Question about changing source

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by Joe Siegler, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Joe Siegler

    Joe Siegler Member

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    Garland, TX
    I recently had to switch from Cable TV to antenna only due to my trying to save money. Anyways, I've been using rabbit ears for the last month or so, and I had forgotten how much fun it is to try and tune in every channel all at once without pixelation (or snow in the old days). I used to have phone/cable/internet from TWC, and I dropped cable TV, so it's just the other two..

    Today I was moving things around, and for the heck of it, I decided to plug in the cable that was still coming out of the wall into the back of my HDTV to see if there was anything there.

    To my surprise, it picked up several of the local channels in HD. Not all of them, but easily all the channels I cared about getting over the antenna (basically Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, & one local UHF that does local MLB games).

    So I told my TV in the bedroom (Samsung LN32B550) to do a scan for channels on cable, and it found all those listed above, as well as a couple of rogue cable channels (QVC, all three CSpans).

    My entire reason for coming here is this..

    I'd like to use this for my source video through the TiVo because it's more reliable, I don't have to worry about pixelation and weather and all that nonsense. My TiVo is currently set up to get Antenna. If I plug the cable from the wall into the back of the TiVo, redo guided setup, and tell it to use Time Warner Cable, I'm going to assume it will pick up these channels? I'm guessing it won't work right by putting the "cable" cable in the Antenna jack.

    More importantly for me, The OTA channels (here in Dallas) come in as 4-1, 5-1, 8-1, etc both on an antenna through my TiVo, and also through the TV itself with cable as the setup, as opposed to the say 363 that TWC's HD version of the Dallas NBC affiliate is on.

    Any idea what my TiVo will show me for channel numbers if I redo a scan of my cable when all I'm getting is the "antenna channels" over the cable? That question make sense?
     
  2. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    boston'ish
    Those are coming in as ClearQAM from the cable company, you can not map them to Tivo channel numbers and get guide info for it. This is part of what the CableCARD does, maps the channels to the numbers for you.

    The solution for the Tivo part is subscribe and get a CableCARD.
     
  3. Joe Siegler

    Joe Siegler Member

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    I just unsubscribed. Can't do that now.

    Darn. Was hoping I could do that because both of my TVs can see all the channels with the right numbers with program info (although just 2 days). Darn. Was hoping the premiere handled things differently than earlier models.
     
  4. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    I recently had a TiVo premier w/cablecard and TV go belly up. TiVo is in the process of being replaced and analog TV has been replaced by HD TV. To my annoyance, I have discovered that there are channels available in clear QAM that are not in the Comcast(Atlanta) lineup and thus are not mapped via the cablecard. With a cablecard installed, there is no way to do a scan for QAM channels, so I cannot get to them at all through the TiVo. One of the channels in this state is MeTV which has shows on it that I would like to be able to watch. Once I get the replacement TiVo installed, I wont even be able watch it live as the signal strength of the cable at that outlet is too weak to split.

    Please TiVo, change the system so that I can do a scan for clear QAM channels even with a cablecard installed. I could then go in and remove any duplicated channels from the channels I receive list. I am not asking for guide data, I am simply asking for a way to access the channels.
     
  5. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    Get a better OTA antenna like a multi-directional one with a powered signal amplifier
     
  6. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    Was that response to me or the OP?
     
  7. JimboG

    JimboG New Member

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    A "multi-directional" (or non-directional) antenna has less gain, worse front to back ratio, and worse side lobe performance than a proper directional antenna. Most powered signal amplifiers will do more harm than good. Cheap amps aren't good and good amps aren't cheap.

    What an over the air viewer typically needs is a directional antenna with an appropriate amount of gain mounted up high (preferably outside) and pointed in the correct direction. A TV Fool report would be quite useful to determine just what type of antenna a potential over the air viewer would need.

    It's also useful to buy an antenna that covers the bands that you actually need. Most folks no longer need low band VHF reception. That means that you can get a smaller antenna for less money that still has better performance on the high band VHF stations and UHF stations that people want in most markets. If one is fortunate enough to live in a UHF-only market, you may be able to get acceptable performance with an even smaller, more affordable antenna. On the other hand, if you live out in the sticks you may need a big antenna and a high quality preamp.

    You probably don't want a non-directional indoor antenna with a cheap built in amplifier in just about any scenario. For those cases where an indoor antenna would suffice, the $13 Radioshack rabbit ears and UHF loop will work better than just about any "powered multidirectional antenna".:rolleyes:
     
  8. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    The OP, he mentioned using rabbit ears and that tuning in everything just doesn't work, so a multi-directional antenna would likely be more useful.
     
  9. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    I've never had any issues. I use an amplifier for my cable after a few splits and long runs and I use a cheap $20 amplified multi-directional antenna for OTA on my Premiere where rabbit ears just didn't work well enough even when I added a uhf loop.

    How about the scenario where that is exactly what works best for you and your specific situation.

    :rolleyes: right back at you.
     
  10. MrJedi

    MrJedi Member

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    That is very dependent on the stations he is trying to tune and where he lives. Using 75046 (a random Garland, TX zip) as a zip code on Antenna Web the OP has 25 channels available to him not including sub channels. He has 2 channels that are VHF, and the rest are UHF. He is 30 miles away from every tower (+/- 1 mile for all but one station) That said he can get half of his stations with just a small multi-directional UHF only antenna. I assume that is because the power output of the towers. He may have a hard time with an indoor one, considering smaller outdoor antennas start fading at 30 miles, and many people have issues with indoor antennas as close as 10 miles depending on geography, power output of the tower, and misc other types of interferance. His best bet is probably a large directional antenna like the Channel Master CM 2018. It Does UHF and VHF and matches the color codes for the stations he should be able to receive.

    In regards to being able to map the QAM channels I agree with the OP it would be nice. One of the few things I miss from my Sony DHG-HDD was the ability to manually map channels, but still get the listing as it was done by channel name and not number on TVGOS.
     
  11. Joe Siegler

    Joe Siegler Member

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    I did a bunch of research, and unless I was gonna spend some money for a good roof mounted antenna, I have to make do with rabbit ears. I'm unemployed, and can't really afford the dough to install it properly. Unless you want to swing by and do it for me? ;)

    Aha! I was coming back to this thread to post that link, which I already had.

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=8d17e532c89f58

    In addition, here's my thread over there on my issues with the antenna choice. Talks about some other models I looked at before settling on what I have now.

    Well, this is what I have in there: RCA ANT121 - not sexy, but when it works, it works great. I just can't get everything at once, and by that I mean mostly what used to be defined as "UHF" channels - basically not the ones listed below.

    I pretty much only care about these:

    4-1 (Fox)
    5-1/2/3 (NBC)
    8-1/2/3 (ABC)
    11-1 (CBS)
    13-1/2 (PBS)

    Beyond that, it's incidental, although I do like 21-1 here in Dallas due to Texas Rangers games. I'd like to get some of the others in this area, but I can live without 'em as the bulk of them are Spanish channels (which are of no use to me).

    Several times I've thought I found the golden sweet spot, but then I'll find some recording has massive blocking, and I have to refind the sweet spot.

    If I had skills to do it, I'd run the bugger up into the attic, but I'm NOT a guy who can get away with drilling holes in the walls and mot screwing it up.

    See above.

    What puzzles me about that is that my television can map the channels correctly to their proper numbers. There's no cable card in there. Why is it the TV can do it, but the TiVo can't?
     
  12. JimboG

    JimboG New Member

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    TiVo DVRs do not map and record clear QAM channels. This isn't a technical limitation so much as it is a policy choice.

    It sounds like you would like to receive the major market stations for Dallas - Fort Worth. Your Belo-owned ABC affiliate is on VHF hi-band channel 8; everything else of interest in on UHF. You are within 31 miles of every station that you have any reasonable chance of receiving. Moreover, you have the standard Dallas area flat terrain and excellent visibility that make DFW one of the best cable cutting markets in the country.

    I would try the aforementioned Radioshack $13 budget rabbit ear and UHF loop antenna in a window pointed toward the southwest. This is a better version of the RCA-branded rabbit ear and UHF loop combo antenna that you currently own.

    If the Rat Shack antenna doesn't work, I would return it and (perhaps surprisingly) purchase another RCA antenna. This time I would get the RCA ANT751 antenna. This small UHF and hi-band VHF (channels 7-13) antenna is manufactured by Winegard and sold under the RCA name. The ANT751 is small enough and light enough weight to mount on an old satellite dish J-mount. The small size of this antenna should placate the spouse and/or the petty tyrants with the home owners' association.:cool:

    As far as your concerns about mounting an antenna in the attic, don't worry too much about it. I would recommend finding a closet that is directly below your attic. Drill upward from the ceiling of the closet, near the outside wall and away from any electric wires or sprinkler lines. Drilling from a closet to the attic can cover many sins and you then can run coax behind a baseboard, behind drywall, or under carpet or area rugs as needed.
     
  13. Joe Siegler

    Joe Siegler Member

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    Garland, TX
    Oh really? Why? What's with that? Now I'm just curious.

    Window stuff is not a possibility. Go look at this link:

    http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?p=8226#post8226

    I posted it in this thread too, but it shows what physically my TV room looks like. I posted pictures and all.

    The closest window in the room where the TV is is on the other side of the room. Running an antenna there is extremely impractical.

    If you look at the picture I posted down that thread after I put an antenna up (which in the pic is ANT111, I've since put ANT121 there), it shows a window on the other side of a wall. That's the kitchen, and I'd be killed if I drilled through the wall to put an antenna there. My wife would rather me spend the money for the roof, I'm sure. There's no closet or anything there like you suggest. It's through the wall or nothing.

    Edit: Is this the $13 antenna you're talking about?
     
  14. True Colors

    True Colors Member

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    I am curious about this. Why will Tivo not allow us to tune in clear QAM signals?

    TC
     
  15. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    An HD capable TiVo can access clear QAM channels if there is no CableCARD installed. It just doesn't map them nor does it get program data for them. You can do manual recordings.

    I was recently severely chastised for resuming the flagellation of an expired quadrupedal mammalian herbivore, so my advice to you is - repent before the forum police descend upon you en masse.
     
  16. Joe Siegler

    Joe Siegler Member

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    That's obviously a reference to a forum "event" that's happened in the past, but some of us (myself & True Colors) honestly want to know why it doesn't happen. I can't control poor behaviour of other forum users.

    I do find it odd that the TiVo doesn't map them, yet both my televisions do if I plug 'em into the wall like that.
     
  17. mec1991

    mec1991 Cranky old coot

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    Joe,

    It's so TiVo can appear cable company friendly by making customers pay for more expensive cable service and rent cable cards from them.
     

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