2008-11-30, 12:46 PM
I don't know if I'm in the correct forum to ask this, but here goes:
I'm not in the market for a new TV just yet; I only buy one when the old one craps out. In fact, I bought my current 27" Samsung Tantus CRT TV several years ago after my American made RCA started giving trouble.
When I went TV shopping back then the new big screen units were being pushed but I was years away from digital cable and still am. I didn't need anything over 32" and my biggest priority was Picture-in-Picture because I'd seen it on my friend's Sony. I watch a lot of sports (not the stick-and-ball kind) and like switching between F1 races on Speed and TSN. Well, it turned out that PiP was no longer a common feature back then and only available on some really high end TVs. The salesmen told me it's not popular anymore and something about it not working with cable TV boxes anyway. I finally did find the Samsung above that had it and was still within my price range ($800).
Looking around now on-line I find that I can get PiP in LCD TVs for $1000 and up and Plasma TVs only over $3000. Not a chance of finding a TV with PiP at Walmart.
Why is this? I've searched the forums here and see some references to PiP not working with HDTV, but no clear explanation. Do people not ask for it anymore because manufacturers don't want to offer it, or is it the other way around? I'm afraid that by the time I need a new TV it won't be available at all, or at least not in TVs that sell for less than a good used car.
PiP is a feature that's not used by many people. Also, it requires extra electronics that increase the cost of the TV, so, if it's not on people's desired list, then the manufacturer that includes PiP is at a cost disadvantage.
If the TV does have PiP these days, the functionality is also often quite limited in that it may be limited to certain inputs and/or the internal tuner. You'd have to check the operating manual of the TV in question to see how/if it works. For example, if you wanted to feed Speed (HD) and TSN (HD) to the TV, you'd need to have two cable boxes and you'd need to have the TV accept these signals on two inputs and those inputs would need to go into the PiP - pretty rare these days, if even available. Sometimes people can make do with the internal tuner and one input, but then you're probably limited to SD and certainly not encrypted digital like Speed and TSN are.
Here's a similar thread:
Rather than using PiP, today you can use a PVR, which allows you to watch most sports in significantly less time than the broadcast time and give it 100% of your attention without obscuring a portion of the screen. You can then watch the other programme that was on at the same time in the same manner on the PVR and the time you've spent is no more than what you would have spent on one programme say. Some PVRs like the SA8300HD have a limited PiP function available.
I don't quite understand your Speed/TSN F1 example since you could simply switch channels without having to have the PiP obscure part of your screen...
2008-11-30, 01:38 PM
Like I said, I don't have HD and both Speed and TSN are on Rogers regular cable. The F1 races are broadcast simultaneously by TSN and Speed with live local commentary on TSN and commentary from the US on Speed. I just switch to the other channel when a commercial comes on and back again when it's over. With PiP I don't miss a thing in real time. I just don't understand how most people can't see how great this is.
With PiP I don't miss a thing in real timeWell, you do, you miss whatever action is "under" the "P", which some people find quite distracting, unless you're talking about PoP. People without PiP can just as easily switch to the other channel during commercial, so again I'm missing the point in your specific example. You don't need PiP to switch channels... I suppose it would let you see when the other programme is back from commercial, however, would you not simply stay on the channel that was not running a commercial in your F1 example?
I assumed that once you got a new HDTV that you would want the HD services, especially for sports.
I have full PiP/PoP functionality on my old HDTV and I never use it because I'm always watching something recorded on the PVR. If something happens during commercial, there is almost always a replay, so it's not as though I miss any action in an F1 race and I get to watch it at my own convenient time instead of midnight or 3AM or 7AM, etc.
2008-11-30, 01:50 PM
I have Samsung LN40A750. It has PiP but only one tuner. This enables me to watch one show from the Rogers digital box (PVR actually) and have a regular analog channel in PiP. The same could be done while watching a DVD or computer connection while having analog channel in PiP.
As 57 says, with only one cable box, you couldn't watch one HD channel and have another HD channel in PiP at the same time, unless the second one came via an OTA (Over the Air) antenna connection.
2008-11-30, 02:52 PM
I have a Rogers SD PVR and watch F1 as the OP does using the PVR's PIP to do it. This has the advantage that one can rewind/replay parts of the currently selected channel, swap the PIP and do the same on the other one and of course the PVR is still watching and recording each channel on its 1 hour "window" of automatically recording a selected channel.
I would think that a HD version of the Scientific Atlanta PVR must be able to do the same but in HD ? I don't know but somebody must.
2008-11-30, 02:54 PM
Well, you do, you miss whatever action is "under" the "P", which some people find quite distracting, unless you're talking about PoP. People without PiP can just as easily switch to the other channel during commercial, so again I'm missing the point in your specific example. You don't need PiP to switch channels... I suppose it would let you see when the other programme is back from commercial, however, would you not simply stay on the channel that was not running a commercial in your F1 example?My PiP can be split screen (useless because of the aspect ratio) or two different smaller sizes in 4 possible locations. The smallest size is what I use and it doesn't obscure enough to worry about and if it does, I move it to another location. Not sure what PoP is.
As for getting up at 7 on a Sunday morning to watch F1, I think it's a great use of time instead of sleeping in and leaves me most of the rest of the day to do other things. :)
But you're probably right. By the time I need a new TV I may be forced to go digital because analogue is getting forced out by the industry in order to sell more expensive hardware and services. :eek:
2008-11-30, 03:20 PM
You can also do 'PIP' good and in a relatively unresricted sense by using high resolution monitor/HDTV via a computer with 2 separate TV tuner cards. A fairly robust computer (with decent GPU) is needed also for HD contents.
My old 27" Viewsonic LCD TV has PIP and POP which I seldom use.
TV tuners for cable (NTSC) are on its way out so it is hard pressed to find extra functions geared to NTSC tuner.
My new 50" Samsung plasma has PIP but I never use it. Heck, it doesn't even have a button on the huge remote dedicated for PIP :~) Last I know, it does do 2 analog sources like NTSC tuner and composite input.
2008-12-01, 11:22 AM
AS an FYI.
Bell's Dual Tuner PVRS (9200 / 9242 for example) have PiP built in ! Really nice feature that works the way you would expect w/o any requirements of the TV it's being used with.