OTA Bolt issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by LekaLeka, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. Feb 3, 2017 #1 of 17
    LekaLeka

    LekaLeka New Member

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    I decided to cut the cord. I tested my avaliable channels with my antenna connected directly to the tv. I picked up about 20 channels. When I connected to my Tivo Bolt I was lucky to 5. Called tivo the suggested a signal Booster. Bought one and the signals come in but very inconsistent. Considering moving the antenna outside. Any recommendations how to fix the reception inside? Or recommendation on how to hook up the antenna outside with having broadband Internet and living in a rental townhouse. Thanks
     
  2. Feb 3, 2017 #2 of 17
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Your options will be constrained by cable TV/Internet and OTA antenna signals not being able to share a coax line.
     
  3. Feb 3, 2017 #3 of 17
    V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Either you have an exceptional TV, or you are not setting things up correctly. The Bolt has pretty good tuners, and most of us that have done a comparison find that they are at least as good as any normal TV. To display a picture, the Bolt must register about 40% relative signal strength (that number is NOT comparable to any signal strength number you see on your TV), so if you have signals you want that show lower than 40% in the signal strength screen, you will need an amplified antenna. I found an amplified indoor/outdoor RCA antenna at WalMart for under $40 (it looks like a gray shark fin) that does an impressive job, even inside (best to place it near a window). It would also be ideal on an outside porch rail or something. That antenna is fairly directional, so do test it in different locations and positions.

    Now the bigger issue is how screwed up the channel lists are with Bad Rovi. Step one is that you must run Guided Setup, not just a simple channel scan like you do on the TV. Under Bad Rovi, this will put MANY MANY bogus channels in your channel lineup, and the ones that are auto-magically selected for your are almost a complete joke - most will not be real for your location. It is up to you to know which channels you SHOULD be getting, and which physical frequencies they are on, so that you can select only those in the list. Knowing the correct physical channel frequency instead of just the displayed channel number is critical to finding the right ones - if you need this information, you can usually find it from the channel display in the TV setup screens before you move that antenna to your TiVo.

    Step two is to run a full channel scan AFTER you complete the Guided Setup. This will find any channels that actually exist for you but are not in Bad Rovi's bloated list (they will usually show up with an * by the channel name after you do the scan).

    An alternative to knowing the channels and frequencies up front is to complete steps 1 and 2, then go into the antenna signal strength screen and SLOWLY moving down the entire list to see which channels actually have a signal - this can be a VERY painful process, since you have to wait about 5 seconds on each channel in the list to see if it has a signal; move too fast, and you will see nothing at all.
     
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  4. Feb 3, 2017 #4 of 17
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    A TV only 1 tuner, but the Bolt has 4 tuners, so the signal strength is somewhat reduced. Check the signal strength on the TV and compare to the Tivo.
     
  5. Feb 3, 2017 #5 of 17
    TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

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    I've had difficulty with Bolt tuners and OTA. That said it can be done but the tuners are quite finicky from my experience from several installs. I currently use a Roamio for my OTA setup with good results. I do own a Bolt as well but I no longer use it due to inferior OTA tuning results for me. I do have a couple of friends that I helped set up Bolts for on OTA and they are getting acceptable results even though it took lots of trial and error to get them to that point. Others on this forum do report decent OTA reception with Bolt but I think that is only true when you have just the right signal quality.

    You will want to run your address on a couple of the antenna aiming services such as antenna web.org and tvfool.com. Post those results here and there are a number of folks that can help you. It's quite likely an outdoor antenna will help as it improves the signal strength and will help eliminate some of the obstructions. The stations you are trying to receive, distances etc. will determine what type of antenna will likely work best for your situation and at what height. And yes, it will be best if you can run a coax separately directly from the antenna to the Bolt. Signal amplifiers are typically only helpful in situations where there is some loss of signal from the antenna to the tuner such as exceptionally long cable runs or splitters used in between. They can in many cases make things worse because they amplifying both the signal and the noise. I find TiVos can be just as susceptible to too strong a signal as to too weak a signal, especially the Bolt.
     
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  6. Feb 4, 2017 #6 of 17
    jth tv

    jth tv Well-Known Member

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    Time of day can be a factor when comparing. Here, during the day road traffic reduces reception to almost unwatchable but during prime time, reception is fine .
     
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  7. Aug 3, 2018 #7 of 17
    Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I'm reviving this thread because I just upgraded to a Bolt for OTA viewing, from a Premiere and Series 3 OLED. The Bolt lost 4 channels and didn't even register a channel signal, yet my other Tivo's show a strong signal for those channels using the same indoor antenna. So to me, it seems like the tuners in the Bolt are not as good as the ones in the Premiere and Series 3 OLED. If I can't get the channels back, then I'm returning the Bolt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  8. Aug 3, 2018 #8 of 17
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    That may be since there are more tuners(4), unless you got the 6 tuner model which is cable only.
     
  9. Aug 3, 2018 #9 of 17
    Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    This wouldn't cause a very high signal on two other Tivo's, to zero signal with the Bolt.
     
  10. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    No, the tuners would simply get a slightly reduced signal.
    I wonder about the coax to the Bolt, bad cable?.
     
  11. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    It's the same coax from the antenna that the other Tivo used.
     
  12. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    I would test it, put it straight to the TV. If get picture/channels, then may be a bad Bolt.
     
  13. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I've already tested it, two other Tivo's get a great signal from this Antenna and coax. And it's worked fine for years without any issues until the Bolt.
     
  14. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

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    My experience with The Bolt is the tuners are not as good as the series 3 or the Roamio. Bolt will do ok if you can tinker with antenna placement to get the signal in it’s “sweet spot”. That is strong enough, but not too strong, and minimal multipath. It is odd that you get NO signal. Are there duplicate entries for the same channel in you channel list? If so try check mark all of them to see which is the active one. Good luck!
     
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  15. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Two of the channels are duplicates for them, all 4 come in strong on my Premiere with this coax and antenna. The antenna already is in the "sweet spot"."
     
  16. just4tivo

    just4tivo Active Member

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    My Panasonic plasma receives more channels than either of my Roamio OTAs do.

    That said, both my Roamio OTAs receive more OTA channels than my neighbors white Bolt does and he's just down the road.

    He brought his white BOLT to my place and we connected it to the coax from my OTA antenna that my Roamios are on instead of one of my Roamios and it still received fewer channels.

    Absent detailed tech info it seems that anecdotal evidence sustains that Bolt OTA reception is not as good as Roamio OTA reception. Maybe it's the hump...
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  17. just4tivo

    just4tivo Active Member

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    Dec 9, 2015
    Oops...
     
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