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Roamio OTA Tuner not up to it.

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by hhh222, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. hhh222

    hhh222 Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Howdy----been using an S3 for years and decided to try the Roamio basic for OTA only. Signal levels on the S3 mostly 92 to 99 with a couple in the 70's to 82
    Using the exact same feed, the Roamio got 72 on the same channels the S3 got 92-99 (it got 72 on all of these channels, it won't go above 72) and on the channels on S3 that got in the 70's to low 80's, the Roamio got high 40's mid 50's.

    Where there was little to no breakup on the S3 on the lower signal channels, there was a much more frequent breakup on the Roamio.

    I got a replacement Roamio to see if it was just the tuner in the 1st unit and the replacement had the same signal readings and breakup.

    Technical had no clue and a customer service supervisor actually said "the Roamio is newer technology and is digital whereas the S3 is "analog" so the Roamio is better and needs a better antenna".

    I've been a Tivo fan for years. I had one of there original units and went with directv only because they had the Tivo HD-250 of which I had 2. Sorry to say, when my S3 fails (beyond a hard drive replacement) unless something changes, that will be it for me and Tivo.
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    The Roamio has 4 tuner, so it is like the coax is split 4 times reducing the signal somewhat each time. This is all digital whereas the S3 is analog and digital and the coax is like split only 2 times.
  3. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    May 14, 2007
    Yes, get an antenna preamp to compensate for the extra split losses and you should be golden.
  4. pautler

    pautler Member

    Oct 10, 2013
    I don't believe the signal levels are comparable across the two units, nor are they comparable to the signal levels provided by most TV's. The signal levels are useful to compare the relative strength between channels on the same device, but not so useful to compare signal strength across different devices.

    I never owned an S3, but I have found that my Roamio tuners work just as well, and in some cases better, than when my OTA antenna is connected directly to any of my 3 television sets. Most other posts that I have read on here about the Roamio OTA tuners have said similar things. I'm just using an inexpensive omni directional antenna (RCA ANT800, $55 on Amazon) and am having very good results. I am located in the middle of 3 different transmitters, each one approximately 18 miles away in opposite directions, and I don't have much in the way of line-of-sight visibility to any of them (I have a 1-story house, surrounded by 2-story houses and trees.

    Good luck! I hope you're able to get an antenna that works well for you. I've been very happy with the Roamio (& mini's) since I 'cut the cord' and went with just OTA and streaming.

  5. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    I'm OTA only. Most of my distant stations are SSW (60+ miles), and there are nearby stations SE (6 miles) and NW (7 miles). There's also a PBS station W at 26+ miles which presents cruel multipath problems to my tuners (or demodulators). My CM4228 (with CM7777 preamp) is pointed out an upstairs window at the distant stations, and the tuners have to do the best they can with the rest.

    On the whole, I believe my TiVo HD, 2-tuner Premiere and 4-tuner Roamio do quite well, considering that signal strengths vary greatly and most local stations have static multipath, severe for some like the PBS station mentioned. I've found that the Premiere generally does better (especially on the local stations) than the TiVo HD in my particular situation, and the Roamio generally does even better, but with one interesting exception: The demodulators (or tuners) in the Premiere consistently do better with the PBS station mentioned than the ones in the Roamio. It seems there's no universal magic bullet. One of these days I should put the antenna outside where it belongs, but things work so well now that I don't feel any urgent need.
  6. Peter G

    Peter G Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    I'm also OTA only. I just upgraded from Premiere to Roamio.

    I think the signal strength numbers are relative to the TiVo model, and are not comparable across different models (although they seem consistent between my Premiere and the new Roamio). They will show relative strength of different channels only. I have found you need to get 50+ on the Roamio to get clean picture with little or no breakup. I have never seen the signal strength meter go above about 70-72 on either the Premiere or the Roamio. So don't hold out for 90's.

    The Premiere tuners had serious issues in my experience, and I was about to give up on TiVo. Many shows I recorded were un-watchable due to bad breakup, worst part being the audio would go out. All of this on a good quality antenna in the attic. Same antenna provides excellent reception on all my HD tvs directly.

    I can say that the tuners in the Roamio are significantly better, although still not quite as good as some of my 3 TV sets. But all thr major stations now come in consistently and clearly. Only with heavy weather will I see occasional pixelation (pixelization?). I never had S3 TiVo but I have heard (on these forums) that their tuners seemed to be really good. At best the Roamio is about equal but not superior.

    Peter G
  7. JimPa

    JimPa S3 owner/user

    Oct 25, 2006
    I also migrated from an S3 to a Roamio Basic.

    In my installation, I found that I get fewer breakups with the Roamio than I did with the S3.
    Currently, I'm comparing the calibrated image on my Samsung 64F8500 plasma TV using the internal image to the OTA signal tuned by the Roamio. As an OCA DIY calibrator, I can see that the Roamio doesn't produce as good a picture as the internal tuner but I don't know if its normal or if I have a one of situation where replacing it would fix the problem. The difference in picture quality is that the reds at full saturation are too strong yet flesh tones are a little pale. Also a little clay face look. Not sure what to do next. I still have the S3 and thought about plugging it back in just to see if there is a noticeable difference.

    I suspect that even in real time viewing on the Roamio, what we're looking at is coming off the hard drive where there probably is compression involved.
  8. poppagene

    poppagene User

    Dec 29, 2001
    I'm also getting more OTA pixelation on the Roamio than before with S3 or S4 tivos with tv towers a few miles away.
  9. eric102

    eric102 Member

    Oct 31, 2012
    My Roamio seems to be as good if not better than the Premier it replaced for OTA duties. Towers are at 35 and 45 miles away and its pretty rare that I get any any pixelation on even the weakest channels that I watch. My setup is a small roof top antenna, preamp and a 3 way splitter in between so nothing fancy.
  10. hhh222

    hhh222 Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    I was using an amp on the antenna and got a new channelmaster pre amp to se if it helped. Didn't make any difference.
  11. hhh222

    hhh222 Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    I'm happy for those the Roamio works well for. There's a lot to like about it.
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    The Tivo support page covering signal strength requirements for Roamio is ambiguous and needs to be updated:
    If you expand the signal strength section there is a chart but it covers only models prior to Roamio -- even though the title of the page says it covers Roamio.

    Thus their support info provides no basis to conclude whether a Roamio tuner provides a different signal strength number for the same input signal.

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