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Planning on purchasing Tivo RoamioOTA

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by reber1b, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. warrenn

    warrenn Active Member

    Jun 24, 2004
    You can try some things now to get a sense of how an antenna will perform. Likely your TV can take an antenna input. Go to Home Depot, Walmart or someplace that sells antennas and find one that can easily be repackaged if it doesn't work out. Hook the antenna up to your TV and view the TV input. The TV will have to scan for channels, and then you can see the quality of what you get. Using those antenna websites given earlier will also help you see what stations you should be able to receive.

    As a bonus, there are many unexpected stations OTA. Lots of subchannels have a variety of reruns showing stuff anywhere from the 50's to today.
  2. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Great model. I have the Roamio Basic and love the "old" Tivo software that still runs on it. I don't like the new Hydra interface which comes installed on the Bolt Vox and can be installed on a Roamio by using a VOX remote. You can convert your Roamio OTA with lifetime to cable by adding a cable card slot. If my Roamio fails, that is what I will do. I should try streaming on my new 4K TV but just find it easier to use Netflix on my Roamio.
  3. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    Nov 25, 2003
    For the passerby, a VOX Remote is not required to install the Hydra/gen4 UI on a supported box; you can just request "early access" for a box by selecting its TSN via the following form:

  4. jackstoker

    jackstoker Member

    Jul 31, 2017
    For anyone unsure about OTA reception in their area, instead of testing with a really cheap rabbit ear antenna, or one of those $10 flat antennas, I recommend trying another antenna type. Please don't laugh when you see this antenna, but surprising to me this $30 antenna works surprisingly well, and nearly as well as my $550 outside antenna system! Below is a URL for one at amazon:


    I am NOT promoting this particular seller! Any seller of this style antenna (there are many) will do! Search amazon for "Amplified HD Digital Outdoor HDTV Antenna", and click on any antenna offering that looks like this one.

    My neighbor recently purchased one of these antennas and asked me to help install it. When I first saw it I had serious doubts, and expected it would not pick up a single channel, or if it did the video and audio would break up so bad it would be useless. To my surprise, it picked up all of the channels my antenna picks up (high VHF and UHF), and the picture and audio were near perfect, even on 30 feet of cheap coax that came in the box, plus 100 feet of Quad Shielded coax (total 130 feet). Since it works so well, they are cutting cable, and purchasing a used Roamio OTA.

    To back up a little, when first tested the antenna was being held by hand indoor about 6 feet above ground level, and reception was pretty bad, although it found most channels. But when mounted outside near the top of a gable roof end (about 16 feet above ground level), there was a dramatic change to near perfect reception.

    It worked so well I purchased one for myself, just to be able to compare it side by side to my other antenna, using two TVs, and two Roamio OTA boxes, on the same channel. After many of hours of comparing the two, on many channels, I'd estimate that this antenna is about 95% as good as my expensive system. That said, I still have this antenna inside, on the 2nd floor (it hates the 1st floor), but have plans to mount it outside, about 10 feet lower than the other antenna, to see if that improves things a few percentage points. I suspect it will, especially since while inside the signal must pass through one exterior wall which has two layers of aluminum clad foam insulation board, brick, fiberglass insulation, gypsum board, and a book shelf.

    While I give high marks to this antenna, the rotator is pure c**p! The remote control has two buttons, which one would naturally assume are to rotate the antenna in opposite directions. Well, you never know which way either button will make it rotate! One button may make it rotate clockwise for 2 or 3 uses, but counterclockwise after that, and NOT because it reached the stops. It also rotates too fast, taking 15 seconds for a full 360, which is too fast for TV tuners to register when a good direction is reached. So, if you can't see the antenna, you'll never know which way it's pointing or turning, which makes hunting for the best direction difficult.

    It has a built in amplifier. Today I added another powered amp (1 input, 1 output) between the controller box and the TV, and that seems to improve reception a little. YMMV!

    Time will tell how well this antenna will hold up, especially being outdoor, but if nothing else it's a relatively inexpensive way to determine if OTA is for you!
    Mikeguy likes this.

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