Do I Really Need a 12v Television? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-25-2016, 08:01 PM   #1
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Do I Really Need a 12v Television?

I read somewhere on the forum that someone used the inverter to run a regular old TV and it did fine. That got me to thinking that we just might not need a 12v TV for occasional use boondocking. Probably watch a movie and that would be it.

What I don't know is how much using the inverter would affect the 2 6v batteries versus using only a 12v TV? Is there a significant difference in power usage?

Thanks in advance for your input!
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:19 PM   #2
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Any use of the inverter will cause more drain than use of a 12v appliance. Most tv's now are 12v and you are effectively using twice the power to convert 12v to 120v to operate a 120v appliance that changes 120v back to 12v to operate the tv.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Any use of the inverter will cause more drain than use of a 12v appliance. Most tv's now are 12v and you are effectively using twice the power to convert 12v to 120v to operate a 120v appliance that changes 120v back to 12v to operate the tv.
Jim, could this mean that a regular 12V LED TV could be operated by simply powering it with a 12V connector to the power cord? Seems like it.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:47 PM   #4
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Yes, read the required input of the tv or the output on the little black converter box, but I just find the right rca plug and plug it in the 12v source. I have done that with radios, tv and weather prognosticators with success. Your computers are also dc...
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:59 PM   #5
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What I don't know is how much using the inverter would affect the 2 6v batteries versus using only a 12v TV? Is there a significant difference in power usage?
That depends on what you call "significant". Maybe 10% more power, maybe more than that... depends on the inverter.

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Any use of the inverter will cause more drain than use of a 12v appliance. Most tv's now are 12v and you are effectively using twice the power to convert 12v to 120v to operate a 120v appliance that changes 120v back to 12v to operate the tv.
Yes, there is more conversion loss, and maybe even double the loss, but it certainly doesn't double the power consumption of the device.

For instance, if the TV needs 100 watts, and it takes 5 watts to convert 120V AC power to the DC needed by the TV, that's 105 watts used. Add an inverter to go from 12V DC to 120V AC before going back again, and with double the conversion loss the total is 110 watts. It's good to avoid the loss, but some perspective is needed.

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Jim, could this mean that a regular 12V LED TV could be operated by simply powering it with a 12V connector to the power cord? Seems like it.
Yes, if the TV really does have a 12V DC input.

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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Yes, read the required input of the tv or the output on the little black converter box, but I just find the right rca plug and plug it in the 12v source. I have done that with radios, tv and weather prognosticators with success. Your computers are also dc...
Sure, all electronics run on DC power. If they have an external power supply box (adapter), the power form the box to the device is probably relatively low voltage DC... but it is very often not 12V. That first step - read the specs - is important. And power input connectors are rarely RCA plugs; they are usually coaxial connectors, but they come in many sizes and styles.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:32 PM   #6
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And, then there is positive and negative.
I fried a nice short wave radio when I got those reversed.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:50 PM   #7
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And, then there is positive and negative.
I fried a nice short wave radio when I got those reversed.
Good point.
Assuming that the device comes with an adapter and you are setting up a cable to feed 12V DC directly into the place the adapter plugs in, you can use it as a model. Just use a voltmeter to test the output of the adapter (and confirm the voltage), so you know what polarity (and what voltage) needs to appear where on the connector.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:37 PM   #8
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We have a 19" that we run off a little 400 watt inverter. We have watched movies and sports on it with little impact on battery life.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:41 PM   #9
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We have a 19" that we run off a little 400 watt inverter. We have watched movies and sports on it with little impact on battery life.
We do the same. Had the inverter from years ago so no new expense. I had ETI add a charging outlet right at the tv location and the inverter plugs in right there.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:45 AM   #10
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For how little we use the TV, which says 14v on the power port, the 300W Bestek inverter is okay. The other downside, besides using a bit more power, is the inverter, at least ours, has a small fan, so it's not silent.

I was tempted to go with a permanently installed Morningstar 300 watt, which has no fan, but for how little we need one the portable Bestek works.
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