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OTA - Tuner recomendations

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Hoody, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Hoody

    Hoody New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    I need some advice. I currently have Directv, using a HR21-100 receiver (which I own). I am wanting to drop service and go directly with using Netflix, Hulu Plus, and my local OTA HD channels. One problem, my 6yr old 42 Vizio's HD Tuner went bad, so I can't pickup my local HD channels anymore with it. So I am looking at other options. Here they are:

    1. Use my current HR21-100 receiver - use the AM21 tuner with it to get my channels - not sure if this will work w/o service.

    2. Pick up a Dishnetwork 811 receiver or Directv's HR10-250 to pick up OTA channels - not sure if this will work either w/o having service with either of them.

    3. Use a Digital to analog converter - I don't think I want to go that route since it may down convert the signal to SD resolution

    Are there other inexpensive options to get my local OTA HD channels? I don't really want to spend too much on fixing this issue since this spring I am wanting to get the Simple TV, which has it's own built in tuner.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    Well, spring is here, so I'd go get the Simple TV now...:D
     
  3. Hoody

    Hoody New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    yes spring is here. But SimpleTv is not. I don't know if it will come out in 1 week or 3 months. I'd like to have something in the mean time and still be able to disconnect Directv.
     
  4. PokerJoker

    PokerJoker Godfather

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    #1: correct, it won't work w/o service

    #2: Also won't work w/o service

    #3: the standard cheap converters do indeed downconvert to SD, since their main purpose in life is to let people use old TV sets.

    There are some stand-alone ATSC HD tuners out there, but they are not very common. There is at least one ATSC tuner box being sold new (from Canada) on ebay that does have an HDMI high def output, for under $100. Or you might find a used Samsung SIR-TS160 (or the earlier T451), although I had one of those and the tuner was not very sensitive.

    Another possibility is a Tivo (Series 3, HD or Premiere) which you can get for well under $100 but requires a small monthly charge ($13).

    Keith
     
  5. Hoody

    Hoody New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Maybe option 3 would be the best, short term solution. I may be fine getting my locals in SD for a couple of months. SimpleTv that is coming out will have the capabilities of being a dvr (need to connect a portable harddrive) as well as streaming to portable devices (in conjunction with xbox or roku). So really Tivo won't be something that I want as well since SimpleTv would already be doing that for me.
     
  6. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

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    Jul 27, 2010
    We used a Directv receiver a while back for just this purpose but I can not remember what model it was. Was purchased on ebay and was absolutely not activated or hooked up to satellite. Im thinking was a H20, I do remember the HDMI out didnt work so component out was used. Might have been old enough that it was DVI out just cant remember. We left it on the bench hooked up and tuned to a good station so you could just hookup component to a TV to test.

    Other option might be to replace the main board in your TV. Shopjimmy.com sometimes had decent prices on used boards for TVs. Vizio is notorious for having many versions of their main even in the same model so use pictures to verify with the ones on their site. Before you even open the set verify with pix from their site to the layout of the input output connections on your set.
     
  7. Hoody

    Hoody New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Is the tuner located on the mainboard? I'd want to know that was the problem with it. Shoppjimmy is out of stock, but ebay has them from 80-125. It's worth a thought but at that price it may be worth just buying something to bypass that problem.
     
  8. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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    Nov 3, 2011
    post 1
     
  9. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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    Nov 3, 2011
    post 2
     
  10. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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    Nov 3, 2011
    post 3
     
  11. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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    Nov 3, 2011
    post 4
     
  12. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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    Nov 3, 2011
  13. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Usually yes, but if you post your model maybe I could verify. If you look at the pix on jimmy you should see the tuner, small silver box directly connected to the RF connector.

    What is going on with yours that the tuner is not working?
     
  14. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

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    We used some boxes that must have been made by the Epvision they were model PHD-205 and the quality was terrible. It was if they were using very low quality scaler or video processing. Colors were poor, contrast would bloom etc...

    Have you used that PHD-8VX? How is the quality? Even the regular NTSC cable channels looked way worse then they would have if cable was hooked up to set directly?
     
  15. Hoody

    Hoody New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    I have the Vizio GV42L model made 2006. When I go to scan for channels, it will only scan for SD, when it tries for HD, it won't scan. I've seen in other threads that this is a common problem with this model. In the menu, I have chosen both AIR and CABLE inputs for the scan and still come up with SD only. I know it has worked in the past as I have used OTA before, not for several months so I'm guessing its the tuner. I have also tried different types of antennas but still no change.
     
  16. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Yea that would be the main board bad, but on Vizio LCDs its almost always main board bad. Luckily the rest of the board is working for you so you can continue to use it. What happened is the processor for the digital tuner has just gone bad. Its not uncommon for that to happen on a variety of sets.
     
  17. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte New Member

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    If you're looking to just WATCH Live Tv (Not record) The Tivo Series 3 and Premiere will work without a subscription. I'd go with the Series 3 though, since you can do trickplay (They removed this on the Premiere).
     
  18. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Never seen the PHD-8VX, just added it for completion's sake.

    I know someone with that uses a Centronics HDTV tuner box for an older HDTV set and he has no complaints.
     
  19. Hoody

    Hoody New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    I will look into the Tivo. I'm not too familiar with those and I haven't heard of trickplay. You said the series 3 doesn't need a subscription, but does it need the cards? If not, does this just simply just plug in via hdmi, plug in an antenna and do a channel scan?
     
  20. Hoody

    Hoody New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Will the series 2 not do live ota w/o subscription?
     

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