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Old 24th February 2021, 03:55 PM   #1
Beerina
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So I need a new TV

My old one is 10 years old and makes a fritzing sound then reboots. On the positive side, I'd like to write a thank you note like Jimmy Fallon:

"Thank you, Samsung, for returning me to the nostalgia of the 1970s, when you hadda whonk the TV to get it to work."


Anyway, do modern TVs require Internet, so they can spy on me? Or do they all have good old HDMI inputs, which my cable box emits?

And I have Netflix. If it has built-in Netflix handling, I assume that needs Internet as well. But does the TV spy on my Netflix and report back to the TV maker?

If so I will just stick with the computer, so only Netflix, Google, and Microsoft know what I'm watching. Or Verizon on my phone.
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Last edited by Beerina; 24th February 2021 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 24th February 2021, 03:59 PM   #2
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I've found roku enabled tvs have a very nice user interface that almost guarantees that they are spying on you. I mean, how could they sell me such a nice TV for so little without making a bit on the backend. I'm OK with the trade-off.
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Old 25th February 2021, 07:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Anyway, do modern TVs require Internet, so they can spy on me? Or do they all have good old HDMI inputs, which my cable box emits?
There is no requirement for your TV to be hooked up to the internet. If you don't want to use that service, just don't connect the TV to your Wi-Fi or a hard wire. It will undoubtedly ask you for it, but there's always a way to skip it.

If you'd like to use Netflix on your new TV with the built-in apps, then yes. You would need to connect it to the internet. I'm not sure how you're using Netflix now, but I'm assuming you'd be able to continue using Netflix with a new TV the same way you're using it now.

Much like He-Man, "You have the power!"
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Old 25th February 2021, 07:57 AM   #4
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I recommend getting a TV without built-in apps, and getting a Roku for the apps to live on. That way the TV is just used for display. My TV had built-in Netflix which got buggy after a few years as the software aged and couldn't be updated. The Roku is much more versatile, and if ever becomes buggy I can replace it much more easily than the TV.
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Old 25th February 2021, 07:59 AM   #5
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make sure your TV has a good view of your living room, or even better bedroom.

Don't worry, if the sound quality is okay to listen to, it means that the TV microphone is able to listen to you.
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Old 25th February 2021, 08:02 AM   #6
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- Yes you absolutely can buy a "smart TV" and just never setup the smart features on it and never hook it up to the internet.
- Pretty much literally any TV you buy is going to have an HDMI port, probably at least 2-3.
- I second TM's suggestion of not relying on the built-in apps and buying a cheap Roku, Chromestick, Amazon Fire, or similar device. They are easier to update and replace. (For not in my office/mancave I have an ancient flatscreen 32" RCA budget model with an AmazonFire stick plugged into it that is just as snappy and responsive and useful as the Samsung "Smart TV" we purchased this year.)
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Old 25th February 2021, 11:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I recommend getting a TV without built-in apps, and getting a Roku for the apps to live on. That way the TV is just used for display. My TV had built-in Netflix which got buggy after a few years as the software aged and couldn't be updated. The Roku is much more versatile, and if ever becomes buggy I can replace it much more easily than the TV.
There's no need to choose. If buying a new TV the "smart" part is virtually guaranteed. Perversely, it's likely that a TV without apps will cost more since it will probably be a "monitor" that includes features unneeded for someone just watching TV. You can still get the device of your choice if the included software is unpleasant.

I would happily recommend the TCL series 6 that comes with Roku. It has video quality well beyond its price and its Roku software works great. Even if they decide to stop supporting it with updates, that bridge can be crossed by buying an outboard device when you get there, and that hypothetical device will be more capable than one bought today.
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Old 25th February 2021, 11:44 AM   #8
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Same as 40 years ago, go to the store and buy the one with the best picture.
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Old 25th February 2021, 01:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
Same as 40 years ago, go to the store and buy the one with the best picture.
I doubt his best picture will work. Heís gonna have to prepared to pay cash.
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Old 25th February 2021, 01:36 PM   #10
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I don't think you need to worry about a TV spying on you. Don't let it concern you. Most of the bigger and better sets are Smart TVs, which you could defeat if you are paranoid.

Most any brand is good. My favorite is LG.
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Old 25th February 2021, 01:43 PM   #11
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I'll have to go find a concrete site, but I'm fairly certain that in reality only like 4 or 5 suppliers actually make the actual LCD/LED/OLED panels and the only real difference is branding and the UI of the smart systems and other minor variations.
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Old 25th February 2021, 01:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Anyway, do modern TVs require Internet, so they can spy on me? Or do they all have good old HDMI inputs, which my cable box emits?

And I have Netflix. If it has built-in Netflix handling, I assume that needs Internet as well. But does the TV spy on my Netflix and report back to the TV maker?

If so I will just stick with the computer, so only Netflix, Google, and Microsoft know what I'm watching. Or Verizon on my phone.
You seem overly worried about the state of the doors on your thoroughly empty stable.
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Old 25th February 2021, 02:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I don't think you need to worry about a TV spying on you. Don't let it concern you. Most of the bigger and better sets are Smart TVs, which you could defeat if you are paranoid.

Most any brand is good. My favorite is LG.
My Alexa tells me that it's impossible for a TV to eavesdrop and respond, so I'm good there.
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Old 25th February 2021, 02:25 PM   #14
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I just love how I have to throw a towel over my TV so Alexa doesn't tell the CIA what I'm having for dinner from the other side of my house or whatever but the drive through at McDonalds still sounds like a 1970s walkie-talkie with a weak battery and can't hear that I want my order without pickles 87% of the time.
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Old 25th February 2021, 02:27 PM   #15
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1980 "Oh my God I wonder if my phone is wiretapped?"
2020 "Wiretap! Hey Wiretap! Yeah how much oregano goes into Swedish meatballs? Oh and can you tell me the sports score? Oh and remind me to buy more dick rot cream for my herpasyphiagonnalitis. I'm almost out."
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Old 25th February 2021, 02:31 PM   #16
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My 2006 vintage plasma TV is threatening to die too. My main problem with newer TV's is the paucity of analog inputs. We still record on VHS for time splitting, and still watch a good many old VHS movies, and I run the audio for everything through the stereo, not the TV. So whenever I get a new TV I'll probably have to get a whole bunch of converters to get the VCR to play through it, and to get the sound out to the analog inputs on my receiver.

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind getting rid of the digital broadcast converter box, or just using it for the VCR.

One of the things that I find quite annoying in the most modern setups is that closed captions don't work in digital. So, for example, when playing older DVD's that have CC but no built in subtitles, even though the DVD plays properly through the TV's digital input, I have to switch to S-VHS to get the captions. Right now the setup we have is a nice hybrid between generations.
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Old 26th February 2021, 05:06 AM   #17
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Having something like a Firestick or a PVR with more recent and up-dateable software is a good idea, as our Sony, which still works perfectly well as a display, will no longer support current versions of on-demand services.

I'm not sure how the PVR or the TV can "spy" on what we do, but if someone really wants to know how many old episodes of Taskmaster and Would I Lie To You we've watched during Covid or that I was daft enough to get up at 4am to watch cricket from Chennai, they're welcome, as that's all they can do.

Oh, and more recent TVs are likely to only have HDMI inputs, so if you want to use something like a VCR get as many HDMIs as possible and adapters for wwhatever.

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Old 26th February 2021, 08:05 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post

One of the things that I find quite annoying in the most modern setups is that closed captions don't work in digital. So, for example, when playing older DVD's that have CC but no built in subtitles, even though the DVD plays properly through the TV's digital input, I have to switch to S-VHS to get the captions. Right now the setup we have is a nice hybrid between generations.

I rip my DVDs and store them on a NAS. The NAS has a media server and the TV has a client for that which works for some. But I also have the movies backed up on a windows box on which I run the Plex server. The plex client on my TV then has a built in subtitle lookup for internet subtitle services which is quite good. The ones on the NAS (Synology) can be poor especially for synchronyzation with the audio.
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Old 26th February 2021, 08:33 AM   #19
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So per this, Google TVs have a one-click "dumb TV" option. So it might be easier than expected.
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Old 26th February 2021, 10:17 AM   #20
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Hmmm. 60 inch 4k are under 500, over if you want qled whatever that is.
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Old 26th February 2021, 01:45 PM   #21
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We got a Samsung "smart TV" a few years ago. About a week before it was revealed that Samsung was listening, even when the TV was off. I'd made one attempt to connect it to the WiFi but failed, so I didn't bother again.
Except now the cable box connects it to the internet anyhow.
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Old 26th February 2021, 03:34 PM   #22
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I bought a new TV a couple of months ago, and setting it up was a literal nightmare.

It has so many settings to adjust that it's a Sysphean task. It did all sorts of "smart" things, like adjusting the brightness of the screen according to what was playing that I found irritating. The credits of a movie would start and then suddenly get darker because the TV decided they were too bright. Stuff like that. The brightness, contrast, sharpness, white balance, etc, etc were all adjustable, but every time I adjusted one, it would seem to make a difference to the others and I ended up with something less than what I was hoping for. In the end I had to switch off everything marked as "intelligent" in the settings and settle for that.

It still doesn't play well with my receiver. If I change from, say, watching TV through a cable box to watching Netflix though the app, something tells the receiver to stop playing audio, and I have to change the input on the receiver to something different and then back to the TV. The whole thing drives me crazy and I almost wish I hadn't bothered.

The one thing that is really good is that black is now really black - it's impossible to tell if the TV is on or off sometimes!
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Old 2nd March 2021, 08:45 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I recommend getting a TV without built-in apps, and getting a Roku for the apps to live on. That way the TV is just used for display. My TV had built-in Netflix which got buggy after a few years as the software aged and couldn't be updated. The Roku is much more versatile, and if ever becomes buggy I can replace it much more easily than the TV.
I have had a couple of "smart" (not RoKu) TV's. the interface on both is absolutely garbage. The one I currently use was an absolute nightmare just to establish a wifi connection. This was due, in part, to the fact that I use a 20 random character wifi password. I was able to get it to connect with WPS, but in order to make this work, I had to input a bunch of network parameters (IP addresS, DNS address, etc.) manually, even though my router is configured to use DHCP. For quite some time, for some inexplicable reason, had to redo this every time I had turned the TV off. Any kind of text input is just plain painful, as there is a virtual keyboard that you can operate with the arrow buttons on the remote. It doesn't take more than 5-10 times longer than it would to input it on an actual keyboard. At some point, for reasons of which I have no clue, it eventually started to remember network settings from one use to the next, so it is now reasonably easy to watch Youtube videos on it. But I still usually use my other TV, which is an ancient Samsung dumb TV with a somewhat less ancient Google Chromecast (an HDMI dongle which you can connect to a wifi network and control with a PC, smartphone, or tablet) to watch Youtube videos, which actually works better than the "smart" TV.

Last edited by CORed; 2nd March 2021 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 08:54 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I've found roku enabled tvs have a very nice user interface that almost guarantees that they are spying on you. I mean, how could they sell me such a nice TV for so little without making a bit on the backend. I'm OK with the trade-off.
Although on the abstract level, I'm a bit distressed that Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and who knows who else, probably know just about everything worth knowing (and probably a hell of a lot not worth knowing) about me, the truth is that anybody who digs deeply into that information would be in serious danger of dying of boredom. I genuinely have nothing to hide. Also, I do occasionally find the way that Google, and whoever else, targets ads to be rather amusing.

So, although, perhaps I should give a **** about the rampant invasion of privacy, I really don't give a ****.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 11:06 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
My Alexa tells me that it's impossible for a TV to eavesdrop and respond, so I'm good there.
But did you ask her the question out loud?

Re: OP: you almost certainly do not need a tv. The box is evil.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 01:39 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I doubt his best picture will work. Heís gonna have to prepared to pay cash.
Oh I donít know, Iím sure you could sell the one with him, the pineapple, shuttlecock and wallaby for quite a penny!
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:04 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Oh I donít know, Iím sure you could sell the one with him, the pineapple, shuttlecock and wallaby for quite a penny!
And some rube would probably just accuse him of being a kangaroo ******. It's a wallaby, you idiots!
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:04 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You seem overly worried about the state of the doors on your thoroughly empty stable.
Cell phones, in general, listen to and transmit more of your personal data than any other devices I can think of, including tablets\laptops\desktops. I always opt for privacy as much as possible, but, much like others, I don't have anything to hide. So part of me has given up on a lot of it.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Oh I donít know, Iím sure you could sell the one with him, the pineapple, shuttlecock and wallaby for quite a penny!
Yeah, but a straight up trade would be tough, depending on what the individual\store is in too. I'm not saying no, just be ready to haggle.
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Old 4th March 2021, 01:55 PM   #29
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When I next replace my TV I also want a 'dumb' option, it's not that I don't like smart TV, it's just that I have a half decent AV setup & run all the audio through that, I don't watch any TV over the air, all my sources (consoles, Firestick, BD etc) are external, HDMI and plugged into my home cinema receiver. When I get a new TV I turn the internal speaker volume to zero, then leave it there. I could pass the audio from the TV to the receiver for the smart features but TBH leaving it to the Firestick is just easier. Especially since I use a Logitec Harmony remote control, I've got it right I don't want to touch it again!
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Old 4th March 2021, 03:45 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
When I next replace my TV I also want a 'dumb' option, it's not that I don't like smart TV, it's just that I have a half decent AV setup & run all the audio through that, I don't watch any TV over the air, all my sources (consoles, Firestick, BD etc) are external, HDMI and plugged into my home cinema receiver. When I get a new TV I turn the internal speaker volume to zero, then leave it there. I could pass the audio from the TV to the receiver for the smart features but TBH leaving it to the Firestick is just easier. Especially since I use a Logitec Harmony remote control, I've got it right I don't want to touch it again!
You don't want a TV, you want a computer monitor.
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Old 4th March 2021, 06:45 PM   #31
plague311
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
You don't want a TV, you want a computer monitor.
^ this pretty much.

I've resigned myself to replacing my electronics about every 4-5 years. Keeps me up to date, and it's easier (for me) to do a bunch of little jumps than having to rebuild everything every 10 years.

Then again, it's not a huge arm twist to get me to spend money on electronics either.
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Old 5th March 2021, 04:34 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
You don't want a TV, you want a computer monitor.
Yep. All smart TV's are dumb unless you plug them into a network and set them up.
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Old 5th March 2021, 08:50 AM   #33
Trebuchet
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
^ this pretty much.

I've resigned myself to replacing my electronics about every 4-5 years. Keeps me up to date, and it's easier (for me) to do a bunch of little jumps than having to rebuild everything every 10 years.

Then again, it's not a huge arm twist to get me to spend money on electronics either.
I, on the other hand, replace them only when they're hopelessly outdated or, preferably, broken. I'm typing this on Win 7.
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Old 5th March 2021, 08:56 AM   #34
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My old plasma TV acts a pretty decent space heater. Which is not great in the summer.
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Old 5th March 2021, 09:53 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
My old plasma TV acts a pretty decent space heater. Which is not great in the summer.
Yes, I don't miss that part at all. Although I did kind of like the Ambilight feature (not related to the plasma). It was a backlighting system that would use the colors on the screen and project them onto the wall behind it, giving the impression of a bigger screen. It was a weird feature, but once I got it set up right I enjoyed it. I don't miss it at all with any other TV I have, though.

And that damn TV weighed literally almost 300 pounds.
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Old 5th March 2021, 10:00 AM   #36
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Living as we do in a cold climate, the heat from the plasma TV doesn't bother me, but there are some rogue pixels that take a long time to even out when the picture size changes, and every once in a while the thing just mysteriously clicks off and has to be restarted.

Alas, it's also just right for almost every other use, and we don't miss the lack of digital tuner since we almost never watch broadcast TV anyway. At the time I got it, LCD and the like had terrible off-axis viewing, and the plasma was one you could see well from any angle. Not so much of a problem now, but at the time plasma was significantly better looking.
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Old 5th March 2021, 10:04 AM   #37
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People used to be in awe of my 32 inch flatscreen plasma mounted on the wall in my living room.

Nowadays people would feel sorry for me!
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Old 5th March 2021, 10:34 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I, on the other hand, replace them only when they're hopelessly outdated or, preferably, broken. I'm typing this on Win 7.
Interestingly, you can still upgrade from Win 7 to Win 10 for free from Microsoft. Just download the installation media tool from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...load/windows10, and then when you run it select "Upgrade this PC". The instructions on the page claim you need a license, but the upgrade doesn't ask for one.
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Old 5th March 2021, 10:39 AM   #39
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
You don't want a TV, you want a computer monitor.
More or less, but monitors tend to be more expensive, I would like power, picture settings etc on remote control & to have aspect ratios for some of my older stuff. I haven't seen these on monitors (though I haven't looked that hard I admit)
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Last edited by P.J. Denyer; 5th March 2021 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 5th March 2021, 10:42 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Yes, but they tend to be more expensive.
Well, they do less so of course they are!
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