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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long time D* customer and was just offered the "free" upgrade from my HR10. I expressed my disappointment at losing my OTA tuner and was offered two options:

1. Tech will bring a HR21 and D* will supply the AM21 box.
2. I can buy a HR20 retail, and they will reimburse me (account credit).

Does anyone have any thoughts on which is better? #1 seems like kind of a hack to me, but reading some of the other forum posts it seems to be not as bad as it sounds. If experience with the AM21 is good, I may as well just go with that option since it appears they will support it longer. They are trying to phase out the HR20's is my understanding.

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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How's your OTA signal now?

The reason I ask, and the only comment I have, is that there seems to be a consensus that the ATSC tuners in the AM21 are better (more sensitive, better multi-path rejection) than the ones in the HR20.

I'm new to the HR21, but I was surprised to learn that the AM21 will not work unless you have the HD package (don't we all with HR20s and 21s?). I don't know if the same is true for the HR20, but what it seems to say about about the HR21 is that it can never be used as an ATSC standalone tuner, as one would always need D* (unlike my Samsung SIR TS-360, which works as an ATSC tuner, even though is has been deactivated and has no sat input).

I could also see, without a strong technical favorite, where the color of unit might come into play for these decisions... It would not for me, but I can see how it might for some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OTA signal is good - no complaints. Though, I wouldn't mind something a bit stronger. I used to have an E-86 and was 100% on my OTA signal. When I got the HR10 that dropped somewhat, though I can't say that it has had any noticeable impact.
 

· The Shadow Knows!
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Personally I think you'll be slightly happier with an HR21 as they run quieter and cooler, but honestly they are 99% the same.
 

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If you have plenty of space for the extra 1"+ in your rack plus a couple extra cables, I'd probably get the HR21 for the sole reason of avoiding any potential headaches of getting the account credit if you buy the HR20. It's not unheard of to have one CSR promise something, then have another say that's not possible down the road. On the other hand, some have reported that playback of OTA signals is smoother on the HR20. I have no idea why that could be, and some have refuted it, but there are enough people reporting it to suggest it's a possibility. I get better signal strengths with the AM21 than I got with my HR10, but as long as you are already receiving all of your stations with the HR10 fine, better strengths won't do anything for you.
 

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DarinC said:
If you have plenty of space for the extra 1"+ in your rack plus a couple extra cables, I'd probably get the HR21 for the sole reason of avoiding any potential headaches of getting the account credit if you buy the HR20. It's not unheard of to have one CSR promise something, then have another say that's not possible down the road. On the other hand, some have reported that playback of OTA signals is smoother on the HR20. I have no idea why that could be, and some have refuted it, but there are enough people reporting it to suggest it's a possibility. I get better signal strengths with the AM21 than I got with my HR10, but as long as you are already receiving all of your stations with the HR10 fine, better strengths won't do anything for you.
One thing to consider is that even though you have good OTA performance at the moment, depending on whether any of your local OTA channels are going to switch back from UHF to VHF in Feb 2009, you may want the stronger tuner...and the AM21 is measurably superior to the HR20 series. I have both and have made a series of measurments verifying the superiority of the AM21.

If, on the other hand none of your current OTA stations are going to "revert" to VHF, then it doesn't matter. Myself, I'd always opt for the better tuner. We have at least two stations in our area reverting, so I'm quite pleased to have an AM21. It is very possible that I'll start having problems with the local ABC affiliate WOI-DT which is going from high power UHF ch 59 to low power VHF ch 5 in February. Not good!
 

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Yes, that's a good point. Fortunately, as best as I can tell, ours are staying relatively the same. Which is a good thing, because I invsted in a multi-antenna set-up based on what frequencies were where four years ago. :)
 

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I have two HR20-700s and other digtial tvs hooked up to the ota. I have used different cables for all and the HR20-700 ota tuners are not as good as the tuners in the tv's themselves. Don't know the reason as I'm not into all the multipath and other stuff, just know when the HR20-700's won't recieve ota the tv's do. No multiswitch or splitters to interfere. I can't wait for one of these HR20-700 to go bad so I can get a HR21 with an AM21 to try.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
 

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I have an HR20-700. I have moderately weak signals (variable from station to stastion with multipath due to terrain.) Wish I had an HR21/AM21 combo instead, as my TV tuner and my Zenith DTT900 tuner both do better thatn the HR20's tuner.
 

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Stuart Sweet said:
Personally I think you'll be slightly happier with an HR21 as they run quieter and cooler, but honestly they are 99% the same.
That's why me thinks color might actually be worth factoring (it seems important to some, though not for me).
hasan said:
One thing to consider is that even though you have good OTA performance at the moment, depending on whether any of your local OTA channels are going to switch back from UHF to VHF in Feb 2009, you may want the stronger tuner...and the AM21 is measurably superior to the HR20 series. I have both and have made a series of measurments verifying the superiority of the AM21.
Could you explain why? I never heard that before, so I'm quite curious... Also, how does one tell if stations are going to revert? And what is the implied effect (why is the AM21 better if they do revert)?
Thanks
 
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