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Roamio - Cable and OTA?

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by eaglestvo, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. eaglestvo

    eaglestvo New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    So I was getting ready to pull the trigger to upgrade my Premiere to Roamio. I was looking at the image of the back of the box, and I saw only one coax input. I currently have Fios and OTA on my Premiere. So does the Roamio only support cable or OTA, but not both at the same time? Is there some kind of adapter to make it work?

    I was actually a pure "cord cutter" for about 2 1/2 years. I got an offer from Verizon to reactivate Fios TV on my account for about $16/month more than I was already paying for internet and phone, plus they gave me a $250 gift card. I really like having both services on the Tivo box at the same time. I hope there is a way.

  2. tatergator1

    tatergator1 Active Member

    Mar 27, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    Unfortunately, you are correct that the 4-Tuner Roamio is OTA or Cable only. There is no ability to use both programming sources at the same time.
  3. eric102

    eric102 Member

    Oct 31, 2012
    Since the majority of programs I watch are OTA I use a basic Roamio as the main unit in the house and then kept a Premier to record the cable stuff which is then transfered (or streamed) to the Roamio.
  4. eaglestvo

    eaglestvo New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Well that's disappointing. I have been looking at the Roamio for a while now, and it did not occur to me that they would take away an input. I'll have to stick with the Premiere. The OTA and Fios is merged perfectly on the guide.
  5. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO Crimper

    Nov 3, 2002
    Yeah, it was disappointing to me too. I too, was a blended cable and OTA person.

    Since I initially set that up with my TiVoHD, practically all (maybe really all?) of the local channels that were available over the air are now available on Comcast, including things like the local public access channel, so while I'd prefer to be able to do both, the need has diminished greatly.

  6. True Colors

    True Colors Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    You can switch back and forth between cable and OTA by running guided setup.

    For some people, it might be worth it to do that.

  7. eaglestvo

    eaglestvo New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    I can see that in your case. I really only brought back cable on 2 of 5 TVs because it was very cheap. The video quality of OTA is superior. Also, I have a powerful amplified rooftop antenna which pulls everything from DC and Baltimore. I often get "bonus" football and baseball games when the Baltimore Fox and CBS affiliate caries a different game.
  8. eaglestvo

    eaglestvo New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    That's a tough way to change a channel!
  9. Philmatic

    Philmatic Member

    Sep 17, 2003
    I never understood this, other than the perceived increase in quality, what does OTA give you if you already get all the same channels on the Cable side? I used to do this, combine OTA and Comcast, and other than he increase in recording size and subsequent reduction in recording capacity, it offered no tangible benefits.
  10. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    Aug 2, 2003
    And the six-tuner models are just cable only.
  11. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    OTA can look better but depending on what your channel you're watching and what you are watching you might not notice a huge difference. Live sports
    may have a more noticeable difference.
    Before the high priests of OTA and cord cutting descend, let me say I use OTA and could be called a cord cutter but I won't spread the folklore that surrounds OTA.
  12. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    Sep 29, 2013
    I've read the OTA high-def (no compression) always looks better than the compressed cable feed.

    But really, what does "look better" mean? It's such a subjective term. Do a little research online and you'll find many discussions/arguments about the quality of 720, 1080 and 4K. Personally, on my eight year old 50-inch Panasonic plasma I can't see a difference between 720 and 1080.
  13. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    On my TWC system I've analyzed the OTA- and Cable-versions of local stations and there is no significant difference in PQ or bitrates. However cable-only videos generally use lower bitrates.

    Assuming your 50 inch plasma is actually providing spec performance (and on the video itself), whether you perceive a difference in 720 vs 1080 depends both on your eyes and viewing distance. You can find tables of viewing distances where the difference starts. IIRC, this distance is about 8 feet for a 40" TV, which means it's probably about 10 feet for a 50" TV -- again assuming perfect video and eyes.
  14. eaglestvo

    eaglestvo New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Thanks for the technical explanations, but I am satisfied with the placebo effect of uncompressed OTA video signals.:) I do get OTA channels that I do not get from Fios, and I often get a different sports broadcast from the other market network affiliate. But they told me, "If you like your OTA, you can keep it." So I see no reason they should remove the dual inputs.

    After uncutting the cord, one of my rooms can only get Fios, so I may think about a Roamio Plus for that room.
  15. Aero 1

    Aero 1 Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    OTA is not uncompressed. this is a big misunderstanding. OTA signals have to be compressed in order for them to fit into the usable ~20 Mbps bit rate that fits in a 6 Mhz 8-VSB TV channel. It has to be compressed more if the channel has sub channels attached to it. My CBS station constantly sends an average of 18 Mbps for its main CBS feed while the ABC station sends an average of 7 Mbps for its main ABC feed. this is because CBS only has 1 low bitrate sub channel (CBS+) while ABC sends two 720p HD channels into its signal (ABC and LiveWell).

    OTA is less compressed than what some cable operators send or depending on the cable company, they could be the same compression that you get from your antenna.

    its like thinking you need an HD antenna to get HD OTA channels. there is no such thing as an HD antenna.
  16. JosephB

    JosephB Member

    Nov 19, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    Have you considered putting a TiVo with OTA only in one of your rooms that doesn't have cable but has OTA available? Then you can stream back to the Roamio anything recorded on the OTA TiVo, and vice versa . There's no reason you couldn't have more than one TiVo, on the same account and local network, with two different sources.

    It totally depends on your cable company, to be honest. If they compress the OTA channel down significantly, it can affect the picture quality. Also, in many cases you may have access to locals from another city or that aren't carried on the cable system. I have OTA piped into my Premiere simply because of the channel numbers, to be honest. I already had it all wired up when I had DirecTV and wanted the sub-channels, and when I switched back to cable+TiVo, I just hooked it up, and my locals are where they're supposed to be, not scattered across the 700s.

    Yes, the ATSC signal you get OTA is "compressed" MPEG-2, but when compared to what you get from cable or satellite it is the "uncompressed" raw source that the cable and satellite companies use. So yes, it's compressed, but sat/cable is compressed *again*. It's all relative.
  17. DavidS

    DavidS New Member

    Sep 27, 2000
    Dayton Ohio
    Wholly apart from quality, which is the same to my eyes, in my location, my OTA channels are from a different (closer) city (Dayton) than the TWC versions of the network (Cincinnati); and, they aren't affected by cable outages. Not being able to use both inputs makes Roamio a non-starter. Bad decision TIVO.
  18. thewebgal

    thewebgal MacAphile AV geek

    Aug 10, 2007
    DC 'burbs
    Hardly "perceived" in our area - when I had Cox CATV, I had greatly diminished quality on the local CBS and MD PBS that I received MUCH better on rooftop antenna. I have not noticed it so much with FIOS - but with the new Roamio I'm not going to go back and forth through Guided setup to get OTA unless the FIOS goes out.
  19. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Another Dayton area user here. You must be way south of town to be getting network feeds from Cincy. For example, my CBS OTA channel is 7.1 and the cable version is 1007 (Both WHIO TV, Dayton). Actually the cable version is more reliable as the antenna goes off air now and then.
  20. DavidS

    DavidS New Member

    Sep 27, 2000
    Dayton Ohio
    The Mont./Warren Co line is the divide, but I'm at the northern edge of Warren Co., much closer to Dayton.
    I've never had antenna signal problems that I'm aware of.

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