - so I have not tested anything apart from playing the TV via the DVD player. I did however try the switcher thing which you recommended: it worked perfectly and switched from the DVD player to NowTV, so thanks for that.

Will let you know more when I have had a chance to explore my new toy more fully! :)
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#23
terry1966

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I did however try the switcher thing which you recommended: it worked perfectly and switched from the DVD player to NowTV, so thanks for that.

that's good then, was a bit worried you might need the power adaptor even though it said you shouldn't.

 

:popcorn:


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