Cord Cutting - which box? Some comparisons

lparsons21

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Your choice of DVR may be the determining factor in what streaming clients you get.
Only if integrating OTA and streaming is a requirement, otherwise it is two separate decisions.

In another post, you made casual mention of the Xbox One as a streamer. If it had a better UI and there was an AppleTV+ app for it, I’d be all in. Especially considering it has the best Atmos support out there.


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harshness

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Doubt it.
In the event you want an OTA DVR (often part of cord cutting plans) and choose the Recast or TiVo, you'll have to have Fire TVs (Recast) or Minis (TiVo) all around in place of or in addition to your preferred streamer (if you preferred Apple TV, NVIDIA Shield or Roku for streaming for example).

The exception is if you have only one TV and in that case, you wouldn't need to contemplate a Mini.

Whether you've automated it or not, switching input devices is rarely seamless.
 

harshness

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If it had a better UI and there was an AppleTV+ app for it, I’d be all in.
This speaks to the importance of considering where you're going to get your content in the choosing of your streamer. Apple TV+ in particular is rather poorly supported by apps on non-Apple gear (though they have hit the biggies). 2019 Samsung TVs, Roku and Fire TVs seem to be the extent of their third party support thus far and that's a shame on Apple's part but they've spent most of their lives looking to peddle their own products by not playing fair with other brands.

I was only recently able to establish an Apple ID without having an Apple device (I wanted to see what Apple TV+ looked like on my Roku) so the tide is changing but it is changing slowly for a company that claims they want to go forward as a service provider.
 

theBruce

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I'm fine with buying a new streaming stick every few years and having a separate OTA DVR.
Consider getting a Tablo, you only need one box and every TV in your house will pick it up via a App on a Roku or Fire Stick ( does not have to be a stick of course).

Get a Quad ( 4 tuners) whatever size internal ( up to 3TB) or external ( up to 8TB) HD, then then the guide you can pay monthly, yearly or lifetime.

My total cost was $450 with the lifetime service, which is equivalent to not paying for YTTV for 9 months, or a Sat. Service for 3-4 months.

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lparsons21

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This speaks to the importance of considering where you're going to get your content in the choosing of your streamer. Apple TV+ in particular is rather poorly supported by apps on non-Apple gear (though they have hit the biggies). 2019 Samsung TVs, Roku and Fire TVs seem to be the extent of their third party support thus far and that's a shame on Apple's part but they've spent most of their lives looking to peddle their own products by not playing fair with other brands.

I was only recently able to establish an Apple ID without having an Apple device (I wanted to see what Apple TV+ looked like on my Roku) so the tide is changing but it is changing slowly for a company that claims they want to go forward as a service provider.
Yeah, I would like for Apple to be a bit speedier in getting an app out for more devices. That said, it is speedy compared to what Apple has done in the past. And other apps have sometimes been slow to come to the AppleTV even though it is a significant player in streaming boxes.

As to ‘fair’, well business is not about being fair, it is about making money. Apple’s success is all about making the whole widget, so this move with ATV+ is a pretty big step for them.


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lparsons21

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Whether you've automated it or not, switching input devices is rarely seamless.
While that is true, it doesn’t have to be. Mine is seamless with one big exception, and that is the Samsung K950 soundbar, Samsung chose not to make switching inputs a discrete switch, instead opting to step through ‘sources’.

So instead of switching inputs to it with something like ‘HDMI 1’, I have to push ‘source’ until it gets to the one I want. Since most of the time I’m either on the Tivo or the AppleTV it isn’t a big deal since they both use HDMI1. And that switching is controlled by an HDMI switch that does have discrete commands. Makes for more of a mess with wiring, but once its all wired up it doesn’t matter. That’s on the main viewing room.

In my bedroom it is seamless because the setup is different.



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Zookster

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The Playstation series has been on the trailing edge of the streaming service mainstream for a while but it may get you what you need (a YTTV app is said to be coming soon as of a reddit post yesterday).
Once maker of one of the best multimedia/streaming devices with the PS3 circa 2012, Sony has really screwed the pooch with the PS4. First by not allowing CD/MP3 disc support, and then by limiting its app offerings like it was still c.2012 (click the link to see just how bad). And even then, locking 2-channel audio sources in some apps in a 5.1 wrapper so it can't be processed by the user's AVR.

I've actually gone back to using my PS4 for certain apps of late as my 2016 Rokus show their age, and now prefer the experience with Netflix and Prime on the PS4 over my other devices. If rumors are true about the YTTV app support on PS4 (which quite frankly astounded me with the PS5 due out later this year and the PS4's track record), the PS4 could become my go-to device, especially if the YTTV app takes advantage of the many buttons on my third-party media remote like PS Vue did.
 

wormil

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Get a Quad ( 4 tuners) whatever size internal ( up to 3TB) or external ( up to 8TB) HD, then then the guide you can pay monthly, yearly or lifetime.
I distrust lifetime service agreements, they never, ever, last a lifetime. Eventually the company will weasel out of it or be sold.
 

wormil

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In the event you want an OTA DVR (often part of cord cutting plans) and choose the Recast or TiVo, you'll have to have Fire TVs (Recast) or Minis (TiVo) all around in place of or in addition to your preferred streamer (if you preferred Apple TV, NVIDIA Shield or Roku for streaming for example).

The exception is if you have only one TV and in that case, you wouldn't need to contemplate a Mini.

Whether you've automated it or not, switching input devices is rarely seamless.
I only need a DVR on one tv. Switching inputs is not a problem, been doing that for years.

What might be important is a DVR that can handle multiple antennas as it looks like I'm going to need two. But there might be a better solution.
 

lparsons21

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I only need a DVR on one tv. Switching inputs is not a problem, been doing that for years.

What might be important is a DVR that can handle multiple antennas as it looks like I'm going to need two. But there might be a better solution.
Finding something with 2 antenna connections might be tricky. I could use the same since around here I can get NBC or CBS but not both unless I use a rotor. I opted to not get CBS as I like the CBS all-access streaming service.


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harshness

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What might be important is a DVR that can handle multiple antennas as it looks like I'm going to need two. But there might be a better solution.
I'm guessing that the solution for that is to try to combine the two antennas somehow. If you're only after one station, it should be fairly easy. You'll want to make sure you're all repacked before you begin the endeavor as the equipment to join antennas isn't typically configurable.

If you're after multiple markets, that should involve some serious investigation into which devices (and their corresponding guide services if desired) can support that. You may end up with multiple DVRs if there are three or more markets. You'll know more about how everything stacks up when the repack is complete.
 

harshness

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Mine is seamless with one big exception, and that is the Samsung K950 soundbar, Samsung chose not to make switching inputs a discrete switch, instead opting to step through ‘sources’.
I submit that there is a not-so-subtle distinction between something that is automated and something that is largely unintrusive (no pops, flashes, volume changes necessary). Some are willing to overlook these things while others may have their equipment damaged by them.
 

TheForce

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Finding something with 2 antenna connections might be tricky. I could use the same since around here I can get NBC or CBS but not both unless I use a rotor. I opted to not get CBS as I like the CBS all-access streaming service.


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I did this years ago at my parents house where we needed to receive stations from Philadelphia and Baltimore/DC 90 degrees apart. I used two directional yagi's on the same pole on the roof aimed at each city. Then I connected the two with twin 300 ohm ribbon. The antennas were spaced one boom length apart. At the center of the two, I reversed the polarity and joined them together and connected a balun to convert to coax. The idea is that RF signals from the Philadelphia station antenna would cancel out the ( 180° out of phase) with any Philadelphia station sneaking in off the side of the Baltimore antenna. And vice versa. Both antennas must be identical to work. No more rotor to mess with.

There is also a low tech way to tune this system by adding capacitance to one leg of the 300 ohm ribbon to find perfect signal null. Wrap a short length of aluminum foil around the ribbon cable and slide it along until ghosting disappears. This was necessary back in the analog days but I'm not sure it would be necessary for digital TV today. Digital TV has effectively eliminated out of phase reflected signals that would be added with the twin antenna system.
 
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harshness

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Digital TV has effectively eliminated out of phase reflected signals that would be added with the twin antenna system.
I'm not sure where you read or heard this. DTV uses 8VSB modulation that is quite susceptible to multipath. It is hoped that NEXTGEN TV's use of COFDM will help to address that.
 

TheForce

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Only by the lack of it here, comparing to NTSC before. I could never use an indoor antenna back with NTSC but now, I can just stick a paperclip in the antenna connection and the picture is perfect in the TV in my office. Only problem is our ABC station is ~25 miles away and the signal is too weak for small indoor antenna. The outdoor larger antenna gets the ABC tower clean too off the back side. NTSC was awful unwatchable back in NTSC days.
If you have trouble with multipath, maybe your equipment is really old. I just looked it up and you are correct that 8VSB did suffer multipath when it was first introduced but in modern equipment is almost non existent except in moving TV's.
 

harshness

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Only by the lack of it here, comparing to NTSC before.
That's not really an oranges to oranges comparison. NTSC used considerably more VHF channels (considerably more inclined to multipath) than DTV has and much has changed in terms of engineered antenna coverage patterns.
If you have trouble with multipath, maybe your equipment is really old. I just looked it up and you are correct that 8VSB did suffer multipath when it was first introduced but in modern equipment is almost non existent except in moving TV's.
DXers still frequently lament what they've lost and what they've lost has been largely at the hands of multipath. When you're getting two or more roughly equivalent signals that are out of phase, you're going to have problems. COFDM is supposed to address this issue but many of the same authorities reasoned that multipath wouldn't be a problem with DTV.

As the repack progresses and the radio frequencies drop, some may already have experienced more multipath than before (especially in larger markets like LA where stations have moved to VHF in a larger proportion).
 

wormil

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Most of locals are about 6 miles away but I still need an outdoor antenna for reliable reception because of geography. PBS is 32mi away about 270 degrees relative to locals. Then there is a third station I'd like to get that is about 20 miles opposite direction from PBS. An Omni directional won't be good enough, a dual antenna might do it but the one I want doesn't do VHF, and of course my stations are a mix of VHF and UHF. So I might have to join one of those antenna forums and let the experts tell me what to do. There are more stations that would be nice to have but I can live without.
 

schneid

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While that is true, it doesn’t have to be. Mine is seamless with one big exception, and that is the Samsung K950 soundbar, Samsung chose not to make switching inputs a discrete switch, instead opting to step through ‘sources’.

So instead of switching inputs to it with something like ‘HDMI 1’, I have to push ‘source’ until it gets to the one I want. Since most of the time I’m either on the Tivo or the AppleTV it isn’t a big deal since they both use HDMI1. And that switching is controlled by an HDMI switch that does have discrete commands. Makes for more of a mess with wiring, but once its all wired up it doesn’t matter. That’s on the main viewing room.

In my bedroom it is seamless because the setup is different.



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Harmony Hub solves that problem.
 
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