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Old 2-Jan-2013, 5:32 AM   #1
b2471041
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Quality differences in ATSC Tuner

So I recently solved my high VHF station reception problem and almost all TV and all DVRs get the station except for one older Samsung (about 2005) with a digital tuner that doesn't tune the channel. I can watch the high VHF channel through a connected digital DVR so not a real problem. But are there variations in quality of ATSC Tuners in modern TVs? Should people look for something about the ATSC Tuner when purchasing a TV?

I am taking it that there have been improvements over the years. If you have an older ATSC tuner on a poor one can these be replaced? Are they standard boards you can slot in like a computer? I guess the answer to this question is you could also by a TV digital tuner and connect it to one of the TV interfaces and by pass the internal ATSC tuner. Any ATSC tuner people would recommend?
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Old 2-Jan-2013, 6:49 AM   #2
Stereocraig
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I don't think you're going to do much better than the ATSC tuner in a newer TV. Of course they don't publish specs, so it's impossible to do a head to head comparison.

I had heard somewhere, that mfrs weren't really concentrating on tuner quality, until OTA started becoming more popular.

The boards in TVs are proprietary, so there's no swapping out.
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Old 2-Jan-2013, 7:26 PM   #3
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Digital Broadcast tuners in some older digital tv's were not so good.

If buying a new Tv , buy , Sony , Samsung , Panasonic.

Here are some stand alone Digital tuners and DVR's that have excellent Digital Broadcast Tv tuners.

http://www.epvision.com.

http://www.channelmasterstore.com.
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Old 3-Jan-2013, 12:14 AM   #4
GroundUrMast
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If you have a tuner with poor performance, HD tuners are available as set-top accessories. The addition of a STB tuner offers several benefits. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882
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Old 3-Jan-2013, 5:05 PM   #5
b2471041
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Reception is only as good as its weakest link.

I started the thread just to make people aware that there are differences in ATSC and they should be considered when trying to get over the air channels and when buying a TV. When I was assessing the reception of the first antenna I got, I used my old Samsung TV with the not so good tuner so the assessment of the antenna signal capture capabilities was not fair. I wasn't getting the channel I was looking for. I don't think that antenna was the solution and I am happy with the antenna I now have. Just bear in mind that reception is only as good as its weakest link and that may not be the antenna but could be the ATSC tuner.

If more people start asking questions of TV manufacturer about there tuner, TV manufacturers will take note. What should we be asking about when questioning the quality of an ATSC tuner? What specs?

Last edited by b2471041; 3-Jan-2013 at 5:07 PM. Reason: Added What specs?
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Old 3-Jan-2013, 5:39 PM   #6
teleview
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I 100% agree.

I have been asking questions to the manufactures of Tivo and Computer hardware tuner manufactures , ongoing.

And also the Tv manufactures.

The answers I get back are the typical run around , the all time favorite answer is.

I do not understand the question you (referring to me) are asking.

And no it does not make any difference if the questions are technical or non technical.

And does not make any difference how the questions are worded.

Last edited by teleview; 3-Jan-2013 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 3-Jan-2013, 6:53 PM   #7
Stereocraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b2471041 View Post

If more people start asking questions of TV manufacturer about there tuner, TV manufacturers will take note. What should we be asking about when questioning the quality of an ATSC tuner? What specs?

Years ago, things may have worked that way, but sadly, I believe that mfrs don't care if you, or I, live, or die.

The bottom line, is the bottom line and the majority of consumers, couldn't give two squirts about tuner quality.

Long gone, are the days when people strived to offer the best product.
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Old 3-Jan-2013, 8:00 PM   #8
GroundUrMast
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When shopping for a tuner, I would love to know the effective noise figure of the tuner. Ideally for each channel, or at least each band, Low-VHF, High-VHF & UHF.
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Old 12-Jun-2017, 11:57 PM   #9
KOGREN
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The tuner in the Channel Master DVR+ that I received is significantly poorer than the tuner in my 7 year old LG, or the TCL tv that I bought at Costco. I have been surprised at how much different these behave. I have a very weak signal here, so I am putting these tuners to a test to be sure. The TCL is quite a bit better than the LG, so I thought - Channel Master is a good name, they should be familiar with the requirements of an OTA tuner and theirs will perform even better, but I am extremely disappointed. I would really love to get a DVR to work for me. If it could come in as well as the TCL I would be happy with that. Any Ideas? Anyone find a DVR tuner that will work for your very weak, or multipath signals? Any familiarity with home built home theater pcs?

Last edited by KOGREN; 13-Jun-2017 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 13-Jun-2017, 2:58 AM   #10
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I have found it necessary to compare tuners in a test setup to see which is better. Making an evaluation based on day-to-day reception results can be misleading because OTA signals constantly vary in strength.

antenna > variable attenuator > 2-way splitter > TVs

Most TV tuners drop out at about -85 dBm. If I want to know the signal level at dropout, I use a 4-way splitter for my signal level meter and 2 TVs.

If you are using a preamp, insert the variable attenuator between the power inserter and the splitter.

When I increase the attenuation, the last TV to dropout is the winner.

Around 2008, the best tuners were in the converter boxes because they had to meet government specs to qualify for the coupon program.
Quote:
I have a very weak signal here, so I am putting these tuners to a test to be sure.
Can you show us your TVOOL report, tell us about your antenna system, and which signals are giving you a problem?

The tuner in my CM 7003 is just as sensitive as in my 32" Sony.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/186-co...erter-box.html

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/186-co...l#post48473881
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Last edited by rabbit73; 13-Jun-2017 at 3:08 AM.
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Old 13-Jun-2017, 11:50 PM   #11
KOGREN
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I am just running one tv from one side of a two way splitter, and the dvr from the other. Or I have run the two tvs at the same time through the splitter. The differences are pretty clear. Any thoughts on a dvr with a good tuner?
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Old 15-Jun-2017, 11:49 PM   #12
Billiam
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Is this a TCL TV?

http://www.tclusa.com

Krogen. Which model do you have? I will be buying a new TV soon and want one that has the best tuner for OTA. If TCL is better than LG I want to consider buying one of these. Insignia is pretty good and is a bit better than LG for OTA too.

Last edited by Billiam; 15-Jun-2017 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 18-Jun-2017, 11:42 PM   #13
KOGREN
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Mine is the 43". I have had it now for about 2 years. The LG I have had much longer though, maybe 7 years or so. The TCL is the best tuner of the four I have used. The Channel Master is by far the poorest of the 4, the tuner in my dishnetwork receiver is next to last, with the LG coming in 2nd. The TCL is a nice tv, with the Roku built in. My one complaint would be the sound, for some reason it needs to be louder than you would think it needs to be in order to understand the people speaking.

Have you tried any OTA DVRs? Do you have any leads on one that may have a strong tuner for my weak signals?
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Old 19-Jun-2017, 11:18 PM   #14
Billiam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOGREN View Post
Mine is the 43". I have had it now for about 2 years. The LG I have had much longer though, maybe 7 years or so. The TCL is the best tuner of the four I have used. The Channel Master is by far the poorest of the 4, the tuner in my dishnetwork receiver is next to last, with the LG coming in 2nd. The TCL is a nice tv, with the Roku built in. My one complaint would be the sound, for some reason it needs to be louder than you would think it needs to be in order to understand the people speaking.

Have you tried any OTA DVRs? Do you have any leads on one that may have a strong tuner for my weak signals?
I only use TV's and have a Insignia tuner that is a few years old. Don't use a DVR. Still use a DVD recorder. Thanks for the info.
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