Converter Box Recommendation - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 12-18-2018, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Converter Box Recommendation

New to forum but hopeful someone with a similar situation can recommend a converter box from personal experience. I just bought a furnished home in a retirement resort in AZ. The home came with an almost new 60" Vizio 'Home Theater Display' (no tv tuner). The resort provides free high def cable to residents that requires no box, just connect to tv. My understanding is that the signal is clear QAM (unencrypted). I want to find an hdmi hdtv converter box that will pass through the high def stations and hopefully with 5.1 surround (will run the converter through an a/v receiver then to Vizio using hdmi cables).



The boxes I see on Amazon all seem to get a lot of 1 & 2 star ratings and many reviews cite DOA units or short unit life. Most say they are for OTA conversion but do not mention being able to process clear QAM signals. So anyone out there found a decent box for their Vizio that will meet my needs? I'm more concerned with picture/sound quality and less with recording but might use that feature at some point. Also a decent channel guide would be nice. Willing to spend a bit more if anyone has found a decent box for similar needs. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
[email protected] is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 11-08-2019, 02:52 PM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 0
I see that this is a year old, but here goes anyway. LOL. If your Vizio is new enough to not have a tuner it is almost certain to have an "ARC" HDMI port. I think you can just use this port directly to the receiver to do what you want. The resort cable should hook to your RF connector on the TV, the ARC port will send audio to the receiver. OR, use the RCA "Audio Out" jacks on the TV to RCA "Audio In" on the receiver.
jd-ford-hd is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 11-09-2019, 07:14 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
rabbit73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: S.E. VA
Posts: 3,309
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 900 Post(s)
Liked: 394
If the Vizio display doesn't have a tuner, it will not have an RF connector for the cable coax. An external tuner that will receive clear QAM is needed.

https://www.myresnet.com/public/file...tal_tv_faq.pdf


Do Google search:
tuner that receives QAM
or
qam tuner box

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883
www.megalithia.com/elect/aerialsite/dttpoorman.html

Last edited by rabbit73; 11-09-2019 at 07:23 AM.
rabbit73 is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 9 Old 11-09-2019, 11:57 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
JHBrandt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: S. Garland, TX
Posts: 7,019
Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2850 Post(s)
Liked: 1386
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
New to forum but hopeful someone with a similar situation can recommend a converter box from personal experience. I just bought a furnished home in a retirement resort in AZ. The home came with an almost new 60" Vizio 'Home Theater Display' (no tv tuner). The resort provides free high def cable to residents that requires no box, just connect to tv. My understanding is that the signal is clear QAM (unencrypted). I want to find an hdmi hdtv converter box that will pass through the high def stations and hopefully with 5.1 surround (will run the converter through an a/v receiver then to Vizio using hdmi cables).

The boxes I see on Amazon all seem to get a lot of 1 & 2 star ratings and many reviews cite DOA units or short unit life. Most say they are for OTA conversion but do not mention being able to process clear QAM signals. So anyone out there found a decent box for their Vizio that will meet my needs? I'm more concerned with picture/sound quality and less with recording but might use that feature at some point. Also a decent channel guide would be nice. Willing to spend a bit more if anyone has found a decent box for similar needs. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Most of the "cheapos" you see at Amazon are OK if all you want is a tuner with DD 5.1. My usual recommendation is either a HomeWorx HW-150PVR or an iView 3500STBII, because I know both of those will do clear QAM, "officially" support DD 5.1, and have at least a minimal level of customer service. There is a channel guide, but only for the local stations, and I'd just call it "usable," not "decent."
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd-ford-hd View Post
I see that this is a year old, but here goes anyway. LOL. If your Vizio is new enough to not have a tuner it is almost certain to have an "ARC" HDMI port. I think you can just use this port directly to the receiver to do what you want. The resort cable should hook to your RF connector on the TV, the ARC port will send audio to the receiver. OR, use the RCA "Audio Out" jacks on the TV to RCA "Audio In" on the receiver.
It seems strange that a "TV" (actually just a monitor) would include ARC if it doesn't include a tuner! Where would the audio for the ARC come from? A different HDMI port? If that were the case you might as well go from the source to the AVR and then to the monitor as Jim wants to do and not even bother with ARC.
JHBrandt is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 11-09-2019, 02:33 PM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
It seems strange that a "TV" (actually just a monitor) would include ARC if it doesn't include a tuner! Where would the audio for the ARC come from? A different HDMI port? If that were the case you might as well go from the source to the AVR and then to the monitor as Jim wants to do and not even bother with ARC.
This is from Vizio website(see pic). They state that all "SmartCast" TVs do not have tuners, but I think some do. I assumed the park cable was already hooked to this "nearly" new 60” Vizio, by some means (RF, RCA, HDMI, etc.) Anyway, here’s specs, no tuner with ARC output. 😀
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	83EF180E-F0E3-4E5B-BDA9-09C5ADDD61C9.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	150.5 KB
ID:	2638668   Click image for larger version

Name:	5A594FE9-B3C6-48F4-8117-3BE4853C8F6F.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	56.8 KB
ID:	2638670  
jd-ford-hd is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 11-09-2019, 02:59 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
JHBrandt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: S. Garland, TX
Posts: 7,019
Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2850 Post(s)
Liked: 1386
It wouldn't totally surprise me; it seems rather useless, but manufacturers have been known to add features of questionable value to their products for marketing purposes (ahem - 4K - ahem).

Of course, manufacturers have also been known to get their specs wrong on occasion. Often they're copied/pasted from earlier models and if a change was made between models, the change might get missed when the new model's specs are written.

More interesting to me, though, is Vizio's claim that they sell tuners separately. A quick Amazon search came up with several Vizio TVs, tuner boards, and remote controls, but the only external tuners that came up were by ViewTV and someone calling themselves "Vmade;" none by Vizio themselves.

The ViewTV tuners are similar to the HomeWorx and iView tuners I mentioned, and I think the "Vmade" one is too. They're perfectly fine tuners for a Vizio, but they connect via HDMI, so there's no need for ARC if you use one of them.
JHBrandt is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 11-09-2019, 07:31 PM
Senior Member
 
ncsercs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Westmont, IL
Posts: 420
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Is the HomeWorx HW-150PVR or iView 3500STBII still being manufactured (even with their questionable lifespan)?

Haven't heard of any 'new' boxes coming out or have they run their course?

Nick

Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive
days I've stayed alive. - George Carlin - 1996
ncsercs is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 11-10-2019, 07:08 AM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 0
ARC can be handy.!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
The ViewTV tuners are similar to the HomeWorx and iView tuners I mentioned, and I think the "Vmade" one is too. They're perfectly fine tuners for a Vizio, but they connect via HDMI, so there's no need for ARC if you use one of them.
MY SETUP:
*antenna coax split; one to HW130STB tuner/recorder and one to Vizio 65” RF tuner (tested the "pass thru" RF on the box, better results to split before the box.!)
*HDMI cable from HW130 tuner to Sony STR DH720 receiver w/Dolby, 5.1, etc.
*HDMI cable from receiver to the same 65” Vizio HDMI ARC
RESULTS:
*With TV remote in hand, I can change inputs to view OTA channels w/TV's tuner while recording OTA program on HW130.
*The TV speakers are turned off in settings, the TV remote volume button, thru ARC, controls the receiver volume.
*The TV remote mute button mutes the receiver volume.

Full 5.1 surround w/powered subwoofer is enjoyed, when applicable, in our family room.

I have four (4) remotes within reach. Vizio TV and Homeworx tuner used daily. In the drawer next to me, used rarely, are the Channelmaster rotor control and Sony receiver remotes.
Don’t go off on me about programming remotes.! LOL.! I’m old, I like dedicated remotes for each device.! 😂🤣😂
jd-ford-hd is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 11-15-2019, 02:30 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
JHBrandt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: S. Garland, TX
Posts: 7,019
Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2850 Post(s)
Liked: 1386
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post
Is the HomeWorx HW-150PVR or iView 3500STBII still being manufactured (even with their questionable lifespan)?

Haven't heard of any 'new' boxes coming out or have they run their course?
Surprisingly, not only are both of those still made, they're up to new firmware versions! (V6.1 for the HW-150PVR; 1903, which I think stands for March 2019, for the 3500STBII)

As for lifespan, I noted in the iView thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Sounds like the average lifetime of these (at least the older 7816-based models) is about 4 years before that capacitor goes. If so, all the old ones are probably coming up on failure if they haven't already.
Luckily the capacitor that usually fails can be replaced, saving the box.
JHBrandt is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Converter Box (CECB)

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off