Does a CableCard Bolt also have OTA tuners?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by nrnoble, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    Aug 25, 2004

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    The heart of my question is about cutting the cord and continuing to use my Bolt as a OTA DVR.
    I am not asking if it can use CC and OTA at the same time. My Bolt has worked just fine with a cable card, now I would like to use it a OTA DVR. I am in the Seattle area, about 25 miles south.

    Any further advice about what OTA antenna I should get? I have the option to mount an outdoor antenna, but think a decent HD indoor will pick up all of the local stations I want.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  2. rpj22

    rpj22 Active Member

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    Use antennaweb.org to see just what you need. When I lived in Federal Way, I needed a rooftop antenna for decent reception of some channels.
     
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  3. pfiagra

    pfiagra Well-Known Member

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    If your Bolt has 4 tuners, then it can also be used with an OTA antenna.

    If your Bolt has 6 tuners, then it is cable-only.

    https://support.tivo.com/articles/FAQ/TiVo-Service-Number-and-Model-Number-Table
     
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  4. nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    What outdoor antenna did you install?

    I hooked up a cheap indoor antenna and at best I get 50% signal strength some channels (4,5,7, MeTV), and there are several channels that are below 30% and the picture is unwatchable or completely blank. I can't get any of the PBS stations.
     
  5. rpj22

    rpj22 Active Member

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    Mar 26, 2016
    SoCal

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    With all of the hills in South King County, that's not surprising. Antennaweb seems to be pretty good at accounting for terrain ... what does it say for your location? What neighborhood are you in?

    I moved away before the digital transition, so signals that were marginal for me then might be unusable now. I had a 20 foot mast with separate antennas for Gold Mountain, Tiger Mountain, and Queen Anne/Capitol Hill. I have no experience with modern omni-directional antennas, so I can't say whether one of those can handle South King by itself. Some of the neighbors used amplifiers, but I got by without one.

    I think there is a PBS station with a transmitter in North Tacoma somewhere. Have you tried pointing your antenna at that?

    Also, it occurs to me that I don't know what the effect of the repack was around there. So between that and the digital transition, stations that were VHF for me might be UHF for you. Those don't react to hilly terrain in the same way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  6. nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    Aug 25, 2004
    I am in Auburn about a mile west of the Green River. There is not really any interference other than being in the valley between Federal Way on West and Kent on East. I think a decent outdoor antenna will solve the problem. Doing some simple tests using the indoor antenna and mounting it on the outside improve reception significantly, to the point that it works as short term solution, but will not work long term because weather will quickly destroy it.

    EDIT: What is most distant station that you can receive, Can you get the CBC out of Vancouver, BC?


    Thanks for the info.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
  7. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Looks like all the major stations lie in the same direction (almost due north) from you, up around Seattle. I'd suggest a good directional antenna to get all those and you may even get lucky (with the help of a pre-amp) and pull in the CBC from Vancouver, which lies beyond Seattle in the same direction from you. The only stations that aren't along that line are ION (channel 33) and Azteca America (low-power channel 46); if those are important, then maybe go with a multi-directional antenna. If they're not and you just care about everything else (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, CW, etc.), try a directional antenna like this one:

    Digital HDTV Outdoor TV Antenna | STEALTHtenna | Channel Master

    I bought this antenna some years ago (among many others that I tried out). It's a well-made antenna, especially for only $29. Nice thing about ChannelMaster is they offer free shipping and easy returns if you find out you needed something bigger and more expensive.

    You could definitely spend more on a larger outdoor antenna but given your distance from Seattle, this one would probably do the trick if it's mounted outside on your roof or under the eaves pointed in the right direction. It might perform better with a pre-amp like this RCA model I bought some years ago ($25 at Amazon):

    https://www.amazon.com/RCA-TVPRAMP1Z-Preamplifier-Outdoor-Antenna/dp/B003P92D9Y/

    I'd say there's no way you'd get Vancouver stations (about 140 miles away) without the pre-amp and/or by getting a bigger antenna to begin with, though. And even then, that's asking a lot. Not sure how much time and money I'd spend chasing after long-distance stations like that myself...
     

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