Thursday, February 27, 2014

Howdy Ma'am, I'm here to fix your cable TV...

I think I remember movies that started that way from my younger days.

Our TV in the bedroom of the 5th wheel was mounted in a cabinet door by the factory.  I didn't know how they'd do it when we ordered it, but it turned out to be a board across the open cabinet door frame, with holes drilled to match the pattern on the back of the TV for a wall mount.  Pretty simple.

Sometime in the past couple years, the over-the-air function of that TV quit working.  Oh, it worked fine with the satellite or cable - it just couldn't get a signal from the antenna.  That wasn't a problem until Distant Networks closed up shop, and we can no longer get the major networks via satellite.

We considered how to remedy the situation: get a different satellite dish (replacing the VuQube), which would mean getting a different satellite receiver, too.  The upside: that would give us the opportunity to receive a signal from 3 satellites instead of just one.  It would also cost about $500.  That isn't off the table; I could be talked into HD (something our VuQube can't do).

While in Texas, we put a different TV in the bedroom to see if the problem was the TV or the wiring from the antenna.  The wiring is fine, it is definite a problem with the TV.  The easy option: buy a new TV to fit that spot.  Finding a TV that is of similar dimensions to a TV from 2008 isn't so easy... have you noticed that TVs have all gotten BIGGER?  A big TV used to be 30"... these days, that means 60 or 80" screen.  The TV that was in there was 19" and had a wide frame at the bottom... even the smaller TVs (where you can find them) have gotten smaller frames.  So, the plus side: we could maybe fit a 20 to 22" TV in that space, but it will probably have less overall height, meaning it will be necessary to fit some kind of an oak spacer in the cabinet door to make it look finished.

Joan did a lot of size research (Hey - I'm talking TVs here, not the title premise on this post!) and found a Vizio model that would give us the bigger screen size, but still fit the opening.  So, today we brought home a new bedroom TV.  Of course, we tried it out before mounting in the cabinet door frame... yep, works perfect, nice picture.

The mount spacing was the same (nice), but the depth of this unit is less than the one it replaced - the mounting spacers (holding the TV at the right depth) didn't work.  Power tools carefully applied (don't drill too deep), and the new TV is ready to go; mounted in the cabinet door nice and tight.  It looks as good as the original install and weighs less than half of what the other TV weighed.

So, we can watch the Tonight Show in bed tonight... what?... what do you mean Leno is gone??  ;-)

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