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Old 1-Apr-2016, 1:57 PM   #1
Jake V
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OTA DVRs: Quality of Tuners

There are a number of OTA DVRs available now.

Is anyone aware of anyone who has done a proper evaluation of the quality of the tuners that are part of each brand's devices?

In recent years I've helped a few friends go OTA to save on cable costs, and now they are asking me for a recommendation on OTA DVRs. I've seen a few articles that suggest that the tuners in some OTA DVRs are not that good with marginal quality channels.

Come to think of it, it's probably also good to ask if there are any scientific evaluations of the turners embedded in televisions. I've also seen a few such articles that some are known better than others, that most manufacturers don't pay too much attention since most people have cable or satellite.
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Old 5-Apr-2016, 1:16 PM   #2
jreese235
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This may or may not help. I currently use a device called Skystream X5. It is a streaming device that uses KODI for internet content. The interesting thing about it is that my antenna plugs into it and then connects to my TV via HDMI. The streaming box can also act as a OTA DVR. It will record onto either a thumb drive or a memory card. You can schedule recording just like any DVR. Its a really nice dual purpose device. I don't know hoe much DVR's cost these days but this box was $200.
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Old 5-Apr-2016, 1:53 PM   #3
Jake V
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Thanks for the information. I'm actually curious if anyone has actually measured the quality of the tuners in the different DVR systems. In my reading I've seen a number of posts where people complain that their TV can get and hold certain channels with good strength numbers while their DVR either doesn't get them or gets them intermittently. That suggests to me that the DVR manufacturers are using lower quality tuners, which might not be acceptable for those with challenging reception issues.
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Old 6-Apr-2016, 12:59 PM   #4
rickbb
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I've tried a Tablo and an off brand Kodi type of system. Sent them both back, tuners were not as good as the Samsung TV.

I built a DVR using a Windows 7 PC and a PCI dual tuner card from Hauppauge.

It gets all the same channels as the TV, with close to the same signal and SNR as the TV.

The image quality coming out of the PC's graphics card via HDMI is better than the Samsung TV. (Which was pretty good itself.)

It would be nice if some type of Consumer Reports side by side testing was done, but I'm not holding out any hope for that. I think we are on our own there.
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Old 6-Apr-2016, 2:46 PM   #5
jreese235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake V View Post
Thanks for the information. I'm actually curious if anyone has actually measured the quality of the tuners in the different DVR systems. In my reading I've seen a number of posts where people complain that their TV can get and hold certain channels with good strength numbers while their DVR either doesn't get them or gets them intermittently. That suggests to me that the DVR manufacturers are using lower quality tuners, which might not be acceptable for those with challenging reception issues.
The quality that I get through the Skystream vs my Samsung TV is equal. I did not notice any loss of quality and I still am able to get all the channels that I had when the antenna was plugged directly in the TV.
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