or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Technical › looking for a good but inexpensive standalone atsc tuner
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

looking for a good but inexpensive standalone atsc tuner

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am in the process of piecing together a home theater system. I have a 1080p projector and ready to order cables for everything. I was trying to think if I am missing anything, and the idea crossed my mind to add an HDTV antenna and ATSC tuner. I already have an antenna in mind (welcome to add your suggestion), but I am still looking for a good tuner. Are there some standouts in the industry? rave reviews? favorites of the crowd? etc?

This is to be used as a standalone device (not a usb tuner or pci card). Thanks for your input.
post #2 of 26
Here you go:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

http://cgi.ebay.com/LG-LST-3100A-HDT...item4a9f7a3765

http://cgi.ebay.com/LG-LST-3510A-HD-...item45f1c7bdfd

http://cgi.ebay.com/LG-LST-3510A-DVD...item3efe1b6c00

http://cgi.ebay.com/LG-LST-3410A-DVR...item19bade016e

Any of these units is exactly what you are looking for. Just depends on what you want to spend.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
No offense but at first I thought you were joking - any reason why these LG's are so favorited?
post #4 of 26
Because they were considered to be the best, and in many cases they still are. I own the 3510a and the 4200a myself and highly recommend both.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
k, I will look into it... was thinking about the magnavox h2160 dvd/hdd recorder with atsc tuner - a bit pricey but might be nice, maybe worth saving for if it is really a good piece of gear

the antenna I was going to buy turns out to be directional, is this okay? or should I look at other antennas? suggestions?
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am wondering about this omnidirectional indoor antenna:

http://terk.com/#/indoor_tv_antennas...igital_antenna

vs this directional indoor antenna:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPixel View Post

k, I will look into it... was thinking about the magnavox h2160 dvd/hdd recorder with atsc tuner - a bit pricey but might be nice, maybe worth saving for if it is really a good piece of gear

For HD, that would be a bad decision. None of the DVD recorders output HD, either live or recorded.

Quote:


the antenna I was going to buy turns out to be directional, is this okay? or should I look at other antennas? suggestions?

This is like asking if a minivan will work for transportation for you. How could anyone say one way or the other without knowing a lot more about your specific situation?

You'll have to provide more info for good advice; go to TV Fool and enter your location, etc. Come back here and paste the link or results. We can then help you.

General Antenna Advice:
Outdoors is better than indoors.
Directional is better than omnidirectional.
Bigger is better than smaller.
Higher is better than lower.
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPixel View Post

I am wondering about this omnidirectional indoor antenna:

http://terk.com/#/indoor_tv_antennas...igital_antenna

vs this directional indoor antenna:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I use the Terk TV5 indoor antenna. It picks up channels from 30 miles way and works great for an indoor antenna. But your TV Fool info is needed to see how far away you are from the broadcast towers.

http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Low-Profi...ZX6HG2MQWASREB

Click on this thread for ATSC tuners.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=179095
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPixel View Post

I already have an antenna in mind (welcome to add your suggestion)

It's impossible to give specific suggestions without knowing anything about what the TV signals are like at your location. To help people here help you:

1. Go to tvfool.com.

2. Click "See Which TV Stations You Can Get on a Map", then "Start MAPS".

3. Enter your address, or your exact latitude and longitude if you know them, and click the "Map this" button. You'll get a map showing your supposed location, and a list of stations.

4. If necessary, adjust your location by dragging the marker around on the map.

5. Underneath the map, enter the height of your antenna (current or planned).

6. Above the map, click the "Make Radar Plot" button. You'll get a table of detailed information about the signal levels at your location. You'll also get a Web address that links to that page. Paste the address here so people can advise you intelligently. (Note that the table does not display your address or exact location.)
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
I can see how directional would be better than omnidirectional in that you would get better signal strength, but wouldn't you have to pick and choose which stations you want to receive? or be continually adjusting the antenna depending what station you want to watch?

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...b7c830319b1987
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPixel View Post

I can see how directional would be better than omnidirectional in that you would get better signal strength, but wouldn't you have to pick and choose which stations you want to receive? or be continually adjusting the antenna depending what station you want to watch?

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...b7c830319b1987

Not really. I have available signals from different directions and I mounted my antennas appropriately.
LL
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
but that is a much more elaborate setup than your typical indoor directional antenna:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

which I am comparing to an omnidirectional like this:

http://terk.com/#/indoor_tv_antennas...igital_antenna
post #13 of 26
An indoor antenna really isn't an issue about picking & choosing since the antenna can be so easily adjusted. For roof mount such as I have, it is much more difficult and undesireable (by me) to adjust. As such I am setup so all I need to do is change the channel and not worry about rotors or moving the position of the antenna(s).

If you live in an area where you can mount an outdoor antenna, I personally recommend you do so. If not, then an indoor antenna is perfectly acceptable. Since I use my antenna(s) for TV watching on a regular basis, and not a projector for special viewings, it makes sense to have my setup. For you, if an indoor antenna works, then by all means, don't let my setup intimidate you.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPixel View Post

wouldn't you have to pick and choose which stations you want to receive? or be continually adjusting the antenna depending what station you want to watch?

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...b7c830319b1987

It looks like all the major networks and most of your independent stations that you cah realistically expect to get with an indoor antenna are in almost the same direction, 294 to 296 degrees. The only exceptions are (real) channels 46, 12, 19 and 39. They look like small low-power stations that probably concentrate on religious programming.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
If I decide to use an outdoor antenna, would this be a good one:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?p_id=4730

Open for suggestions on the antenna. Also, is everyone in agreement that the LG ATSC tuners are my best choice for an hdtv tuner? Any others that rate up there?
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
I think I would prefer an external antenna. I am still not sold on directional atennas though. I don't like the idea of only being able to pick up stations in a single direction from my location. Are there good omnidirectional antennas? I am new to all of this so if there is a good reason that I should rather have a directional antenna, I am open minded, but it just does not make sense to me yet.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPixel View Post

If I decide to use an outdoor antenna, would this be a good one:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?p_id=4730

Open for suggestions on the antenna. ...

Not if you plan on getting Fox (10.1).

If you go with an "omni", you're SOL if you have any multi-path.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPixel View Post

Also, is everyone in agreement that the LG ATSC tuners are my best choice for an hdtv tuner? Any others that rate up there?

Well, those LG's are pretty old models now, and the most recent tuners are more sensitive (they're at least two generations newer).

There's a "sticky" thread here at the top of the page that tells of the available, newest tuners out there right now.

Off the top of my head, there's the Centronics, the K-World, the PrimeDTV, and the DTVPal DVR (there are also dedicated threads for all those units here).

It's just that nothing made nowadays compares to the overall quality of those old LG's. Almost everything is relatively crappy in comparison and made in China now. Like your typical "Walmart-quality". But they are the most recent technology, at least in the reception chips. That's what everyone's mostly buying around here now, anyway.

(note: I just saw in the Centronics thread that some were saying that model's PQ is better than the K-World's. Supposedly noticable enough with HD, but there's an even huger difference with SD. You might want to take that into consideration, since you'll be blowing the picture up on a large screen.)
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

Not if you plan on getting Fox (10.1).

If you go with an "omni", you're SOL if you have any multi-path.

I don't understand. Why am I out of luck with omnidirectional? The only thing that I can assume that might be true is that directional antennas receive a very strong signal in one direction, and that omnidirectional antennas receive a weak signal in all directions. Is this true? It's the only thing I can come up with that makes sense and might explain why people recommend directional antennas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

There's a "sticky" thread here at the top of the page that tells of the available, newest tuners out there right now.

I didn't see the sticky, at least in this forum. What is it called?
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPixel View Post

I didn't see the sticky, at least in this forum. What is it called?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=179095
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you. It should be easy to read up and choose one from that list.

I just need to find answers about antennas now.
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

Not really. I have available signals from different directions and I mounted my antennas appropriately.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...3&d=1269359051

Can lightning strikes be a problem with a tall antenna? Seems like it would attract the lightning and go straight to your A/V equipment.
post #23 of 26
Has anyone compared the centronics to those LG's?

I'm about to send my ZAT502 back due to issues. And as others said it is built pretty cheesy. Can't complain about picture quality tho, when its working

I'm looking for the best quality QAM tuner I can find.

the RGB\\VGA output also cought my attention
post #24 of 26
The LG's are the best units I have used, and I have used quite a few different makes/models. I seriously recommend them as being the best available.

The antennas don't exactly "attract" lightning. But the antennas are grounded. Just think of all the miles and miles of power lines up in the air, much higher than the 20' my top antenna is at, all around the world that are never struck by lightening. It really is an issue you need not be overtly concerned with. It used to be that every house had an antenna on it back in the 50's, 60's, 70's and about half the houses in the 80's. Can it happen? Sure. Will it happen? Nobody knows. But the likelyhood is very low.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

The LG's are the best units I have used, and I have used quite a few different makes/models.

But, and this is a big but, the newer units have newer generation tuner chip sets, and most comparisons I remember, the newer gen tuners do a better job with demanding reception environments.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPixel View Post

Can lightning strikes be a problem with a tall antenna? Seems like it would attract the lightning and go straight to your A/V equipment.

That's why you should ground the antenna with a long stake in the ground.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HDTV Technical
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Technical › looking for a good but inexpensive standalone atsc tuner