Quality of Bolt's OTA Tuner

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by JonBoy49, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. JonBoy49

    JonBoy49 New Member

    Jan 25, 2016
    I have seen mentioned here and on OTA boards that the Roamio's OTA tuners are not very good and that in my area I might get only 50% of the stations that would be available if my antenna were tied directly into my TV's tuner.

    Does anyone here know if the Bolt uses the same tuner or if the one in the Bolt is improved?
  2. DeDondeEs

    DeDondeEs Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Feb 20, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    This is what I experienced between my TV and my new Bolt. I finally had to relocate my antenna.

    The best explanation I saw was that the antenna signal gets split in the Bolt due to the dual tuners so you lose some signal strength, this happens whenever you split coax be it for Cable or OTA.

    I was actually just wondering if an antenna amplifier installed would help this. If so what would be the best amplifier to get? I looked on Amazon and there are amps on there for like $60, which seems ridiculous.
  3. JonBoy49

    JonBoy49 New Member

    Jan 25, 2016
    I have previously been told that an amp is not necessarily going to help much as it will amplify everything - including interference. I'll be interested to hear what others have to say.
  4. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Misanthrope

    Aug 2, 2003
    For me -- in the brief time I had the Bolt connected OTA, before switching it to Fios -- it was the best OTA tuner I've had, certainly of the TiVos; it picked up the most channels, and held the ones it picked up the most stably. YMMV.
  5. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Every OTA antenna installation is unique. A pre-amp and/or amp can help if you have a long run from your antenna or if you are splitting the signal your self. A pre-amp or amp will not help if the issue is a multipath issue.

    I currently have a deep fringe roof mounted antenna with a pre-amp ran to a 4 way splitter. Right now I have my TV, Bolt, Roamio, & Premiere attached to the splitter. But I have also used/tested a SD converter box, TiVo Series 3, TiVo HD, & Silicon Dust network attached dual OTA tuner to this same splitter at various times. For me the Premiere, Silcon Dust, & SD converter box had significantly more issues than my TV, Series 3, TiVo HD, Roamio, or Bolt. The Roamio & Bolt are as good as any including my TV.

    That said there are still times of the year (or maybe it is under certain weather conditions hard to tell) when one of my stations just disappears for days at a time (towers are all in the same spot). My next door neighbor doesn't have any problems with the station I loose but looses another one that I have no issues with. So go figure.


    Nov 30, 2015
    Chicago Suburbs
    I think the bolt tuner is excellent. The Bolt picks up channels on the same wire that my Samsung TVs cannot.
  7. TiVoJedi

    TiVoJedi Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Does the Bolt 4-tuner allow 4 different OTA channels to watch live TV\record simultaneously? I know for CableCard it does that, but wasn't sure if you only get one OTA channel or up to 4 tuned differently.
  8. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    Yes, four simultaneous OTA channels can be watched/recorded on the original Bolt. If the signal for one channel is weak, it affects only that channel - the other three will continue to operate independently.
  9. WildBill136

    WildBill136 New Member

    Apr 29, 2016
    I agree that the bolt OTA tuner is very good. I get all the local channels, all the time, in the Detroit area with a 2 foot antenna on the roof.
  10. aspexil

    aspexil Member

    Oct 16, 2015
    We ran our OTA Bolt off a Mohu leaf on the ground floor near the ceiling when we first moved into our house. We've since moved to a pair of DX8s in the attic which picks up a low power station in Terre Haute 80 miles away and gives us good coverage east, north and west we couldn't get from the Mohu.
    Oaklander likes this.
  11. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Yes the 4 tuner Bolt will tune 4 OTA channels but my experience with the Bolt tuners has not been as good. I have set up several of them for friends and had tuning challenges in each case. I did get one of them to eventually lock all of the channels we needed but it was the third outdoor antenna I tried to finally make it work with transmitters just 20 to 25 miles away with decent line of sight. I tried a Bolt on my own personal antenna setup (a large winegard antenna on a 40' tower) that brings in 50 channels (including subs) on my Roamio 4 tuner. One group of towers is about 15 miles out and a second group just over 50 miles. Connected to the same antenna, The Bolt could only tune about half as many. I suspect the Bolt is just more sensitive to power levels or something in that if the power is just a little too high or too low it has problems. I know other's have had good results so YMMV.
  12. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Same for me. My S2 and my S3 (TiVo HD) both work fine, are as good as anything, but my Bolt seems better. Seems like it pulls stuff in more stably.

    I do use an amplified (indoor) antenna though...I wouldn't want one that wasn't amplified. Moha Leaf, or whatever it's called, the one with an amp. No idea if there are better antennas, though it's the best I've used so far.
  13. Bucket73521

    Bucket73521 Member

    Apr 29, 2017
    I'm a new cord cutter. Thought I had preformed pretty good research before making the cut. Started with a ROKU, Antenna with DTV AM21. The AM21 found most channels but didn't find any that wasn't in DTV data. I have towers that are 296, 350, 126, and 225 degrees. With an antenna pointed at 300 I get all from 296 and 350. I opted for a two antenna setup. the other is pointed at 130. That direction actually results in a channel lose due to two channels are 18. All the channels at 126 are retransmitted from 225. The tower at 225 has a NM of 1.6. I need help to realign from 130 to 225.
    I bought the roamio ota and very disappointed. TIVO support has been nonexistent, but that is another issue. With the roamio recording I'm getting partial program, and poor picture quality.
    If I watch a channel live the picture is perfect, but if I set a channel to record I get poor quality, believe it is called pixelating. Signal strength with the TIVO is in the 60 to low 70's. I also thought the roamio ota was the best fit for me. Was I wrong?
  14. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    When you are watching the channel live, is that through your TiVo? Or is that direct on the television and television's tuner itself?
  15. Bucket73521

    Bucket73521 Member

    Apr 29, 2017
    Through the TIVO. I disconnected the tv from the antenna to remove the splitter.
    My setup is two antennas on a 22 foot utility pole with a 15 foot pipe sticking about eight feet above that. The top antenna approximately 30 feet.
  16. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    That's weird. "Live" or recording should be the same since you technically are never watching anything live with a TiVo. It gets recorded to the hard drive first, then read off the hard drive for what you actually see.
    kpeters59 and Mikeguy like this.
  17. Bucket73521

    Bucket73521 Member

    Apr 29, 2017
    I called TIVO support about this. They told me they had a lot on complaints and was working on getting it fixed. I actually called about another problem. I don't have any channel lineup in the guide. Only seven out of twenty nine have lineup in the guide. Tivo has been trying to fix since the end of April.
    Mikeguy likes this.
  18. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    For what it's worth, neither's ever been my experience with TiVo. Like another poster said, recordings should be...AFAIK HAVE to be identical to live, because "live" is really the same recording, so something's messed up with that, and my guide data's been fine, even (shockingly/thankfully) since moving to the Rovi data from Tribune.
  19. Bucket73521

    Bucket73521 Member

    Apr 29, 2017
    I called TIVO yesterday (7/27/17) and still dont have lineup in guide for 10 of my 27 channels. First contacted Tivo 5/4/17 and was told lineup would be resolved by end of May. Now I'm calling again Monday since yesterdays call was a waste of time. Recording isn't right with TIVO. When surfing channels, (only way without lineup) to see what is own. At the end of a show, and another one is starting I can push the red record button, then continue surfing, the selected channel isn't recorded. Yesterday I set a manual setting to start recording at six thirty pm and stop at seven pm. At six forty I checked my shows and the manual setting wasn't recorded.
    Very disappointed with TIVO!!
  20. Resist

    Resist Active Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    My recent experience with the Bolt hasn't been good. I'm OTA using a Clearstream 2 indoors with only about 5ft of coax. The Bolt lost 4 of my channels and they are the farthest towers from me, but my Premiere and Series 3 OLED have no problems getting these channels and with a strong signal of 70 on the Tivo signal strength meter. The Bolt doesn't even see a signal....zero. Tivo is sending me a replacement Bolt, I'm hoping I just had a bad box but if not I'll pass on the Bolt and wait for the next Tivo version to upgrade.

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