atsc hd converter/tuner - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-16-2012, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a newbie here, hoping for some help. I've decided to cut the cord with cable, and bought a roku and hd antenna. Unfortunately I've discovered that my hd television needs an atsc converter/tuner. Right now, the hd antenna doesn't pick up anything when connected to my tv. I live in NYC, so am hopeful for positive reception once I have everything I need.

I've looked at many of these online, and the vast majority seem to be converters that work for standard def only.

I would love suggestions for an inexpensive, basic atsc hd tuner/converter that I can use to receive ota HDTV from my hd antenna.

Any help?
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-16-2012, 03:06 PM
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Post a TVFool report for your address, the model of your antenna and the model of your TV.

Also look at this thread for a list of HDTV tuners: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=179095

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-16-2012, 03:17 PM
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Are you sure you need a converter box? Unless you your TV is very old it should have a ATSC digital tuner. I'm assuming you were on Cable so the tuner may have been set to QAM for Cable which will not work for over the air.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-16-2012, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I do need a converter, but perhaps I'm missing something.
The TV is a Sharp LC-32DA5U-32.
Antenna is a RCA ANT1450BM Multi-Directional Digital Flat Amplified HDTV Antenna.
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-16-2012, 03:56 PM
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The Sharp LC-32DA5U-32 lacks an ATSC tuner. You will have to find an external tuner. It does have HDMI, so that makes it easier.
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-16-2012, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Would the TiVo Premiere do the job? I hate to pay that monthly fee, but...

Also saw this one thanks to the AVS link above - PrimeDTV PHD-205LE. Will this work? Hate that it's $125, was thinking more that I could find something for $60 or so.
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-16-2012, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBlueHorseshoe View Post

Would the TiVo Premiere do the job? I hate to pay that monthly fee, but...

Also saw this one thanks to the AVS link above - PrimeDTV PHD-205LE. Will this work? Hate that it's $125, was thinking more that I could find something for $60 or so.

For $60, used on ebay.

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post #8 of 19 Old 01-16-2012, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

For $60, used on ebay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBlueHorseshoe View Post

Would the TiVo Premiere do the job? I hate to pay that monthly fee, but...

Also saw this one thanks to the AVS link above - PrimeDTV PHD-205LE. Will this work? Hate that it's $125, was thinking more that I could find something for $60 or so.

Don't want to buy one of these used, so will buy new. Would the Tivo Premiere work? How about the PrimeDTV above? Thanks!!
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-17-2012, 02:43 AM
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Or try the Centronics ZAT502 HD for $100.

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post #10 of 19 Old 01-17-2012, 06:53 AM
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Good luck with that antenna. They're not very good and I've never seen them recommended on this forum. You may luck out and get it to work, though.

Buyers are usually attracted to them for their aesthetic value, not performance.
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-05-2012, 02:12 PM
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I've got a HD ready Epson projector that I am enjoying with Apple TV2, BluRay, etc, but it sure would be nice to watch HD over the air NFL football on Sunday. I've been searching and searching for an ATSC tuner with HDMI output. I've read forum after forum suggesting some old tuner that is no longer made but now available on ebay for sometimes a higher price than when they were new. My question is, "Why"?

It seems there is a market for such a stand alone device. What gives? Why doesn't any manufacturer spit out a stand alone box for $40-$50?

Cable TV Conspiracy theory?
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-05-2012, 07:21 PM
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For a list of currently-available ATSC tuners, see here:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/179095/the-official-avs-hdtv-stb-synopsis

which is listed as a sticky thread at the top of this forum.

As to why there aren't very many of them, consider this: back in the days of analog TV, how many standalone NTSC tuners were there? wink.gif
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post #13 of 19 Old 10-05-2012, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBlueHorseshoe View Post
Would the Tivo Premiere work? 

 

Yes.

 

Must be purchased from a third party retailer, though (such as Amazon, etc.), otherwise you'll have to sign up for a subscription plan if you buy it from TiVo direct.

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post #14 of 19 Old 10-06-2012, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

For a list of currently-available ATSC tuners, see here:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/179095/the-official-avs-hdtv-stb-synopsis
which is listed as a sticky thread at the top of this forum.
As to why there aren't very many of them, consider this: back in the days of analog TV, how many standalone NTSC tuners were there? wink.gif

You could get a VCR. Some VCRs had better tuners than the TV. Unfortunately the VCR equivalent for today, ie. DTVPal DVR,etc are not cheap.
The OP stated that he has a Roku unit. He might want to look at www.simple.tv.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-06-2012, 09:50 PM
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It's too bad kfblmlb didn't already have a Boxee instead of an Apple TV, because he could just add their ATSC dongle to it, for only $49.

 

Places like Woot have been known to sell refurbished TiVo Premieres for only $50 in the past, but you'd really have to keep an eye out for a deal like that.

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post #16 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

For a list of currently-available ATSC tuners, see here:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/179095/the-official-avs-hdtv-stb-synopsis
which is listed as a sticky thread at the top of this forum.
As to why there aren't very many of them, consider this: back in the days of analog TV, how many standalone NTSC tuners were there? wink.gif

I believe that is the list of tuners that aren't being made anymore. Here's what the difference is between now and back in the days of analog TV.
- High Definition perfect picture and surround sound NFL football without cable, available now, not before.
- 20+ crystal clear channels in many markets available free without cable. available now, not before.
- Lower cost High definition projectors - My Epson was about $600, available now, not before.
It's a great combination, but I can't find a simple stand alone ATSC tuner that outputs the HD signal, like they used to make. Why?
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 09:21 AM
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Personally, I believe it was a business decision by the device manufacturers to avoid the retail market and sell only to intermediaries like cable and satellite providers.

No packaging, no advertising, no warehousing, no distribution, no fighting for store shelf space, no product support, no explaining to the customer that it won't work for them because the cable company encrypted all the channels, or their antenna was facing the wrong direction, or they needed a 30 foot tower with rotor to pick up the CW, etc.

With everything but OTA being encrypted and all TVs including ATSC tuners and no desire to support home recording or timeshifting, the manufacturers abandoned the retail market as a bad business model.

Back in the days of BBS forums and DVD decoder cards, Sigma Designs (major manufacturer of digital processing chips) stated publicly that they would never sell another retail product due to some of the above reasons along with the restrictions of digital rights management. (got to honor all of those broadcast flags, copy protection, etc both current and future)

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post #18 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfblmlb View Post

I believe that is the list of tuners that aren't being made anymore. 

 

Some of those under the first section of "Available Now" are still available.

 

You'll never see a standalone ATSC, HD tuner available new for $40-$50.

 

You can still get the Zinwell ZAT-970A, which is standard definition, new from Amazon, for $45 (which won't look very good blown-up on a projector), but the cheapest HD one I know of would be the Kworld, which runs about $94 (which includes shipping, also on Amazon).

 

But it's not very good (if you read the reviews). You get what you pay for.

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post #19 of 19 Old 10-08-2012, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions! I've continued to search the list and I bought a Humax HFA100 on Ebay from a retailer, for $30. It was supposed to be new in box. After receiving it, I wasn't so sure. I plugged it in and it was Dead on Arrival. I'll keep looking.
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