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Old 2012-01-16, 09:17 PM   #1
someguy23475
 
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Default Digital TV with dials?

I am a fan of the old style rotary dial TVs, and I wondered, with digital TV being the norm in my area, is it physically possible to build an ATSC TV with dials? I'm sure you couldn't use PSIP, so you'd have to memorize the actual RF channels in order to tune.
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Old 2012-01-16, 09:43 PM   #2
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You're in a minority. Most people never tune channels from the set itself, and haven't for many decades.

Technically I suppose creating a "digital dial TV" is somehow possible. But without anyone requesting it, I doubt it'll ever be developed or sold. TV's today are about thinness, clean lines, and no clutter (control buttons are typically hidden).

The last time I used a dial TV was to listen in to analog cellular in the 800MHz band back in the early 90's. By cranking the UHF dial to the end, you could intercept transmissions....
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Old 2012-01-16, 10:07 PM   #3
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You could have the dials also turn with a remote control, similar to the 1950s and 60s sets.

I agree it would not appeal to the masses, but I'm sure there are a few people like me that would buy one, even if someone made it themselves with no intentions of mass producing.
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Old 2012-01-16, 10:53 PM   #4
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While it's technically possible, it would cost more than using electronics. Dials disappeared many years ago, when TVs stopped having separate VHF & UHF tuners.
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Old 2012-01-17, 12:19 AM   #5
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Ah... yes... And all those contacts... 17-1, 17-2, 17-3 (and that's just one example). And say 17-2 goes out of the mix temporarily..... :-)

I guess if you are really needing the concept... you could "program" the tuner as normal, but have the "knob" work with virtual click-stops but use a "light chopper" for the channel change... It can be done....

But as others have said... Today, who wants it on a large scale?

Kinda like handing an old rotary POTS phone to a young person today... The looks you get speak volumes. Not their fault, it's just not common anymore.

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Last edited by CamDAB; 2012-01-17 at 12:21 AM. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old 2012-01-17, 09:27 AM   #6
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Yes, doable.

The way I though of doing it is with a control similar to what used to be in some car radios, which have fully rotary controls with detents. The ones in the Delco radios I so much know, have 16 detent position. They provide some sort of computer readable code to know at least it is being turned, and in which direction. The code would be interperted by the system controller, to cycle through channels the same as the channel up/down buttons on the remote.

Another, similar but different manner, is to use a control like which used to be on CB Radios, where a 40 position control generates a binary word based on it position, which in the CB feeds the PLL and display. In a TV or STB, it would go to the controller, and it would tune a channel based on that, and display the channel number on the display.

Either of the above could be made into an accessory controller a hobbyist with microcontroller experience could make. It would control the TV or STB with an IR baster LED.
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Old 2012-01-17, 09:44 AM   #7
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The one continuous dial I would like to see is for volume control. Setting "10" is a tad too loud, "9" is a tad too low. We've all been there now and again. It's simply a case of someone in some far off galaxy, far, far away making a wrong decision for us. The so-called dial would have to be on the remote control itself of course unless you can train the dog to do it.
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Old 2012-01-17, 11:02 AM   #8
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You may be able to mock an old TV by using a HTPC with tuner card and newer TV in an old TV cavity. Maybe rework/hardwire the channel dial to the computers parallel port (if equipped), then use something like Girder to translate the IO to channel control the tuner card. I'm sure you could also do something like that with the volume control as well to control the HTPC master volume.

Be a real neat DIY project.
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Old 2012-01-17, 11:27 AM   #9
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With GoogleTV just around the corner I am sure there will be an android app on your smart phone sporting nothing but a big old dial with hundreds of digits. Maybe something like this...

http://www.quadibloc.com/science/images/dial4.gif
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Old 2012-01-17, 08:22 PM   #10
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I do wonder what would work best for the subchannels. Old TVs had a knob inside the dial you could use to fine tune the channel, since some operated at different offsets. Perhaps that could tune them in?
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Old 2012-01-17, 09:00 PM   #11
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^^^^
It wasn't different offsets, but poor tolerances in the TVs. The broadcasters were required by federal law to maintain a specified level of accuracy. As for using the fine tuning for sub-channels, that wouldn't work either, as they're not separate channels. They're part of the data stream that can be used as the broadcaster chooses.
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Old 2012-01-17, 09:54 PM   #12
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Just use a knob with mechanics to give the resistance and 'clunk' sound of a turret tuner. Put a window display above the knob showing the channel number in XX.x format. Turn clockwise and the number would move up the sequence - 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 19.1, 23.1, etc. Turn counterclockwise and the number would decrease. Of course, you will have to put the screen in a 2 foot deep cabinet with some ballast and a 200 watt heater inside to get the right 'feel' for the whole thing.
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Old 2012-01-18, 12:13 AM   #13
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Remember those clock radios with leaf number displays?

Outer knob: 2, 3,4 etc.
Inner knob: .1, .2, .3. etc.
Volume knob: volume with randomly generated crackle sound and inconsistent volume change
Clear plastic "tubes" with orange LED's for filaments, like those used in T-lights...
You'd have to give the LCD screen a bulbous shape and square format...

Oh... but keep it light in weight so it's easily moved and easily recycled....

:-)

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Old 2012-01-19, 11:12 AM   #14
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Never gonna happen. The dials went away long before DTV came along, I remember my family's first no-dial TV was a Zenith System 3 25" console from about 1980. It had the 15 or so separate tuners, and you would tune each tuner to one of your stations, and then insert a little number placard into a slot on the channel display "totem pole". Switching channels actually meant switching tuners, as each tuner was left on it's assigned channel.
The only way this could be done today is on some kind of retro-designed device, but with modern electronic guts. I know that there are many audio systems with this retro design, so it is possible. But why would you want a beautiful 16:9 flat pannel to be festooned with old-timey dials? Or would you want to watch HDTV on an old-style, rounded-corner 4:3 CRT?
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Old 2012-01-19, 11:23 AM   #15
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^^^^
That wasn't 15 tuners. It was 15 variable resistors (potentiometers), which are used to set the voltage to the voltage controlled tuner. You'd change channels by selecting which one provided voltage to the tuner.
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