Quality of Bolt's OTA Tuner

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

  1. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Ohio
    The Clearstream2 is an excellent antenna (particularly for UHF frequencies, not as good for VHF). I have used it in a number of installations with good results. I would really suggest trying it in several different locations. Different tuners seem to have their own characteristics for antenna placement. What works well for one tuner may not for another, so get a longer cable and experiment. You might even need to get it outside to get the reception you need. The Bolt is much more finicky with antenna placement, signal strength, etc. Don't give up too easily. Since you seem to have a good signal in your location you should be able to get it dialed in to something that will work. If not the Roamio OTA has consistently given me better results for OTA and may be the better choice for you.
     
  2. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Dec 21, 2003
    I've already tried different locations, where it currently is works the best for both Tivo boxes (minus the missing Bolt channels). Yes, putting it outside would be perfect, but there is no way to get the cable to the location of my TV without opening up walls inside my house. And I don't want cable on the outside of my house or visible on my inside walls. I've thought about getting the VHF retrofit kit for my antenna but discovered that none of my channels are VHF, so the kit wouldn't help.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  3. jacktechie

    jacktechie New Member

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    Feb 6, 2013
    South SF...
    The Bolt OTA tuner is definitely less sensitive than the HD series 3. Before hooking up to Comcast, I tested it with a Channelmaster 20 year old 8 bay bowtie on ~ 15' rooftop mast and got an unstable signal that broke up from a transmitter 73 miles away. The Tivo HD signal strength still varies by quite a bit and I have seen it at 70 and at 99. There are no problems with acquiring and keeping the signal on the HD.
     
  4. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

    1,952
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    Dec 21, 2003
    And less sensitive than the Series 3 OLED and Premiere. Yet there are those on the forum that think the Bolt's tuners are better. I believe Tivo went with lower quality tuners in the Bolt. It's all about cost over function with Tivo.

    My replacement Bolt arrived however I won't be able to set it up until next week. But if I still can't get those missing channels, I'm calling Tivo to get my money back. Besides, right now I can get a 1TB Roamio for less than the 500GB Bolt deal was.
     
  5. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

    437
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    Oct 22, 2013
    Ohio
     
  6. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

    437
    103
    Oct 22, 2013
    Ohio
    I’ve definitely had better results with Roamio tuners for OTA. Plus if you get the Roamio OTA model with “All In” service you’ll eliminate monthly fees. In my experience with a dozen installs the Roamio Tuners are pretty close to the series 3 units in reception capability. But every location has different reception characteristics so YMMV.
     
  7. mahermusic

    mahermusic Deadlines Amuse Me

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    Mar 11, 2003
    U.S.A.
    I ditched Comcast and their cable card, and installed a Clearstream antenna in my attic. I'm using my Bolt for OTA, and I receive 40 channels, all crystal clear. It's a great antenna. No OTA problems with the Bolt.
     
  8. TexasDVR

    TexasDVR Member

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    Feb 20, 2013
    In my case the Bolt VOX 4 OTA tuners have been a lot better than the old Premiere 2 tuner. The Bolt tuners have been equal to are slightly better than the other tuners in the house.
     
  9. rthurlow

    rthurlow Member

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    Jan 21, 2004
    Fort...
    How are folks comparing tuners? If they are different tech (and don't they have to be?), comparing the signal-strength numbers might not be reliable. I know that during the scan (which the Bolt did super-fast), some channels I expected were skipped over. So I added them, and most worked. One signal on the "wrong" side of my CM-4228 did not lock, so I tried on the Premiere - and it couldn't lock, either. I compared my Premiere with my Bolt after that, and the channels matched up. From experience, I mostly have problems with weak signals, not multipath. I would be interested to know if people having problems might have more multipath.

    It's interesting - I hoped the Bolt would be better, because my LG OLED TV has the best tuner I have ever seen, sometimes picking up stuff well that pixelate on these Tivos. But I get more tuners that seem no worse so far.
     
    Joe Siegler likes this.
  10. cldlhd

    cldlhd Member

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    Sep 23, 2018
    Thanks. I installed a clearstream 4max in the attic last week and am contemplating ditching cable. I have no experience with Tivo and I'm currently trying to figure out what gives a better OTA picture the Roamio OTA or the Bolt VOX. Streaming quality isn't that important as I'll probably continue to use the native apps on my LG OLED.
     
  11. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

    437
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    Oct 22, 2013
    Ohio
    Reading thru this thread will show there are different opinions on your question. For my experience Roamio has consistently given better results. I’ve set up Bolts in 4 or 5 different locations and situations and have always had some difficulties with tuning all the channels I expected to get. Trying a Roamio in the same application produced better results each time. Currently I’ve helped over a dozen folks with OTA setups using Roamios successfully. It does seem though that different markets, setups, antennas can produce different results.
     
    cldlhd likes this.
  12. NEOhero

    NEOhero New Member

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    Sep 14, 2018
    I actually tried comparing OTA in my apartment and some signals are either pixelated or even unusable on the Bolt. Hence, that's why I'm keeping my Bolt with CableCARD until I'm in an area that can get all major networks (Eye, Peacock, Alphabet, Wild Animal, and WC)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018

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