Bolt - antenna - signal worse than Premier

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by 321blueeyes, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. 321blueeyes

    321blueeyes New Member

    Dec 28, 2011
    San Jose, CA


    Recently upgraded to Bolt (4 tuners, OTA compatible) from Premier (Series4, 2 tuners, OTA compatible). No cable. Antenna, splitter, and all coax remains the same.

    On Premier, I received 100+ channels from my balcony-installed antenna (Clearstream 2V) after going thru a single splitter. Signal strength 60-85+ which displayed pretty well for everyday use.

    On Bolt, I now receive only about 10-15 channels after the initial channel scan. Signal strength 32 (channels I manually added) or 50. Only the 50+ shows picture).

    Have combed thru the threads without finding a definitive answer (as well as called Tivo support) to learn what type of amplifier (preamp) / alternate accessory I can install so that Bolt will equal/exceed the Premier performance I grew to love? Moving/upgrading antenna is a long shot (condo HOA restrictions make it very difficult).

    Otherwise the Bolt will be returned for 30-day refund. Any amplifier recommendations? I'm a reasonably competent engineer but I don't have any signal analysis tools on hand (outside of the Tivo box analytics). Thanks in advance!
  2. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    Something else that you might want to look at

    Did I get a bad Bolt+ - terrible signal strength and SNR
  3. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    I have a dual tuner Premiere and a Bolt (plus several other TiVos) all used for OTA. The Bolt and the Premiere a fed by the same antenna from the same COAX splitter and the Bolt has noticeably better reception than the Premiere. If your Bolt has noticeably worse reception my guess is something is wrong with the Bolt.

    Take a good look at the post sfhub linked to.
    Dan Cour likes this.
  4. mc2wheels

    mc2wheels New Member

    May 24, 2004
    I have the opposite experience.

    I have fios and when I changed from 2 premier xl4 to 2 bolt+ tivos, I saw my signal strength jump from 92% to 100%, and SNR from 35dB to 40dB.

    It seems to me on my bolt+ tivos have more sensitive tuners. I just bought some attenuators because I don't want to have problems.
    Dan Cour likes this.
  5. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY


    The original poster is talking about OTA not cable.

    For OTA "signal strength" numbers mean basically nothing when comparing device to device numbers as there is no industry standard way to measure and report OTA signal strength. As an example an OTA signal strength of 72 on the Bolt maybe shown as a signal strength in the high 90s on a Series 3 and some other number on various TVs. The only uses for OTA signal strength on a device is to compare the various channels reception to each other on that device and to maximize the reception of a channel via antenna adjustments.

    However the issue with not receiving OTA channels with the Bolt that the Premiere receives indicates there likely is an issue with the Bolt.
    Dan Cour, kpeters59 and Mikeguy like this.
  6. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    I would rather say that TiVo doesn't have a tool to show signal strength in any standard way. Many years ago even radios would have sensitivity numbers, but those went away when the cost to determine them became higher than the consumer's need to know them.

    But a measurement is still possible -> dBm - Wikipedia
    atmuscarella likes this.
  7. Richard Truely

    Richard Truely New Member

    Oct 12, 2017
    The antenna amplifier that I use is the Channel Master Amplify adjustable gain amplifier. It's currently about $70 and you can read about it here:

    Outdoor HDTV VHF/UHF Antenna Amplifier/Booster-Channel Master CM 7777HD (CM7777HD)

    BTW I am in Sunnyvale and recently switched from a Premier to a Bolt. I found the receivers to be about the same; maybe the Bolt is a bit better but it is difficult to tell. In my setup I have the preamp set to the larger gain (+30dB) and using that I can pull in a lot of channels. The toughest major one for me is ABC in our local area (channel 7.1) which broadcasts with a pretty weak signal compared to CBS.
    Dan Cour likes this.
  8. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    I would agree I replaced a Premiere with a Bolt and reception is on par if not better then with a TIVO HD.
    Dan Cour likes this.
  9. Rkkeller

    Rkkeller Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2004
    Dan Cour likes this.

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