Tivo without subscription as cheap, quality OTA tuner? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-05-2012, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Can I use a Tivo without a SUB as a cheap, quality OTA tuner?

I am asking because I need a stand-alone OTA tuner, and there aren't very many options on the market right now. I've been through the sticky thread at the top of the forum and even went so far as to buy an 8VX, but I expect the 8VX will be going back due to known PQ problems on 1080i content. While I am waiting for the 8VX to show up, I am researching other options.

What I really want are:

1) a sensitive OTA tuner
2) The ability delete unwanted or "blank" channels so I don't have to surf through them.
3) Native output would be nice, but 1080i is the only mandatory output resolution
4) HDMI output

So it seems to me that a TIVO is a great deal because they are planning to make their money back on the sub. If all I want is the OTA tuner and do not need the guide info, can I do this?
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 04:22 AM
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Yep.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 07:00 AM
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The Tivo Premiere is a very poor OTA tuner. It especially has problems with multipath signals. This is discussed in depth on the Tivo Community forum. I have LOS to the transmitters except for a row of pine trees. I had no problem with the tuner built into my Sony TV or the previous CSEB box. The Premiere was very frustrating, so much so that I located a new but unused Tivo HD (the previous model) to use while fulfilling my commitment to Tivo. The HD model cured all related problems. I understand the previous "Tivo 3" model also handles OTA well. I would hate to see another member be so completely disappointed in the Tivo Premiere's OTA capabilities.
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister B View Post

The Tivo Premiere is a very poor OTA tuner. It especially has problems with multipath signals. This is discussed in depth on the Tivo Community forum. I have LOS to the transmitters except for a row of pine trees. I had no problem with the tuner built into my Sony TV or the previous CSEB box. The Premiere was very frustrating, so much so that I located a new but unused Tivo HD (the previous model) to use while fulfilling my commitment to Tivo. The HD model cured all related problems. I understand the previous "Tivo 3" model also handles OTA well. I would hate to see another member be so completely disappointed in the Tivo Premiere's OTA capabilities.

Thanks. I notice that the Series 3 is available on Fleabay with lifetime sub for about $350. Perhaps I will go that route.
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 10:38 PM
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Are there no OTA converters with HDMI output at 1080p? it seems that you are overspending to get the functionality that you want.
FYI, i have no experience with HDTV or HDMI, so if I;ve missed something, my apologies.

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post #6 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabboy View Post

Are there no OTA converters with HDMI output at 1080p? it seems that you are overspending to get the functionality that you want.
FYI, i have no experience with HDTV or HDMI, so if I;ve missed something, my apologies.

Well if I want to go without the lifetime sub, I can get a used Tivo HD on Fleabay for 30 bucks. This seems to be BY FAR the cheapest option out there.

Also, I do not want a 1080P output, as it would do me no good in my application. I need a 1080i output. Yes, there are plenty of OTA tuners that output via HDMI at the resolution I want. Of those that are still available (the list is a sticky at the top of this forum), I am rapidly finding out that many have serious problems. Case in point is the one I just purchased with the endemic 1080i output problems.

The market for OTA tuners seems to really suck.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-06-2012, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by crabboy View Post

Are there no OTA converters with HDMI output at 1080p?

No, because there are no OTA broadcast 1080p signals, only 1080i, 720p and 480i.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-14-2012, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

No, because there are no OTA broadcast 1080p signals, only 1080i, 720p and 480i.

This side of the pond our OTA HD receivers for Freeview HD are mandated to be able to output 1080p via HDMI, even though we only broadcast 576i SD and 1080i HD OTA.

The requirement for 1080p is to improve the quality of receiver rendered graphics (digital interactive text, subtitles etc.), and allow for IPTV streaming (as Freeview HD OTA tuners are also mandated to have Ethernet connectivity and the digital interactive text standard includes facilities for video streaming as well as OTA video content)

The BBC version of Hulu (aka iPlayer) uses the IPTV facilities to allow streaming of 'catch-up' HD content for example.

Realise that this isn't the case in the US - but there can still be sensible reasons for a box to output 1080p when it only receives 1080i/720p HD and 576i or 480i SD content OTA.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-14-2012, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Realise that this isn't the case in the US - but there can still be sensible reasons for a box to output 1080p when it only receives 1080i/720p HD and 576i or 480i SD content OTA.

True. We do have OTA boxes that output 1080p here as well. I almost mentioned that, but figured I'd just let it slide. Glad you mentioned it. biggrin.gif
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-14-2012, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

No, because there are no OTA broadcast 1080p signals, only 1080i, 720p and 480i.

I admit ignorance on HD issues. I've never had a TV less than.....10 years old?

I have learned a lot here.

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post #11 of 17 Old 08-15-2012, 11:14 PM
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I think you can use a TiVo without a subscription as just an OTA tuner, but you must have an internet connection to do the setup. It gives you about 10 days free program info from Tribune Media. Then that goes away, but the channels still tune in. But it is a bit problematic, as they only tune to the actual RF channel numbers, which can be confusing. For example, NBC channel 4 may actually be RF36. So I eventually set up my subscription, with a $100 off discount. And it does have a very nice menu interface with complete program info. And it very nicely integrates both OTA and cable in one box.
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-16-2014, 08:16 PM
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Very few if any OTA TV stations broadcast 1080p. 1080i is common with some 720p.

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post #13 of 17 Old 03-16-2014, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rwb12 View Post

1080i is common with some 720p.

The "big 4" OTA networks split down the middle: CBS and NBC are 1080i; ABC and FOX are 720p. I think PBS is usually 1080i, but I seem to remember reading that some PBS stations use 720p. I think the CW and MyNetworkTV are normally 1080i, but someone is welcome to correct me on that.
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-17-2014, 03:30 AM
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There are no OTA stations that use 1080p although it is possible in the ATSC standard.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-17-2014, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

The "big 4" OTA networks split down the middle: CBS and NBC are 1080i; ABC and FOX are 720p. I think PBS is usually 1080i, but I seem to remember reading that some PBS stations use 720p. I think the CW and MyNetworkTV are normally 1080i, but someone is welcome to correct me on that.

Broadcast network native formats are:

1080i:

CBS, NBC, PBS, CW (larger markets)

720p:

ABC, FOX, My Network TV, ION, CW+ (smaller markets)

Some stations cross-convert to the other format in-house, but the lists above show how the feeds are provided to the affiliates.

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post #16 of 17 Old 03-17-2014, 11:31 AM
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Any reason why we're resurrecting a 2 year old thread???
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-17-2014, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

Any reason why we're resurrecting a 2 year old thread???

Ask rwb12 (1st time poster).

Glad you said "we're" because now you've become part of the problem.

And... spank the other three guys for answering. biggrin.gif
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