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Old 11-25-2013, 12:50 PM   #1
eaglestvo
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Roamio - Cable and OTA?

So I was getting ready to pull the trigger to upgrade my Premiere to Roamio. I was looking at the image of the back of the box, and I saw only one coax input. I currently have Fios and OTA on my Premiere. So does the Roamio only support cable or OTA, but not both at the same time? Is there some kind of adapter to make it work?

I was actually a pure "cord cutter" for about 2 1/2 years. I got an offer from Verizon to reactivate Fios TV on my account for about $16/month more than I was already paying for internet and phone, plus they gave me a $250 gift card. I really like having both services on the Tivo box at the same time. I hope there is a way.

Thanks
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:07 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, you are correct that the 4-Tuner Roamio is OTA or Cable only. There is no ability to use both programming sources at the same time.
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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Since the majority of programs I watch are OTA I use a basic Roamio as the main unit in the house and then kept a Premier to record the cable stuff which is then transfered (or streamed) to the Roamio.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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Well that's disappointing. I have been looking at the Roamio for a while now, and it did not occur to me that they would take away an input. I'll have to stick with the Premiere. The OTA and Fios is merged perfectly on the guide.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by eaglestvo View Post
Well that's disappointing. I have been looking at the Roamio for a while now, and it did not occur to me that they would take away an input. I'll have to stick with the Premiere. The OTA and Fios is merged perfectly on the guide.
Yeah, it was disappointing to me too. I too, was a blended cable and OTA person.

Since I initially set that up with my TiVoHD, practically all (maybe really all?) of the local channels that were available over the air are now available on Comcast, including things like the local public access channel, so while I'd prefer to be able to do both, the need has diminished greatly.

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Old 11-27-2013, 06:03 PM   #6
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You can switch back and forth between cable and OTA by running guided setup.

For some people, it might be worth it to do that.

TC
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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Since I initially set that up with my TiVoHD, practically all (maybe really all?) of the local channels that were available over the air are now available on Comcast, including things like the local public access channel, so while I'd prefer to be able to do both, the need has diminished greatly.
I can see that in your case. I really only brought back cable on 2 of 5 TVs because it was very cheap. The video quality of OTA is superior. Also, I have a powerful amplified rooftop antenna which pulls everything from DC and Baltimore. I often get "bonus" football and baseball games when the Baltimore Fox and CBS affiliate caries a different game.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:32 PM   #8
eaglestvo
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You can switch back and forth between cable and OTA by running guided setup.
That's a tough way to change a channel!
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:15 AM   #9
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Well that's disappointing. I have been looking at the Roamio for a while now, and it did not occur to me that they would take away an input. I'll have to stick with the Premiere. The OTA and Fios is merged perfectly on the guide.
I never understood this, other than the perceived increase in quality, what does OTA give you if you already get all the same channels on the Cable side? I used to do this, combine OTA and Comcast, and other than he increase in recording size and subsequent reduction in recording capacity, it offered no tangible benefits.
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Old 11-28-2013, 02:51 AM   #10
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Unfortunately, you are correct that the 4-Tuner Roamio is OTA or Cable only.
And the six-tuner models are just cable only.
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:54 AM   #11
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I never understood this, other than the perceived increase in quality, what does OTA give you if you already get all the same channels on the Cable side? I used to do this, combine OTA and Comcast, and other than he increase in recording size and subsequent reduction in recording capacity, it offered no tangible benefits.
OTA can look better but depending on what your channel you're watching and what you are watching you might not notice a huge difference. Live sports
may have a more noticeable difference.
Before the high priests of OTA and cord cutting descend, let me say I use OTA and could be called a cord cutter but I won't spread the folklore that surrounds OTA.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:13 AM   #12
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I never understood this, other than the perceived increase in quality, what does OTA give you if you already get all the same channels on the Cable side?
I've read the OTA high-def (no compression) always looks better than the compressed cable feed.

But really, what does "look better" mean? It's such a subjective term. Do a little research online and you'll find many discussions/arguments about the quality of 720, 1080 and 4K. Personally, on my eight year old 50-inch Panasonic plasma I can't see a difference between 720 and 1080.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #13
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OTA can look better but depending on what your channel you're watching and what you are watching you might not notice a huge difference. Live sports
may have a more noticeable difference.
Before the high priests of OTA and cord cutting descend, let me say I use OTA and could be called a cord cutter but I won't spread the folklore that surrounds OTA.
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I've read the OTA high-def (no compression) always looks better than the compressed cable feed.

But really, what does "look better" mean? It's such a subjective term. Do a little research online and you'll find many discussions/arguments about the quality of 720, 1080 and 4K. Personally, on my eight year old 50-inch Panasonic plasma I can't see a difference between 720 and 1080.
On my TWC system I've analyzed the OTA- and Cable-versions of local stations and there is no significant difference in PQ or bitrates. However cable-only videos generally use lower bitrates.

Assuming your 50 inch plasma is actually providing spec performance (and on the video itself), whether you perceive a difference in 720 vs 1080 depends both on your eyes and viewing distance. You can find tables of viewing distances where the difference starts. IIRC, this distance is about 8 feet for a 40" TV, which means it's probably about 10 feet for a 50" TV -- again assuming perfect video and eyes.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:38 AM   #14
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Thanks for the technical explanations, but I am satisfied with the placebo effect of uncompressed OTA video signals. I do get OTA channels that I do not get from Fios, and I often get a different sports broadcast from the other market network affiliate. But they told me, "If you like your OTA, you can keep it." So I see no reason they should remove the dual inputs.

After uncutting the cord, one of my rooms can only get Fios, so I may think about a Roamio Plus for that room.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:15 AM   #15
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OTA is not uncompressed. this is a big misunderstanding. OTA signals have to be compressed in order for them to fit into the usable ~20 Mbps bit rate that fits in a 6 Mhz 8-VSB TV channel. It has to be compressed more if the channel has sub channels attached to it. My CBS station constantly sends an average of 18 Mbps for its main CBS feed while the ABC station sends an average of 7 Mbps for its main ABC feed. this is because CBS only has 1 low bitrate sub channel (CBS+) while ABC sends two 720p HD channels into its signal (ABC and LiveWell).

OTA is less compressed than what some cable operators send or depending on the cable company, they could be the same compression that you get from your antenna.

its like thinking you need an HD antenna to get HD OTA channels. there is no such thing as an HD antenna.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:47 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by eaglestvo View Post
I can see that in your case. I really only brought back cable on 2 of 5 TVs because it was very cheap. The video quality of OTA is superior. Also, I have a powerful amplified rooftop antenna which pulls everything from DC and Baltimore. I often get "bonus" football and baseball games when the Baltimore Fox and CBS affiliate caries a different game.
Have you considered putting a TiVo with OTA only in one of your rooms that doesn't have cable but has OTA available? Then you can stream back to the Roamio anything recorded on the OTA TiVo, and vice versa . There's no reason you couldn't have more than one TiVo, on the same account and local network, with two different sources.

Quote:
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I never understood this, other than the perceived increase in quality, what does OTA give you if you already get all the same channels on the Cable side? I used to do this, combine OTA and Comcast, and other than he increase in recording size and subsequent reduction in recording capacity, it offered no tangible benefits.
It totally depends on your cable company, to be honest. If they compress the OTA channel down significantly, it can affect the picture quality. Also, in many cases you may have access to locals from another city or that aren't carried on the cable system. I have OTA piped into my Premiere simply because of the channel numbers, to be honest. I already had it all wired up when I had DirecTV and wanted the sub-channels, and when I switched back to cable+TiVo, I just hooked it up, and my locals are where they're supposed to be, not scattered across the 700s.

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OTA is not uncompressed. this is a big misunderstanding. OTA signals have to be compressed in order for them to fit into the usable ~20 Mbps bit rate that fits in a 6 Mhz 8-VSB TV channel. It has to be compressed more if the channel has sub channels attached to it. My CBS station constantly sends an average of 18 Mbps for its main CBS feed while the ABC station sends an average of 7 Mbps for its main ABC feed. this is because CBS only has 1 low bitrate sub channel (CBS+) while ABC sends two 720p HD channels into its signal (ABC and LiveWell).

OTA is less compressed than what some cable operators send or depending on the cable company, they could be the same compression that you get from your antenna.

its like thinking you need an HD antenna to get HD OTA channels. there is no such thing as an HD antenna.
Yes, the ATSC signal you get OTA is "compressed" MPEG-2, but when compared to what you get from cable or satellite it is the "uncompressed" raw source that the cable and satellite companies use. So yes, it's compressed, but sat/cable is compressed *again*. It's all relative.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:45 PM   #17
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I never understood this, other than the perceived increase in quality, what does OTA give you if you already get all the same channels on the Cable side? I used to do this, combine OTA and Comcast, and other than he increase in recording size and subsequent reduction in recording capacity, it offered no tangible benefits.
Wholly apart from quality, which is the same to my eyes, in my location, my OTA channels are from a different (closer) city (Dayton) than the TWC versions of the network (Cincinnati); and, they aren't affected by cable outages. Not being able to use both inputs makes Roamio a non-starter. Bad decision TIVO.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:22 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Philmatic View Post
I never understood this, other than the perceived increase in quality, what does OTA give you if you already get all the same channels on the Cable side? I used to do this, combine OTA and Comcast, and other than he increase in recording size and subsequent reduction in recording capacity, it offered no tangible benefits.
Hardly "perceived" in our area - when I had Cox CATV, I had greatly diminished quality on the local CBS and MD PBS that I received MUCH better on rooftop antenna. I have not noticed it so much with FIOS - but with the new Roamio I'm not going to go back and forth through Guided setup to get OTA unless the FIOS goes out.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:54 AM   #19
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Wholly apart from quality, which is the same to my eyes, in my location, my OTA channels are from a different (closer) city (Dayton) than the TWC versions of the network (Cincinnati); and, they aren't affected by cable outages. Not being able to use both inputs makes Roamio a non-starter. Bad decision TIVO.
Another Dayton area user here. You must be way south of town to be getting network feeds from Cincy. For example, my CBS OTA channel is 7.1 and the cable version is 1007 (Both WHIO TV, Dayton). Actually the cable version is more reliable as the antenna goes off air now and then.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:30 AM   #20
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Another Dayton area user here. You must be way south of town to be getting network feeds from Cincy. For example, my CBS OTA channel is 7.1 and the cable version is 1007 (Both WHIO TV, Dayton). Actually the cable version is more reliable as the antenna goes off air now and then.
The Mont./Warren Co line is the divide, but I'm at the northern edge of Warren Co., much closer to Dayton.
I've never had antenna signal problems that I'm aware of.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:44 AM   #21
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I was about to buy a Roamio thinking it handled both over the air and cable like my tivo HDs & premiere. Our cable signal does go out from time to time, however over the air always works. If one over the air ever goes out, all the others are working.

Perhaps Tivo will make available a new model as nice and fast as the Roamio with both over the air and cable down the road, then I'll buy.

The Tivos I already have do everything we enjoy, other that not as fast as the Roamio, does not stream with TivoHDs, and channel change is a little slow... other than that, no reason for me to upgrade...
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:35 PM   #22
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I was about to buy a Roamio thinking it handled both over the air and cable like my tivo HDs & premiere. Our cable signal does go out from time to time, however over the air always works. If one over the air ever goes out, all the others are working.

Perhaps Tivo will make available a new model as nice and fast as the Roamio with both over the air and cable down the road, then I'll buy.

The Tivos I already have do everything we enjoy, other that not as fast as the Roamio, does not stream with TivoHDs, and channel change is a little slow... other than that, no reason for me to upgrade...
About the only other thing you can do is to buy 2 Roamios, use 1 on cable an the other OTA only and sell your older boxes to help offset the cost.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:59 AM   #23
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Does anyone know why Tivo decided to not support OTA on the higher end Roamios? and only either/or with cable on the lower end unit? Will they ever offer it? I'm dying to move away from Dish to Comcast with Tivo but the non-support for OTA kills it for me.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:32 PM   #24
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Does anyone know why Tivo decided to not support OTA on the higher end Roamios? and only either/or with cable on the lower end unit?
I don't think TiVo has divulged a reason, but two possibilities have been tossed around the forums that make sense to me:

1) Technical reason: The Roamio Basic has a 4 tuner capability. The higher end units have 6 tuners. No manufacturer has come out with a 6 tuner device that can do OTA. Either/or was probably cheaper to maintain from a software perspective too.

2) Marketing reason: Most OTA people are cord cutters. I think the supposition was that OTA folks were looking to save money, therefore, would be less likely to buy the more expensive devices.

I, too, took advantage of using BOTH my cable input from Comcast AND my OTA input in a blended fashion on my TiVoHD. I still decided to move to Roamio for the benefits of speed, etc. I went with Roamio Basic. I have migrated my antenna input to go direct to my TV, so I have a fallback, but without any DVR capability.

Some in the forums have purchased two Roamios -- one for Cable, one for OTA. The ability to inexpensively add larger hard drives to the Roamio's, and the good streaming options between them makes this an acceptable solution for some.

John
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:36 PM   #25
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Does anyone know why Tivo decided to not support OTA on the higher end Roamios? and only either/or with cable on the lower end unit? Will they ever offer it? I'm dying to move away from Dish to Comcast with Tivo but the non-support for OTA kills it for me.
I do not believe TiVo has ever made an "Official" statement. There has been some speculation but it is unlikely that any of the persons who know for sure are posting here. The speculation pretty much revolves around availability of parts (like there isn't any 4 or 6 tuner combined use OTA/Cable tuners for TiVo to buy) or that TiVos is providing cable companies what they want first and then providing stand alone products based on those designs. In any event it really doesn't matter the last TiVo that can do OTA & Cable at the same time was/is the dual tuner Premiere and that is not likely to change.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:51 PM   #26
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Cool Roamio Info

Thanks guys, very informative but no less disappointing for those of us who would just like to have it high tech and 'have it all'.

Would you happen to know what I would need to get from Tivo (Pro and what else?) and Comcast to replace the system I have now which is a Hopper (which randomly and inexplicably shuts itself off - not for the daily update but usually in the middle of something we are watching) and 3 Joeys?

Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jim
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:59 PM   #27
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I've always wondered why TiVo doesn't make an external OTA add-on tuner that could be used with any Roamio model. That way if you want OTA, buy the external tuner and add it to any Roamio.
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