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best tuner for OTA

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Old 01-07-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default best tuner for OTA

Im up here in windham nh, and its time for a new tv for the kids room. my antenna situation is ok but its the tuner that im thinking about as i look for a new tv. i have a phiilps plasma and a samsung lcd currently. the samsung can decode signals more reliably than the philips, and can even pull in some stations the philips will not. both tvs are using the same apmlified signal from the same antenna. the cable lenghts are virtually the same from the amp. since im theorizing the samsung has a better tuner, id like to find out if there is any data out there on which manufacturer has the best performing tuner before i purchase.
thanks
mike
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:34 PM   #2
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Can't help you much. Sounds like your Samsung is doing a good job for you.

I have a Vizio that I like and have no problems with in terms of reception.

I have a Dynex that I would replace if I could. With that TV, I have experienced overload when at the same time the Vizio doesn't. Also, my Dynex (from Best Buy) doesn't have a "scan add" feature when scanning. That means the stations I've already scanned will disappear each time I do a re-scan. You start fresh each time. If you have a rotor especially, that is a huge drag.

The Vizio was very inexpensive (32" LCD) - might be good for a kids' room TV. Tuner-wise, I'm very happy. And I do add-on scans all the time without risking losing locks on my existing channels.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:57 PM   #3
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I'm sorry to post that no manufacturer posts their performance from a technical standpoint.
The performance of the tuner in the front end is determined by the quality of the first transistor it meets.
Some transistors are good and some are not as good.
If all you were using was the cable television or the sat dish - it wouldn't matter.
But because you wish to use OTA - it does matter.

My advice would be for you to look for the tuner that seems to have the best performance in your area.
In some parts of the country - Best Buy has a television section that is not connected to CATV - because they are so near the television signals that it doesn't matter to them which channels they can receive - as long as they can receive something.
The problem with that is that UHF is line of sight and if a station is weak - they probably do not have any way for you to turn their antenna to make one station come in better - so as to compare apples to apples.

Even the price of the television isn't always the best indicator as to it's performance on the OTA side.
I would suggest that you stick to the better known brands and stay away from the Walmart brands on sale.

While you are at it - since all we are doing here is guessing - you might want to post a grocery list of your equipment and a street level address for your location so we can look at your situation and make a better determination as to why one television receives better then the other.

Sometimes it is nothing more then additional loss between one brand of cable and another or a poor performing - non unilateral splitter that is causing poor performance on one of the televisions.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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im running a cm 4228 with a titan 7777 pre amp. i had a RS pre amp years a go and it sucked. the 4228 is pre design change. cabling is all double shielded and i use the ideal compression tool and connectors with boots on the outside. no splitters. no coiled up cable. direct short as possible runs. antenna is 45 feet high at the top and is on a rotor. grounded straight down to an 8 foot ground rod seperate from my house grounding electrode. location is 1 coventry 03087
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:15 PM   #5
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thanks for the reply.
i know there is little data, i thought maybe people could verify my experience or tell me about theirs if they had different brands. the samsung tuner is far superior to the philips, i do know that.
\mike
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefromnh View Post
my antenna situation is ok
Sounds to me like your OTA set-up is more than okay. I'd bet that gets the JB Antennaman stamp of approval!

Now back to your search for quality TV tuner recommendations...
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:51 AM   #7
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I have a 32" Sony and 32" Samsung. The Sony offers a lock on signals at about 1 to 1.5 db lower than the Samsung. The Samsung is still a very good tuner but the Sony is a bit better. The Sony model is the EX301.
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:55 AM   #8
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The question of the 'best tuner for OTA' comes up often and unfortunately that list just does not exist. The general thought is that Sony and Samsung have consistently been good to better over the years. Other manufacturers have some good models and some complete misses.
Regardless, there are two features that you want to make sure that you have:
#1) some signal strength meter on the screen. This may seem obvious but when I was in a Sony Expo store the representative could not bring up the signal meter on the screen. I have since been advised that Sony still has the meter but it is well hidden. #2) You want to be able add and delete channels after the initial antenna scan has been done. Hard to believe but a lot of sets don't allow this. I was reading earlier today that this has been dropped from some Samsung sets.

And finally, my recommendation is that you understand what a store's return policy is, figure out what channels you expect the TV to handle and take back any set that isn't up tp your expectations. One aside, the coupon eligible converter boxes (all standard def) had to get to a certain listed sensitivity level. These can be used as a reference point if you have one laying around.
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:05 AM   #9
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i do have one of those coupon converters. its running the tv im replacing. Its the best tuner in my house actually. The signal strength meter on the samsung is more useful than the philips, thanks for the pointer. I did not consider the meter. I should be looking for a set that has a meter i can use for rotating the antenna while im not in setup. I miss the analog digital crossover days, if i was having problems with the digital signal due to a storm or high wind i could just switch to the analog station. its all or nothing now. but winter is the best time it seems. summer weather around here blocks the boston signals when there is a system between us and the transmitter.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:38 PM   #10
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Default Samsung better than pioneer elite

Well, from my experience my 50" pioneer elite pulls in about 15% of the channels of the Samsung LED. Just wanted to,point it out. I'm seriously thinking about selling the elite so I can replace it with a set with a better OTA tuner.
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