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Old 11-07-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
marbletcf
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Question OTA Roamio Vs Premiere

When I deployed my Premiere I called into Tivo and discussed the Premiere's OTA performance versus my TVs (Pana and Vizio). Support *grudgingly* said that the Premiere's tuners were not necessarily going to perform better than either TVs. Some background on set up: The antenna cable comes to the family room and is "splittered" to both the TV and the Premiere. I swapped cables and locations on the 2 way splitter and results were the same: TVs' tuners beat Premiere's OTA tuner.

I just picked up a Roamio, and hope for improvement in OTA tuning. My test plan is to record the same content on both Tivos at the same time sourced from the Premiere's best and worst channels. Then review.

1) Other than my eyeball analysis, is there a technical method to compare the effectiveness of the OTA tuners?

2) Anyone else have personal experience of the OTA performance of the Premiere and the Roamio?

Thanks
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
atmuscarella
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Here is my 2cents on the matter:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=508432
There really is no way for you to "measure" if the Roamio is getting better reception. However you certainly can see if one is receiving a channel the other isn't or if one is breaking up (pixelating) more than the other.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
kemnyc
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I'd be curious to see the results, even if not scientific. I was always disappointed in the Premiere's OTA tuner. In particular, often the first half of a show would be fine, but then the second half would have lots of distortion so it was almost unwatchable. It was a very consistent pattern. I also recent watched the first few minutes of a show as it was recording, then played the same show back later. When I played it back, there seemed to be a bit of distortion in that first few minutes, but I hadn't noticed any when watching live. I don't even know how that could happen!

I'm getting a Roamio with cable this week, but I will be forever annoyed at TiVo for that crappy tuner, which made my 3.5 years with the very expensive Premiere my first unhappy TiVo experience. Really hoping the Roamio redeems TiVo.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:21 PM   #4
marbletcf
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Thanks, for the link I have to agree set up was easy and quick. I turned up the volume for the 'dings' after the two reboots, code loads and channel scans. I am not too interested in the signal meters - but they are close.

I'd love to know if the tuner-technology in the Roamio is much different.

Early feedback: pretty similar. Tomorrow I will go through the process.

Edit: My Premiere is one of the original 2-tuner boxes... if that matters.

Last edited by marbletcf : 11-07-2013 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:57 AM   #5
pautler
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For what it's worth, I don't have any experience with the Premiere, but my Roamio pulls in all of the same channels that I used to get with the antenna connected directly to my TV, and they seem to be just as strong/reliable as before, if not more so. I also seem to be able to pick up 2 additional channels with the Roamio, which I was never able to pick up directly with any of my TV's before (but perhaps they are just 'new' channels that weren't there before).

-Joe
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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Just a data point, I have much better signal stability on my Roamio compared to my Series 3. I am using a mohu leaf with marginal signal strength (55-60 on the meter) and would often get bad recordings on my series 3 (pixelation and dropouts). I have had only a couple of glitches with my Roamio. MUCH happier with it, I had planned to cut some holes in the ceiling to route coax to the attic for a bigger antenna, but seems like it is not needed now.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:03 PM   #7
marbletcf
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So the Roamio is superior in performance, but not in the way I anticipated.

Roamio's improvement was manifested by:
- slightly fewer distortions
- distortions that were shorter in duration
- bigger "blockier" distortions vs more pixelated distortions
- not losing audio when distortions occur

The last one was the biggest impact for non-sports. The continuity of audio really improved news or other "talky" shows.

Tomorrow, I will compare the Vizio tuner vs the Roamio. My guess is that it will shrink the performance gap but still be be less robust, based on today... unfortunately.

Same stations overall vs Premiere.

Joe, what brand TV do you use?

Tivo support, what technical changes (improvements) were made to the OTA tuners in the Roamio?? Are they 3rd party off-the-shelf?
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:55 AM   #8
replaytv
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When you say "splittered" are you using a splitter or a combiner? There is a difference in the passive electronics inside. And different splitters do a better job too.

But take that splitter out of the equation and go direct to really test each box.

And in other areas of this website they talk about too strong of a signal, so people put in attenuators and that seems to help.

Any kind of electrical connection causes a certain amount of reflection of the signal back to the source, so less connections are better, and connections of the same type of metal are better to avoid corrosion and more attenuation and/or reflections. Gold platting is the best connection material as it doesn't corrode like copper, silver, or aluminum.
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:22 AM   #9
pautler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marbletcf View Post
Joe, what brand TV do you use?
My OTA antenna testing and comparison was done with a Sony Bravio (approx 5 year old TV)
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #10
marbletcf
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Thanks all for the comments, I will address them below.

Bottom line Roamio delivers a better OTA experience than Premiere. No question.

Still a little bummed it appeared short versus the tuner in the Vizio, I didn't take the time to hook it up on the Panasonic.

The Tivo tech team was very patient on the phone, but ultimately were unable to shed any light on the expectations they had when designing the Roamio versus prior generations platforms. The tech was unable to shed any light on the tuner(s) in the Roamio - manufacturer nor specs. I'd love it if Tivo would comment with specifics here... do they?

Additional comments:
- Roamio vs Premiere recordings were consistent throughout, in all cases Roamio was better than Premiere
- Audio was significantly improved
- I never experienced the distortion on playback that KEMNYC identified in my Premiere. KEMNYC, sounds like a product defect... or any chance your Premiere was directly above/below/next to an older high powered piece of equipment?
- An RCA splitter, I swapped sides (and cables) assuming the problem may have been the splitter (or the cables).
- I did not pop an attenuator in as the rest of the connection was identical. I will try it separately. FWIW, the Tivo tech said it was "impossible" to get too strong a signal from an OTA antenna, unless there is a big signal booster. I don't have one.
- Per replay's comment, I will test with the ground removed and without the splitter out of curiosity.
- ATMUSCARELLA, thanks for the link to your 9-2-13 post. While I did no formal testing, the Roamio outperformed the Premiere on all streaming: switching to/from, start up, but I didn't try Pandora.

Thank you all again for the suggestions.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:11 AM   #11
atmuscarella
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marbletcf:

The Pandora issue was a wide based problem (many people had issues with Pandora, for some using it caused reboots) early on, it has been fixed via a software update.

I have tried/used attenuators on my Premiere, they did help some but only under certain conditions (I do have a booster on my antenna) ultimately reception was never great and tied with my Silicondust HDHomerun OTA tuners for worst OTA reception of all my devices.
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