DBSTalk Exclusive First Look: AM21N Off-Air ATSC Adapter

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Stuart Sweet, May 29, 2011.

  1. May 31, 2011 #81 of 250
    Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

    Nov 18, 2008
    Nice work on the First Look, Stuart. It looks great!
  2. May 31, 2011 #82 of 250
    Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

    Jun 7, 2004
    Dawson, Georgia

    That's possible with the AM21/AM21N?! :confused:

  3. May 31, 2011 #83 of 250
    Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

    Jun 7, 2004
    Dawson, Georgia
    Over the years I've done similar tests to you comparing OTA feeds with the DNS channels, and last year with our locals upon them launching, and I found that the ABC and CBS HD-DNS feeds were virtually identical to the PQ I received over the air from two CBS affiliates, and two to four ABC affiliates.

    Upon our locals launching last year, I found that the FOX affiliate was virtually identical to the naked eye, as was the PBS affiliate, while our NBC feed was SLIGHTLY softer (particularly during faster moving scenes)... an odd fact considering DirecTV could possibly be receiving it directly from the NBC affiliate, but the PQ difference wasn't worth being concerned about. Once our CBS launched, it too was slightly softer than the OTA feeds I can receive, or the HD-DNS feeds.

    For the (all too) brief time that we had ABC and CW in HD (from Jacksonville, FL), the ABC was virtually identical to the naked eye, and while I had nothing to compare the CW to, it was VERY sharp and looked EXCELLENT. :(:mad::(

    Sorry for going off-topic, but I wanted to comment on the issue.

  4. May 31, 2011 #84 of 250

    Hoosier205 Active Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    Oh good lord. You're calling for people to lose their jobs? That is absolutely ridiculous...
  5. May 31, 2011 #85 of 250

    BEP1030 New Member

    Sep 4, 2007
    Love my H20!
  6. May 31, 2011 #86 of 250

    twiseguy Legend

    Jan 31, 2011
    Stow, Ohio
    I certainly didn't design the way it works .. I also know that very, very, very, very few DIRECTV Satellite subcribers even use OTA to begin with. It's TINY. Then the number affected by this particular problem is only a tiny fraction of that tiny number. I'm sure that DIRECTV has simply decided that it is not cost effective for them to spend any time on making it work the way you want it to work. As a result, they don't do it. You're stuck with what is available. I'm not saying it's right or wrong .. but that is the way it is. It makes sense to me.[/QUOTE]

    I bet the OTA H20 or AM21 owners outnumber the Direct TV 3D subscribers.

    Another poster mentioned tornados/weather in his area lately.

    I had the same thing, and if I hadn`t had OTA subchannel local weather available on those occasions, it could have been bad news for all my neighbors as well (Time Warner Cable lines down)
  7. May 31, 2011 #87 of 250

    leadout_kv Mentor

    Nov 4, 2006
    Sorry if this has been asked in this thread but why doesn't DTV design a receiver like the HR20 (w/OTA) just much faster?

    I'm in the DC market so I use an OTA to pick up Baltimore stations. I use an HR20 (its still ticking but slow) in my bedroom for watching and recording the Ravens games.
  8. May 31, 2011 #88 of 250

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    Why supply OTA tuner equipped boxes to all your customers if only a very very small % use OTA(...Its all about economics, and if you can save a few dollars per millions of units, well there you go.

    Taking the tuners outside so its an option is just smart business sense. Especially when the intended audience is so small.
  9. May 31, 2011 #89 of 250

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2006
    It's amazing what I've spent getting the NYC subchannels. Basic cable monthly fee. $250 approx. for a 500Gb equipped DVD recorder to start. As far as OTA I'd have to get someone in to install an antenna. I keep the basic cable since it also delivers a fair selection of non locals for another part of the house.

    OTA or off of cable with a cable box or Clear QAM tuner is the only way I can watch Antenna TV.

    Channels like that are one reason I bought a Magnavox DVD Recorder with clear QAM to go with my basic cable feed. This way I can record them and watch later, IE Poor mans DVR. Manual timers I'm afraid. However the 500Gb hard drive holds a fair amount off of the digital channels. I programmed it for 30 second forward skip and 15 second reverse skip so I can skip commercials. I was watching a previously recorded Benny Hill the other night.

    It's amazing how many subchannels are available from NYC, NY.

    AM21 or AM21N or the Dishnetwork DTVPal (?) wouldn't work since they don't get the clear QAM channels.
  10. May 31, 2011 #90 of 250
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    It was not included in subsequent models because there was just such a small call for it. Very, very few people use OTA with their DirecTV receivers.

    This add on provides OTA for the small percentage of people that want it while eliminating that added cost from the receivers.

  11. May 31, 2011 #91 of 250

    hombresoto Legend

    Sep 10, 2006
    In the last five years I have had 1, yes 1 customer that used OTA in addition to their DirecTV service. It was an elderly couple with an old Hughes box. I have NEVER been to a home with an AM21 installed.
    My most recent experience with OTA was taking the antennas DOWN when the Boston DMA got their locals in HD.
    I am sure there are small regions of the country that use it however I think everyone should be happy DirecTV chooses to serve that sized demographic in any way rather than complain about what it doesn't do.:confused:
  12. May 31, 2011 #92 of 250
    Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    Hmmm .. I hadn't thought of this. But I'd almost bet that 3D subscribers outnumber OTA folks.

    The recent tornadoes are very sad. Additionally there were hurricanes the past couple of years that were problematic as well. That being said, over time, it's still a small percentage of DIRECTV customers that actually have and use OTA. Generally speaking, this is not what people have DIRECTV service for.
  13. May 31, 2011 #93 of 250

    gcd0865 Legend

    Jul 23, 2008
    I'm very much interested in hearing about how much the internal components of the new AM21N differ from the previous AM21. As I advised previously (see http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=160282), I had gradually declining sensitivity with my first AM21, until it got to the point that even local stations would not come in on the AM21, while my tv tuner continued to receive them just fine (and at the same high signal strengths).

    Unfortunately, I must now report that my second AM21 is just beginning to show the same symptoms (I even located this second unit away from the top of my HR24, in case heat might have been an issue). One of my recordings over the weekend failed (on a station 25 miles away) due to insufficient signal strength on my AM21. On my tv tuner, the signal strength for that channel is 83 (and was around the same number for that channel on my AM21 last time I checked). Both my tv tuner and the AM21 can receive and lock stations with signal strengths above about 35-ish, and we have no multipath problems at all in my area.

    Upon slightly rotating my antenna, the AM21 briefly received a frozen/pixelated picture on this 25-mile channel the other evening, indicating that that station has basically fallen below the 35-ish signal threshhold because my AM21 has become less sensitive over time, same as the last unit. I'll continue to monitor the situation, but I suspect that I'll shortly be calling DirecTV to complain about this happening a second time. Last time, the replacement AM21 showed instant improvement, back to like the first one performed when it was new, so I'm quite sure it's the circuitry of the AM21 gradually going bad, as opposed to any antenna problems.

    Although I did have to pay $50 for this replacement AM21 unit, I later got that refunded as part of a telephone call with DirecTV (about a different subject) when they asked me generally whether I was satisfied with their service, and I brought up my disappointment with the lack of warranty on the AM21.

    Thought this might be helpful to anyone else having declining sensitivity with their AM21...
  14. May 31, 2011 #94 of 250

    gcd0865 Legend

    Jul 23, 2008
    Oh yeah, forgot to add that I'd also prefer either channel scanning or up to 5 zip code entries for station markets, as DirecTV doesn't provide two of my locals in HD (causing me to use one zip code for my local city). Besides my locals, I receive 5 stations from a 2nd market, 5 stations from a 3rd market, 1 station from a 4th market and sometimes 4-5 stations from a 5th market late at night.
  15. May 31, 2011 #95 of 250

    mgavs Legend

    Jun 17, 2007
    We use OTA on 2 of 3 HR20s all the time, this is why I never upgraded. The HR20s are great with OTA and sub channels. DirecTV should have had internal "add-in" modules at extra cost to eliminate the need for extra boxes, power, cables, and problems.....
  16. May 31, 2011 #96 of 250
    Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

    Jun 7, 2004
    Dawson, Georgia
    Though this particular method would not be without it's own problems, I'm quite fond of TiVo's implementation.

    Essentially, you enter in your zip code, and you get guide data for all of the stations that Tribune Media Services feels you can receive based on your zip code. I'm sure some people might have issues with stations omitted due to Tribune thinking the zip code is unable to receive the station, but it works GREAT for my zip code...

  17. Jun 1, 2011 #97 of 250

    codespy Go Pack Go!!!! DBSTalk Club

    Mar 29, 2006
    With the weather lately around here and my wife glued to the channels that Oprah and Idol are on, one heavy rainstorm came about, satellite lost the signal during the storm, my wife looked at me and I saw death before my eyes.

    I immediately changed my local channels SL's to -1 channels via the AM21. Never an issue since. Doesn't matter how bad the freekin' storm is, I never lose signal on the AM21, thus recordings are intact.

    So include me in the tiny little group of OTA subscribers.....and the AM21 has really saved my life!

    Maybe the "N" in the AM-21N stands for "Not shiny"??? :rolleyes:
  18. Jun 1, 2011 #98 of 250

    loudo Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Central Maine
    There is no doubt, that OTA is very important to our household. With heavy showers that constantly knock out the satellite signals, we use OTA to record anything on local channels. Plus, we watch the weather and local news, on the sub channels, that DirecTV doesn't provide.
    I am going to make my HR20's last as long as I can, in hopes that they will release a future AM21, with a small footprint.
  19. Jun 1, 2011 #99 of 250

    erosroadie Godfather

    Jan 9, 2007
    +1. Same situation here when storms approach from the Southwest. OTA for Chicago locals remain strong...
  20. Jun 1, 2011 #100 of 250

    bobcamp1 Icon

    Nov 8, 2007
    Does anyone know if the AM21N works better with the HR24-500? Quite a few people had issues with the AM21 and that DVR.

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