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Tiny TV...BIG Thumbs Up! (1 Viewer)

Jason Charlton

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In stark contrast to the usual discussion around here, I thought I'd chime in and offer this "little" tale:

Last week, my fiancee and I decided to shop around for a little-bitty tv for the bedroom (the old one pre-dated cable-readiness). Space limitations dictated we go with something in the 13-19 inch range. "Hoo boy, this ought to be FUN!" I thought to myself.

However, I soon learned that there are a surprising (to me, at least) number of features available even at this far low end of the size/price matrix.

What we found was the Toshiba 14AF44, a 14 incher with enough "big boy" features to belie it's paltry $149.99 price tag. Among the more surprising features:

- Component video connection (I was surprised that there were actually a COUPLE TVs of this size with component connections - the other was a 16" Samsung.)

- Remote-accessible 16:9 mode. This FLOORED me when I got home and "discovered" this feature, as there is no mention of it in any of the online or store descriptions.

- Color temperature settings

- A hefty, good-looking remote control that (while not backlit - it's got glow instead) could very easily pass for something that comes with a much nicer (read: expensive) set.

To top it all off, the picture quality is impressive to say the least.

Needless to say, I am very happy that sacrificing size did not mean sacrificing features or expandability. If any of you are in the market for a small screen - give this one a try.

-Jason
 

Jerome Grate

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Component Video is interesting, but at 350 lines of horizontal resolution, what's the difference between component and s-video other than possible color difference.
 

Jason Charlton

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True - the image quality is unlikely to be improved much at all using component input, but for me, the convenience of component is what I like more than anything. I've had several S-Video cables break on me in the past - I hate those darn pins.

On a related note, I found the sheer number of inputs on this set to be impressive. You can hook up a DVD player, game system, VCR, all in addition to cable - that makes this set an excellent option for dorm rooms, kids rooms, heck - even an RV.

Certainly, this isn't a set around which you would build a home theater, but even if you have some pretty extreme restrictions on size/budget, it's nice to there are some flexible and expandable options.

-Jason
 

Allan Jayne

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One thing you are probably still stuck with in smaller screen TV's is the coarse dot pitch. (At least I don't think they have yet used computer monitor grade tubes in TV sets of that size)

If there is only one selection on the remote and one input bank for both composite and S-video, you have to unplug one before using the other (most brands). This increases the chance of breaking the little pins on an S-video cable or worse, the jack in the TV.

Video hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
 

Neil White

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I bought a Sony 13" some time back for my study. What amazes me (and annoys me) is that it has component but no S-Video! I have a D* box attached to it and I had assumed that if it had component it would have S-Video but nope; I'm stuck with crappy composite connections for the receiver. Go figure.

Apart from the input issue, the picture is very rich and I'm pleased with it. It has the squueze too I think but limited value really on a set this size. I agree that some small sets do offer many good features for the money.

N
 

Jason Charlton

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Allan - I was unsure of how many "discrete" inputs there were, too. I checked last night, and in addition to the RF antenna input, there are 3 composite video connections (one of which shares the S-Video on the back panel) and the component video connection. The remote has direct access keys to 3 of the inputs, whereas the "TV/Video" button will cycle through all 5 inputs: Antenna, Video1-3, Component).

The 16" Samsung we looked at had Component but no S-Video. It also had a "zoom" mode, which I figured would be more useful on a set this small, but when I tried it, it was more like a "reverse 16:9" in that it only appeared to stretch the picture vertically, without cropping the sides. As much as I prefer OAR, the zoom feature was a draw until I found out that it wasn't what I had hoped for.

-Jason
 

Bill Will

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Just thought I'd add that from looking at the Specs. the 14" Toshiba is the "Best" 14" set out there. What surprised me the most was not just the Component Inputs & 16:9 Mode but that the set has Audio & Video Outputs.
 

Jack Briggs

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NTSC-based small direct-view sets can amaze with their picture quality. Since the scanning-line raster is so squeezed together to begin with, a well-designed small set can offer a surprisingly good, rich, and smooth picture. At that size, 480i is not so bad after all.
 

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