OTA reception for Bolt vs Samsung TV

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by jharmon28, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. jharmon28

    jharmon28 New Member

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    Dec 20, 2016

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    Hello everyone,

    Im brand new to the forum and in need of some help. I am days away from cutting the cord, thought I had it all figured out and hit a snag last night. Long story short I installed an antenna in my attic a few days ago and connected it to my Samsung TV (9500 series). It picked up +40 channels. I had CBS, ABC, FOX, and NBC from Charlotte, NC and Greenville/Spartanburg with the exception of NBC (only Charlotte). Signals were strong and steady, we watched it for a few days and it performed flawlessly. So I got the idea to buy a tivo, and turn off DTV. Yesterday I purchased the Tivo, connected the exact cable that was in the TV and the signal is not good. I only get a few channels and right now my cord cutting is in serious doubt... Anyone else experience similar results. advice?
     
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Check your signals. That's Settings & Messages, Account & System Info, TiVo diagnostics. Each tuner is listed. What are the Signal Strength & SNR numbers? Scroll through all four tuners.

    Is it possible to check the SNR on your TV for the same channels?
     
  3. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Nope - I have not had that experience. You do not say what TiVo you purchased, but the tuner performance is generally very good on all of them. I am in a fringe area with VERY weak signals, and I have two very old Series3 boxes and a brand new Bolt, and all three of them pull in everything the TVs can see. The local ABC translator is only putting out 0.1 watt, and it is barely tune-able with anything, and then only when connected directly to the signal amp without a splitter; my Bolt has a good picture with that station, even though the relative signal strength is WAY low.

    One thing you need to know is that the TiVo does not just scan for any AVAILABLE signal like your TV does - it is dependent on the channel lineup supplied by Bad Rovi for your zip code when you run guided setup. I won't go into too many details of that here, but for the last 3 months since they "changed" things, this has been a total nightmare for many of us. But the TiVo does have a functional channel scan feature that will let you see if a signal is actually being received - after completing the guided setup, go back into the channel list menu and re-run a full channel scan. After this is done, open the signal strength meter and manually go down through every channel listed - many (perhaps hundreds!) will be bogus channels with no signal, but you should be able to find all of them that really do exist. Make sure to write down the displayed channel name AND the indicated frequency for each one that has a signal - you will need this info to report any problems. Do know that this is a painfully slow process, since you will need to wait about 5 seconds or so on EACH channel to see if a signal shows up after you select it - move through the list too fast and you will see nothing.

    You will also have to manually make sure there is a check mark next to each channel in the list that you want to be able to tune in (refer to the notes you made above - TiVo makes a TOTAL mess of this during setup!!!). If you find that the signals are really there, but do not work even after being checked in the channel list, or maybe work, but have no guide information, you will have to report the problem to TiVo and hope they actually do something about it.
     
  4. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I think the title of the thread helps. Everything else you posted is so true and sad at the same time.
     
    cybergrimes likes this.
  5. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Just thought I would add a note about relative signal strength - The TiVo has a signal strength number shown in various places in the setup menus, and I am sure your TV does too - do NOT try to directly compare those numbers! The key term here is "RELATIVE" - no matter what the actual number is that you see, you can only compare it to the other channels on the SAME device. The channel with the lowest signal number on your TiVo should also be the lowest on your TV, but it means absolutely nothing if the TiVo shows a signal strength of 50 and the TV shows 75. Even between different models of TiVo boxes, the signal numbers are different, but the PERFORMANCE is generally the same. Many folks on these forums have said they think the Roamio boxes have the best tuners, but I do not have one to compare against the Bolt.
     
  6. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Oops - glossed right over that - sorry.
     
  7. jharmon28

    jharmon28 New Member

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    Dec 20, 2016
    Thanks for the quick responses! My TV actually doesn't have an accessible signal meter, so nothing to compare. I'm solely comparing do I get the channel, and is it stable (no pixelation). I did the tivo set up and checked and unchecked boxes and the signal is not great. I chatted with a Tivo tech and he suggested a in-line amplifier. Just purchased one, so i hope that helps... if it doesn't I will be a short lived subscriber. If I can get this to work, I literally save $1k next year. fingers crossed.

    I'll reconnect this afternoon and get some actual #'s.
     
  8. thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

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    If TiVo does not work for you, you may try other DVR solutions (although I personally prefer TiVo solutions for OTA - for various reasons), such as HDHomeRun, Tablo, ChannelMaster.

    I would try to get the Bolt working first, since you already have. You got some very good advice in here.
     
  9. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    If it's a KS9500:

    Checking digital channel signal info and strength

    Settings> Support> Self Diagnosis> Signal Information

    If your TV is attached to a separate, over-the-air antenna, you can use the signal strength information to adjust the antenna for increased signal strength and improved HD channel reception

    Page 45 in the manual I downloaded. As posted, The signal levels will vary. I'm more interested in SNR.
     
  10. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

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    Ohio
    I've installed numerous TiVo's for myself and others, nearly all for OTA broadcasts. The TiVo tuner's are typically more finicky than the tuner built into most TV's. Some point out that the signal is being split to four different tuners in the TiVo which weakens the signal. That said with some experimenting you can usually get an acceptable signal if as you have already observed with your TV it's possible. Personally I have found the BOLT tuners are more finicky than those in the Roamio. If you are doing OTA only you might consider if the Roamio OTA would be a better value for you since there are no ongoing service fees for the current version that is out. (if your buying off of ebay or the like you'll need to determine that the unit has "All In" service included to avoid monthly fees. Personally I've had better luck with the reception through the Roamio model vs the BOLT although there are some who report otherwise. If you provide some information on your location there are those here who can evaluate your reception possibilities. Also indicate what type of antenna you are using and where/how it is mounted. Again, since your TV is getting good reception thru it's tuners I think you should be able to replicate that performance with a little fine tuning of your setup.
     
  11. Heck

    Heck New Member

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    Apr 15, 2017
    Hope this is not a separate question from the original thread intent, but I think the OP is asking whether the TiVo box will receive (and record) from all the channels that can be seen OTA by a regular Digital television. In our area, we have numerous translator low power stations for the different networks that allow us to get most network programming, plus things like MeTV on the sub channels of the different channels. My question is does the TiVo pick up these sub channels and allow the different DVR functions on them, or is it limited to a "TiVo defined set of channels that we think are the only channels you can get in your zip code". According to the FCC website, we only have one NBC affiliate in the area for this address and location, however we do get all the networks and multiple PBS channels "Over the Air". Please help!!! TiVo technical support representative was useless....
     
  12. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Ashland, PA...
    Your source for a second opinion concerning your lineup (channels for your zipcode) is tvguide.com or tv.com, both are not the best web sites. Screener and titantv.com are not good second sources since they use a different source for their guides. Your point about "getting what TiVo gives you" is correct. You can get corrections, from TiVo or other methods. Add your location to your profile. There may be others near you with better answers.
     
  13. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

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    Ohio
    In my experience the set of possible channels TiVo provides based on my zip code includes all of the stations I can receive as well as many that are too far away to receive by antenna. So yes I get all the main and sub channels reasonably available by antenna in my market including stations in another city 53 miles away. Your reception of course will depend on your antenna and reception for your area. In my case my Roamio can generally receive very close to same channels as my TV tuner can but tuners can vary a little from one device to another so YMMV.
     
  14. Heck

    Heck New Member

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    Apr 15, 2017
    Well, got the Roamio here and set up- Your experience is right on TeamPace as to what I found. So far so good...wish there was a way to record things off of the streamed side of things, as is typical in MT, the internet service leaves a lot to be desired. Using PlayOn, my wireless network has no problem with streaming to Chromecast units all over the house, once the shows are downloaded. Streaming live is tedious at best..
     

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