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Old 02-06-2011, 12:35 AM   #1
SkepticGuy
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Weak OTA tuners on Tivo Premier

Our first TiVo Premier kept rebooting for no apparent reason, and would never recover after a "soft" reboot, only a hard reboot by unplugging the power. Also, "Tuner Two" never had any signal on any channels. So five weeks after getting the new TiVo, a refurbished replacement is sent out.

The second TiVo didn't recognize the external WD drive (TiVo certified and worked fine on the first unit), but also had a problem in a familiar area, the tuners.


We live in Phoenix, within 12 miles line-of-sight to the mountain-top transmission towers of the TV stations. An amplified indoor antenna gives us signal strength in the 80-90 range on all major digital channels -- when the antenna is plugged directly into a TV.

The first new TiVo reported 50-55 on Tuner One (nothing on Tuner Two), and this most recent refurbished reject averages 15-40 and severe signal-breakup on all channels (even those that are pristine full-HD when the antenna is plugged directly into the TV).


Now here's the odd kicker, the person on TiVo tech support mentioned TiVo equipment is "known" to have weak over-the-air tuners... especially because there's more "equipment" in the DVR than in a TV -- claiming the signal needs to "go through" more stuff like the hard drive, and if I have an external hard drive, that's even worse.

Really, he said that... as if reading from a script.

Seriously, hard drives will not effect the signal -- at least, not unless the drives are creating RF harmonics that interfere with the tuner.


Anyway...


Is this true? Are TiVo's know for poor OTA performance?

Last edited by SkepticGuy : 02-06-2011 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:17 AM   #2
Series3Sub
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I think the issue is with the OTA tuners in the Premiere. There are other threads about this inferior OTA tuner in the Premier compared to the older S3, HD, HDXL. I can tell you that the OTA tuner in my S3 is quite good and only just a tad weaker than the Dish MT2 OTA module. They both perform about the same. Sad that TiVo went the cheap route with the Premier OTA tuner because OTA is one of TiVo's great attributes. But, I guess they had to get to a desired price point.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:34 AM   #3
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FWIW, the Premiere tuners are actually the same as in the TiVo HD, which are MicroTune's MT2131, while the Series 3 use Samsung's TDA6651. It seems the issues lie in the different demodulator(s), which appears to handle QAM with no problems, just not the terrestrial signals. I barely know what I'm talking about, and going only on information from different posts found here:

Premiere Hardware: http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/sho...hp?t=444083#A2
TiVo HD Hardware: http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/sho...d.php?t=419994
TiVo Series 3 tuner: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...25#post5973925

Doesn't really help with the end result of a good picture through the Premiere onto the TV though. Here's a post about the handling of multi-path signals and antennas that might help:

http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/sho...12#post8329712
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:44 PM   #4
SkepticGuy
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I had no idea that a "modern" tuner would be susceptible to multipath issues (being a former ham radio guy, and antenna designer).

We have a high-gain omnidirectional antenna... which apparently might be the problem.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:56 AM   #5
Gootch
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premier weak signal, what is the cure?

OK, so its a fact, the premier OTA tuner is weak as compared to myl old tivo, tv, etc, etc. No mud on this issue. I need a solution. my antenna is highly rated for HD and is in the attic. pelenty of signal strength for my tv and old tivo. if i put it outside and double the array size, add a amp, will it fix the problem. i lost 1 of 7 channels and am in pixelization nirvana in all but 2 channels now!

Is there some way to quantify the amount of signal gain one requires? Thanks.

Last edited by Gootch : 02-22-2011 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gootch View Post
OK, so its a fact, the premier OTA tuner is weak as compared to myl old tivo, tv, etc, etc. No mud on this issue. I need a solution. my antenna is highly rated for HD and is in the attic. pelenty of signal strength for my tv and old tivo. if i put it outside and double the array size, add a amp, will it fix the problem. i lost 1 of 7 channels and am in pixelization nirvana in all but 2 channels now!

Is there some way to quantify the amount of signal gain one requires? Thanks.
Read the multipath post I linked to earlier.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:08 AM   #7
Series3Sub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkepticGuy View Post
I had no idea that a "modern" tuner would be susceptible to multipath issues (being a former ham radio guy, and antenna designer).

We have a high-gain omnidirectional antenna... which apparently might be the problem.
The root for the multi-path problem many people experience is ATSC.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:37 AM   #8
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I agree.

I have a TivoHD (bedroom) and a Premiere (living room). When I put both on the same antenna with similar cable feeds (about the same length), the TivoHD does great, and the Premiere is stink city. I ran new wire to the Premiere just to make sure. Same results. I switched the locations of the TivoHD (now in the living room) and the Premiere (now in the bedroom because of its bad reception issues)

The TivoHD doesn't support some of the modern features, or else I'd drop the Premiere and get another used TivoHD. Thank goodness I didn't get rid of my TIvoHD before trying out the Premiere.

This was such a disappointment. Tivo's with lifetime are not cheap.

I thought the reception would be better, or at least the same. This is probably the first negative thing I've had to say about Tivo since my first Series1 12 hour machine.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:17 AM   #9
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You are complaining now, on a three year old thread? The issue with multipath was old news back then. Did you try the resolution noted above?
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtroo View Post
You are complaining now, on a three year old thread? .......
I agree --- ridiculous!
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtroo View Post
You are complaining now, on a three year old thread? The issue with multipath was old news back then. Did you try the resolution noted above?
I have moved from OTA to cable back to OTA a few times.
I "cut the cord" to cable recently.... Thus why I'm figuring out the OTA stuff (on the Premiere specifically) now.

I was trying to add to the conversation, since I had a direct apples to apples comparison.
(Same antenna, same antenna feed, two different tuners) = Different results.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtroo View Post
You are complaining now, on a three year old thread? The issue with multipath was old news back then. Did you try the resolution noted above?
Maybe the guy just got these, just started using them for OTA or moved to a location that has multipath problems.
.
Quote:
I agree --- ridiculous!
Ridiculous with both comments!
Give the guy a brake.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:39 AM   #13
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This thread has information about the OTA performance of the Premiere and I think it is a good thread for further discussion for a new user. I use a Premiere for OTA as well as two TiVoHDs currently, in my setup with an antenna high on the roof about 35 miles from the towers, both models work well and I think in most applications that will be the case. That isn't to say there can be situations were the Premiere doesn't do as well but the issue may be addressable.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard View Post
This thread has information about the OTA performance of the Premiere and I think it is a good thread for further discussion for a new user. I use a Premiere for OTA as well as two TiVoHDs currently, in my setup with an antenna high on the roof about 35 miles from the towers, both models work well and I think in most applications that will be the case. That isn't to say there can be situations were the Premiere doesn't do as well but the issue may be addressable.
I think a much better, more extensive, thread is here:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=446075
This has 250+ posts and extends from 4/2010 to 9/2013. Starting with the current thread, which skips from 2011 to now, means you're missing a lot of useful information. Post #258 by atmuscarella gives a reasonable perspective IMHO:
Quote:
The only way you are going to know for sure is to test one out. I think most of the issues I have seen personally or seen posted about are not weak signal reception issues but rather multi-cast interference issues. Again the only way to know for sure is to test with an actual TiVo DVR. Without testing equipment hard for the normal Joe do know for sure why they are having issues I have had nothing but problems all summer long and really wish I could figure out what to do myself.
Hope this gives the OP a "brake", err.. "break".
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:19 PM   #15
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Here is another "ridiculous" post.

As previously stated:
I have a TivoHD and a Premiere.
My antenna reception on the TivoHD was excellent.

My Premiere was frustrating me. Some channels were just dropping out, to the point that a recording was unwatchable.
This was an apples to apples comparison. Same antenna, same lead. Straight to the antenna, no splitting.

I finally broke down and got a Roamio, because the Premiere was driving me nuts.
I hooked it up, and from a "eye test", its tuner(s) seem better. No dropping out like the Premiere. Even with 4 instead of 2 tuners.

So I'm gonna go with the Roamio, and sell the Premiere. (I'm OTA only, so I don't need the Premiere's ability to do OTA and cable).

If the Roamio runs well for a few weeks, then I'll sell the TivoHD and get a Mini.

NOTE:
The "signal strength" numbers are not consistent between the models.
From memory, I think the TivoHD gave the highest numbers, Premiere gave the second highest numbers, and the Roamio gave the lowest numbers. That isn't the most important thing is "how high the number is". Again, this is using the same antenna lead, swapping out the units. A big pain in the butt to keep swapping out, but the only way to do an apples to apples comparison. Change the cable with different end-connectors, and the equation changes.

Anyway. Initially I'm very happy with the Roamio OTA over the Premiere OTA reception.
I hope it continues to be that way.
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