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Old 28-Sep-2011, 8:16 AM   #1
be236
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Best / Most sensitive TV tuner?

Hi,

I'm in the market for a new HD LCD/LED TV. Which TV brands have the most sensitive HD tuner (can pick up weak signals the best)?

I heard Samsung and Sony TVs have the best tuners.

However I have an older model Sony CRT HDTV (2006?) and it can't pick up a few weak channels that a new Artec DTV converter can pick up...

Or is there a website that rates TV tuner sensitivity?
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Old 28-Sep-2011, 3:28 PM   #2
MisterMe
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I have a different group of candidates. We agree on Samsung. It is my understanding that Samsung manufacturers its own display panels. I would also consider LG. LG holds patents on its tuners. Among the Japanese, I go with Sharp. Sharp also manufactures its own panels.

I own models of each brand. They work well. I also own a Sony. Sony is catnip to techies. I have owned several Sonys. Of these, only my little 13" flat face CRT did not fail in one way or another. The tuner in another of my Sonys--a 24" flat face analog CRT--suffered dramatic loss in sensitivity. In my newest Sony--a 40" LCD flat panel--the digital tuner craps-out when the ambient temperature rises above 72 F. Hopefully, this Sony will be my last Sony TV until the company dramatically improves its quality.

The whole point of this forum is to select antennas with sufficient gain, aim them properly, install pre-amplifiers to ensure sufficient signal strength at the end of long cable runs [if needed], and to install distribution amplifiers [if needed] to ensure that each tuner receives sufficient signal. If you have made the correct decisions about these issues, then tuner sensitivity may be a secondary or tertiary consideration. However, sensitivity should not be your primary consideraton. The tuner for any reputable TV manufacturer should be more than adequate.

If you have narrowed your choices down to Sony and Samsung, then your decision should be a no-brainer. Samsung is the one TV that you are looking for.
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Old 28-Sep-2011, 5:24 PM   #3
be236
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMe View Post
I have a different group of candidates. We agree on Samsung. It is my understanding that Samsung manufacturers its own display panels. I would also consider LG. LG holds patents on its tuners. Among the Japanese, I go with Sharp. Sharp also manufactures its own panels.

I own models of each brand. They work well. I also own a Sony. Sony is catnip to techies. I have owned several Sonys. Of these, only my little 13" flat face CRT did not fail in one way or another. The tuner in another of my Sonys--a 24" flat face analog CRT--suffered dramatic loss in sensitivity. In my newest Sony--a 40" LCD flat panel--the digital tuner craps-out when the ambient temperature rises above 72 F. Hopefully, this Sony will be my last Sony TV until the company dramatically improves its quality.

The whole point of this forum is to select antennas with sufficient gain, aim them properly, install pre-amplifiers to ensure sufficient signal strength at the end of long cable runs [if needed], and to install distribution amplifiers [if needed] to ensure that each tuner receives sufficient signal. If you have made the correct decisions about these issues, then tuner sensitivity may be a secondary or tertiary consideration. However, sensitivity should not be your primary consideraton. The tuner for any reputable TV manufacturer should be more than adequate.

If you have narrowed your choices down to Sony and Samsung, then your decision should be a no-brainer. Samsung is the one TV that you are looking for.
Yes, of course, I'll get the best antenna and amp as possible to get the best signal as it feeds into the tuner's coaxial input connection. Of course my concern is those "weak" channels that can't be made any better and hence a better tuner can pick it up vs a weaker one that cannot lock on the weak (edge-of-the-cliff) signal SNR...

I'll definitely keep Samsung and Sony (and LG) on my top picks for best tuners! Also have to weigh that with thei picture quality as I see them on display side-by-side in stores.

Thanks for the info!

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Old 28-Sep-2011, 6:42 PM   #4
MisterMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by be236 View Post
... Also have to weigh that with thei picture quality as I see them on display side-by-side in stores.

Thanks for the info!

Two things:
  1. Flat panels are produced by a very small number of manufacturers. The other TV manufacturers use product from this limited group. If you buy a Sharp Quattron, then you know that the panel comes from Sharp because only Sharp makes it and only Sharp sells it. If you buy a set with a RGB panel TV from some other manufacturer than let's say Samsung for example, then you have no idea who made the panel. You may find yourself claiming that the Acme panel used by Sony displays a dramatically better picture than the Acme panel used by Panasonic when they are in fact identical.
  2. Store displays are setup to look best under the fluorescent lights in the store. It is well-known that in-store lighting is a very poor representation of the lighting conditions in the customer's living room or den. Therefore, it is a critical mistake to make buying decisions based on how flat panels look in the store. That said, flat panel TVs have numerous color adjustments. Virtually every TV will allow you to adjust the picture color and brightness to suit your tastes or to match a calibrated image.
My suggestion is to forget about the techie stuff. You can too easily be duped into worrying about which brand of ice is colder. Concentrate on the features that you and your family will actually use and that cannot be adjusted or enhanced after purchase. For example:
  • Do you intend to view 3-D movies on Blu-ray?
  • Do you want Internet connectivity via Ethernet? via Wi-Fi?
  • Do you want TV Guide on Screen?
  • Do you want downloadable, user-installable widgets? TVs with this feature are called smart TVs.
  • Does the TV have enough of the kinds of connectivity ports that you want?
  • Does the TV fit in its assigned location?
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Old 28-Sep-2011, 6:54 PM   #5
be236
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Ok, good points.

In-store display, I see some LCD TVs look "dull/dim," while others look "bright and vivid." Also some look "sharper" than others that look slighly "blended/pixels not distinct." They all show the same video so their resolution should be the same. So unless the TVs are misadjusted in their picture/contrast/brightness settings... maybe... that would affect it..

As for features, my top picks are: (1) On screen guide with listing of future shows with full description of shows and their rez (720p vs 1080i, etc), (2) ability to add individual channels manually in addition to full scan (3) have a signal meter easy to get to and not buried in the some hidden diagnostics menu.

Looking to get LED preferred over LCD.. and about 46+ inches.
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Old 29-Sep-2011, 1:57 AM   #6
coco
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Check out this site all the info you need

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...ysprune=&f=166
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Old 29-Sep-2011, 4:05 AM   #7
MisterMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by be236 View Post
...

As for features, my top picks are: (1) On screen guide with listing of future shows with full description of shows and their rez (720p vs 1080i, etc), (2) ability to add individual channels manually in addition to full scan (3) have a signal meter easy to get to and not buried in the some hidden diagnostics menu.

...
LED refers to the backlighting used for LCD TVs. Older and low-end sets use fluorescent backlights. Fluorescent backlights may suddenly and unexpectantly go out.

A few more observations:
  1. Virtually all HDTVs show the resolution of displayed content.
  2. In my experience, LG sets require the least rescanning.
  3. A signal strength meter is OK, but is hardly a deal maker or deal breaker. These meters are not calibrated to any particular standard. My Samsung has a strength meter. Sometimes, I get poor reception on a large number of bars. At other times, I get good reception on a small number of bars.
  4. These sets tend to have a lot of features. There is no way to make them all easily accessible. Design engineers must prioritize. From where I sit, many features should take accessibility priority over diagnostics.
  5. TV Guide's publisher no longer owns TV Guide on Screen. This feature is now owned by Rovi Corporation, the owner of Roxio and the developers of other digital entertainment products. Certain model TV sets and other consumer electronic devices from Sony, Mitsubishi, and Sanyo feature TVGoS built-in. Smart TVs from Samsung rely on the Rovi Listings application.
  6. The Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP) is part of the ATSC standard. This is a program guide that is available to each ATSC subchannel. Several years ago, I purchased a Samsung ATSC tuner that combined PSIP banners from all available subchannels to produce a very nice program listing. It is not as slick a TVGoS, but it is sweet. Not all tuners and TV sets implement PSIP. Not all broadcasters use it. However, Samsung and LG both support it. If you see an [INFO] button on the remote control, then the TV set likely supports PSIP.
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Old 29-Sep-2011, 5:41 AM   #8
be236
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If the feature of my old Sony Wega (2006?) HD CRT TV is any indication of the newer Sony's, I'd rather not get the Sony.

My current Sony TV has these drawbacks: (1) Only shows the current program info (not future shows, not real TV guide, (2) signal meter is hidden in diagnostics menu option, (3) cannot manually add a particular RF channel... must (re)scan to detect any new channels, (4) it's channel list is strange to go up and down, and you have to go to INPUT menu to switch to different input connections, instead of allowing you to add a particular input as part of your channel list (where you just hit Channel Up or Down button).
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Old 5-Feb-2013, 7:05 AM   #9
Harrier
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Not the most robust sample set, but I have a Samsung, a Sharp, and a HDHomerun (network tuner) attached to the same antenna:

Samsung gets the most channels with virtually no dropout
HDHomerun gets almost the same number of channels with constant dropout
Sharp is a useless pile of plastic. One channel, drops constantly.

I have swapped around the cables and connections, so I feel reasonably good about these assessments.
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Old 5-Feb-2013, 3:59 PM   #10
be236
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Oh, that's a good comparison situation... to know Samsung is best of those three.

I'm wondering if anyone has done a Sony vs Samsung vs LG tuner test yet...

I have Sony with not much to compare against. It's an older model year 2006.

It mainly matches all my DTV converter boxes (got in year 2009). It beats Vizio.

Those three TV sets I've heard are the best tuners.. would just like to know which is the best of the best.
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