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

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by JohnGoggan, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. JohnGoggan

    JohnGoggan Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 14, 2002
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    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...
  2. Nathan_R

    Nathan_R Supporting Actor

    Dec 4, 2000
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    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,

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