Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 449 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #13441 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 03:44 AM
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Has (to your knowledge) anyone had problems with TiVos heating up? Does the DVR+ with the internal hard drive run hotter?
The Roamio/OTA is warm. The case is round (so you do not stack stuff on top) and well vented. I have not had any heat related problems, but heat is not good for electronics. With a disk inside, the DVR+ will run warmer. I don't have one, so I cannot compare it the others.
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post #13442 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 07:44 AM
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... OTT, on the other hand is $0 per month and requires no special hardware...
Maybe you mean OTA (Over the Air vs. Over the Top)?

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post #13443 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 08:52 AM
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Maybe you mean OTA (Over the Air vs. Over the Top)?

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Taken in context, I'd say OTT is Over The Top. I'm not sure where the revenue comes from, but it's out there. The OTT acronym hasn't caught on though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-top_content
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post #13444 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 09:14 AM
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Unless your television is a smart television -- in which case the streaming device is built in -- you need something. In your case a computer is the streaming device -- is an expensive one to purchase and operate.
Except that in 99% of cases, a computer has already been purchased for a myriad of additional purposes, like email, social networking, reading news content, product purchases, etc. etc. So it's not really accurate to factor in the cost of a computer as a "streaming device" for OTT viewing. That's like saying that one doesn't just pay for glassware; one also has to factor in the cost of rent in order to live in a home that has running water; pretty far-fetched, I think.

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OTT, on the other hand [ed. I think you meant OTA] is $0 per month and requires no special hardware.
Now wait; if you're going to say that an antenna is not special hardware, then you can't say that a computer should be costed in as a streaming device. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

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Even if you spend $300 on a DVR, the math is pretty good after a year ($100 antenna + $20 coax + $300 dvr / 12 = $35). Half the cost of Netflix. If you want inexpensive television, get an antenna.
I agree that the math is excellent for those of us cutting the cord. In eight months from now, factoring in the cost of my purchases, I will start to realize a monthly savings of slightly less than $36 a month, or around $430 a year, assuming I cut the cord in February, which is my intention. And keep in mind I'm going for a two-fer, OTA plus a streaming service (leaning toward PlayStation Vue at the moment, but who knows where the technology may be in February? Perhaps DirecTV may have a DVR service by then, perhaps Sling will have added Fox News, etc. etc.).

My costs have been somewhat different than yours, however: $250 for the DVR and $40 for the antenna. I don't calculate on how that factors out over a year; instead I calculate how it factors out in terms of the difference between my current monthly cost and my future monthly cost. Since the difference is $36, I divide my total, $290, by 36. In other words, I'm figuring I'm still paying my current cost, with that additional $36 that I'm paying now still being paid, only to a different entity (my DVR/antenna combo rather than my cable TV company). When is that $36 monthly cost for the $290 outlay paid off? In eight months. Hence the eight-month figure.
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post #13445 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 10:58 AM
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...Still hate Rovi.
As I understand it, Rovi now owns TiVo. Should this be a factor?

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The Roamio/OTA does not have Component out.
Do I understand correctly that neither unit does?

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Finally, there are no moving or hot parts inside the DVR+, so I expect a long life and easy repairs.
Has anyone had failure on the TiVo Roamio based on overheating?

I think I got the formatting right this time. Shout-out of thanks to pachinko!
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post #13446 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 11:12 AM
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  • The Roamio/OTA has four tuners and the DVR+ has two. With the four tuners, you can record more shows concurrently or support the $150 Mini devices, but the two DVR+ tuners pull in weak signals better.
I have read reviews on both units. I have found criticism of the DVR+ tuners and praise for the TiVo tuners. Does your experience differ?

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post #13447 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 12:14 PM
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  • The Roamio/OTA has four tuners and the DVR+ has two...the two DVR+ tuners pull in weak signals better.
I have only owned a DVR+, never a Roamio. That said, I have to say that I have been enormously impressed with the weakness and unreliability of the DVR+ tuners. They are pathetic weaklings compared to the tuner in my Vizio TV. My Vizio TV easily picks up 87 channels, and most of them play fine most of the time, without the need of any sort of re-positioning or fine-tuning of the antenna.

With the DVR+, on the other hand, I rarely receive more than around ten stations properly at a time, and am constantly needing to shift the antenna's direction or position depending on the station I want to watch. I can honestly say that I can watch with perfect reception every station I want; but it almost always involves a few minutes of hassle. As far as Channel Master is concerned, this is the greatest weakness of their unit, the biggest ripoff, and the element which most badly needs a total overhaul and complete redesign; it is a pathetic embarrassment and they should be ashamed of themselves. It seriously degrades the value of their unit, which is otherwise rather good.
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post #13448 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 12:34 PM
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[/LIST]I have only owned a DVR+, never a Roamio. That said, I have to say that I have been enormously impressed with the weakness and unreliability of the DVR+ tuners.
I'm going to post, based on other posts, that 90% of television tuners are better than any DVR tuners. This thread: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hdt...6-updates.html lists many DVR boxes, and it's a given that if you read any of the threads of those items you will find a post restating what you said. It seems that televisions have better tuners for most installation. Not all, but most. But you're comparing apples to grapes. A television only has to display what it receives and is designed to do that well. A DVR has more work to do. A television usually has setup option to adjust for small differences in the display. That's not needed in a DVR. I guess it comes down to this: there's no TV in DVR.
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post #13449 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 12:36 PM
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[/LIST]...I have been enormously impressed with the weakness and unreliability of the DVR+ tuners. They are pathetic weaklings compared to the tuner in my Vizio TV...

...As far as Channel Master is concerned, this is the greatest weakness of their unit, the biggest ripoff, and the element which most badly needs a total overhaul and complete redesign; it is a pathetic embarrassment and they should be ashamed of themselves. It seriously degrades the value of their unit, which is otherwise rather good.
Thanks for the info. I have a TiVo Roamio OTA on order from Amazon and am suffering from Buyers Remorse ( and it hasn't even arrived yet!). I feel better now. I already have problems bringing in all the OTA channels I want in my living room setup and it sounds like my problems would continue (or get worse) with the Channel Master.

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post #13450 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 12:39 PM
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...I guess it comes down to this: there's no TV in DVR.
And WHO could argue with THAT?

(And yes, I am a Blazing Saddles fan).

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post #13451 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 12:40 PM
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you're comparing apples to grapes. A television only has to display what it receives and is designed to do that well. A DVR has more work to do.
Frankly I don't buy that. If a DVR is too frigging busy to have a working tuner, then it shouldn't have a tuner at all; it should hand that off to external hardware. If you're going to incorporate a tuner into your device, your obligation is that it should work properly, period, paragraph, end of discussion.

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I guess it comes down to this: there's no TV in DVR.
That's disingenuous at best; an OTA DVR has a tuner, and a tuner has one job, to tune in channels. If it can't do that, what's the point??
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post #13452 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 12:45 PM
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I have a TiVo Roamio OTA on order from Amazon and am suffering from Buyers Remorse ( and it hasn't even arrived yet!). I feel better now. I already have problems bringing in all the OTA channels I want in my living room setup and it sounds like my problems would continue (or get worse) with the Channel Master.
Well, sorry to burst your bubble but I did consider buying a Roamio and I finally decided on the DVR+, even though I knew the tuners in the DVR+ were weaker than on some other units. I made my decision for two reasons. First, the Roamio can only play back to a TV via a streaming connection, and that streaming connection involves compressed video, meaning you never get full uncompressed HD the way you do with the HDMI feed from the DVR+. Secondly, because of the monthly subscription, even a lifetime subscription, you still wind up paying more for the Roamio than for the DVR+. If one is out to save $$$, which is, after all, 90% of what cord-cutting is about, then the DVR+ is the way to go, in my opinion.

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that the DVR+ tuner sucks, there's no getting around that.
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post #13453 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 12:56 PM
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Well, sorry to burst your bubble but I did consider buying a Roamio and I finally decided on the DVR+, even though I knew the tuners in the DVR+ were weaker than on some other units. I made my decision for two reasons. First, the Roamio can only play back to a TV via a streaming connection, and that streaming connection involves compressed video, meaning you never get full uncompressed HD the way you do with the HDMI feed from the DVR+. Secondly, because of the monthly subscription, even a lifetime subscription, you still wind up paying more for the Roamio than for the DVR+. If one is out to save $$$, which is, after all, 90% of what cord-cutting is about, then the DVR+ is the way to go, in my opinion.

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that the DVR+ tuner sucks, there's no getting around that.
You obviously should have done more research. Both Romeo and DVR+ can play thru HDMI direct connection. However Romeo can do streaming with additional hardware.
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post #13454 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 01:04 PM
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You obviously should have done more research. Both Romeo and DVR+ can play thru HDMI direct connection. However Romeo can do streaming with additional hardware.
And if you have two, they can stream to each other.

As far as I know, only the older DVDR Magnavox/Funai units convert the data before storing it on the HDD. It works pretty good too.
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post #13455 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 01:12 PM
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You obviously should have done more research. Both Romeo and DVR+ can play thru HDMI direct connection.
I stand corrected. I have since been privately informed that I confused the Roamio with the Tablo.

That said, the Roamio is so much more expensive than the DVR+, $350 versus $250, that I probably would have ended up making the same decision.

Speaking of the DVR+ tuner, some on this forum have suggested that a splitter or an attenuator might improve my situation. The splitter did not; in fact, it might even have made the situation marginally worse. So I decided to order the attenuator from Solid Signal which was recommended me. By sheer coincidence, that attenuator arrived literally one minute ago. So I'm about to find out whether attenuation will solve my problems or whether we've been barking up the wrong tree. Since the splitter appeared to have little or no effect and, in fact, appeared to make the situation ever so slightly worse, I am frankly not at all optimistic, but we'll know in a few minutes the answer to this question. I'll be back shortly with the report.
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post #13456 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 01:39 PM
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...the Roamio can only play back to a TV via a streaming connection, and that streaming connection involves compressed video, meaning you never get full uncompressed HD the way you do with the HDMI feed from the DVR+.
.
Do you mean the TiVo Minis? (The Roamio has HDMI out). That will not be a consideration at our house. Our living room TV is the only one that can show HD.

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post #13457 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 01:56 PM
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[/LIST]I have only owned a DVR+, never a Roamio. That said, I have to say that I have been enormously impressed with the weakness and unreliability of the DVR+ tuners. They are pathetic weaklings compared to the tuner in my Vizio TV. My Vizio TV easily picks up 87 channels, and most of them play fine most of the time, without the need of any sort of re-positioning or fine-tuning of the antenna..
You and others may complain about the DVR+ tuners but I am on the other side of the issue. I live in a problematic reception area.

I own 3 DVR+ and have combined them with both Sharp and Samsung TVs and I have found the DVR+ tuners to be as good. I receive as many channels with the DVR+ with no channels lost from what the TV Tuners are getting. I may be in the minority but find it odd listening to all the complaints that I don't see as universally true from my experience.
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post #13458 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 02:00 PM
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Do you mean the TiVo Minis? (The Roamio has HDMI out). That will not be a consideration at our house. Our living room TV is the only one that can show HD.
While I can't figure out where the Mini figures in this <?>, it has the same bandwidth as OTA video (about 20Mbps). So it can display native 1080/p24, 1080/p60 or whatever. No 4k yet.

You know, we should stop this TiVo talk. We could be sent to Siberia. I'm cold enough.
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post #13459 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 02:55 PM
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You and others may complain about the DVR+ tuners but I am on the other side of the issue. I live in a problematic reception area. I own 3 DVR+ and have combined them with both Sharp and Samsung TVs and I have found the DVR+ tuners to be as good. I receive as many channels with the DVR+ with no channels lost from what the TV Tuners are getting. I may be in the minority but find it odd listening to all the complaints that I don't see as universally true from my experience.
That is easily explained. The problem with the DVR+ tuners is that they can't handle strong signals due to multipath problems, as I understand it. If you're not in a strong signal area, then that would not impact you. But in an urban area like mine (NYC), it plays total havoc with my reception unfortunately.

In any event, the attenuator did not do the trick, pretty much as I was afraid of. Adjusting the variable attenuation DID affect the signal strength, which was never a problem for me. However it had no effect on the signal quality, which was my problem.

At this point, here's what I'm looking for, and it may not even exist: An outboard tuner that can pick up HD channels well, provided one has a decent antenna (which I do, judging by my Vizio TV's performance), and then spits it out on an RF channel selected by the user. I then hook up the output of that tuner, via coax or wireless, to the DVR+; if wireless, it would be my antenna's job to pick up those new additional channels being sent out by this outboard tuner (to make that work, I'd use a splitter; the antenna would be connected both directly to the DVR+ and to the outboard tuner). If the outboard tuner is connected by coax to the DVR+, the tuner would pass the signal from the antenna unchanged through its coax output to the DVR+, merely adding its own channels to that one RF channel.

The user of this outboard tuner is free to pick any RF channel as the tuner's output, and the advisable choice would be an RF channel not used in my area. Looking over my station report on TVFool.com , it appears that RF channels 14-17, 19, 32, 35, 37 and 43 are all open.

So, for argument's sake, I'd assign the RF output of this tuner to Channel 14, and, perhaps, even have the luxury of assigning sub-channels, so this tuner would output signal on digital channels 14.1, 14.2 and 14.3, let's say; those digital channels are also empty in my area. I'd run a specific scan on the DVR for those three channels in order to pick up the tuner's three channels and add that to the DVR+'s channel line-up.

So I would orient the antenna so that the precious nitpicky finicky DVR+ could at least handle the usual ten or so stations. For all other stations, I would assign them as needed to one of this outboard tuner's three channels, and instruct the DVR+, when needed, to tune one or more of those three stations, as needed.

Is there such a beast that anyone knows of?
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post #13460 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 03:31 PM
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You know, we should stop this TiVo talk. We could be sent to Siberia. I'm cold enough.
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post #13461 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 03:35 PM
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...I may be in the minority but find it odd listening to all the complaints that I don't see as universally true from my experience.
It probably is not universally true. It may depend on area, proximity to towers, trees, antennas (some may work with some DVRs or TVs better than others), atmospheric conditions, etc., etc...
All one can do until they actually "test drive" these machines is gather as much info as possible. Truly, YMMV.

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post #13462 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dmatch View Post
Maybe you mean OTA (Over the Air vs. Over the Top)?

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I did.

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Taken in context, I'd say OTT is Over The Top. I'm not sure where the revenue comes from, but it's out there. The OTT acronym hasn't caught on though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-top_content
No. Just too much typing before coffee.

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I have read reviews on both units. I have found criticism of the DVR+ tuners and praise for the TiVo tuners. Does your experience differ?
We have both DVRs. I happen to have one of each 'in the lab'. Moving the coax from one to the other then looking at the picture is my test. The DVR+ has much better tuners. This became very apparent during the Needham Heights fiasco when antennas were moved from high spots with full power to lower spots with less power. The DVR+ had no problems while the Roamio/OTA had in and out reception. If you think about it, it makes sense that TV > DVR+ > TiVo in that the signal is being sent to one tuner on a television, split between two on the DVR+, and split between four on the TiVo. Living on the fringe, I have no experience with too strong signals.

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post #13463 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 03:45 PM
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At this point, here's what I'm looking for, and it may not even exist: ...Is there such a beast that anyone knows of?
Perhaps someone can tell me why this wouldn't work: Get an analog-to-digital coverter box (do a search for which work best for your situation) , connect the antenna to the coax in, run a coax cable from the boxes output to the DVR+ coax input. The DVR+ will "sense" a signal on channel 3 or 4 and all recordings will be made on channel 3/4. I have 3 DTV Pals which allow you to program time and channel. It would be similar to using a VCR. A bit unwieldy, but you could improve on the DVR+ tuners that way.

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post #13464 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 04:05 PM
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Perhaps someone can tell me why this wouldn't work: Get an analog-to-digital coverter box (do a search for which work best for your situation) , connect the antenna to the coax in, run a coax cable from the boxes output to the DVR+ coax input. The DVR+ will "sense" a signal on channel 3 or 4 and all recordings will be made on channel 3/4. I have 3 DTV Pals which allow you to program time and channel. It would be similar to using a VCR. A bit unwieldy, but you could improve on the DVR+ tuners that way.
BTW, get the iVIEW 3100STB Digital Converter Box with Recording, Media Playback and Universal Remote for $20 at Walmart free pickup. I'm going to get one just because ... my wife is not looking over my shoulder.

crabboy, the only thing that comes out of the converter is the tuned channel. You would need to manually tune the DVR and the converter to record. It would work, but it would not be fun. I would look into what is going on with your DVR+ tuners. They really are VERY good. Maybe put an pre-amp by the antenna or use an amplifying splitter for distribution. What antenna are you using?
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post #13465 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 04:11 PM
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BTW, get the iVIEW 3100STB Digital Converter Box with Recording, Media Playback and Universal Remote for $20 at Walmart free pickup. I'm going to get one just because ... my wife is not looking over my shoulder.

crabboy, the only thing that comes out of the converter is the tuned channel. You would need to manually tune the DVR and the converter to record. It would work, but it would not be fun. I would look into what is going on with your DVR+ tuners. They really are VERY good. Maybe put an pre-amp by the antenna or use an amplifying splitter for distribution. What antenna are you using?
I think the signal coming out of that box is analog. So the dvr+ will not be able to lock on it. The dvr+ is digital only.

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post #13466 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by criggs View Post

Is there such a beast that anyone knows of?
That is a frequency mixer and it won't do any good. It's not the tuners the problem. The tuners, from my experience, are very good on the dvr+. A very good sensitivity and a wide dynamic range. They are even better than the tuner on my Sharp tv. The problem comes from the demodulators, more precisely the pre and post FEC equalizers. This is the hardware part handling echo cancelation. If you use a frequency mixer to shift the signal frequency, you will still use the dvr+ demodulators and you cannot bypass them. So your problem will still be there.

Edit: for this to work, you would need a box that has a demodulator and a modulator. The box needs to extract the mpeg-ts and pass this stream to the atsc modulator. I'm not sure that such a box exist. That way the rf signal would be clean and the dvr+ should lock without issue.

Multipath is very a pain to handle. Using a leaf antenna in your situation is not the best and your location is very difficult to handle. Normally you need to use a more directional antenna to attenuate reflections but you probably will loose some channels. You need to improve your signal quality and the only way is by using different antennas but every location is different. Maybe you can get some help from forums talking about rf in your area. Getting advise from people having the same issue in your area.
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Last edited by Alainl12; 12-15-2016 at 04:59 PM.
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post #13467 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 05:37 PM
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for this to work, you would need a box that has a demodulator and a modulator. The box needs to extract the mpeg-ts and pass this stream to the atsc modulator. I'm not sure that such a box exist. That way the rf signal would be clean and the dvr+ should lock without issue.
So the question is whether such a device actually exists. So far it does not appear anyone has heard of such a device being manufactured.

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Multipath is very a pain to handle. Using a leaf antenna in your situation is not the best and your location is very difficult to handle. Normally you need to use a more directional antenna to attenuate reflections but you probably will loose some channels. You need to improve your signal quality and the only way is by using different antennas
Interesting. I have the Mohu Leaf Antenna 30 mile version. At first, I had an RCA omnidirectional, and that worked fine with my Vizio TV. Then, when I got the DVR+, I made the unpleasant discovery that what worked fine with the Vizio was not working fine at all with the DVR+. I did some research and settled on the Mohu Leaf as an apparently improved and updated version of the RCA omnidirectional concept.

Sure enough, the Mohu was a dramatic improvement on the RCA with the DVR+. My reception went from about a D-, on average, to about a C on average, still unacceptable but still an improvement.

Are you saying I should be looking for a completely different kind of indoor antenna? What kind?

To perhaps help you give me that advice, here is my profile from TV Fool: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...dfaf692be0fa15 .
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post #13468 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 06:03 PM
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I think the signal coming out of that box is analog. So the dvr+ will not be able to lock on it. The dvr+ is digital only.
There's why it wouldn't work.
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post #13469 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 06:04 PM
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Maybe put an pre-amp by the antenna or use an amplifying splitter for distribution. What antenna are you using?
I'm using the Mohu Leaf 30 mile version.

I'm wondering whether you might not be right. Originally most concluded that, considering my location, and the proximity of my towers in my TV Fool profile (which is at http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...dfaf692be0fa15 if you'd like to take a look) , an amplifier might be the last thing I needed, as the problem appeared to be too much signal rather than too little.

But who knows? If we've misdiagnosed it, if my Eastern exposure is actually impeding reception from the North, South and West, perhaps my problem is not too much power but too little power.

Since the Mohu Leaf 30 improved my reception significantly but still didn't get me where I wanted to be, could it be that you're right? Could it be that the Mohu Leaf 50, in other words, the 50-mile version, which has an amplifier that can be turned on and off as circumstances warrant, is the solution to my problems? Considering the price-tag, $60, that's a rather expensive bet. But I'm ready to try anything at this point.
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post #13470 of 14835 Old 12-15-2016, 06:06 PM
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BTW, get the iVIEW 3100STB Digital Converter Box with Recording, Media Playback and Universal Remote for $20 at Walmart free pickup. I'm going to get one just because ... my wife is not looking over my shoulder.

crabboy, the only thing that comes out of the converter is the tuned channel. You would need to manually tune the DVR and the converter to record. It would work, but it would not be fun. I would look into what is going on with your DVR+ tuners. They really are VERY good. Maybe put an pre-amp by the antenna or use an amplifying splitter for distribution. What antenna are you using?
My situation is working with inexpensive antennas; I was trying to come up with a solution for criggs.
BTW, I have the (more expensive) iView and it is a very good little box. I have a Roamio OTA on the way because the iView is a bit too complicated for the g/f. We are giving up Dish and she needs an experience similar to a Dish DVR. When the Roamio comes, the iView is going into my man cave.

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Last edited by crabboy; 12-15-2016 at 06:11 PM.
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