DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
In my effort to run an off grid, inverter-less system, I have been on the hunt for common appliances and electronics that use a brick to convert the AC power to DC. My samsung 32" TV is only AC and must go, However in previous months DC powered 32" and above TV's were only 720p, hard to find and expensive. Today I went to Bust Buy to pay my CC bill, so I figured I'd shop around. I noticed two 40" TV's by westinghouse the higher price was 1080i and both have a 19v DC input. the cheaper is 720p I think. This is a wonderful find for me as I had considered running a small inverter just for my TV. I seldom make impulse purchases, so I headed to the computer monitor section. Last time I looked here was mid summer and all of them only accepted 110V except maybe 1 or 2 smaller ones. Now they are all set up to operate off of DC power. 12v, 14v, 19v, and 20v. I am very excited to be able to run DC only and also have a big screen TV and high quality computer monitors. I am open to running an inverter in the future, I figure I will like to run it as little as possible. I will post here after I purchase and test, any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,816 admin
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    Laptop with a USB Digital Receiver... I got one for ~$65 a few years ago and it works fine (widows and I think I used on XP before--Currently using Windows Media player--seems to work better as a DVR than the Hauppauge software).

    WinTV 950Q from Hauppauge

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    yea, I've done that,but I keep my laptop docked in the closet, and currently use a samsung 24" led panel, I only use the actual laptop screen when I travel. is a good idea for some I am sure. I also use a DirectTV box that has only an 110v AC input, I am going to open it and check the output voltages and see if I can modify.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    i do not see dc designations on the best buy tvs unless i am overlooking something here. if it's a case of they don't show the dc capable tvs, then would you be kind enough to show what make and model has what for a dc input? i would imagine the current requirements would be semi high so wiring with the right gauge for the distance traveled is important.
  • Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    I have found that most devices that have a brick external power converter, are actually DC voltage input. the TV I am referencing is a Westinghouse 40" 1080i currently on display at my local Best Buy. the voltage marking from the back panel indicate it is powered by 19v @ 4.7 amps. I will get the actual model number and post in the next hour.
  • Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    Thanks niel, for your input on cable gauge and moderate runs. I would run 24v over 10 awg not more than 20 feet, with a step down converter to 19v at the back or just below the set. I also have a Insignia 19" TV for my security cameras, on it's back it claims 12v @3 amps for a operating/starting wattage of 36. However in testing it only actually uses 12 to 15 watts or so. so I hope the larger TV has a similar over estimation of energy usage quotes
  • Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    Westinghouse UW40t3pw. there were 2 other models with higher refresh rates, but all are 1080i. $420 for the basic one. and confirmed 4.7 amps @ 19v kinda heavy though, I use a cantilever scissor type wall mount, so weight is something I pay close attention to. must weight over 25 lbs, a pound or 2 less without the base maybe.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    Just something to consider, is the quite wide range of voltages one can be presented with in an off grid solar system. In a 12 volt system, anywhere from 12 volts or less, to perhaps 16 volts during EQ during winter. That's a pretty major range, and why I leave my electronics to a Morningstar TS-300.

    (The second part of Wayne's post is continued in this thread: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?17872-Satellite-receiver-power-usage)


    On another note, Satellite TV was mentioned. (Direct TV box) My Canadian Bell receiver sucks back 10 watts, turned on or not:grr. That's more than the average of my freezer converted to fridge. Had the bright idea (I thought) of using a timer to shut it off from midnight, to 5 PM the next day, during which time I never watch TV. Worked great for a short while, then started loosing programming. Had to get Bell to "give it a hit" to get my channels back, and they informed me their receivers do loose programming if not left connected 24/7. Has anyone else had similar problems with Satellite receivers?
  • Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    the WestingHouse 40" TV is working flawlessly on my DC power. using a Chinese 24-48v to variable output 5a voltage regulator, set @ 19.02 volts. turns out I had to shorten the DC wire from the Chinese 19v regulator to the TV. the TV is marked that it draws 3.42 amp's @ 19v, how ever it's turn on surge is very close the regulators capacity, of 5 amps. with a low gauge 6' wire it exceeded the power supply's maximum. by shortening this single wire the set up now works. I have yet to test my actual operating amp draw but I assume it's quite low as the heat sink on the power supply makes only a moderate amount of heat. now if I need to run an inverter it will be only for appliances that I do not run all day. simple need to use the microwave or my Air Conditioning. Very Happy!
  • Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    UPDATE: after an hour of operation the heat sink is dissipating much more heat. it's pretty hot, but not so hot that it burns me. I am going to continue to test with plans to add a small cooling fan within a few hours. TV is still operating flawlessly.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    one of those cheap IR temp guns might be useful.
     
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    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    thanks for the idea. I have been planning a trip to Harbor Freight for heat shrink tubing. they got several options for non contact heat sensor. however I mounted the power supply to the TV's aluminum cantilever wall mount, so that the heat sink is slightly screwed into and is much cooler now as it is dissipating a lot of heat into the frame. doubt I need a fan now.
  • Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    well I am 4 to 5 days into running my 40" TV directly from DC power. issue free until last night, I came home and attempted to use the front panel switch to power the TV on. it did not work. However when I use the remote control it powers up just fine. I am not sure why but it seems to be an issue with this particular TV. I have had no other problems and I have not been able to replicate the problem since last night. Regulator heat issue seems to be solved by mounting it to the frame. Power usage is high but as expected and already planned an additional panel purchase to handle this load and some future loads. This 40" TV uses about the same amount of power as my old Samsung 32" and does not require an inverter running to watch TV.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    it's still being converted so not much difference, especially if you are leaving the converter on as it will still draw power. some tvs do have issues and little idiosyncrasies. i have heard of some tvs with on/off problems and my lg has occasional ota tv sound issues when switched from another input such as hdmi1. do a search on your model to see if others are having the same issue.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    Niel. I don,t think it is just the lg tv that has the audio problrm with off air. I have a Samsung, Sony and panasonic tv and they all have no audio some times when I turn them on. Just change station and come back and the audio is there. My gov boxs do that too.
    solarvic
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    solarvic,
    now that's interesting to know as i thought it might've been just a symptom my 2 lgs i have. i did contact their warranty service and i opted to not send it as i'm not going to get charged if it happens to work when they tried it. did you get any feedback from anywhere as to why this happens?
  • Logan5Logan5 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    I got rid of a Vizzio 32" TV that had HDMI audio problems. seemed the "Digital to analog converter" "DAC" started breaking down, at first I thought it was over heating, but it just got worse fast. it worked fine with the other input's with analog audio. so that led me to believe it was the DAC, sometimes it was garbled audio from power on, other times it started half hour or an hour later. I posted it as a hang on wall TV, since I had also lost the table top stand and sold it same day on Craigslist for half what I paid for it a year ago.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    logan,
    we are referring to the very specific problem of losing the standard over the air (ota) audio when you go from another input to the ota tv input. it doesn't always lose the audio on mine, but it is annoying when it happens.

    as an fyi and ftr, my picture quality on fios is equal to the ota signal quality and i am close enough to most of the transmitters to get 3/4 to a full scale on the signals.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DC voltage TV's and Computer Monitors at Best Buy.

    This audio problem also can happen on a free to air satelite receiver also. I heard when you scan in the channels it programs the tuner to the channel. When you tune to a channel it locks on to the frequencys you need for that channel and the channel comes in. If your signal is a little weak it might miss the audio. Just change the channel and come back and you usually have audio.I have seldom lost audio unless I had a weak signal that droppewd out momentarily. The channel change usually brings back ausio. Logan, 1 time I had an audio problem like you described and it was the audio wire imput. I changed the audio wire, Problem fixed. solarvic
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