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Bought A New 65" Vizio "Smart TV"

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:26 AM   #1
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Default Bought A New 65" Vizio "Smart TV"

Hi, new member here. First off I want to declare I'm 60 years old, and will admit to not being up on all of what is avaliable in the electronic entertainment world. So please go easy on me with terminology, abbreviations, and electronic "lingo".

My wife and I have been watching my old Sony 61" rear projection TV since we bought it new back in 1999. It has never given us any trouble. We just got sick of seeing these new TV's in the stores with absolutely beautiful pictures, then return home to one that looks as if someone smeared Vaseline on the screen.

Yesterday, (New Years Day), we went to the local Wal-Mart to get some Lithium batteries, and they had this beautiful Vizio 65" "Smart" TV for just $1,398.00, so we bought one. I had no trouble with the brand because we have at least a dozen of them on our shop floor at work. I work in an Aerospace machine shop. They are on all the time 24/7 in the worst possible environment for electronics. (Dirt, oily mist, and vibration everywhere). Not one has ever failed. Everything went OK with the assembly and hook up, and the picture is absolutely STUNNING! I haven't hooked up my DVD / VCR player / recorder yet. I just have basic cable in the house now. One Co-Ax cable from the wall into the set.

I an not computer savvy in the least, but we managed to get the Wi-Fi up and running. The manual is very thin and does not have much information included in it other than the assembly and basic set up procedures. The TV itself prompts you through most of it. The remote is conventional on one side, and has a standard miniature keyboard on the other. It's a very efficient set up I thought. Through trial and error I managed to navigate to get on You Tube, and all of the other computer sites and apps that are avaliable on the Internet through this TV.

My questions are:

1.) If I purchase a Blu-Ray DVD player, can I play all of my regular, non Blu-Ray DVD's on it?? Currently my DVD system consists of a standard Sony DVD player, (I paid $35.00 for it), and a combination VHS / DVD player. I have well over 50 standard "Full Screen" DVD movies.

2.) Some stations come in full screen, while others do not. I can make them full screen by adjusting the picture to the "Wide" setting, but it then looks distorted. (People have wide, fat heads.) Is this normal with these newer "latest & greatest" TV's?

3.) Some stations in my area like ION Television, have 2 stations avaliable. One is a standard, partial screen which appears in my area as CH-17. Then if I go to CH-51-1, it appears full screen and beautiful clarity. Is this type of broadcasting normal? There are other channels that also have this "dash 1" prefix. I did not find these channels, the TV automatically did it for me during the "set up" procedure.

I'm quite certain this TV has far more capabilities than I know about, so I'm hoping that someone with a similar set can chime in with something that I'm missing. I'm into the shooting sports and Formula 1 racing, and I hope to get a better cable package, (or else go to Dish Network), that have many of the shooting shows avaliable. Formula 1 is moving from Speed TV, (which I now receive), to NBCSP next year, (which I currently do not get). Thanks much in advance!
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:40 AM   #2
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One other question that I forgot to mention is power interruption. If the power goes out, or if I have to unplug the set to hook something up or move it, will the set "forget" all the channels and settings. Or does it have an internal battery of some type to maintain memory? The channel set up procedure was quite lengthy and time consuming.

Last edited by billt460; 01-02-2013 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:38 AM   #3
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If you only have the cable plugged into the TV, the numbers you are seeing are correct and typical, although it is up to the TV to decide what "channel" number it puts the -1 or -2 style channels on. I have one that puts them out of order (Westinghouse) and one that puts them in order (Sony).

Your next step is to get HD service and a DVR from your cable company or Dish/Direct TV...after all, you spent $1400 on a TV so you might as well see what you paid for. A DVR will totally change your TV watching habits.

Black bars on some stations is normal.

A Blu-Ray player will play your standard DVD's with a side benefit of up-converting to HD (not really true HD, but they will look better).

Power outages CAN damage electronics, I suggest a high quality surge suppressor. That will help. The internal memory of the TV is "held" even if the power goes out.

ENJOY!!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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My question is...what is your source OTA (antenna) satellite or cable provider and if so are you using an HDbox ? sorry for the questions but they will get you better answers, Thx.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
My questions are:

1.) If I purchase a Blu-Ray DVD player, can I play all of my regular, non Blu-Ray DVD's on it?? Currently my DVD system consists of a standard Sony DVD player, (I paid $35.00 for it), and a combination VHS / DVD player. I have well over 50 standard "Full Screen" DVD movies.

Bluray disc players will play your dvd's they will also upscale then for better resolution/ improve picture quality PQ


2.) Some stations come in full screen, while others do not. I can make them full screen by adjusting the picture to the "Wide" setting, but it then looks distorted. (People have wide, fat heads.) Is this normal with these newer "latest & greatest" TV's?

This is normal your set will give you several picture options (various stretching effects to fit screen)the best screen selection for accurate image presentation should be 'Normal' (this, unfortunately maybe accompanied by sidebars) you do get adjusted to it or you can always just stretch it.
the reason for the bars are due to movies screen aspects (google for explanation).


3.) Some stations in my area like ION Television, have 2 stations available. One is a standard, partial screen which appears in my area as CH-17. Then if I go to CH-51-1, it appears full screen and beautiful clarity. Is this type of broadcasting normal? There are other channels that also have this "dash 1" prefix. I did not find these channels, the TV automatically did it for me during the "set up" procedure.

sorry here, can't provide answer.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ImRizzo View Post
My question is...what is your source OTA (antenna) satellite or cable provider and if so are you using an HDbox ? sorry for the questions but they will get you better answers, Thx.
Hi, and thanks for the reply. My cable provider is Cox Communications. I am not currently running a cable box, rather the Co-Ax cable goes from the wall directly into the back of the TV. Now I get just "basic cable". If I want premium channels it would require a cable box from the cable provider. I just wondered if that would provide me with full screen reception on all the channels?
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
3.) Some stations in my area like ION Television, have 2 stations available. One is a standard, partial screen which appears in my area as CH-17. Then if I go to CH-51-1, it appears full screen and beautiful clarity. Is this type of broadcasting normal? There are other channels that also have this "dash 1" prefix. I did not find these channels, the TV automatically did it for me during the "set up" procedure.
Normally the .1 channels will be the HD signal broadcast.
Since you note that you are connected directly to the cable (sans box) you might have all of your locals and some other networks without even paying for HD packages! Just keep looking and when you find a great picture, you can then use the "skip channel" for the standard def version of the same channel.

In any event, have some fun exploring with your new display and also, welcome to this forum.

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Old 01-02-2013, 09:33 AM   #8
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Hi, and thanks for the reply. My cable provider is Cox Communications. I am not currently running a cable box, rather the Co-Ax cable goes from the wall directly into the back of the TV. Now I get just "basic cable". If I want premium channels it would require a cable box from the cable provider. I just wondered if that would provide me with full screen reception on all the channels?
You've bought yourself a nice HD tv, now see what you paid for, get an HD service from Cox you'll be amazed at the picture.
Your currently watching SD (standard definition) - HD(high-definition) is superior quality. And get an HDMI cable for best picture.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:02 AM   #9
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Your currently watching SD (standard definition) - HD(high-definition) is superior quality. And get an HDMI cable for best picture.
This TV has several HDMI sockets for connection. What exactly does an HDMI cable connect to, and what does it accomplish? All the wall outlets throughout my house were put in by Cox, and all of them are standard Co-Ax female connections. Do I have to buy some type of adapter to connect the Co-Ax wall outlet to the HDMI Input?
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:09 AM   #10
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This TV has several HDMI sockets for connection. What exactly does an HDMI cable connect to, and what does it accomplish? All the wall outlets throughout my house were put in by Cox, and all of them are standard Co-Ax female connections. Do I have to buy some type of adapter to connect the Co-Ax wall outlet to the HDMI Input?
HDMI would be the connection you use for a blu-ray player to connect as well as if you use/get a cable box (essentially any peripheral HD devices. It is one of a couple of HD connection types and it is the simplest, most common at this point and transmits both sound and picture on one cable which several of the older connection methods do not (DVI,component)

The reason for the black bars has to do with the aspect ratio that the content was filmed/shot in. 'Old fashioned' standard def tv's had an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 1.33 while HDTV's screens ar 16:9 or 1.78. This is the aspect ration HD television shows use. Movies are filmed in a number of different aspect ratios many close enough to 1.78 that they will fill your screen perfectly (or near perfect) some however are filmed at greater aspect ratios such as 2.39 in which case you may have black bars above and below your image. Most tv's have a setrting that will force the image to fit your screen but as you discovered in order to do so they have to stretch the image in one direction which as you noted distorts it. Stretching sd 4:3 programming makes everybody look fat while stretching 2.39 images makes things tall and skinny. IMO don't worry about the black bars as all that indicates is that you are watching it in the true/correct dimensions it was filmed in.
As noted blu-ray players play all your standard dvd's and interpolate the image and convert it to your tv's resolution but (unless overidden by user controls or your tv) leave it in the same aspect ratio.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:09 AM   #11
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The HD cable box will have a HDMI connection on it.

Your Blu ray should also.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by d6500k View Post
Normally the .1 channels will be the HD signal broadcast. Since you note that you are connected directly to the cable (sans box) you might have all of your locals and some other networks without even paying for HD packages! Just keep looking and when you find a great picture, you can then use the "skip channel" for the standard def version of the same channel.

In any event, have some fun exploring with your new display and also, welcome to this forum.

Doug k
Thanks. I know I am getting some of my local stations, (ABC, CBS, & NBC), in HD because you can clearly see the difference. The local network affiliate HD stations are extremely clear and brilliant! And all of them fill the screen completely with no distortion. But when I go to Fox News Channel, or CNN cable broadcasts, they are partial screen and not HD. I'm wondering if I go to upgraded service with a cable box from my cable provider, will I then get all of these stations in HD with full screen viewing? Or are some of the major cable stations like FNC still not broadcasting in HD with partial screen?

Note that as of now ALL of my reception comes in through my cable Co-Ax wall outlet direct into the set.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:15 AM   #13
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The HD cable box will have a HDMI connection on it. Your Blu ray should also.
OK, (and correct me if I'm wrong), when I go to expanded premium cable service with a box from my provider, I will be running Co-Ax from the wall to the box. Then from the box to the TV I'll be running a HDMI cable. Somewhere in this link the Blu-Ray DVD Player will connect, all using HDMI, and the only Co-Ax involved will be from the wall to the cable box, correct?
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:19 AM   #14
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HDMI would be the connection you use for a blu-ray player to connect as well as if you use/get a cable box (essentially any peripheral HD devices. It is one of a couple of HD connection types and it is the simplest, most common at this point and transmits both sound and picture on one cable which several of the older connection methods do not (DVI,component)

The reason for the black bars has to do with the aspect ratio that the content was filmed/shot in. 'Old fashioned' standard def tv's had an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 1.33 while HDTV's screens ar 16:9 or 1.78. This is the aspect ration HD television shows use. Movies are filmed in a number of different aspect ratios many close enough to 1.78 that they will fill your screen perfectly (or near perfect) some however are filmed at greater aspect ratios such as 2.39 in which case you may have black bars above and below your image. Most tv's have a setrting that will force the image to fit your screen but as you discovered in order to do so they have to stretch the image in one direction which as you noted distorts it. Stretching sd 4:3 programming makes everybody look fat while stretching 2.39 images makes things tall and skinny. IMO don't worry about the black bars as all that indicates is that you are watching it in the true/correct dimensions it was filmed in.
As noted blu-ray players play all your standard dvd's and interpolate the image and convert it to your tv's resolution but (unless overidden by user controls or your tv) leave it in the same aspect ratio.
Thanks much. Now I'm wondering after I connect all this new stuff, (cable box & Blu-Ray Player), if the TV will reprompt me with another different set up mode? When I first plugged it in it asked if I was using a box, or running off the wall. So I'm sure if I alter this set up, the TV will sense it, much like your computer senses a new mouse or keyboard, and redirect me........correct? As I sad, the manual is very thin, and doesn't offer much in the way of actual operation.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:22 AM   #15
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I just wondered if that would provide me with full screen reception on all the channels?
No it won't. There are two or three basic levels for most cable companies of signals they send:

1.) Analog standard definition
2.) Digital basic cable
3.) Digital premium cable

Many cable companies are dropping the Analog signals and will require a digital converter. Sounds like you may still have analog service on your cable. Those channels will be just a number usually in the range of 2 to 99 or so and they are all standard definition.

When you move up to the Digital basic cable level those signals are no longer analog but rather digital. The digital method used by cable companies is QAM rather than the ATSC used for over the air broadcasts. The QAM tuner in HDTVs will find all of the clear QAM channels.

In the Digital basic cable level there are usually two tiers available: Digital basic and Digital basic enhanced. With the Digital basic you will get all of the QAM clear (not scrambled) channels on your TV without a box. If you add a digital adapter you could get all of the Digital basic enhanced. Digital adapters are usually free of charge up to two per account, but only output standard definition video, so not recommended for HDTVs.

At the Digital premium level you will need the cable company receiver box and/or the cable company DVR usually at extra cost. All of these channels are scrambled so that's why you need a box or some device with a cable card to receive them.

The Digital premium channel level will have multiple tiers that allow some customization of your lineup with each program pack adding additional cost.

Finally, there is HD service which is usually an additional cost. In order to get the HD versions of the digital channels using a cable box you would need to get the HD service. Using a cable box or DVR it is required to have the HD service to get ANY HD channels. Some people will add a splitter between the wall and the cable box and TV so they can get the HD local channels via their TV tuner and the cable channels via their cable box.

So as has been noted the channels that use just a number are going to be analog on your TV and the channels that use a number plus a dash and a number will be digital. Some of the digital channels will be HD and some will be SD. You can expect all of the SD channels both analog and digital to have bars on each side of the picture. You may be able to set your TV to expand the picture on the SD channels.

Using a cable QAM signal without a box can be confusing depending on your cable company. To minimize my costs I decided to just use the QAM tuners on a couple of my TVs and I found I had to periodically rescan the channels because the Comcast decided to rearrange their channel assignments. When they do that they send that information down to their cable boxes so users with boxes never see a difference. But TV with QAM tuners don't get that info and you must manually rescan. Also there will be no guide available to match the QAM channels. In fact I don't know of any cable company that publishes their raw QAM channel line up, so it will be up to you to make your own guide each time you rescan should the lineup change. I finally gave up on those two TVs and reconnected them to my outdoor antenna.

Bear in mind that the digital service levels I used are intended to be somewhat generic and your cable company may use different designations.

Bottom line it will definitely be best to get a box or DVR from your cable company and pay for the HD service to get the most out of your HDTV.

Last edited by rbinck; 01-02-2013 at 10:29 AM.
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