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OTA Reception fix

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by bbweiners, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. bbweiners

    bbweiners New Member

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    Feb 3, 2013
    Hi,

    For people having issues with poor OTA reception I found a fix that is easy and works.

    You want the central core of your coax cable to barely make a connection with the antenna connector on your Tivo. You can experiment with that and should see that it works. The problem is getting the cable to stay in place. There is an easy solution so that you can screw the coax cable in like normal and have a solid connection with good reception.

    What I did was trim the central core (the pin that sticks out of the coax cable) of the coax cable down to about 25%. It is very easy and only requires a tin snip.

    I was then able to fully screw the coax cable into the antenna connector for a secure connection and much much better reception. (I went from about 25-30 percent to about 70-75 percent).

    This is very easy and takes about 10 seconds to do. I hope it helps since it solved my issue.
     
  2. Time_Lord

    Time_Lord Member

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    Jun 4, 2012
    sounds like you have a bad antenna or feed from your antenna, what you have done is turn the shield of the coax wire into an antenna.

    If it works for you great but I'd suggest finding the real problem with your antenna
     
  3. bbweiners

    bbweiners New Member

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    Feb 3, 2013
    I actually have used the antenna with other tuner devices, a tv and a Hdhomerun, and I had zero issues with poor signal strength or signal quality. It was only when I started using the Tivo Premiere that I lost most of my signal strength and quality.

    There are a lot of people having the same issue of poor reception with the Tivo Premiere that have not had any issues with other devices. In fact, the couple of times I spoke with Tivo's support they said that the tuners in the Premieres are pretty weak.
     
  4. mitchman333

    mitchman333 New Member

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    Dec 2, 2004
    I can verify my experience as well, have had a number of OTA devices/dvr's for last 12 years work perfectly, then comes along the TIVO Premiere and the quality of the channel reception is very poor. Wish I read your "fix" a bit earlier, had to cancel within the 30 days. Good luck.

    Bummed thought I had a solution in place.

    -- Mitchman
     
  5. bbweiners

    bbweiners New Member

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    Feb 3, 2013
    That stinks, Mitchman.
     
  6. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,684
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    My one OTA Premiere I have left still pulls in OTA as well as my TVs and PC OTA tuners.

    The signal has been rock solid at a signal level higher than 30.
     
  7. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    ive been wondering if something is wrong with tivo..been having glitches on some recordings from even strong stations. signals are high so it cant be that. ive had to download a few shows because just unwatchable with the dropouts
     
  8. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra Cable only TCF Club

    7,263
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    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    Curious. What unit of measure does signal level use? I understand SNR and AGC, but how is signal level computed and does it have a quantitative value I should look for? Mine is rock solid at 90 to 92 all the time and SNR is 37db.

    I do have reception problems, but they have nothing to do with the TiVo.
     
  9. morac

    morac Cat God

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    NJ
    The Premiere does have a relatively weak OTA tuner compared to other devices, but it should be good enough to pull in most stations. I have a S3 and a Premiere and there's only one station near me (out of about a dozen) that the S3 can pull in that the Premiere cannot.
     
  10. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Member

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    Mar 5, 2004
    It could be multipath and multipath can come and go. Are your OTA stations UHF or high VHF.
     
  11. morac

    morac Cat God

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    NJ
    Signals that are too strong can be just as bad as signals that are too weak. They can overload the tuner.
     
  12. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    i'm 50 miles out so no issues with overloading

    my antenna is the DB8 which is UHF but since i got my premiere i've been picking up 6 just fine..which is great!

    but i had issues with 26 which is very rare..thats in the 90s signal wise. it seemed to clear up this week though. maybe it's the sun interference (joke)

    or i guess my CM amp could be dying. unsure if they go all at once or slowly?
     
  13. JimPa

    JimPa S3 owner/user

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    Oct 25, 2006
    Thanks for posting.

    I have an S3 that's been acting up lately and was consider the Premiere as it's the only one that still has an OTA tuner.

    Given that the Premiere is newer technology, I thought that the OTA tuner was probably better and looked forward to getting one. But from what you're saying, it doesn't sound like it is. Then you've got the noisy fan issue.

    Kinda funny that here I am ready to upgrade and pay Tivo money and I've got these reasons to drop them altogether.
     
  14. morac

    morac Cat God

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    NJ
    It may depend on your setup. I'm about 15 miles from most broadcast antennas and use a cheap indoor antenna. I could probably do much better with an attic or outside antenna, but I primarily use OTA as a backup for cable.

    I haven't noticed a noisy fan on either my S3 or my Premiere, though my S3's case rattles unless I put something on it, My old S2 used to have a noisy fan. I replaced the fan on that before simply getting rid of it.
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Trimming back the center conductor basically inserts a capacitor between that conductor and the tuner's input.

    Which would reduce all signal strength but the reduction would be greater on lower frequencies.

    The amount of "resistance" a capacitor presents to a signal goes down as the frequency goes up and goes up as the frequency goes down.

    Instead of cutting and trying, one might try an inline co-ax attenuator to see if that improves things, or try one of those DC blocking doo-dads like you use with inline amps on co-ax. Radio Shack has those, or at least used to.
     
  16. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    better tuner is a relative term.

    for instance when i had my hr10 250 directv box i couldnt get ch 6 on it because i only had a UHF antenna. or so i thought.

    when i got the premiere the station comes in fine 99.9% of the time. so per my experience the premiere has a superb tuner unmatched by anything i'v ever had!
     
  17. bbweiners

    bbweiners New Member

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    Feb 3, 2013
    Unitron,

    Thanks for the technical explanation. I had no idea why it worked for me, but now it makes more sense.

    People could do what you suggested, but that does require spending money. I was hoping for a fix that would be quick, easy, and basically free. However, having options is always a good thing. I would be curious to see if purchasing either of the items you suggested would also fix the problem.

    Once again, thanks for the post.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    My suggestions are easily reversible, your method means having to cut off the F connector and install a new one if one cuts back the center conductor too far.
     
  19. bbweiners

    bbweiners New Member

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    Feb 3, 2013
  20. Nortnarg

    Nortnarg New Member

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    Feb 9, 2013
    The way I understand the problem is at least some times the dropout is caused by multi paths. Signal bouncing around and the antenna gets signal from two or more directions or sources.
    I was able to greatly improve my Premiere with attenuators. Tried a 20 db first and improved but not great. Added another 8 db and it has now been a long time since I have had pixelating recordings.
    BTW the signal always comes in crystal clear directly to the TV. Problem is only coming through the TiVo Premiere.
     

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