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Old 12-16-2013, 11:12 AM   #21
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I did notice something odd yesterday when I turned on a football game on our OTA channel 8.1. The channel disappeared but I found it on channel 9.1. This happened one other time and I thought it was a fluke. Now it's happened twice. I haven't had this problem for non-sports TV. I googled the problem but didn't see any explanations.
Well, I went ahead and ordered the Magnavox. Now I'm hoping the dancing channels you have don't happen to often.

Don't get me wrong, I'll miss the other DVR (like the ability to control the volume from the remote), but most of all, I want one that when I record a program, the recording is viewable without a glitch.

Maybe this thread should be retitled, "Why are OTA DVRs so buggy?"
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:13 AM   #22
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That ChannelMaster looks sleek.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #23
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Maybe this thread should be retitled, "Why are OTA DVRs so buggy?"
I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but most of the good, robust boxes out there are specifically for (pay) cable or satellite, as if development of good options for free OTA are being thwarted. Yet it seems like most cable and satellite providers already have their own DVR options for $5-10 a month as it is. I'd think free OTA is where the potential is for these boxes, but many of them get discontinued even as they keep making versions for cable, or (like TiVo) the OTA offerings just aren't as powerful, have as much storage or capabilities as the ones they make for cable. A really good OTA DVR, that also has the ability to seamlessly work with Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime, would be a cable-killer app for many people, and the cable folks know it.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #24
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Or maybe there's just a rush to get a unit out in the market and not really care too much about reliability as electronics in some ways in today's world are considered disposable as a lot of folks crave for the latest and greatest.

My first OTA DVR, the DTVPal was simple and everyone I wanted, except the "surprise" like a recorded show ended up in a different language

Funny, as there is a consumer need for a simple, functional machine as a new DTVPal (new, being not used before but not updated as the machine is discontinued) sell for over $500.

I recently sold my old DTVPal for about $130 on ebay (I did mention the quirks so the buyer knew what he was getting). So there still is a demand for such a simple machine without the bells and whistles.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:23 PM   #25
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I'm waiting for the HD homerun that has hw conversion to h.264. I'm hoping I can use it with my Windows Media PC as a DVR and then use a Roku to access the recorded content. It was supposed to be released on the 13th, but looks like it was pushed put to January.

Here's the product link on newegg: Newegg.com - SiliconDust HDHomeRun PLUS HDTC-2US Transcoding-Two Digital Tuner
Interesting. Would you need a Plex server to stream to Roku or is there another way?
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:55 PM   #26
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Interesting. Would you need a Plex server to stream to Roku or is there another way?
I'd use a Plex server. I'm not aware of any other way to make it work.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #27
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I got my OTA Maganvox DVR and am getting familiar with it and already have set the timer recordings.

But a little irony, the first thing I noticed when opening the box is an advertisement flyer for Direct TV
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:59 PM   #28
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easy, ERD50 suggested a distribution amp if your incoming signal from your antenna goes through a splitter. My SIL lives in a rural area and was having similar troubles getting good OTA signals. I purchased and installed a simple splitter/distribution amp and it improved her reception significantly (she still has an occasional weather-related problem.)

Those amps run less than $30 and I'd give that a try before purchasing a new DVR that may have the same problem.
The new DVR also has problems with CBS. I went ahead on ordered that distribution amp thingy. Hopefully, this will help, otherwise I might have to try plan C.

That said, I like my new DVR over the old one and will probably keep it.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:06 PM   #29
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Hope the amp helps. If not, is "plan C" an antenna upgrade?
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:35 PM   #30
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Simple.TV has a 1 tuner DVR for $89.99 at woot.com today. That includes the lifetime guide. They're releasing a newer 2 tuner DVR later this month for around $249 and you pay extra for the guide (see their website for options). For both DVR's you supply your own external hard drive.

Here's the link to today's deal at woot:

Simple.TV: The Ultimate DVR

Here's Simple.TV's website:

https://www.simple.tv/

I have their 1 tuner DVR. It's not perfect but one of the cool things about Simple.TV DVR's is that you can watch your recorded shows anywhere you are located over the internet either through an app or through the Chrome browser. So if I'm on vacation in another city, I can watch my recorded shows on the internet. They're supposed to come out with an Android app at the end of this month. I believe they already have the Apple app.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:46 PM   #31
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Hope the amp helps. If not, is "plan C" an antenna upgrade?
I tested "plan C" but that didn't work. I live in a condo and on top of the building is an antenna. At one time (different DVR), I got CBS using the roof top and and A/B switch between that and my indoor. But no go with this DVR.

I tried the leaf antenna in the past (with other DVR) and that seemed to not really work any better than my coat hanger one.

What happens now is I do a scan and get CBS. But then shut off the machine awhile, then when I turn it on, CBS is gone.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:55 PM   #32
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I tested "plan C" but that didn't work. I live in a condo and on top of the building is an antenna. At one time (different DVR), I got CBS using the roof top and and A/B switch between that and my indoor. But no go with this DVR.

I tried the leaf antenna in the past (with other DVR) and that seemed to not really work any better than my coat hanger one.

What happens now is I do a scan and get CBS. But then shut off the machine awhile, then when I turn it on, CBS is gone.
Is CBS a VHF station? If so, you will need a VHF capable antenna. I don't think the Leaf is optimized for VHF.

If the Leaf was no better than a coat hanger, then neither is a good antenna for your situation.

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Old 12-18-2013, 09:31 PM   #33
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I'm going along the same lines. I decided to cancel my order for that amp thingy and got another antenna instead that does VHF as CBS does broadcast on VHF.

We shall see.. I'm supposed to get the antenna on Sat.

Amazon.com: Winegard FreeVision FV-30BB HDTV Antenna: Electronics
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:41 PM   #34
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I got the antenna today and just put it up.

The good: The antenna does pick up CBS

The bad: I already noticed some noise and ended up doing a rescan.

So, the jury is out on whether this antenna can hold the channel and perform better than my coat hanger antenna (which I took down).

Plus, I ended up buying a new, quad shielded cable to use.

Location, location, location as I'm facing opposite most of the transmitting towers and since the windows only face one side, don't have much of a choice

With the new antenna, I did pick up several new channels, so that's a good sign.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:56 PM   #35
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Do any of the connected components provide a signal strength indication? If so, you can use that to try to rotate the antenna to get the best signal strength for CBS, and then verify the other channels are OK.

But w/o that, you are still kinda shooting in the dark. There is a hairline between 'good enough' and 'noise/pixelation'.

Quad shielded cable might have higher loss than standard cable. If your problem is signal strength (not interference at the cable level), it might b e doing more harm than good. Though, for a short cable, this might not be a significant effect.

But what I'm saying is, this is a system. It's not about any one component. They all have to be matched to the job. But I saw the reviews on that antenna, and there did seem to be a lot of positive comments on improvements for VHF stations, so I think you are on the right track.

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Old 12-20-2013, 10:07 PM   #36
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Yeah..there are so many variables involved.

Like I said, the jury is still out on whether the new antenna brings enough to just get over that hairline.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:27 PM   #37
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That should be way better than a coat hanger at least, though about the smallest "real" antenna you can get. The rescan will pick up new stations, but it won't affect noisy picture. Just find that position and orientation that works for the stations you want to watch. Hopefully the stations you're looking for are all in somewhat the same direction.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:14 AM   #38
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I have freight trains that go by and interferene with the signal. Tonight as the train went by, I still noticed interference, but I think the new antenna did a better job of recovering once the trains passed by.
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:38 PM   #39
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Doing some reading, looks like the bad reception my OTA system is getting is what's called "Multipath Interference" where when a train passes by, the signals bounce off the train and confuses the tuner so the picture breaks up.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:40 AM   #40
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Doing some reading, looks like the bad reception my OTA system is getting is what's called "Multipath Interference" where when a train passes by, the signals bounce off the train and confuses the tuner so the picture breaks up.
How's it going now? One thing you might try, though it would be really hit/miss/trial/error - try rotating the antenna and keeping notes, you might find a direction that provides somewhat lower signal strength (but still high enough for a stable picture), but is a better direction for eliminating multi-path from the train.

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