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Old 09-14-2014, 08:04 AM   #1
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RV DVD Receivers woefully lacking?

Hi all,

I'm new to the RV world having just purchased a used 2014 Wildwood 26TBSS. We were surprised to find, in a 2014 model year vehicle, the only output from the DVD player was RCA composite. This is unfortunate since HDMI is the industry standard for newer televisions. The TV we want to put in our Wildwood doesn't even have composite inputs.

I figured, how hard could it be to upgrade to something with HDMI outputs and basic modern functionality like bluetooth or Airplay? Nope. I could only find one with an HDMI out (but no bluetooth), a couple that had bluetooth interface for mobile devices (but no HDMI), and several that just having only the most basic features at an exorbitant cost.

What do people normally do if they want a modern A/V system in their RV? The stuff designed for RVs seems to be about 10 years behind existing technology for the most part and I don't think I can justify paying $240 or more for a DVD player that only has RCA outputs. We don't have the space to put a traditional home theater system in since the TV is housed in the partition between the master bed and the living area.

Just curious to see if people have innovated in having anything besides one of these cheapo RV specific DVD decks.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:36 AM   #2
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Jensen AWM975 has HDMI out. You may want to check that out. Same form factor as most other RV A/V systems.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by spatterso911 View Post
Jensen AWM975 has HDMI out. You may want to check that out. Same form factor as most other RV A/V systems.
Yep. Per my gripe above, that is the only one that offers HDMI out as far as I can tell, but it does not offer Bluetooth connectivity. Our iPhone would have to be connected with a cable to function through the receiver, unlike our home electronics which either use bluetooth or Airplay. It's also $270 at it's cheapest, which seems crazy to me.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:42 AM   #4
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I think the new ones have bluetooth. But your right. No HDMI. Seems a bit silly. I think it is because it is easier to run RCA wire than it is to run an HDMI wire. Cheaper also.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:47 AM   #5
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Genesis GT 3.0 has both bluetooth and HDMI out, 5.1 surround out of the A output , but the price is outrageous. Seems that to get decent A/V solutions, 12V is just not the answer.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:47 AM   #6
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I think the new ones have bluetooth. But your right. No HDMI. Seems a bit silly. I think it is because it is easier to run RCA wire than it is to run an HDMI wire. Cheaper also.
Possibly, although HDMI is getting cheap. Less than a few bucks for 3 feet of it with connectors on Monoprice.com so I'd imagine the manufacturers getting it wholesale can get it at a song. These seem to be such a niche product and it's not something consumers seem be clamoring to upgrade, as opposed to something like a car stereo head unit. So you're right in that the demand from manufacturers is probably the cheapest DVD deck they can get away with.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:59 AM   #7
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Genesis GT 3.0 has both bluetooth and HDMI out, 5.1 surround out of the A output , but the price is outrageous. Seems that to get decent A/V solutions, 12V is just not the answer.
Has all the features, but, wow - $700 from Crutchfield. Looks like I'll be using an RCA --> HDMI converter for the time being.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:07 AM   #8
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Unless the DVD player is Blue Ray, the HDMI will not provide any advantage. The HDMI is, I agree, a much cleaner method of running a cable between the DVD player and the TV. HDMI is for HD (Blue Ray) players and the picture will not be improved by using HDMI on a non-blue ray player.
As you have stated, a bigger issue is the fact that new TV's do not have composite connections so it is a mismatch between the new TV's and the "older technology" DVD players.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:29 AM   #9
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I am under the impression that there is an advantage to HDMI if the device upscales the DVD signal to the native resolution of the TV. Either way, seems a little silly I should have to spend $20 bucks on a converter.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:41 AM   #10
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I just spent $350 on a 50 amp. hard wire surge protector so $500 for a stereo/DVD with blue tooth doesn't sound bad now. Of course the manufacture puts the cheep stereo/DVD player in.
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Backcountry View Post
I am under the impression that there is an advantage to HDMI if the device upscales the DVD signal to the native resolution of the TV. Either way, seems a little silly I should have to spend $20 bucks on a converter.
Not sure what all that means, however, how would the "device" know the native resolution of a particular TV as there is no feedback signal from the TV to the "device". You either have a 720/1080p signal (HD) coming from the DVD player or you do not. HDMI transmits all signals, 480/720/1080 in the exact configuration it is given by the "device" transmitting it.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:56 AM   #12
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This article offers a good explanation. Most modern DVD players upscale to both 720 and 1080 and your TV will process the best fit resolution coming out of the DVD player. An RCA composite connection is incapable of passing the upscaled signal to the television, and therefore the signal being displayed on your TV will be 480p (standard def) rather than high def (720/1080p).

Depending on the quality of the upscaling processor on the DVD player, there can be a big difference in quality between an unprocessed 480p signal and an upscaled 720 or 1080p signal on an HDTV.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:06 AM   #13
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Lots of "new to me" information here that may or may not be true.

My understanding is as follows:

DVD player output equipped with:

HDMI - required to get the maximum 1080p signal from "any" DVD player to a similarly equipped TV. Required for Surround Sound output to TV IF TV is Surround decoder equipped. Capable of transmitting lesser resolutions being sent from DVD player.

COMPONENT (3 RCA video-2 RCA audio) - 1080i or less ONLY; provided similarly equipped TV - Analog audio only (No Surround Sound) to TV

COMPOSITE (1 RCA video- 2 RCA audio) - 480i or 576i max; Analog audio only to TV

INLINE "Converters" normally DO NOT change (up-convert) resolution; just the method of getting that resolution to the display. (Basically a cable adapter) Up-conversion occurs in the DVD player (like changing a 720p encoded DVD to 1080i output to the HDMI cable) or in the TV itself. This is a digital "slight of hand" that reduces the fidelity of the image (creates video "artifacts" in the displayed image) to give you a "full screen" experience.

Surround Sound requires a digital capable means of transmission like Single COAX ("may be" Orange RCA), OPTICAL cable, or HDMI cable.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:22 AM   #14
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Here is an AWESOME 3D Blu-Ray capable WiFi (Netflix!) enabled DVD player (HDMI out only) that I use at home. Sears.com

Adding it to the camper is easy and the wattage is so low (14 watts) a 400 watt inverter can handle both the TV and the DVD player.

Output the TV's audio to your surround sound radio system via whatever digital output is available on your TV (similar input also required on your radio).
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spatterso911 View Post
Genesis GT 3.0 has both bluetooth and HDMI out, 5.1 surround out of the A output , but the price is outrageous.
Well ... my Rockwood arrived from the factory with a Genesis 3.0. So I thought that is what all the Rockwoods would use. I learn sumpin' new every day.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spatterso911 View Post
Genesis GT 3.0 has both bluetooth and HDMI out, 5.1 surround out of the A output , but the price is outrageous. Seems that to get decent A/V solutions, 12V is just not the answer.
To be clear; the "A" being discussed is the speaker selection and not an "output." There is no Line level Surround Sound Output other than the HDMI OUT.

There are TWO "Surround Capable" audio only INPUTS: COAXIAL and Optical Digital; both input attachments are accessed from the rear of the Gen 3.0.

Only one can be used at a time and is routed to the speakers via the AU3 selection by pressing the mode button on the front of the unit. (AU1 is the 3mm iPod input socket on the front of the radio).

FYI - AU2 is the SkiFi XM Radio in my camper.
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