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TV Tuners

A place to discuss broadband, streaming video, cable, and satellite services (not programming). Bitch about your crappy cable, satellite or streaming video provider here! This is also the place to talk about channel line-ups, packages, and special offers.
bugzapper
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:55 pm
Location: Hopkins, MI

TV Tuners

Post by bugzapper » Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:39 pm

Christmas 2019, our kids bought us a new Vizio smart TV. They were really excited about getting that for us. We had a smaller Vizio which met our needs. We only watch OTA programming. The situation is that the new TV picks up only half of the stations we watch. Can anyone recommend a good stand-alone tuner we can buy to pull in all of the local OTA stations? Thanks.



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Turkeytop
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: TV Tuners

Post by Turkeytop » Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:07 pm

Could never understand why they're called smart TVs. What's smart about a TV with no tuner? Do they still make good, old fashioned dumb TVs?


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bugzapper
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:55 pm
Location: Hopkins, MI

Re: TV Tuners

Post by bugzapper » Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:58 pm

They might but I'm sure they are few and far between. We have an antenna on the roof with a rotor and the number of stations picked up with the smart TV is quite limited probably because the older TV had more sensitive tuners. It's like years ago when they started adding 8-track and cassette players to all-in-one stereo units. They cheapened the radios in them. TT, I know you do DXing; did the same thing happen to AM/FM radios years ago?



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MWmetalhead
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Re: TV Tuners

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:27 am

The situation is that the new TV picks up only half of the stations we watch. Can anyone recommend a good stand-alone tuner we can buy to pull in all of the local OTA stations? Thanks.
WOOD and WXSP have been having transmission issues from their tower site, which is just west of Middleville along Cherry Valley Rd. If those are the channels incurring signal loss, the issue likely isn't your TV or your antenna.

If you can help us by listing the stations that you picked up before that are no longer receivable, that will help us troubleshoot.

Hopkins is very close to the major tower sites used by many of the area's broadcast affiliates. WOOD-TV, one of the WXSP repeaters, WWMT, WOTV, WZPX and WLLA all broadcast from towers near Middleville, Yankee Springs Twp. (north side of Gun Lake) or Orangeville Twp. (south side of Gun Lake).

If your antenna has a pre-amp, try removing it. You might be overloading your new TV with too much signal.

Also, many of the local TV stations moved to new physical channel positions within the past twelve months. The very first thing you should do is a fresh channel scan. I know for a fact WZPX, WOTV, WLLA and WOLP-CA (the Middleville repeater for WXSP) moved to new physical channels. WWMT, WOOD, WZZM, WGVK and WGVU stayed put. I cannot recall if WXMI relocated or not.


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Calvert DeForest
Posts: 655
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:14 pm
Location: The corner of US-16 and M-78

Re: TV Tuners

Post by Calvert DeForest » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:29 pm

bugzapper wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:39 pm
Christmas 2019, our kids bought us a new Vizio smart TV. They were really excited about getting that for us. We had a smaller Vizio which met our needs. We only watch OTA programming. The situation is that the new TV picks up only half of the stations we watch. Can anyone recommend a good stand-alone tuner we can buy to pull in all of the local OTA stations? Thanks.
Is your antenna indoor or outdoor? A directional outdoor ariel with rotor control is the best way to go, especially given the finicky nature of digital. The next best option is an indoor atenna mounted in the highest spot possible, like a second floor or attic. If those options aren't available, mounting the antenna close to a window will reduce obstruction and may improve performance.

Not having used an external tuner in recent years, I'm not clue to which brands work better than others. Most HD tuners run in the $40-80 range with different features. A lot of them now have SD cart slots for DVR function. Handy feature if you want to record stuff OTA to watch later.


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Turkeytop
Posts: 5810
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: TV Tuners

Post by Turkeytop » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:42 pm

bugzapper wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:58 pm
They might but I'm sure they are few and far between. We have an antenna on the roof with a rotor and the number of stations picked up with the smart TV is quite limited probably because the older TV had more sensitive tuners. It's like years ago when they started adding 8-track and cassette players to all-in-one stereo units. They cheapened the radios in them. TT, I know you do DXing; did the same thing happen to AM/FM radios years ago?
I suppose. Whenever I buy a new unit, The tuner is more important to me than the audio quality. As a result of working more than twenty years in a very noisy, industrial environment, my ears are no longer capable of appreciating high fidelity. My sensitivity drops right off at the higher end of the hearing range.

I have hearing aids to compensate for the drop off, but listening to music with hearing aids is like listening to a tinny, five dollar radio.


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bugzapper
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:55 pm
Location: Hopkins, MI

Re: TV Tuners

Post by bugzapper » Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:05 pm

Thanks, everyone for the feedback.

MW, I did have a light-duty amp inside near the TV. I removed it and things got much better. I did a rescan. Several of the stations "fade" in and out and, with my antenna pointer ENE, I get some sort of signal from all stations except 3.1-3.3, 35.1-35.6 and 52.1-52.6 that did not come in at all. Then I put on my ham radio hat and replaced a 6-foot coax jumper which I think was causing an issue that connected directly to the TV. Between all of this, I have much better reception.

Calvert, I have a rotor that may be on its last legs. When I point it in the general direction of most of the towers, ENE, it puts the 35 group at 90 degrees to the others. Even when I direct the antenna north toward Allendale, I cannot always pull them in.

TT, I know what you mean about listening to music through hearing aids. I had to get some a while ago. I was able to get one that are customized for different ranges. I used to think I could hear the music better by turning up the volume, as I did as a teenager. I did finally adjust to it.

Thanks again to all of you for your suggestions.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: TV Tuners

Post by MWmetalhead » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:06 pm

Glad to hear your reception has improved!

You are closer to most of the major TV towers than probably 90 percent of the West Michigan viewing area's population.

WGVU-TV, whose tower is in east central Ottawa County, is an exception. Still, they are only 25 to 30 miles away from your location. They transmit on VHF, as do WWMT, WOOD, WZZM and WGVK (which is lo-VHF). Hopefully whatever antenna you are using has elements for both VHF and UHF reception.

WLAV-FM broadcasts from the WGVU-TV tower. If 96.9 FM comes in loudly and clearly at your home with minimal effort, you should be able to get reliable reception from WGVU-TV with a properly equipped antenna. If 96.9 is fuzzy, then there is probably terrain that is attenuating their signal as well as the GVU-TV signal.


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