tivo with ota antenna

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by drdarren, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. drdarren

    drdarren New Member

    May 15, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL


    has anyone been using the ota antenna instead of the cablecard from the cable company. how is the quality. does one antenna work to replace both cards allowing the dual tuner to work.

    also, i have two tivos, so can one antenna work the 2 dual tuner tivos?

    can anyone recommend a good INDOOR antenna?

    Last question... if i use an outdoor antenna, can i attach it to my cable coming in to my house from the cable company via a splitter and have it work will all my tvs.

    Note: i am not stealing cable in case you were wondering as it in included with my monthly development fees so even if i cancel my hd service, i still get standard cable.

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    I get all my local HD's OTA with an antenna in the attic. Works GREAT. I split the antenna between the Tivo and the TV. No problems.
  3. drdarren

    drdarren New Member

    May 15, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    so do you feed the antenna into the tivo or just to the tv. do you have a dual tuner series 3 or hd tivo? also, being in the attic,does the framing of the house interfere?

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    The cable is run thru a splitter so it can drive both the TV and the Tivo.

    Cant really say whether the framing 'interferes' but it works great.
  5. minckster

    minckster New Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Manhattan NYC


    I get excellent reception with an indoor $20 Silver Sensor, of which there are many brands with the same (not patented!) design. Here's one:


    With a Series3, you connect the OTA antenna (say for OTA HD channels) to one input and the cable (say for unscrambled analogue channels, the ones that don't require a cable box) to another input. That's a standard setup, which the unit was designed to handle. The S3 integrates the two channel lineups seamlessly. You can record from any two sources (OTA & OTA, OTA & cable, or cable & cable) while playing a recording.

    The TiVo can also scan for and tune unencrypted digital (QAM) channels from your cable provider, but I'll let someone else pick up the baton and talk about those. It's a whole other can of worms.

    [Edit to add: The Series3 has an excellent OTA tuner. It's by far the best of the three ATSC tuners I have. With the same antenna, in the same place, it gets all of the local OTA stations, while the other tuners do not. My signal is almost entirely reflected off of skyscrapers and not line-of-sight to the Empire State Building, so it's a difficult reception situation.]
  6. A J Ricaud

    A J Ricaud Active Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    If you mean using an OTA antenna and cable service on the same splitter, no, as they will interfere with one another. You need separate coax downleads for OTA and cable. You can then use a splitter on each coax to feed your TVs and Tivos, assuming you have enough signal.
  7. minckster

    minckster New Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Manhattan NYC
    Ooops! I see I didn't read your questions carefully enough. Although I don't know for sure if you can use a splitter in reverse to join the cable and OTA signals into one wire, I doubt it, especially since the TiVo has separate inputs for the two signal sources. I know it's possible (if a little messy) to join two antennas with a splitter in reverse.
  8. JasonJ75

    JasonJ75 New Member

    Sep 29, 2007
    Brambleton, VA
    Quality is superb (a bit better than the HD I get from Fios - it's the original signal) and yes the dual tuner will work.

    With a splitter, yes.

    I went to Home Depot and found a standard rooftop antenna and mounted it in the attic (it's HUGE). Depending where you live the smaller interior antennas work great as well. I used to have the one minckster mentioned and it worked on my TV, but at the time I had a WMC with a weak tuner...Needed to beef up the signal strength.

    You know I'm not positive, but I'll bet you a nickel that it won't work.
  9. drdarren

    drdarren New Member

    May 15, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    thankyou all for your help. it is much appreciated.
  10. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    Jun 12, 2004
    Fishers, IN
    YES....framing of a house definitely interferes with your signal, costing you about 50% of it. Go outdoors....and, by the way, I used a Silver Sensor with less than acceptable results.
  11. Magwich

    Magwich New Member

    Feb 13, 2005
    I have 3 of indoor / outdoor antennas I got from Radio Shack for $79 each that work great. I can't post the link because I don't have 5 posts yet, but here is the product info:
    Model: 15-2187
    Catalog #: 15-2187
  12. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    Oct 17, 2003
    I was just experimenting one day when I found an old bow-tie antenna in my sock drawer. It had a 75ohm, 12 inch connecor on it. I got an adaptor in the garage, hooked it up, just letting it hang down behind TiVo and was able to get beautiful reception on 5 of 6 local HD channels. So I went out and bought an indoor amplified new antenna and got the same results. Switched to a Silver Sensor and got the same results. returned them both and still use my bow-tie.
  13. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    A lot of answers about antennas begin with "it depends".

    The building itself will interfere with some of the signal. How much depends on many factors including the construction material used. The distance and direction of the signal also play a big role.

    If you are relatively close to the signal, you should try the indoor antenna. Many people report good results.

    You may want to take a look at http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx for direction and location of the signal from your location.

  14. Status

    Status New Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Seattle, Wa
    Before I got digital cable and cable cards, I used OTA exclusively. I still use OTA with my cable/cable cards.

    Check your distance and angle of reception from the antennaweb link that was already provided. This will give you a vague guess as to what you can work with and what not.

    Indoor Antenna: plan on losing at least 25% and up to 75% of the signal strength, it is very variable.

    Attic Mounted Antenna (internal still): Generally you lose about 50% of your signal strength.

    Roof Mounted with Line of sight (not in a valley): The best solution in general, but the antenna is outside.

    I'm about 18 miles from my signal and close to the top of a hill. I got a bow tie antenna from antennas direct. To test it out, I put it on a tripod in my livingroom and got great signal. I mounted it inside my attic and found that I got more interferance when it was in my attic, then when it was in my livingroom. All depends on the materials the signal has to pass through. That said, my signal from my attic, once the antenna was aimed correctly is as good, if not better, then what I'm getting from Comcast for the same channels.

  15. spiraleyes

    spiraleyes Tivo noob

    Sep 17, 2007
    Salt Lake City
    I use a TERK indoor antenna, and it picks up my local HD's great. Joined with my analog cable, I'm very satisfied.

    Joining the cable and antenna on a "reverse" setup of a splitter is a very bad idea, and you will not get good results. Splitters are designed to be "one way".

    Since the TivoHD has an input for each, you're good to go.
  16. puckettcg

    puckettcg New Member

    Feb 10, 2006
    I just got my first S3 about 2 weeks ago, and when I ordered it I also ordered one of those Terk amplified antennas. The S3 came in about 5 days ahead of the antenna, and I just couldn't wait to set it up so I tried to pick up the OTA HD channels using an old set of rabbit ears. Worked fantastic - picked up all the OTA HD and Analog channels in my area. When the TERK came in, I got a slightly better signal strength as measured by the TIVO, but by in large because HD is an all or nothing, it really didn't seem to matter whether I used the TERK or regular antenna. It worked best in the family room on the first floor - but in the basement I could get everything except the CW. But, the basement (even though its a walk-out) is probably the worst place to get good reception - but I still get no pixelations or black-out on channels but the CW.

    My advise is to start with the cheapest antenna solution to see if it works. I'm only using the S3 to record OTA HD. I have FIOS for all the cable channels, but I like on demand and I didn't want to mess with cable cards. Once I figured out that 90% of what I was recording in HD was OTA, it was basically a no-brainer.
  17. renkablue

    renkablue New Member

    Sep 16, 2007
    I did a search about ota antenna and came up with these postings. I have "rabbit ears" that will pick up reception for all the channels...however, two of the channels come in so poorly that I don't get a signal through Tivo, while the regular set (viewing without Tivo) will pick up the channels- but reception is not good. I was wondering if any posts would give which brand worked best for OTA antenna? What about a product that will boost the signal?
  18. hildred

    hildred New Member

    Aug 30, 2003
    detroit mich
    yes can i used a indoor ant for hdtv tivo if so which one
  19. tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    I use the Winegard SS-3000. I was using the trek hdtva. I think the Winegard SS-3000 does a better job. But its 27" long and it was hard to find a place to put it. I Put it on top of my vertical blinds. Also i am in a valley and in a condo. 14 miles from the stations. I get all 14 ota hdtv channels in my area with tivo hd.
  20. bensler

    bensler New Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    Hi there...I am planning on installing an OTA pretty soon, so I can get better HD for ABC, NBC - those two channels seem to get the most pixelation from all of my experimenting, however what about ESPN HD? Do I need to keep my cable cards in order to get ESPN HD, TNT HD, etc.?
    Thanks so much!

Share This Page

spam firewall