Replacing the TV's in our 2001 Winnebago. Save money and do it yourself.
Campers and RV Upgrades
OK, I admit, we Campers are a strange lot, in many ways.
We see things differently than most other people. For instance, if you show me a beautiful picture of a scene in the woods or the desert, or in the mountains, I automatically wonder if I could get my RV near that site and camp there.
If you tell me about a new appliance for RV's I automatically think about the cost of upgrading to this new appliance in my RV.
Its just the way we campers happen to be. Camping is always there, affecting how we think and see things.
To that end, my wife and I have just purchased ourselves a couple of Christmas presents.
A new TV Purchase for an Old Winnie
We bought ourselves a pair of new TV's for our RV.
You see, we now have our RETRO-WINNIE, a 2001 Winnebago Adventurer, and the TV's are way out of date. The one in the bedroom is so small that our old eyes can't even read the text when a news station scrolls information across the bottom of the screen, and it no longer works wit a remote.
We even purchased a new universal remote, that admittedly cost more than the darn TV was worth, and the TV did not respond to the remote.
And, the TV in the Living area is an old Analog one that requires that we use one of those digital converter boxes that so many of us purchased when all of the stations started generating only digital TV signals.
So, as the Holiday approached , I saw amazingly low prices on new TV's and we started talking. Finally, yesterday, I jumped off of the fence and we went to one of the big retailers, Best Buy, and loaded up two new TV;s for our old WINNIE.
I ended up purchasing a 32-inch for our bedroom and a 40-inch for our Living Area.
Video Selector Control Center
I had to purchase one of these that had the latest technology to receive and amplify digital Tv signals as well as the old Analog signls
New TV Selection Criteria
Now, of course, we could have purchased the latest and greatest technology on the TV's we would install, but we did take the time to sit down and do a reality check on our actual needs.
First of all, we love our RETRO-WINNIE and plan to keep it for a while. But, at the same time, we didn't want to go crazy and have an exotic (and expensive) Audio-Video system that was worth more than our RV (well maybe not more, but you can spend a lot of money in this world of technology).
Secondly, even though we once traveled a lot of the year in our RV's when we were younger, we now travel a lot less and for shorter periods of time.
This drove us to control our enthusiasm and make some logical (and less costly) decisions on just what we really needed in our RV.
Here is the selection criteria I used and you might consider if you are looking to upgrade your RV TV's.
My RV is old and its wired for coaxial connections between the antenna, the TV's and the other devices such as DVD players, etc. So, considering this, I felt that we only needed a resolution of 720. Why not 1080? well, there are several reasons.
My whole video system, is old but functional, but the reality is that we invariably are watching TV over our antenna or via the campgrounds Cable system. And, we do watch the occasional DVD if the weather outside is bad.
Even though many of the stations we would receive over the antenna are higher resolution many are still showing older movies and even much of their newer stuff is being broadcast at 720 and at times only 480 resolution. So, to us, 1080 just doesn't look $200 to $400 per TV better for us than the ones that are 720 resolution, and right now that's what the price differential happens to be.
And campground cable? Usually it is a joke. Most campgrounds are still providing the older analog cable signal and usually the signal you do receive at your camper is poor at best.
And the ones that have changed over to digital cable, are a little better, but no greatly so.
So, for us, we figured that 720 resolution is a great leap forward in technology, so we settled.
Connections on the TV
Even though we would be using the coaxial connections on our new TV;s we wanted certain other connections on the TV also.
For the future, I wanted at least 2 HDMI inputs so that we could connect DVD players or other video devices to the TV's if we wanted to in the future.
And, the fact that most video accessories such as DVD players only provide an HDMI output these days makes having at least one HDMI connection on your TV a must.
Plus, even though my older WINNIE is hard-wired for coaxial connections to everything, it is possible to add HDMI wiring if I want to upgrade again in a few years.
I wanted at least 1 USB connector. This was important to me because with a USB connector I have the option of connecting one of the new Google or Amazon or other WIFI interfaces for receiving and streaming such movie sources as; Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Redbox and others.
These WIFI adapters are cheap and can be replaced as the world of WIFI movie suppliers changes and you are not stuck with an OLD "Smart TV".
Also, I can connect my PC to the USB connector and play movies and videos that I have recorded myself, and even my PC screen data, and not even need WIFI access.
And, ideally, I wanted one Audio Video Output so I could record movies and TV shows from my TV to my PC so I can watch them at my convenience in the future.
With these connections, I have the best chance to upgrade my Audio and Video systems in my Rv in the future as the technology used evolves.
I always keep a couple of these cables in my RV as spares incase I want to run cables to an outside TV.
Removing the Old TV's and installing the new.
Of course, now that I have purchased these new TV's, I have to tell you that they are a lot bigger than the old ones that were mounted inside the RV cabinetry.
This is always the big problem for campers who want to upgrade their TV's in an RV. The simple fact is that the older your RV, the smaller the size of the TV's mounted in them.
And, the cabinetry, although beautiful, is a major problem for the novice, when you start looking at how to mount that newer and larger TV.
So, a certain level of creativity is required to get that nice new, widescreen, High Definition TV mounted properly and still look good in your RV.
Being an RVer for so long, and a jackleg at just about everything, I have ideas on what I have to do to get my new TV's mounted.
My next Hub will detail the process I am going through and that probably all of you will need to go through if you upgrade your own Tv's.
How to install a TV antenna Booster
© 2014 Don Bobbitt