Official Channel Master Stream+ Owner's Thread - Page 74 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2191 of 2206 Old 11-27-2019, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post
Not here. The OTA quality for virtually every major network (perhaps outside of PBS) pales in comparison to even "decent" streaming quality. Subchannels have destroyed the experience so much so our viewing time has measurably decreased. Earlier today I noticed I have zero recordings scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a half dozen or less for next week. The content wasn't that great to begin with and now that you can hardly see it its usage is quickly being replaced.
Well, I can't speak for your area. After a week of streaming at my house, when tuning into a football game or other OTA program, the improvement in picture quality is quite obvious. Stunning in comparison. Blu-ray as well. Sorry, but streaming just isn't there yet. I'd much rather have the "inconvenience" of renting or buying a Blu-ray or UHD disc, to get the quality in both picture and sound.
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post #2192 of 2206 Old 11-29-2019, 07:47 AM
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Has anyone been able to take advantage of CM's Black Friday sale? It looks like their server is overwhelmed - all I can get is a "503 Service Temporarily Unavailable" message.

Edit: You can get to the sale by going directly to channelmasterstore.com. It's just CM's stupid "sendy.channelmaster.com" site that's overwhelmed from folks trying to click through the links in their emails

Naturally the "loss-leader" (open-box Smartenna+ for $10) is already gone but you can at least get new ones for $59 today. I didn't try the $89 Stream+.

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post #2193 of 2206 Old 11-29-2019, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post
Not here. The OTA quality for virtually every major network (perhaps outside of PBS) pales in comparison to even "decent" streaming quality. Subchannels have destroyed the experience so much so our viewing time has measurably decreased. Earlier today I noticed I have zero recordings scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a half dozen or less for next week. The content wasn't that great to begin with and now that you can hardly see it its usage is quickly being replaced.
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Well, I can't speak for your area. After a week of streaming at my house, when tuning into a football game or other OTA program, the improvement in picture quality is quite obvious. Stunning in comparison. Blu-ray as well. Sorry, but streaming just isn't there yet. I'd much rather have the "inconvenience" of renting or buying a Blu-ray or UHD disc, to get the quality in both picture and sound.
Every area is different. We don't know Charles's area, but in general I'd say the biggest problem for OTA PQ isn't so much subchannels in general as it is channel sharing, which has become much more common due to the "Digital Dividend" auction. SD subchannels do have some impact, but you can add 3 or 4 SD subchannels to an ATSC 1.0 carrier and still have decent PQ on the HD channel. But cram 2 or even 3 HD channels onto one carrier and you're really "overtaking the plumbing" (to paraphrase Scotty).

Streaming quality can also vary. Since the demise of Net Neutrality several ISPs have been "throttling" high-bandwidth streaming services, resulting in poorer streaming PQ than you should have the right to expect based on the bandwidth you're paying your ISP for.

So you both may be right for your respective areas and ISPs.
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post #2194 of 2206 Old 11-29-2019, 11:09 AM
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Learn about Macroblocking, Posterization, Aliasing, etc. So long as viewers accept a substandard picture, there is no incentive for improvements. If I'm going to pay for something, I expect a quality product, or I go elsewhere.

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post #2195 of 2206 Old 11-29-2019, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
We don't know Charles's area, but in general I'd say the biggest problem for OTA PQ isn't so much subchannels in general as it is channel sharing, which has become much more common due to the "Digital Dividend" auction.
One after another the OTA major network's image has disintegrated over the last couple years. Each time discussing the issue (via email/telephone) with their engineer they deny the issue stating everything looks fine on their end. However the moment you share a captured image or two (compared to their previously image or another station's) they instantly admit their dynamic allocation simply takes too much away from its available bandwidth. With the possibility of "newer/smarter equipment" may better handle the allocation down the road. All of the networks are on different (main) frequencies.

  • ABC - four channels - recently took a hard dive - talked to the engineer and they redid their subschannels allocations
  • CW - three channels - seven listed by TiVo
  • NBC - four channels - luckily I hardly ever watch this channel - tried to watch an NBA game a while back and gave up within a couple of minutes
  • PBS - three channels - long time ago they switched to 720p since 1080i looked so bad
  • CBS - three channels
  • FOX - four channels


None of the channels look close to what they once did and every one of their engineers have agreed the moment you get past... everything's working here. Kind of a pity when you watch the same newscast via a streaming app and it puts their OTA to shame.

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post #2196 of 2206 Old 11-29-2019, 03:19 PM
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I made that point because you can't necessarily tell how much is on a single RF carrier by channel/subchannel numbers anymore. For example, in DFW, Univision has four subchannels, Unimas has three, and local station KTXD has five. Each station has one HD channel and the rest are SD. So, three RF carriers, right? Well, it used to be, but not anymore! Currently:

  • 23.1-23.3, 49.1, and 49.3 are on RF 33
  • 23.4, 47.1-47.5, and 49.2 are on RF 23

The .1 channels are the HD ones, so we have two HD and three SD channels on one carrier, and one HD and six SD channels on the other.

Relative to other cities, this isn't a bad situation. It's the only channel sharing in DFW (except Daystar, but that's just one HD and one SD channel on the same carrier), and it doesn't look too bad on a typical TV screen. (And this wasn't even due to the Digital Dividend auction; this was done to free up an RF carrier for ATSC 3.0 testing.)

It'd probably look a lot worse on a 125" screen though And many TV markets are in a lot worse shape than DFW. Two or more HD + four or more SD is disturbingly common nowadays. When things start getting that crowded, the PQ's gonna give. (And subscribing to cable rarely helps, as cable usually gets exactly the same data stream as OTA.)

You can check your locality out at https://RabbitEars.Info and see which stations (if any) are sharing carriers where you live.
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post #2197 of 2206 Old 11-29-2019, 05:22 PM
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From what I can tell only CW and MyNetworkTV share the same frequency. I use my 65" OLED for TV... it never makes the big screen. I just find it rather silly when YouTube videos (by virtually anyone) look far superior to my OTA. I still remember when HD hit and nowadays it appears to be going back to SD. So much so it has removed one of the reasons I'm been holding onto TIVo - image quality vs the Recast.

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post #2198 of 2206 Old 11-29-2019, 08:17 PM
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^
I was checking out the specs on the Recast and was surprised to see that it only outputs 720p. That means it is converting a 1080i recording to 720p on playback... can't be pretty. I guess it is also possible it is converting the 1080i signal to 720p when recording.

Amazon hardware has been really disappointing to me of late. The use of ethernet over USB on their Fire TV products and the lack of a high resolution tablet like the older HDX line of tablets are 2 examples. The limited output resolution on the Recast is an odd design choice.

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post #2199 of 2206 Old 11-29-2019, 08:53 PM
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Looking around most users appear to notice little (if any) loss. It records the native signal and encodes during playback - which can only be two concurrent streams. The restriction is based on ensuring a favorable experience via WiFi.

Which to some degree I understand. I recently sold my Shield TV (might be replaced with the new model) and started using my (free) Fire TV 4K which is only WiFi - without buying an adapter. I happen to have lousy wireless (only required for my wife's laptops). Using both Plex and Kodi last night I was getting buffering like crazy via 1080p... spent an hour relocating the router. Of course 1080i requires less bandwidth but I can see your mainstream user throwing the thing out the window after a couple of buffering countdowns. Probably more of an issue than the loss of quality for most users... for most here not so much. Since it records the native signal there is always hope native playback may become an option. Although updates have been slow at best.

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post #2200 of 2206 Old 12-02-2019, 10:24 AM
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@danlshane , It was kind of fun hacking the Stream+ into something functional in the early days. You had far, far more patience than me. After returning to Tivo after the Stream+ for a while, I'm coming up on a year with Recast. It's worked well.

I think any former Stream+ user would be happy with it and should definitely jump on the $179 deal today for the 1TB / 4 tuner model. That's $40 less than I paid this time last year. Even at the higher price it's a great value considering you get 2 more tuners than the similarly priced Stream+ bundle. Not only can you load any app under the sun, you also get whole home capability that Stream+ has always lacked.

I commend CM for trying. They just couldn't execute it fully. I imagine some of the streaming app availability was beyond their control. So it's hard to point the finger just at CM.

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post #2201 of 2206 Old 12-09-2019, 12:52 PM
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I ordered the Stream+ during the Black Friday sale. I started reading this forum from the beginning after that and began to worry whether I had made a smart choice. However, it appears that many of the problems reported at the beginning have been resolved. I connected my bluetooth earphones and bluetooth keyboard with no issues. I installed the Aptoide TV app store and from there installed Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. I'm looking forward to experimenting with combining the audio and video recording files to see if I can save programs off the device. So far, I am happy with the performance of the Stream+.
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post #2202 of 2206 Old 12-09-2019, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Hembree View Post
I ordered the Stream+ during the Black Friday sale. I started reading this forum from the beginning after that and began to worry whether I had made a smart choice. However, it appears that many of the problems reported at the beginning have been resolved. I connected my bluetooth earphones and bluetooth keyboard with no issues. I installed the Aptoide TV app store and from there installed Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. I'm looking forward to experimenting with combining the audio and video recording files to see if I can save programs off the device. So far, I am happy with the performance of the Stream+.
Sounds too good to be true. Netflix stopped working on the Stream+ a long time ago and many of the versions out there are impossible to navigate without a mouse, and Prime is plagued by audio dropouts. But I hope it works out for you.
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post #2203 of 2206 Old 12-10-2019, 07:03 AM
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Sounds too good to be true. Netflix stopped working on the Stream+ a long time ago and many of the versions out there are impossible to navigate without a mouse, and Prime is plagued by audio dropouts. But I hope it works out for you.
I can assure you that the latest version of Prime Video for Android TV has zero stutters or dropouts. Amazon finally fixed that problem.

However, though I could always install a Netflix APK, it would never run once Netflix began enforcing DRM. If that issue had been resolved I would not have switched to Fire TV and Recast as my streaming/OTA solution.
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post #2204 of 2206 Old 12-10-2019, 02:22 PM
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Netflix on Stream+

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Sounds too good to be true. Netflix stopped working on the Stream+ a long time ago and many of the versions out there are impossible to navigate without a mouse, and Prime is plagued by audio dropouts. But I hope it works out for you.
Looking closer at my Netflix installation, I am having some trouble. When I try to stream, I get the message "Sorry, we could not reach the Netflix service...(0013). However, for those programs that are downloadable, I can download and watch the program with no difficulties.
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post #2205 of 2206 Old 12-10-2019, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Hembree View Post
Looking closer at my Netflix installation, I am having some trouble. When I try to stream, I get the message "Sorry, we could not reach the Netflix service...(0013). However, for those programs that are downloadable, I can download and watch the program with no difficulties.
Yes, we all started getting that about a year ago when Netflix stopped working on the Stream+. That's why I was surprised it was apparently working for you. In any case, there's nothing you can do to fix it. That's part of the reason so many of us abandoned the Stream+. You'll have to use a different device for Netflix.
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post #2206 of 2206 Old 12-11-2019, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hembree View Post
Looking closer at my Netflix installation, I am having some trouble. When I try to stream, I get the message "Sorry, we could not reach the Netflix service...(0013). However, for those programs that are downloadable, I can download and watch the program with no difficulties.
How are you able to even download any content from Netflix using the Stream+?

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