Tivo OTA Sucks

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by RjBDetroit, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. TVCricket

    TVCricket HDUI

    141
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    Mar 7, 2010

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    I've had my Premiere for about a month with OTA only and I get all 4 broadcast networks, plus CW, PBS (which I don't watch), and IonTV. What else should I be receiving? What are these problems that people are having? ABC comes in because the antenna is pointed in one direction, while CBS doesn't until you point it the other way? Or are people expecting to get 20 free channels?
     
  2. JimboG

    JimboG Member

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    May 27, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    To find out what you TV stations you should receive at your location, try www.tvfool.com and www.antennaweb.org.

    As for the Tivo Premiere's over the air performance, I don't think anyone unreasonably expects to receive stations that just aren't there. However, for a 2010 product that was introduced as one step short of the second coming, people expect weak signal reception and multipath rejection that is better than the 2007 era Tivo Series 3. Getting worse performance from the Tivo Premiere than the Series 3 and HD Tivo is not acceptable.:thumbsdown:
     
  3. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

    4,570
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    Apr 2, 2005
    Did not notice a difference between my Premieres and going directly into my Tvs when testing OTA. I only looked at picture quality.

    Channels that worked great on the TVS directly worked great on the Premiere.

    Channels that didn't come in very well on the TVS didn't come in through the Premiere either.
     
  4. TWinbrook46636

    TWinbrook46636 Member

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    Feb 8, 2008
    I pick up about 5 fewer OTA channels (not including sub-channels of course) with my Premiere as compared with my Series 3. It's widely reported that the tuners in the Premiere are not as good as the older Series 3 so it's unclear if anything can be done to fix it with new software.
     
  5. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

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    Jan 12, 2011
    North...

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    I have a DX'ing array of OTA antennas on my roof, on a rotor, with preamp, feeding a 4 way splitter in the house...That goes to the Premier, a DirecTV AM21 tuner, a Dishnetwork TRC40 converter box, and my Sharp Aquos. I get 90-100% on everything except the Tivo, which reports 50-60%, and has constant video breakups, and shows large numbers of uncorrected errors on the diagnositc screen.

    From playing with the rotor, it *appears* that the tuners in the Tivo are incapable of rejecting multipath, unlike my other tuners. I am going to run a separate 2 bay antenna (really low gain in comparison), which should eliminate most of the multipath, and see what happens. All my stations are in the same direction at about 20 miles. The strongest stations (and the one on vhf) are the ones causing me the most issues.
     
  6. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

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    Jan 12, 2011
    North...
    Just an update to my above post. I resurrected an old Channel Master quantum antenna, which is know for its high gain narrow forward lobe, and exceptional rejection of signals from all other directions. I put this 20' off the ground on a tripod, and fed it directly with a 75' run of RG6, and pointed it at our transmitter towers 20 miles away.

    On the Tivo, the signal levels (or quality readings which they appear to be) went from the 50's to the 80's, and the uncorrected error rate dropped to 0, and the corrected error rate went to 0 on all but one UHF station, where it was running at about 20 errors per minute, corrected.

    This pretty much confirms my conclusion that multipath, not tuner insensitivity is the cause for the complaints. Get an antenna to eliminate your multipath, and you should not have any problems with Tivo tuners.
     
  7. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    Apr 19, 2004
    East Moline, IL
    Thanks for this! What model is your quantum? I'm finding several different shapes when searching for "Channel Master quantum".
     
  8. TVCricket

    TVCricket HDUI

    141
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    Mar 7, 2010
    I use a simple Silver Sensor type antenna and receive all the channels that I'd want. Looked at the tvfool site and the only channels I'd get are duplicates from the next closest city. Besides CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, CW, PBS, Music Video, and ION what other digital channels do some of you get or want to get that you don't with the Premiere?
     
  9. aaroncgi

    aaroncgi New Member

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Dave,

    Thanks very much for this information! Would you happen to know how the ChannelMaster 4228 (original, not the new 4228HD) compares to the Quantum in this regard? Although we don't have another digital tuner besides our Premiere to compare to, the reception with our 4228 is very peculiar. For example, VHF 11 comes in much stronger than UHF 39. Meanwhile, UHF 38 and 48 come in with twice the strength of UHF 39, even though according to TV fool, they are all within 2 dBm power. VHF 9 is even as strong as UHF 39 most of the time. All these channels are broadcast from the same hill, about 30 miles away.
     
  10. JimboG

    JimboG Member

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    May 27, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I think there may be a bit of confusion between the national broadcast networks that most people might hope to receive from one or more local affiliates versus the individual stations that you can receive at a given location.

    For desirable networks, in my opinion you should have reliable reception of the Big Four (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX) and your local PBS station before you consider relying on over the air HDTV reception and cut the cord with your pay TV company. You also might want to get the CW, MyNetwork TV, ION, Univision, Telemundo, and any interesting local stations and sub-channels if they are available.


    A good, modern, reliable tuner will help you with weak signals, multipath resistance, and perform well despite adjacent channel and co-channel interference. This means that the Tivo Premiere should work better than a Series 3 Tivo for someone at the edge of attainable reception (50 to 70+ miles from a full power transmitter) when paired with an appropriate antenna (and preamp if necessary). The new Tivo should work better than older Tivos for an apartment dweller in the urban canyons of New York or Chicago. The newer Tivo should work as well as or better than the older Tivo when you are at the bottom of a hill or if you are near the flight path for a local airport.

    If you live in a co-located market, you should be able to receive the local stations from both Washington, DC and from Baltimore. Or from Detroit as well as Toledo, Lansing, and Flint. Or perhaps from both Buffalo and Toronto or Los Angeles and San Diego.

    I don't think anyone reasonably expects the Tivo Premiere to do the impossible. However, the over the air tuner performance should be at least as good as what the previous generation of Tivos could do. Ideally the Tivo Premiere would offer over the air reception right up there with the very best consumer grade tuners on the market. Right now, the Tivo Premiere falls far, far short of that mark.
     
  11. Eamus Catuli

    Eamus Catuli Member

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    Aug 8, 2010
    Toronto ON...
    Agreed nearly 100%. It still think there is a slight sensitivity issue. One of my stations just barely locks on my 4 year old Sharp Aquos and doesn't lock on the Premiere, but I agree that multipath handling is by far the bigger issue.

    My antenna is a ChannelMaster 4221 (the original, not the "HD" version). Since I have transmitters over 100° apart, I chose it for the wide beamwidth to get them all with a stationary antenna. This worked great with just a tv. With the Premiere in the mix now, it is no longer an adequate setup, hence my frustration.
     
  12. 77setransam

    77setransam New Member

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    Jan 20, 2011
    I am a new guy here and read this thread before purchasing a refurb from woot. I wanted on for OTA only to record Antenna TV and RTV. I decided to go ahead and if the tuner did not pick up what I wanted I would sell it. I received the unit yesterday and it found all of the channels that my TV's do so I am satisfied. I am 48 miles from the towers. Radio Shack's best antenna (4 years ago) and a channel master 7777 pre amp. My incoming signal is only split twice. :)
     
  13. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

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    North...
    Yep. In the case of multipath, the farther away you are from the transmitters, the less multipath you will have, as the bounce attenuates the signals when you are farther away.

    In the analog days, we were 20 miles from Milwaukee, 60 miles from Madison. There was a water tower directly in line with Milwaukee which caused ghosts (multipath) on one high VHF channel, so we had to rotate the antenna and watch that network from Madison or Chicago (90 miles) if we wanted a clear(er) picture. The 7777 preamp is super.
     
  14. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

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    North...
    Quantums were discontinued when Channel Master sold out about 10 years ago. I have an 1165 I believe. Its the Deepest Fringe UHF, Near Fringe VHF model. If you find one now, that has all its elements, grab it.
     
  15. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

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    North...
    4228 original is a UHF only antenna, but works somewhat on stronger channel 10,11,12, and 13. Its problem, if you are within 30 miles of the transmitters, is its wide beamwidth, even though they claim its only 15 degrees, which allows a lot wider beam to capture multipath. From the sound of your description, you are having that problem with some of your channels. If, as I suspect, the signal strength meter is actually a 100 minus bit rate error meter, then even with a strong signal, it could read very low on the meter if you have multipath problems. The only way to tell for sure, would be to use a narrow beam yagi antenna like the XG91 for UHF, and your 4228 for the VHF one, run each into a UHF/VHF combiner. The reason I suggest the XG91 is even though its gain is totally overkill for 30 miles, its got a much narrower (25 degrees) beamwidth than a lower gain yagi would (30 or more).

    If you know whats causing your multipath, then sometimes pointing the antenna in the wrong direction somewhat, to null out the reflection, will help. If you dont have an obvious cause (large building, metal cell tower or water tower, etc), then the easiest thing to do is get the narrowest beamwidth antenna you can.
     
  16. facted

    facted New Member

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    Jan 23, 2011
    I'm in NYC w/ a west facing apartment (towards jersey) and I don't really have a clear view towards the empire state building where I believe some of the signal towers are located here in the city. I'm only 3 miles away, but my signal strength is pretty terrible (I suspect because of multipath).

    I'm using an RCA flat antenna (http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT1650-D...GW3K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295837354&sr=8-1) which picks up all my channels when hooked up straight to my tv but i'm missing out on 2.1 and 4.1 when connected to my TIVO. What can I do to improve my signal? I can't put anything on the roof, though I do have a balcony that I could technically put something on if absolutely necessary.

    Thanks!
     
  17. Andrel

    Andrel Member

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    Oct 19, 2000
    The premiere seems to be having problems with amplified antenna and multipath. Maybe you can try to put your antenna outside or use on of these. It is quite small and has excellent reviews. Cheap too!
    http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Maste...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1295840937&sr=1-1

    I am not sure if any of your channels are on the VHF-lo, hi or UHF. Have your done a TVFOOL report for your location ?
     
  18. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

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    Jan 12, 2011
    North...
    I have tested the 2 bay version of the Channel Master (4220 I believe is the model number) and it should work on your balcony as well as the one that Andrel linked, depending on how strong your signal is.
     
  19. aaroncgi

    aaroncgi New Member

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Thanks for all the tips, Dave! This weekend I did several tweaks. I cleaned all the algae off the antenna's screen (7 years without cleaning), and ran an all new, significantly shorter run of RG6 (vs mish-mash of RG6 vs RG59). The net result is that all stations gained a couple ticks on the meter, though granted, it's well within the normal variation due to weather, so not really definitive. Our problem channel is up into the yellow range (44) and has been stable for the past few days. Again though, this could be weather related and nothing to do with what I did. I tried aiming the antenna to see if I could defeat the multipath, and yes, I could get the problem channel up into the 50's. However, at that aim, I lost our high VHF channel (channel 9) completely, which we don't want to do. It's marginal, in the high 30's, aimed directly at the towers, so nto really surprising. Aiming on the other side of the towers made all channels worse. So right now, as long as we stay in the 40's, we're good. If need be, I could always add a VHF antenna such as the YA-1713 and combine with the 4228 aimed differently, but that's a rather large expense just to get the numbers up on a couple channels which are stable say 90% of the time or more.

    We do have a large building about 1000' away from us, directly in between the antenna and the broadcast towers. I would estimate it's probably twice as tall as our antenna. It's a rebuilt school which used to be considerably smaller, and the new building was finished about the time we started having problems. I don't know if this is the source of the problem, or why it only affects the one channel, but it would make a lot of sense. If this IS the cause, being that it's directly in line with where we need to point, does that mean a narrower beam width wouldn't help?
     
  20. Royski

    Royski New Member

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    Jan 24, 2011
    I just received my refurbed Premier from woot and the OTA tuner works fine for me, comparable to the one in our Sony TV. We have a rooftop antenna.
     

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