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Cheap(est) over-the-air HDTV tuner?

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#1 of 2 JohnGoggan


    Stunt Coordinator

  • 106 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 14 2002

Posted July 29 2003 - 02:03 AM

I'm currently using Dish Network (with a PVR501 non-HDTV receiver) connected to my Hitachi 57" widescreen RPTV. I'd really like to see some HDTV broadcasts, but just can't afford to buy a Dish 6000 unit just to get 2-3 HDTV channels (and also lose my PVR capabilities if I switched to that receiver, of course).

According to my research, I should be able to pick up some HDTV broadcasts locally. However, I'd hate to dive-in head first with a big purchase of an over-the-air HDTV tuner only to discover that they really don't come in that well near me -- or it just isn't worth it to me and I'd rather be able to use the PVR for non-HDTV viewing instead.

So -- can anyone recommend an inexpensive HDTV tuner that I could at least start out with to see how things go? I've seen a lot of SAMSUNG SIR-T150 units go on EBay for under $200 -- are these the way to go for a cheap/entry HDTV tuner? Or are they not even worth trying?

Or maybe someone has a decent used one that they'd be willing to part with for under $150 or so?

I've also heard of people getting some cheap, used DirecTV receivers with HDTV tuners -- and then just not using DirecTV at all (i.e. just getting them for the HDTV tuner). Is there a good cost reason to try that? Or better to go with something like those Samsungs on EBay?

Thanks for any thoughts/suggestions!

- John...
Buy/sell/trade used DVDs (and games) at gameTZ (for free)!
See my Available and Wanted lists for possible trades.

#2 of 2 Nathan_R


    Supporting Actor

  • 719 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 2000

Posted July 29 2003 - 03:52 AM

The 150 will work. You may need to get a firmware upgrade for it. I'm not sure of the process to do so.
Also, if you have a Sam's Club nearby, they have the 151 for $290, which is a pretty good deal.

Check out your local Best Buys for open box Sammys and Pannys.

From what I gather, it's getting quite difficult to buy an open box Directv HD receiver from the major retailers (Best Buy, Circuit City) without signing a contract. Even when you say you're just going to use it for OTA, they're likely to give you a hard time.

Best regards,
...just lost drunken men who don't know where they are and no longer care.