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Old 03-12-2013, 09:16 AM   #1
Gaidin43
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Tivo elite and OTA will it work?

I know the premiere has two tuners and it can be used for OTA analog signals. And i know the tivo elite has a digital 4 tuner.

My question is can a TiVo elite use OTA as long as the signal is digital? Or is all OTA analog signal? I know the new rule from the FCC said all TV needs to be digital, but not sure how far it has been accepted by stations across the country.

I live in the NYC area if that helps answer what type of signals are available over OTA for me.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:20 AM   #2
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http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/...iere%20antenna
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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You can still record the OTA content on the two tuner Premiere and either stream or transfer it to the Elite.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gaidin43 View Post
I know the premiere has two tuners and it can be used for OTA analog signals. And i know the tivo elite has a digital 4 tuner.

My question is can a TiVo elite use OTA as long as the signal is digital? Or is all OTA analog signal? I know the new rule from the FCC said all TV needs to be digital, but not sure how far it has been accepted by stations across the country.

I live in the NYC area if that helps answer what type of signals are available over OTA for me.
Simple answer is that the Premiere 4, XL4, & Elite are all Digital Cable only DVRs.

The Premiere and Premiere XL (the Premiere XL has been discontinued) both are dual tuner models and both can receive OTA digital and Analog signals.

For the most part OTA signals are digital there are a few (very few) low power stations still using analog but none of the major Networks stations.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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So if I understand this correctly digital cable is QAM and OTA is NTCS?

And the elite only has QAM tuners? And the premiere has both?
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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So if I understand this correctly digital cable is QAM and OTA is NTCS?

And the elite only has QAM tuners? And the premiere has both?
NTSC is old analog TV, ATSC is digital OTA.

Yes and yes to your other questions.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:17 AM   #7
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So if I understand this correctly digital cable is QAM and OTA is NTCS?

And the elite only has QAM tuners? And the premiere has both?
Digital cable uses QAM modulation, and digital OTA uses 8VSB modulation. I think both are part of the ATSC standard. NTSC is the old analog standard. Two-tuner Premieres handle all of the above, but 4-tuner Premieres handle only digital signals with QAM modulation, so they can't tune any OTA signals.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:19 AM   #8
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So if I understand this correctly digital cable is QAM and OTA is NTCS?

And the elite only has QAM tuners? And the premiere has both?
Premiere 4, XL4, & Elite can record up to 4 digital cable channels nothing else.

Premiere and Premiere XL can record up to 2 channels which can be any combination of digital cable, analog cable, digital OTA, & analog OTA.

In the United States:
  1. Digital Cable = QAM
  2. Digital OTA = ANSI
  3. Analog TV = NTCS

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Old 03-12-2013, 10:36 AM   #9
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I am surprised this is the case and seems like tech is going backwards. Why would they take the OTA tuner out of the newer units?

Since I only use digital cable right now the elite should work for me for now, but down the line I might end up selling it to use OTA at some point and completely cut the cord. Right now I pay $72 a month for FIOS cable and Internet so I can't really complain.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:11 PM   #10
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I am surprised this is the case and seems like tech is going backwards. Why would they take the OTA tuner out of the newer units?
Cost down; would be my guess.

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Right now I pay $72 a month for FIOS cable and Internet so I can't really complain.
I'm jealous. Time Warner is my only option... at about $50 more a month.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:21 PM   #11
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I am surprised this is the case and seems like tech is going backwards. Why would they take the OTA tuner out of the newer units?
Apparently it's because the current Premiere chipset only supports 4 tuner inputs.

In the "2 tuner" Premieres there are actually 4 physical tuners - 2 for OTA/analog cable and 2 for QAM digital cable. The software simply presents them as if there were two physical tuners which could tune from any source. (But apparently no-one makes such a tuner)

To make the 4 tuner Elite/4/4XL TiVo removed the OTA/analog cable tuners and replaced them with two more digital cable tuners - and changed to software to expose all four tuners.


To have a "4 tuner" box that could record from OTA and/or cable would require 8 physical tuners. (Or someone to design and sell a "univeral" tuner which can handle any source) Although TiVo has filed waiver requests with the FCC that seem to show they'll be releasing a 6 tuner box; maybe they'll also offer a "3 tuner" OTA and/or cable version.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:17 PM   #12
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In the "2 tuner" Premieres there are actually 4 physical tuners - 2 for OTA/analog cable and 2 for QAM digital cable. The software simply presents them as if there were two physical tuners which could tune from any source. (But apparently no-one makes such a tuner)
Actually 6 - you left out the two OTA Digital.

And it is NTSC (National Television System Committee), not NTCS. Some people say that it actually stands for Never Twice the Same Color based on the fact that, in order to be compatible with existing B&W TVs, the color and brightness signals were combined into one signal. This causes the color to vary with the brightness.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:24 PM   #13
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<snip>
To make the 4 tuner Elite/4/4XL TiVo removed the OTA/analog cable tuners and replaced them with two more digital cable tuners - and changed to software to expose all four tuners.
<snip>
Jonathon, that's really interesting.

I would think they could have 4 digital tuners and 2 OTA tuners in the box, and then use software settings to configure which 4 of the 6 are available. I guess there's some reason that is harder than it sounds.

Mike
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:25 PM   #14
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Actually 6 - you left out the two OTA Digital.

And it is NTSC (National Television System Committee), not NTCS. Some people say that it actually stands for Never Twice the Same Color based on the fact that, in order to be compatible with existing B&W TVs, the color and brightness signals were combined into one signal. This causes the color to vary with the brightness.
My recollection was that the analog OTA, digital OTA, and the analog cable were all part of a single tuner. (And the QAM digital cable was the other type of tuner in the Premiere)
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:32 PM   #15
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Jonathon, that's really interesting.

I would think they could have 4 digital tuners and 2 OTA tuners in the box, and then use software settings to configure which 4 of the 6 are available. I guess there's some reason that is harder than it sounds.

Mike
You'd need some external (to the chipset) matrix switch that selected which physical tuners were connected to the chipset's inputs to do that. (Because the chipset only has 4 tuner input connections)

But that shouldn't be impossible, although it would be a more expensive and complicated design. Unfortunately the elite/4/4xl are basically a rebranded TiVo Q, which was designed for (and development paid for by) cable company partners, there was no incentive to add the cost and complexity to that design.


Maybe that'll change in the future, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:44 PM   #16
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My recollection was that the analog OTA, digital OTA, and the analog cable were all part of a single tuner. (And the QAM digital cable was the other type of tuner in the Premiere)
They may have been on the same chip but they were still separate tuners. 2 analog and 2 OTA digital.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:49 PM   #17
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It's funny, I'm now at a point in wanting to go the OTA route to get sports and networks and start picking other stuff up ala carte via streaming.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:49 PM   #18
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It's funny, I'm now at a point in wanting to go the OTA route to get sports and networks and start picking other stuff up ala carte via streaming.
I am pretty close to this as well. I can watch most all the shows I want off their websites, however some do require that you login using your cable provider's login. Most all we watch is dvr'ed or streaming movies.
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