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DBSTalk.com First Look: AM21; OTA Add-On for the HR21


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#51 OFFLINE   VHS or Beta

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:56 PM

If you record a local HD program off air, do you know what compression is applied by the HR-21? This would go toward figuring out how many hours of HD (or SD for that matter) programming one could store when recording OTA.


Same amount of space is taken up as an OTA recording on an HR20. That would mean Mpeg2.


Are the satellite-fed HD locals also Mpeg2, or are they Mpeg4? Given the choice between recording from the OTA tuner or the DirecTV feed of the same HD channel, would the D* version take less disk space?

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#52 OFFLINE   azarby

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 11:52 PM

Has anyone tried plugging it into their PC and seeing if it will be recognized as a USB device? Would be kinda cool for a PC based OTA solution. I'm sure someone could find the drivers for the tuner chips somewhere!



There are no PC drivers avaialble.

bob

#53 OFFLINE   cartrivision

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:32 AM

If you record a local HD program off air, do you know what compression is applied by the HR-21? This would go toward figuring out how many hours of HD (or SD for that matter) programming one could store when recording OTA.

Thanks in advance for any info....


Neither the AM21 or the HR21 applies any compression. The OTA signal is already encoded with MPEG2 compression before it is broadcast by your local TV station. All that the AM21 does is pass the raw MPEG2 data "as is" to the DVR to be recorded to the disk.

#54 OFFLINE   cartrivision

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:38 AM

Are the satellite-fed HD locals also Mpeg2, or are they Mpeg4? Given the choice between recording from the OTA tuner or the DirecTV feed of the same HD channel, would the D* version take less disk space?


The locals off the sat are MPEG4 and anything from the OTA tuner will be MPEG2, so yes recording the sat feed of the local will use up less disk space.

#55 OFFLINE   Jeremy W

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:49 AM

Has anyone tried plugging it into their PC and seeing if it will be recognized as a USB device? Would be kinda cool for a PC based OTA solution. I'm sure someone could find the drivers for the tuner chips somewhere!

It shows up as two devices, both called DIRECTV USB Tuner Device v1. You don't need drivers for the tuner chips, because the computer doesn't talk directly to them. You'd need custom drivers for the AM21, which will likely never be available.

#56 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:21 AM

There are a lot of other ATSC tuners available for PCs at a fair price, other than the thrill of the hack I don't see a lot of reason to support AM21 on a PC.
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#57 OFFLINE   docderwood

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:58 AM

Assuming the Tuner is better...Can I plug it into my HR20 and use bypass the crummy HR20 tuners?

#58 OFFLINE   Spanky_Partain

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:59 AM

Good job guys....

Patiently waiting for the official release now so I can buy one....
Is it released yet?

How about now?


Well?....


F5, F5, F5, ...

Someone PM me the second this thing hits the WEB for ordering from Directv!

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#59 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:01 AM

Assuming the Tuner is better...Can I plug it into my HR20 and use bypass the crummy HR20 tuners?


No... the HR20 is not and will not be compatible with the AM21
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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#60 OFFLINE   tkrandall

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:07 AM

I would really appreciate someone that uses OTA and that has both the HR20 and and HR21 testing this AM21 device and comparing its OTA reception. Preferebaly someone with reception "issues".

I live only 20 miles from the stations but have weak signal and/or multipath issues (I live a couple of miles behind a 600 ft ridge in the line of site to Atlanta stations) and the HR20 and is no where near as good as my Samsung DLP's at holding signal. I really would like to know if the AM21 tuner is better than the HR20 OTA tuner.

#61 OFFLINE   tcusta00

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:12 AM

I would really appreciate someone that uses OTA and that has both the HR20 and and HR21 testing this AM21 device and comparing its OTA reception. Preferebaly someone with reception "issues".

I live only 20 miles from the stations but have weak signal and/or multipath issues (I live a couple of miles behind a 600 ft ridge in the line of site to Atlanta stations) and the HR20 and is no where near as good as my Samsung DLP's at holding signal. I really would like to know if the AM21 tuner is be better than the HR20 OTA tuner.


You may want to poke your head into this thread too - there was some discussion about reception earlier on.

#62 OFFLINE   Greg Alsobrook

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:20 AM

I would really appreciate someone that uses OTA and that has both the HR20 and and HR21 testing this AM21 device and comparing its OTA reception. Preferebaly someone with reception "issues".

I live only 20 miles from the stations but have weak signal and/or multipath issues (I live a couple of miles behind a 600 ft ridge in the line of site to Atlanta stations) and the HR20 and is no where near as good as my Samsung DLP's at holding signal. I really would like to know if the AM21 tuner is be better than the HR20 OTA tuner.


http://www.dbstalk.c...47&postcount=20
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#63 OFFLINE   jacmyoung

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:38 AM

I don't know if this has been asked, why is there no OTA guide screen capture? Is it exactly the same as HR20? If so where can I see one?

#64 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:40 AM

The guide looks just like the HR20.
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#65 OFFLINE   Greg Alsobrook

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:41 AM

I don't know if this has been asked, why is there no OTA guide screen capture? Is it exactly the same as HR20? If so where can I see one?


it appears exactly the same as the HR20... i'm sure there's a screen shot around here somewhere... if not, I will post one this afternoon for you...
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#66 OFFLINE   say-what

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:54 AM

I don't know if this has been asked, why is there no OTA guide screen capture? Is it exactly the same as HR20? If so where can I see one?

Exactly the same as the HR20 with OTA activated. You could just look at your HR20 with OTA in the guide and see the same thing you'd see with the HR21/AM21 combo. There's no way to tell the 2 guides with OTA apart, that's why there's no separate pic.

#67 OFFLINE   FHSPSU67

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 09:03 AM

Impressive review! All of these have been worthy of publication - much better than review sites being staffed by professional reviewers!
Fred
DIRECTV since November 1995

#68 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 09:19 AM

I was hoping for something better. The tuner in the HR20 is mediocre at best. The one in my Samsung LCD TV is far better.


Here is my initial evaluation of the two units. I'm about 30 miles from the tower complex.

The first set of numbers after the channel number is the HR20-700 signal level on tuner1/tuner2. The next set is the HR21-200/AM21 on tuner1/tuner2. Following that is a comment on "bounce" which is an indirect measure of multi-path.

Channel HR20-700 HR21-200/AM21

5-1 85/85 93/93 (less bounce on AM21 as well)
8-1 100/100 100/100 (no bounce on either receiver)
8-2 100/100 100/100 (ditto)
11-1 ditto ditto
11-2 ditto ditto
13-1 ditto ditto
17-1 80/80 83/83 (less bounce on AM21 as well)
23-1 54-71/56-84 69-77/67-83 (lots of bounce on both, AM21 better)

Both receivers fed by the same antenna, balanced signal levels, fine tuned OTA setup (gain distribution, preamps, attenuators etc)

The AM21 tuner is better in both domains:

a. Bit-Error-Rate (as shown by the higher percentage on all non-full strength stations)

b. Maintaining BER in the face of multi-path (bounce). The bounce range in the AM21 is considerably less on those signals where bounce/multi-path is a problem.

Both the HR20-700 and the HR21-200/AM21 produce a perfect OTA signal at first glance. Lots more looking to do at the PQ of the HR21-200/AM21.

The AM21 tuner is every bit the equal of the tuner in my Sammy HL-R5667W, which has been outstanding from day one.

GREAT START D*! Congrats on a job well done.
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#69 OFFLINE   LameLefty

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 09:36 AM

Great job on the First Look, folks! :) :up:

Hasan - excellent job quantifying relative performance. :goodjob:

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#70 OFFLINE   evane

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 09:58 AM

Another question that relates to recording more than 2 shows. Can you be recording two shows say 2 sat and be watching a OTA channel (or recording a sat and ota channel and be watching a different Sat channel?)

That is my bigggest grip with almost any DVR out there where the VIP Dish series excels (not trying to beat the horse again just really want to know)

If not i really hope DTV removes that restriction it would be a gold mine for attracting dish customers and other customers in general due HD content.

#71 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 09:59 AM

I should have said it earlier... Congrats on another great document!! They get better and better!

Of course, I added a link to it in the First Looks sticky in the General Discussion forum.
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#72 OFFLINE   Xram

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:00 AM

Nice write up gentlemen.
4 - HR20-700 's
1 - HR21-700
1 - HR20-100
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#73 OFFLINE   say-what

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:16 AM

Another question that relates to recording more than 2 shows. Can you be recording two shows say 2 sat and be watching a OTA channel (or recording a sat and ota channel and be watching a different Sat channel?)

No, it works exactly like the HR20 does - once two input streams (OTA and/or SAT) are being recorded, you cannot change to another channel to watch a 3rd stream live.

#74 OFFLINE   jacmyoung

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:21 AM

Exactly the same as the HR20 with OTA activated. You could just look at your HR20 with OTA in the guide and see the same thing you'd see with the HR21/AM21 combo. There's no way to tell the 2 guides with OTA apart, that's why there's no separate pic.



I don't have an HR20 so a screen capture will be nice, thanks.

#75 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:36 AM

I don't have an HR20 so a screen capture will be nice, thanks.


I don't have a screen capture handy... I am sure someone else will grab one and post it.

In a nutshell.

Look at your guide today:

Channel 5 - SAT HD
Channel 5 - SAT SD

You would have a third line
Channel 5-1 - OTA. The Channel number will be in a slight shade darker then the other two.

Other then that... it looks and functions identically the same as any other channel.
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

DIRECTV employee since April 2008.
All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV




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