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HR20 OTA issue

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by SPACEMAKER, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. SPACEMAKER

    SPACEMAKER Freethinker

    3,183
    16
    Dec 11, 2007
    Mason, MI
    My HR 20 died today so I hooked up my H23 in it's place until the replacement arrives.

    I hooked up my OTA directly to my TV and I was stunned at how many more channels I am able to pick up. The range increase is just remarkable. The channels that used to be shaky as far as signal is concerned are now coming in perfectly with zero pixilation. The PQ has never been better.

    What is it that my HR20 was doing to impede my OTA signal? Is this common? Is my OTA working better because the OTA coax is now connecting farther away from the DVR connections? Should I be insulating the coax on my OTA or something?

    Any ideas on how I can get this same reception for my replacement DVR would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,202
    63
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    1. HR20 has two ATSC tuners fed with an internal splitter, so you lose some signal right there.

    2. HR20's ATSC tuner is relatively "old generation" these days. Your HDTV's tuner is likely much better.
     
  3. SPACEMAKER

    SPACEMAKER Freethinker

    3,183
    16
    Dec 11, 2007
    Mason, MI
    Is there a way to fix this? Can I open it up and put in a better tuner with relative ease? Getting such spotty PBS reception is extremely frustrating.
     
  4. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,202
    63
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    There's no way to replace the tuners inside the HR20.
     
  5. davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

    6,417
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    Jan 13, 2007
    If you receive a replacement HR21, 22 or 23 you will need an AM21 OTA tuner as those HR's do not have internal tuners. You will find the AM21 to be a much more sensitive tuner.
     
  6. SPACEMAKER

    SPACEMAKER Freethinker

    3,183
    16
    Dec 11, 2007
    Mason, MI
    Damn. I guess I'm stuck like Chuck.
     
  7. SPACEMAKER

    SPACEMAKER Freethinker

    3,183
    16
    Dec 11, 2007
    Mason, MI
    Since I will need an AM21 when I eventually get an HR24 this would be fine with me. The CSR I spoke with understood that I need OTA. If they don't send and HR20 would they automatically send an AM21 if they send an HR21,22 or 23?
     
  8. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,202
    63
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Doubtful. But if you call them back you might be able convince them to provide a free AM21. I've heard they're in short supply, however, so your mileage may vary.
     
  9. boozoo

    boozoo New Member

    2
    0
    Jan 24, 2007
    To echo what was said above, the HR20 internal tuners have a slim to none chance of being replaceable now and even if you did, you still take a 3-4dB noise figure hit (which translates right into sensitivity loss) from the passive splitter. The demods in them are basically a 2nd gen, so pretty old by today's standards. Vendors have learned a lot since then about equalizer requirements, for example.

    If you want to overcome the sensitivity hit and you're a tinkerer at heart, you could try to cobble together a hot little preamp based on an Anadigics part, but you have to be careful not to put so much gain in that you overload the tuners (I'd lay in hooks for a resistive attenuator on the output of the amp if I was making a board for it).

    Since the board won't let me post links yet, go to Anadigics.com and look under cable-broadcast, then under low noise amplifiers.
     
  10. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    100
    Aug 31, 2002
    From what I have seen inside the HR2x the splitter is not a passive hybrid splitter at all, but an RFDA, which is powered and typically has unity gain on both ports.

    Even so, a loss of 3-4 dB is not usually problematic for digital broadcasting. You would have to be right on the hairy edge for that to affect you. And, BTW, the noise figure of an amp is not something that changes depending upon the input level or S/N. The "hit" is in actual signal level and in S/N, but noise figure of a gain stage is constant, as is sensitivity (barring AGC, of course).

    Furthermore, neither NF nor noise itself are nearly the issue for digital as they are for analog. For digital, unlike analog, the PQ and amount of noise that is in the picture is not connected to how much noise there is referenced to the carrier. Digital information is completely immune from noise on the carrier as long as the C/N ratio is over a certain level, and that noise will not tranfer into the picture and so will not degrade PQ. The only "noise" in a digital path that can affect PQ is noise originally in the analog source and noise in the analog path for playback after decoding.
     
  11. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    6,299
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    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    If the CSR did their job, they checked off that you needed OTA. So you will get an HR20. If something else shows up, you can swap it or request an AM21. Getting the AM21 at n/c is not always easy. In both my cases, had to get to Retention who ordered a new one for $50 and then simultaneously credited my bill for $50.

    Also check my signature for a great OTA AMP. Its an outdoor amp, pole mounted at the antenna. Doesn't mean it can't be indoors like in an attic but its not designed to be next to the television.
     
  12. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    100
    Aug 31, 2002
    +1 on the 7777. Why? Because it has the lowest noise figure available (and this is the application where noise figure actually means something).

    You are correct. It is a preamp, meant to take a small signal and make it larger, not a line amp, meant to take a large signal and allow it to be split to multiple outlets. There is a distinct difference in application, which is that the window of operation is for completely different signal levels.
     

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