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Can the HR20 OTA Tuner Be Improved Through Software Upgrades?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by geaux tigers, Jun 2, 2007.

Can the HR20 OTA Tuner Be Improved Through Software Upgrades?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    50 vote(s)
    57.5%
  3. Not Sure

    37 vote(s)
    42.5%
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  1. Jun 5, 2007 #41 of 183
    geaux tigers

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    CHDinCT and KCCardsfan,

    Thanks for the insight. Hopefully based upon your observations the HR20 OTA Tuner can be improved through software upgrades. If you can make something worse it only reasons that you can make something better.
     
  2. Jun 5, 2007 #42 of 183
    pdawg17

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    For me, the HR20 is better than the HR10 in pulling in channels but worse with multipath...with my NBC 11-1 the HR10 was fairly weak but would stay high enough to pull in the channel...with the HR20, the signal strength is in the 90s but the multipath makes it lose all signal completely from 11-1 and the only way to fix it is to do a reboot of the box...then several days later it loses it again...
     
  3. Jun 6, 2007 #43 of 183
    geaux tigers

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    The HR-20 may be better in some regards than the HR10-250's OTA tuner except in the area of multipath. However, most other electronics (Tv's, receivers, etc.) have better OTA tuners than the HR20's tuner. Stating that the HR20 has a better tuner than the HR10-250 is like stating the snail is faster than the garden slug. The fact is that neither one is going to break any land speed records anytime soon.

    The HR20's tuner needs to be improved but can it?
     
  4. Jun 6, 2007 #44 of 183
    Keeska

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    Sensitivity is the word used to describe the ability to receive low level signals.
    Maybe you have proven it to yourself but I find this not to be true. The sensitivity of the HR20 is better then the HR10 in side by side comparisons I have done and in comparisions I have observed. For you it may be less sensitive but not for others. Please do not make over-reaching statements.
    For you perhaps. As you probably know, multipath is the biggest problem when receiving ATSC OTA. This is a result of the design choosen by the FCC. The technology to reject multipath interference when receiving/processing ATSC has taken great leaps in the past year. I just finished a multiplath test with the HR20, HR10, a couple of SONY TVs and a couple of stand alone ATSC tuners. Due to the nature of multipath the results vary depending on which channel is being tuned but the HR20 is among the best at rejecting multipath interference. The best was a stand alone ATSC tuner using the latest multipath rejection technology. The HR20 was consistently 2nd or 3rd. So it is pretty good but not state of the art.
    As will other problems. Multipath is not the only cause of the bouncing signal strength.
    We obviously have far different experiences.
    This is obviously a major design flaw. So far I have been luck and all of the local channels are in the guide.
     
  5. Jun 6, 2007 #45 of 183
    Radio Enginerd

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    As an Enginerd, I can say confidently that the OTA tuner(s) will probably always have an issue with multipath.

    They can make changes to SW to increase or decrease sensitivity I suppose but hardware is hardware and will be the limiting factor.

    I don't have a problem with it although I know many do.
     
  6. Jun 6, 2007 #46 of 183
    hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

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    You can talk about sensitivity all you like, but sensitivity is NOT dynamic range. Sensitivity is ONE COMPONENT of the dynamic range equation.

    Dynamic Range in dBm = Blocking Level (in dBm - Receiver Sensitivity (in dBm))


    So, if the receiver has a Sensitivity of - 137 dBm

    and

    if the receiver front end starts distorting at -95 dBm

    then

    The Dynamic Range is -95 dBm - (-137 dBm) = +42 dB

    The issue we are discussing when we use the term "dynamic range" is the strong signal handling capability of the HR20 compared to its sensitivity. This is traditionally expressed as the difference between the WEAKEST SIGNAL that can be decoded and the STRONGEST SIGNAL that can be TOLERATED before distortion sets in.

    This is called "Dynamic Range". The HR20 has poor dynamic range.

    There are other measures of front end strength like Two Tone Intermodulation Distortion, Gain Compression and 3rd Order Intercept....all of which express in one form or another the ability of the front end or mixer of a receiver to deal with strong signals. Properly implemented, these are all expression of dynamic range.

    Raw sensitivity is only ONE measure of a good receiver performance. It does no good to have outstanding sensitivity if the slightest increase in signal level above that raw low sensitivity causes the receiver to start distorting.

    It is the "window" between the lowest signal level that can produce a viewable picture and the strongest signal that can be tolerated before pixellation starts that is being called "dynamic range".

    Please stop changing the equation. All of us using the term dynamic range, knew exactly what we were talking about and you jumping in and trying to redefine a well established engineering variable to nothing more than sensitivity is misleading. (and plain wrong)
     
  7. Jun 6, 2007 #47 of 183
    veryoldschool

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    I think Hasan has done a good job "explaining" to you.
    As for our "different experiences", I will just comment that I've been testing receivers for 30 years, and while I don't know everything, I do know receiver testing & specs. FWIW :)
     
  8. Jun 6, 2007 #48 of 183
    bto4wd

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    Okay, I don't know nothing about nothing. But didn't a recent software release enable the HR20 to now receive VHF channel 2 in Chicago when it couldn't before? If that's the case, then the answer to this question is YES. The OTA tuner can be improved via software upgrades.
     
  9. Jun 6, 2007 #49 of 183
    veryoldschool

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    Yes it did, but it could also be said that the tuner was limited by software before.
    I don't know what the problem was, but it could have been the "tuning code", where did simply wasn't tuning to those frequencies. If this was the case, then it didn't improve how well the tuner performs as a RF tuner [sensitivity, compression, dynamic range, etc.], but only that it never got the correct data to work right.
    It is very hard for software to make up for a hardware [chip] limitations. If on the other hand, the software is defective, then fixing it will show an improvement.
     
  10. Jun 6, 2007 #50 of 183
    David Carmichael

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    OAT - Software update fixed most of my single digit channel troubles (while not really single digit but a 2 to 9 "dash" 1(or what ever the sub channel is))

    But I still have one bit of trouble....

    My HR20-10S does not want to save my "OTA" settings if there is a power loss or a system reboot/reset!

    I have to go through the whole 15-25 minute process of scanning the airwaves, deleting channels not received in my market area, since the spot beam of the channel listing gives all channels with in a 150 miles of my zip code.

    With the storm season going on even with a battery back up, I was with out power for longer than my battery back up would support the DVR (two hours max)..... I just wished that the software would write my setting for the "OTA" setting to the harddrive and save them.

    --David
     
  11. Jun 6, 2007 #51 of 183
    veryoldschool

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    This seems strange to me as I lose power for hours, but have never needed to redo my OTA settings with my twin -700s.
     
  12. Jun 6, 2007 #52 of 183
    geaux tigers

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    If the OTA tuner was not picking up a station before a software upgrade but the same OTA tuner then picks up the station after a software upgrade then software did improve the tuner. Am I missing something here. One poster stated that the OTA tuner had not been improved by software in this situation because the software was limiting the hardware and the actual hardware had not changed. I am not a NASA engineer but it would appear to me that the tuner can be improved through software upgrades based upon various posters comments.
     
  13. Jun 6, 2007 #53 of 183
    veryoldschool

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    I'm not trying to belittle anybody here, and let me put it in my "Blonde speak":
    If the knob on my radio was broken and I couldn't tune to a station. Then someone came and fixed the knob on the radio, would that be "improving it"?
    One way of looking at it would be "yes" it is improved, and another would be that since just the knob was broken, the radio itself didn't improve where is would now receive weaker signal than it did before, just that it would now be "controlled" better to receive what [radio wise] it always could [except for the broken knob].
    Since it's a digital chip, it need the right software to perform. At the basic level in chips, they're analog so "software" can't change their nature. They do what they can do by design. If the chip needs a capacitor or an inductor value changed to make it better, then no amount of software will change this.
     
  14. Jun 6, 2007 #54 of 183
    n3ntj

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    Thanks for posting the link, Steve. Some really good information!
     
  15. Jun 6, 2007 #55 of 183
    geaux tigers

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    I'm not sure about "Blonde speak" but to go Old School on you, myself and many other users are interested in results. If someone fixed the knob on you radio then I would say that your radio was improved. Computers were just computers until Microsoft and Apple came along. I understand your point but the question is: Can the HR20 tuner be improved through software upgrades?
     
  16. Jun 6, 2007 #56 of 183
    veryoldschool

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    You might need to ask the engineers at D*, PACE, RCA & LG to get your answer.

    If there is still a "missing" channel then yes. [The knob]
    If the channel doesn't come in, most likely, no. [The hardware]
     
  17. Jun 7, 2007 #57 of 183
    ncxcstud

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    I can pick up a more 'stable' image/signal through the HR20 than I can through my TV's antenna...

    I'm using a powered indoor antenna and I'm about 25-30 miles from the towers in my area.

    All in all, I think the HR20 tuner is very good :).
     
  18. Jun 7, 2007 #58 of 183
    geaux tigers

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    I am glad that some on this forum have positive results concerning the OTA tuner on the HR20. I have a Sharp LCD that has an OTA HD tuner built in. The tuner on the Sharp is superior to the tuner on the HR20. That is my experience. There is never any pixelation or drop outs on the Sharp and the signal is consistant. I wish I could say the same concerning the HR20.
     
  19. Jun 7, 2007 #59 of 183
    veryoldschool

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    The OTA tuner in the HR-20 will look good if your "other tuner" is really crappy. :D
     
  20. Jun 7, 2007 #60 of 183
    geaux tigers

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    Good point, black and white television was cutting edge when all of your neighbors only had radio.
     
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