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Old 10-12-2014, 02:10 AM   #1
jsheinz1234
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Question Best Option for HD OTA?

Looks like we will finally be dumping the warhorse CRT getting an HDTV for Christmas. I am a cord cutter currently rolling with a lifetime Series 2 and a digital tuner.

I assume this setup would be pretty horrible output on an HDTV?

My plan is to obtain a lifetime TIVO on Ebay, just wondering what the best option model-wise would be for an OTA only setup.

Also, looks like most of the HD boxes come with dual tuners. I assume I can record 2 shows at once with OTA?

Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:01 AM   #2
ThAbtO
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There are several models:

Series 3, 2 tuners, OTA and/or cable
Premiere, 2 tuners, OTA and/or cable
Premiere 4/XL4, 4 tuners, digital cable with cable card only
Roamio (series 5), 4 tuners, OTA or cable
Roamio Plus/Pro, 6 tuners, digital cable with cable card only.

Roamio is much faster (in downloads) than Premiere and only has HD menus. Built-in wireless, Moca (network via Coax.)
Additions include Netflix, youtube, Hulu+.

IMO, Series 2 is like living in the caveman days with the cable boxes/converter boxes, downloads were at a snail's pace.
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:03 AM   #3
replaytv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsheinz1234 View Post
Looks like we will finally be dumping the warhorse CRT getting an HDTV for Christmas. I am a cord cutter currently rolling with a lifetime Series 2 and a digital tuner.

I assume this setup would be pretty horrible output on an HDTV?

My plan is to obtain a lifetime TIVO on Ebay, just wondering what the best option model-wise would be for an OTA only setup.

Also, looks like most of the HD boxes come with dual tuners. I assume I can record 2 shows at once with OTA?

Thanks!
Yes, you can record on both tuners and watch another show that was recorded before.

Series 3 Tivos with lifetime have come down about $100 in the last year, but they usually need some power supply work if not already done. And they only have the two turners. People on this forum have said that the Series 3s have much better OTA tuners than Premieres, but I haven't found that to be true. Both aren't that good in my experience, and the worst thing I have found is that you can get them all running great tuning in all your channels, then one channel or more will be all pixalated two weeks later. Not a big deal to me, as I don't follow any particular shows on antenna TV that I care that much about, but some people do.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:54 AM   #4
dcline414
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThAbtO View Post
Series 3, 2 tuners, OTA and/or cable
Premiere, 2 tuners, OTA and/or cable
Roamio (series 5), 4 tuners, OTA or cable
There is also the new Roamio OTA, which only works with antennas (but cannot currently be purchased with lifetime service)

I've only ever used a Premiere, so take this for what it's worth...

I think the sweet spot for value is going to be the Premiere. The latest software update greatly improved the Premiere's performance, though I'm sure not to Roamio levels. Premiere is mostly all HD menus except for the setup/troubleshooting areas. Once set up, you won't see anything but HD menus during normal use, and the Premiere has all of the same online services as the Roamio.

You will probably see more Premiere units with lifetime service up for sale because of people upgrading to the Roamio, primarily for more tuners. If you don't think you'll need 4 tuners in the near future, the Premiere should work fine for you.

One more consideration if you have multiple TVs is whether you may at some point want to add a mini, which no longer has a monthly fee. The mini will only work with 4 tuner models, and the only 4 tuner OTA options are the Roamio basic or Roamio OTA.
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Old 10-12-2014, 01:09 PM   #5
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i was able to get a pretty good deal via Raleigh Craigslist for a Premiere w/Lifetime. I use it for HD OTA with no issues. I didn't do all of my homework on the Premiere, so when I found out it was capable of dual tuner, I was really happy with my purchase.
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:20 PM   #6
randywalters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsheinz1234 View Post
Looks like we will finally be dumping the warhorse CRT getting an HDTV for Christmas. I am a cord cutter currently rolling with a lifetime Series 2 and a digital tuner. I assume this setup would be pretty horrible output on an HDTV?
Well it depends on how large the screen size is on your new HDTV - in a smaller screen (say 32" - 42") Standard Def can actually look ok, but as you blow up the screen size you also blow up the flaws in the SD signal and it starts looking pretty bad.


Quote:
My plan is to obtain a lifetime TIVO on Ebay, just wondering what the best option model-wise would be for an OTA only setup. Also, looks like most of the HD boxes come with dual tuners. I assume I can record 2 shows at once with OTA? Thanks!
The Series 3 (both versions) and three of the five Series 4 Premieres have dual OTA tuners. The Series 3 models with Lifetime go for less than the Premieres do on Ebay. The Series 3 are no longer getting firmware updates from Tivo but the Premieres are still receiving updates. For OTA, the Series 3 are pretty much just as good as the Series 4 Premieres (i have a first-gen Series 3 and recently got a Premiere 45hr unit from my boss that i'm testing).

Be advised there are five different Premiere models, but only three of them have OTA tuners. The other two are Cable only (no OTA). The only real difference between the 3 OTA Premieres is the size of their hard drives.

Be careful which Premieres you watch on Ebay as i've noticed a lot of sellers either list the wrong model number, or copy/paste the description information from different/wrong models from other auctions so make sure you can identify exactly which model the seller is selling. If they post photos of the actual unit for sale, the OTA ones have two RF inputs on the back. The Cable-Only models only have one so that's
an easy thing to check.

Here are the 5 Premiere models:

TCD746320 Premiere Antenna & Cable, 45 hour, 320GB
TCD746500 Premiere Antenna & Cable, 75 hour, 500GB
TCD748000 Premiere XL Antenna & Cable, 150 hour, 1TB

TCD750500 Premiere 4 (Cable Only, No OTA), 4 cable Tuners, 75 hour, 500GB
TCD758250 Premiere Elite XL4 (Cable Only, No OTA), 4 cable Tuners, 300 hour, 2TB
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:43 PM   #7
jsheinz1234
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Thanks everyone for your input. The Roamio sounds great, with lifetime, it's a bit out of the price range. I think I will shoot for the premiere.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jsheinz1234 View Post
Thanks everyone for your input. The Roamio sounds great, with lifetime, it's a bit out of the price range. I think I will shoot for the premiere.
Allow me to add to the "Don't forget to check Craigslist" chorus, as it allows you to skip shipping cost and verify that the unit works and get a feel for whether or not it came from a good home.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:32 PM   #9
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The Roamio has a better OTA tuner than the Premiere. Still not as good as the one in my TV though. It may or may not be an issue depending on your OTA signal strength and multipath issues. You can always try the Premiere first and then sell it if you have signal problems that you can't solve with an amp / attenuator / better antenna / etc.

This and the mini were why I upgraded from Premiere to Roamio. A bonus is the Roamio hard drive is super easy to upgrade.

[edit]Or go back to a Series 3 HD which had pretty good tuners.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfgray View Post
The Roamio has a better OTA tuner than the Premiere. Still not as good as the one in my TV though. It may or may not be an issue depending on your OTA signal strength and multipath issues. You can always try the Premiere first and then sell it if you have signal problems that you can't solve with an amp / attenuator / better antenna / etc.

This and the mini were why I upgraded from Premiere to Roamio. A bonus is the Roamio hard drive is super easy to upgrade.

[edit]Or go back to a Series 3 HD which had pretty good tuners.
And I found the opposite with 2 different less than one year old HDTV sets. The Roamio Basic was able to pull about 6 more channels OTA, than either one of the HD tuners on the same exact antenna. I was surprised, because I expected the Tivo would have been less sensitive due to the fact it has 4 tuners in it.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jsheinz1234 View Post
Thanks everyone for your input. The Roamio sounds great, with lifetime, it's a bit out of the price range. I think I will shoot for the premiere.
FYI TiVo sells an OTA only version of the Roamio at BestBuy for $50. The catch is they don't allow lifetime so you have to pay $15/mo for service.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:00 PM   #12
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FYI, the base Roamio does NOT have MoCA built-in. Only the 6-tuner cable-only models do. A MoCA adapter can be used to add MoCA to the base Roamio.

The base Roamio gets you the ability to use Minis, which the 2-tuner Premieres do not support.
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