Teaching an Old TV New Tricks

Teaching an Old TV New Tricks


Back in 2004 we purchased a house in Arcadia, California to be closer to my employer’s new manufacturing facility. It was a much larger house than we needed, but was in one of the best public school districts in the region and housing prices were still on the rise. Doubling our living space meant barren walls and rooms that needed furniture. But I had a different priority…it was time to finally upgrade from the 28″ CRT television we received as a gift more than a decade prior.

Old tech doesn't have to be retired as soon as you think. Sometimes there is an inexpensive fix to get you up and running again! - SahmReviews.comThis was one of two brand new Samsung DLP televisions that we purchased to fill up some wall space. A 61″ for the living room and this 46″ model for the bedroom. In the past 9+ years we’ve replaced bulbs, a color wheel and a ballast in an effort to squeeze some more life out of them. Last year the 61″ finally broke something that made it more costly to fix than what it was worth. Plus, television technology has gotten better with higher resolutions, better sound and the inclusion of apps for Netflix and the like. So the living room model was dismantled for spare parts for this one and a new LED TV took its place.

Because the one in the bedroom wasn’t used as much, it still chugs along. It may only be 720p, but it is clear enough for tired eyes. We recently hooked up an xBox 360 to it to be able to stream movies but ran into a problem. This television only has one HDMI port (a brand new feature in 2004) which was being used by the satellite box, so the xBox had to be connected via component cables.

Old tech doesn't have to be retired as soon as you think. Sometimes there is an inexpensive fix to get you up and running again! - SahmReviews.com(Pardon the dust…)

We found an inexpensive solution that should help us get a few more years out of the TV – a Kinivo HDMI Switch. This particular model is the 301BN and allows you to hook up three HDMI devices and have them share one port.

Old tech doesn't have to be retired as soon as you think. Sometimes there is an inexpensive fix to get you up and running again! - SahmReviews.comInstallation is obvious and the instructions weren’t really needed. Simply plug it into the wall, hook the “Output” port to your TV and plug your devices into the “Input” ports. There is also an included RF remote that is needed to ‘switch’ between the different inputs. We use a programmable remote, so it was easy to add the HDMI switch to the program so it automatically switches when we turn on a new device. Please note that no HDMI cables are included, so you may need to pick up one extra. That’s the only issue we had, for the cost of a cable (a buck or so), it would have been nice had it been included.

We were big fans of Kinivo’s portable speaker we tried back in March, and are please to find how well this little HDMI switch works to solve our issue. Be sure to connect with Kinivo on Facebook or Twitter to see what else they’re working on. And if you have an older TV that you need more connections for, this is your solution! Find it on Amazon for under $30! MUCH cheaper than a new TV!


About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

28 comments on «Teaching an Old TV New Tricks»

  1. Definitely a great solution for you- and way cheaper than a new TV! Its amazing what technology can do now.

  2. R U S S says:

    This is very convenient! My Mom will like this because it’s almost like giving our old televisions ( mostly they’re no longer being used ) a second chance at love.

  3. Kungphoo says:

    This is good, i only have 2 hdmi and i keep switching them when we need to use the dvd or apple tv.. I am going to look into this pretty hard so i can have it all hooked up at once.

  4. Paula Parker says:

    This is great. I hate when we continue to upgrade instead of using the old. This is a money saver. Thanks!

  5. That is a great product. Would save tons too.

  6. I’ve honestly never heard of Kinivio before, but and HDMI switch does sound useful and I think I’d need one.

  7. Mary Ann says:

    Never heard of this before, but someone was just asking me if something like this existed. Now I know! Thanks!

  8. That’s a really cool gadget. We still have a tv from way back in 2005. It works fine but doesn’t have all the newer connections. The Kinivo Hdmi switch might be the answer.

  9. Nice gadget it’s perfect for the old T.V. I have in the kitchen. It saves you a lot of time and money of a new set that’s for sure

  10. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    Great to know about this product. I have a few old tv’s that I would love to keep!

  11. Maria Oller says:

    I love kinivo products we recently purchased some great Bluetooth great earphones are really nice and so inexpensive. I might need one of those HMDI boxes we have a old big tv that would be great for the kids PS3

  12. FamiGami says:

    Thanks for sharing this! We could definitely use something like it!

  13. I’m planning to replace my TV and it’s nice that the new developments are really outstanding and make your viewing experience better.

  14. This is a great idea. I know a few people who don’t want to get newer televisions. This would be perfect for them.

  15. Danielle says:

    I need to get my parents one of these. My parents still have some pretty old televisions that need a bit of an upgrade.

  16. Emma T says:

    Such a good idea. We used to use similar with our old one before we upgraded to digital. Now I just need to find somewhere to get rid of the old tv – think it’ll be going to the tip/reuse as can’t give it away!

  17. Ave says:

    I’m glad that you found a way to give your old TV still a use. Have to show this post to my husband, so he knows there are other alternatives too.

  18. Ralff Dizon says:

    This is such a good idea. I definitely going to try this, it is like giving our old televisions a new life.

  19. Rebecca Swenor says:

    Great tip and I know I would make use of it. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Krystal says:

    Now that is a great idea! Thank you for sharing. I could definitely use this product!

  21. Rosey says:

    It sounds like a neat little gadget. My mom can’t hook up the kids Wii U to her TV, and she wishes she could (careful what you wish for, I know). I’ll have to ask her if she’s interested in trying something like this… awesome that it’s out there (thanks for sharing).

  22. This is so cool!! I deff need one for a tv that is an older model but its been used in the kids playroom. Theyre always asking to watch Netflix and theres not pc hookup there. thanks for sharing!
    Dee T

  23. Roch says:

    This is the first time I’ve learned about Kinivo. My dad will be more interested in this stuff.

  24. Kristen says:

    WOW this looks great! I am going to have to tell my husband about this! We like to stretch our investments too!

  25. This is great, thanks for sharing! Seems like an awesome way to get more use out of an older television.

  26. This looks so great! i’m not good in technology so I am so happy to read something like this

  27. Rob Tunnah says:

    I see so many working TVs thrown away.This is a brilliant way to extend the life of an otherwise perfectly serviceable telly.

  28. Vixtor says:

    Can you use a antenna for it too?

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