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Can the HR20 OTA Tuner Be Improved Through Software Upgrades?


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182 replies to this topic

Poll: Can the HR20 OTA Tuner Be Improved Through Software Upgrades? (161 member(s) have cast votes)

Can the HR20 OTA Tuner Be Improved Through Software Upgrades?

  1. Yes (50 votes [31.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.06%

  2. No (37 votes [22.98%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.98%

  3. Not Sure (74 votes [45.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.96%

Vote

#1 OFFLINE   geaux tigers

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 04:01 PM

The HR20 is a great machine in many regards. However, the OTA tuner is very weak in my opinion based upon using other OTA tuners on other equipment using the same antenna setup. Can the HR20 tuner be improved through software updates or is this a hardware issue? Additionally, is there a diffrence in the tuning ability between the HR20-700 and the HR20-100. I am looking forward to some lively discussion regarding this issue.

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#2 OFFLINE   jasonbrent

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:06 AM

OTA tuner works great for me with a big CM and pre-amp.

#3 OFFLINE   Milominderbinder2

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:12 AM

For some time Earl had relayed to us that the hardware could not receive Low VHF, channels 2-6.

Then one day, it could.

So what else could they do in software with the HR20's OTA tuners?

I don't know.

There is a fundemental problem with the HR20 using what appears to be a passive internal splitter between the two tuners. It seems it causes the 3 dB loss that you would expect when compared to boxes like the H20 that do not split the signal.

I bet that there is more that could be done.

- Craig

#4 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:14 AM

For some time Earl had relayed to us that the hardware could not receive Low VHF, channels 2-6.


When did I ever state it was definitively hardware?

I know a lot of people theorized that it was hardware, but I don't recall ever stating it was hardware..
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#5 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:16 AM

As to the OP's question.

While I am certain there are probably some minor things that can be improved via software... in general the hardware is what the hardware is.
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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#6 OFFLINE   Indiana627

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:23 AM

I just got a HR20-100S installed yesterday and my opinion is that it's OTA tuners are better than my HR10's were. Just my $.02.
Mark

"We named the dog Indiana."
Family Room: HR24-100; WD10EVCS 1TB drive in Antec MX-1; connected via HDMI to Denon AVR-2313CI; 5.1 setup with Boston Acoustics A250 fronts, A225C center, A25 surrounds, ASW650 sub; video to Sony 52W4100 via HDMI; hardwired to Linksys WRT54G
Bedroom: HR21-200 with AM21 & Philips PHDTV1 Antenna, HDMI to Dynex 32" TV; hardwired to Linksys WRT54G
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#7 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:26 PM

Indy - They're a LOT better than the HR10.

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#8 OFFLINE   Indiana627

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:28 PM

Indy - They're a LOT better than the HR10.

That's a relief. Hopefully it will pull in the HD locals that I don't get from D* without a problem.
Mark

"We named the dog Indiana."
Family Room: HR24-100; WD10EVCS 1TB drive in Antec MX-1; connected via HDMI to Denon AVR-2313CI; 5.1 setup with Boston Acoustics A250 fronts, A225C center, A25 surrounds, ASW650 sub; video to Sony 52W4100 via HDMI; hardwired to Linksys WRT54G
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#9 OFFLINE   cb7214

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:31 PM

it stinks in my opinion, when i hook it up to my Samsung plasma vs the HR20 its like night and day it drives me crazy, and the funny thing is i have bought several versions of amplified antennas and my old non amplified antenna works better then the amplified
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#10 OFFLINE   sshams95

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:33 PM

Indy - They're a LOT better than the HR10.



I just upgraded to HR20 over the weekend and have not hooked up OTA, which I will do tonight. How is it a "LOT better" than the HR10? Just curious...

#11 OFFLINE   ciscokidd979

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:36 PM

I just upgraded to HR20 over the weekend and have not hooked up OTA, which I will do tonight. How is it a "LOT better" than the HR10? Just curious...


In OKC...I think they are about the same...KOCO-DT 5 still has issues...
Directv since '98/Premium Package/NFL Sunday Ticket Equipment-(2) HR24-100 (1) Directv R-15, Whole-Home connected, Samsung 55" LED 7 series & Mitsubishi HD projector on 106 inch screen

#12 OFFLINE   codewiz

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:02 PM

I just upgraded to HR20 over the weekend and have not hooked up OTA, which I will do tonight. How is it a "LOT better" than the HR10? Just curious...


For me, I went from 60-70's on the HR10 to 80-90's on the HR20.

#13 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:23 PM

How would we know if the HR20's OTA (ATSC) tuners can be improved unless we designed the HR20s? I would hope the ATSC tuners can be improved, but the avg person probably has no idea if this can be fixed through software or not. In other words, I don't think the question is subjective.

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OTA Antenna: Homebrew UHF & VHF antennas w/ 30dB amplifier fed w/ RG-6 Quad-shield coax.


#14 OFFLINE   CHDinCT

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:31 PM

I voted yes based on the fact that my OTA performance deteriorated with the 15c upgrade a few weeks back. Though the poor performance - audio and video drop outs every few minutes - was on playback of a recorded show, so maybe the dvr software was to blame. Nary an issue with the H20 that it replaced.

#15 OFFLINE   cavihitts

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:36 PM

Don't know if it can be inmproved a lot through software. I'm a big fan of the hr20 and both of mine have never given me any problems but I do have to say the Sony tv does a better job with the OTA.

#16 OFFLINE   sshams95

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:40 PM

I kept my HR10 as well...so I'm gonna spot check the signal strength on my HR10, then hook up the HR20 and compare the signal strength. I live 40 miles out of Chicago so I have the large multidirectional OTA antennas, so I get CBS-Chicago which is on a VHF band. I have no problems getting it on my HR10. I'll test it out tonight and report results tomorrow if anyone is interested.

#17 OFFLINE   Indiana627

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:50 PM

I just upgraded to HR20 over the weekend and have not hooked up OTA, which I will do tonight. How is it a "LOT better" than the HR10? Just curious...

For me, my NBC channel was in the 40s on the HR10 and also breaking up. Hooked up HR20-100 to same antenna with same wire and now it comes in much better. Signal is still lower than my other OTAs, but breakups are much less frequent. But fortunately for me, I know get my local NBC in HD via sat.

Also, somewhere I read the signal meters on the HR10 vs the HR20 aren't a direct correlation, meaning a 40 on the HR10 and a 40 on the HR20 don't mean the same thing. Not sure of the reason behind that, but just because your numbers on the HR20 are vastly higher doesn't necessarily mean the HR20 tuners are that much better. Signal strength of 10 or 90 - I don't care as long as the channel doesn't break up.
Mark

"We named the dog Indiana."
Family Room: HR24-100; WD10EVCS 1TB drive in Antec MX-1; connected via HDMI to Denon AVR-2313CI; 5.1 setup with Boston Acoustics A250 fronts, A225C center, A25 surrounds, ASW650 sub; video to Sony 52W4100 via HDMI; hardwired to Linksys WRT54G
Bedroom: HR21-200 with AM21 & Philips PHDTV1 Antenna, HDMI to Dynex 32" TV; hardwired to Linksys WRT54G
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#18 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:25 PM

I kept my HR10 as well...so I'm gonna spot check the signal strength on my HR10, then hook up the HR20 and compare the signal strength. I live 40 miles out of Chicago so I have the large multidirectional OTA antennas, so I get CBS-Chicago which is on a VHF band. I have no problems getting it on my HR10. I'll test it out tonight and report results tomorrow if anyone is interested.

A couple of my two cents:
Large antennas usually mean directional [so unless you have more than one it's not "multi"].
Signal strength readings on the HR-20, aren't, but it does show "bit error rate" [not RF power].
A.K.A VOS

#19 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:01 PM

Signal strength readings on the HR-20, aren't, but it does show "bit error rate" [not RF power].

It's a bit over my head, but for those who are interested, it looks like there's a good explanation of how bit error rate is measured and calculated about halfway down this page: http://www.sencore.c..._files/HDTV.htm /s
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#20 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:19 PM

It's a bit over my head, but for those who are interested, it looks like there's a good explanation of how bit error rate is measured and calculated about halfway down this page: http://www.sencore.c..._files/HDTV.htm /s

If you can understand that, you wouldn't be asking questions here, but would be answering them..:lol:
A.K.A VOS

#21 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:38 PM

How would we know if the HR20's OTA (ATSC) tuners can be improved unless we designed the HR20s? I would hope the ATSC tuners can be improved, but the avg person probably has no idea if this can be fixed through software or not. In other words, I don't think the question is subjective.


Thank you....I was waiting for someone to state the obvious.

The question should have been:

Does the OTA tuner in the HR20 still need improvement?

Asking if it should be done in software, as you noted, requires knowledge that I doubt ANYONE in the entire forum has. Silly!

Let's give the OP the benefit of the doubt and assume that he meant does the tuner need improvement. Until he does, I ain't voting.:D
...hasan, N0AN

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#22 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:45 PM

Thank you....I was waiting for someone to state the obvious.

Asking if it should be done in software, as you noted, requires knowledge that I doubt ANYONE in the entire forum has. Silly!

Let's give the OP the benefit of the doubt and assume that he meant does the tuner need improvement. Until he does, I ain't voting.:D

I picked "not sure". :D
A.K.A VOS

#23 OFFLINE   geaux tigers

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 05:08 PM

I am sure that the question could of been stated in a better manner. However, my reason for the poll was to stimulate discussion which the poll has done to a limited degree. I voted not sure as I do not know the answer to the question that I posed. However, I do know that there are several individuals on this forum who have taken their HR-20 apart and claim to have knowlege concerning the individual components of the HR20. Furthermore, I have seen a few people on this forum who claim to have knowledge regarding software programing for hardware. Therefore, I am hopefull that some members of this forum may be able to answer the question with some personal knowledge.

I believe the HR-20 tuner does need further improvement. Therefore, the question is whether or not it can still be improved.

If someone has both an HR20-700 and HR20-100 then they should be able to tell us if there is a diffrence between their OTA reception or their signal strength meters on the machines.

I hope the question posed continues to generate debate and if anyone has any insight to the question then I hope they will post a reply. Furthermore, if you believe that the HR-20's OTA tuner is inferior when compared to other devices then this would be a good place to express your concerns to DirecTv.

#24 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 05:22 PM

I am sure that the question could of been stated in a better manner. However, my reason for the poll was to stimulate discussion which the poll has done to a limited degree. I voted not sure as I do not know the answer to the question that I posed. However, I do know that there are several individuals on this forum who have taken their HR-20 apart and claim to have knowlege concerning the individual components of the HR20. Furthermore, I have seen a few people on this forum who claim to have knowledge regarding software programing for hardware. Therefore, I am hopefull that some members of this forum may be able to answer the question with some personal knowledge.

I believe the HR-20 tuner does need further improvement. Therefore, the question is whether or not it can still be improved.

If someone has both an HR20-700 and HR20-100 then they should be able to tell us if there is a diffrence between their OTA reception or their signal strength meters on the machines.

I hope the question posed continues to generate debate and if anyone has any insight to the question then I hope they will post a reply. Furthermore, if you believe that the HR-20's OTA tuner is inferior when compared to other devices then this would be a good place to express your concerns to DirecTv.

I don't think you'll find the answers your looking for. The OTA tuners are sealed within the HR-20, so even if someone removes the covers to look inside, they won't see the OTA tuner parts.
What seems to have become "common" knowledge is the HR-20 uses the LG third gen ATSC tuner chip and not the fifth gen chip(s).
This is the very difference between the H20 -100 & -600. The -600 is made by LG and does use the fifth gen chip(s).
I personally doubt software can makeup for the difference.
A.K.A VOS

#25 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 05:39 PM

I am sure that the question could of been stated in a better manner. However, my reason for the poll was to stimulate discussion which the poll has done to a limited degree. I voted not sure as I do not know the answer to the question that I posed. However, I do know that there are several individuals on this forum who have taken their HR-20 apart and claim to have knowlege concerning the individual components of the HR20. Furthermore, I have seen a few people on this forum who claim to have knowledge regarding software programing for hardware. Therefore, I am hopefull that some members of this forum may be able to answer the question with some personal knowledge.

I believe the HR-20 tuner does need further improvement. Therefore, the question is whether or not it can still be improved.

.


The problem is with the question. No one here knows (unless they are an RF AND Digital engineer AND work with the specific chips in the HR20 (and most likely) are a member of the HR-20 OTA design team. We don't know whether or not it can still be improved....it is PURE SPECULATION.

What we do know is whether we THINK IT SHOULD BE IMPROVED. That is a valid question and a perfectly reasonable concern.

I think the tuner is WAY TOO PICKY. It appears to be very sensitive to multi-path, and it definitely has poor dynamic range. It is sensitive to impedance bumps. These are FACTS, not opinions, they can and have been measured.

Can these be fixed in software? No one here knows. (unless the meet the criteria I listed above)

Can these be fixed with some sort of hardware kludge? No one here knows. (ditto)

The issue is not whether the tuner(s) CAN be fixed...we need D* to tell us this. They made it "broken"...it's their job to fix it, and only they have the right design info to do so.

The issue is and always has been: Does it need fixing?

It is my opinion that it does. How and if that is done, will be "most interesting".

I will note, if you look at my prior posts about the HR20 and OTA, you will find how you, yourself with some effort can get the tuner in the HR20 to perform nearly as well as the tuners in most HDTVs. It is a LOT of work, but can be done in most cases....and I had no need for either a soldering iron or a modification of the code in the HR20, nor did I have to open the case.

Should you have to go through this much trouble for good tuner performance? Absolutely not.

If you really want the most (and need the most) out of the HR-20 OTA tuners, look up my posts ...they are very detailed, explaining exactly what to do and how to do it. It's a pain in the rear...but for me, it has been worth it.

(and it still won't cure the missing channels problem, as the incredibly short-sighted implementation of OTA on the HR20 makes it a slave to the Guide data, which is NOTORIOUSLY inaccurate, resulting in missing channels, mis-mapped channels, great guide info for the wrong channel, etc.) This can be fixed with "good info from D*, we can answer the question: can it be fixed...you bet...but don't hold your breath based on the last six months with the EXACT same missing channels and bad guide info.

Please don't over-react to my very minor criticism of your poll....you asked an important question...just used a word that results in an impossibility of answering. Replace CAN with SHOULD and you can get an answer.
...hasan, N0AN

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