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Old 03-25-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
cworley
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Best OTA converter box for Series2

Comcast finally shutdown my analog cable, and I tried their digital, but they left me with none of the stations I liked, and my DT is now an ST, so, I don't want to pay Caomcast another nickle, and just get an OTA converter box.

I've been researching this in the forums, and don't see good options for Series2 owners... problems with the channel X.Y format and such, but this topic seems to have died out a few years ago. Guess I came late to this game.

Are there any good OTA converters (vendors/models) that work well with the Series2 (maybe with hacks)?
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:08 PM   #2
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Tivo lists supported boxes here:

http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/310

What's best, cheapest, etc...?
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cworley View Post
Comcast finally shutdown my analog cable, and I tried their digital, but they left me with none of the stations I liked, and my DT is now an ST, so, I don't want to pay Comcast another nickle, and just get an OTA converter box.

I've been researching this in the forums, and don't see good options for Series2 owners... problems with the channel X.Y format and such, but this topic seems to have died out a few years ago. Guess I came late to this game.

Are there any good OTA converters (vendors/models) that work well with the Series2 (maybe with hacks)?
I find that all converters that I have tried worked equally well ( badly ), and I think I have tried them all. Ans I have never had any trouble using the IR cords to control the converter boxes and they all seem to get most of the channels. But the main problem is that the converter boxes will work fine for awhile, then some of the channels will have trouble coming in ,then their fine later. I never know when they will work or not. Mostly trouble with channel 4 here in Denver, but other channels too. I have tried all kinds of antennas, including smart antennas and such. I think that the Digital Stream and DTV Pal plus are rated the best for signal reception quality, but I haven't found any difference in their performance. I have used all kinds of antennas too. Although I haven't used a outside antenna on the roof or the high internet rated antennas. But I get good enough reception with 3 different Tivos recording, as do some of my friends. Sometimes I miss a show, but I can watch it at a friends or on the web, or when it goes into reruns. I watch a lot of videos from the library too.
You would think that once you have the antenna arranged for a particular channel it would be fine until the end of time as long as building isn't built in between you and the antenna or the antenna falls down, but that isn't the case.

U don't list your location so more info can't be supplied to you.

Last edited by replaytv : 03-25-2013 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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You seem to mention the Series 2 Dual Tuner in your post....

Unfortunately, that model does not support the use of OTA nor a digital converter box.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThAbtO View Post
You seem to mention the Series 2 Dual Tuner in your post....

Unfortunately, that model does not support the use of OTA nor a digital converter box.
IIRC, there is a work around but you have to do your research and it is a PITA to set up.

I would avoid the aggravation and buy a used Tivo HD with lifetime.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:00 PM   #6
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A Series 3 would be a good replacement. Why mess around with hokey external boxes and all that?
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThAbtO View Post
You seem to mention the Series 2 Dual Tuner in your post....

Unfortunately, that model does not support the use of OTA nor a digital converter box.
You can use a DT Series 2 and set it up for DirectTV and use a DTV Pal converter box. The channels won't be all correct and you won't be able to tune or record the dash channels with the TiVo (2-2 for example), but it is workable, but I won't advise it. If you have a DT with lifetime, just sell it on ebay and replace it with a Series 3 or 4, or if you are real cheap, a Series 2 single tuner with basic lifetime. The basic lifetime TiVos can be had for about $30 on ebay. I wouldn't advise one though as you only get 3 days worth of programing and none of the internet/computer features. If you have the money just buy a Preimere with lifetime and not have to mess with converter boxes. ( One reason is because if your converter box is not on a UPS and you lose power the box will turn off and not come back on. That means that you won't be able to record again until you come home and turn the converter box back on.)
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:56 AM   #8
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You can use a DT Series 2 and set it up for DirectTV and use a DTV Pal converter box. The channels won't be all correct and you won't be able to tune or record the dash channels with the TiVo (2-2 for example), but it is workable, but I won't advise it. If you have a DT with lifetime, just sell it on ebay and replace it with a Series 3 or 4, or if you are real cheap, a Series 2 single tuner with basic lifetime. The basic lifetime TiVos can be had for about $30 on ebay. I wouldn't advise one though as you only get 3 days worth of programing and none of the internet/computer features. If you have the money just buy a Preimere with lifetime and not have to mess with converter boxes. ( One reason is because if your converter box is not on a UPS and you lose power the box will turn off and not come back on. That means that you won't be able to record again until you come home and turn the converter box back on.)
Digital OTA is 99% of the channels are sub-channels (2-1, 5.1, etc), do that makes the DTVPal useless if it cannot tune those sub-channels. What's left are the low powered analog channels which are not required to convert to digital.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThAbtO View Post
Digital OTA is 99% of the channels are sub-channels (2-1, 5.1, etc), do that makes the DTVPal useless if it cannot tune those sub-channels. What's left are the low powered analog channels which are not required to convert to digital.
The DTVPal tunes all the channels including all sub channels. It is the TiVo that doesn't see those channels because you are telling the TiVo that you are using satellite for your provider, and the upper subchannels are not shown on the TiVo.
When the DTVPal tunes channels through the IR cables, it tunes 2 that is the channel 2-1, so it tunes most of the channels that people watch. The TiVo just won't tune the DTV Pal to dash channels higher than "-1".

I like to watch PBS channel 12, and it has 12-2 and 12-3 that has stuff I like, but mostly I watch the main broadcast channels like NBC, CBS, ABC and such, and only watch their upper subchannels for weather. Although ION channel 59 has three upper channels to that has some stuff on it that I like to watch. But I am not using a DT Series 2. So I can time record them all.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:31 AM   #10
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...It is the TiVo that doesn't see those channels because you are telling the TiVo that you are using satellite for your provider...
Why doesn't Tivo say that "dash" channels can't be seen in http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/310. It seems to imply that you get all of the functionality if you're running "software version 9.3.1 or later".

I bought the RCA from a CNET recommendation off eBay and I'll give that a try.

I certainly miss DT already with Comcast's cable box, plus the only cable channel I really missed (CNBC) didn't reappear with the box (although they said it would). I'm getting Bloomberg off my Roku, which nicely replaces CNBC (as it's not a FOX news wannabee), but Roku doesn't have as good a buffer as TiVo (nor any recording functionality).

I have a lot of Series2's... so I'll probably settle on a ST's in my house and find good homes where they don't force digital cable down your throat for the DT's.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:37 AM   #11
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I use a Magnavox for my Tivo series 2. It works very well and, when connected to my rooftop antenna, can pick-up every channel in my area. It's a little shakier when connected to an indoor antenna, but that's to be expected. It tunes to the correct channel pretty quickly, but you can set the recording to start a minute early if that worries you (I don't).

The box is a first generation box I bought at Wal-Mart. You would have to find them used now.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:21 PM   #12
wmcbrine
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Quote:
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Why doesn't Tivo say that "dash" channels can't be seen in http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/310.
Because that only applies to the workaround, for 649 (AKA 2DT) and 542 units, which (per TiVo policy) actually aren't supposed to get OTA at all. Which it says on that page. The workaround is unofficial; that's what makes it a workaround. Other Series 2 models can tune with dashes just fine.
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