Need an HDTV OTA Tuner

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Tim-W, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Tim-W

    Tim-W Auditioning

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    I am looking for an HDTV off air tuner to hook up to my HDTV. I would like to have DVI output and optical and/or Coax digital 5.1 audio output. I am considering the Samsung SIR-T451, but I can only find it at Circuit City, BeastBuy and Crutchfield - all at MSRP of $249. Does anybody have advice on better sources for this unit or even better choices than this unit? I'd like to be at $200 or less.

    Thanks,

    Tim W
     
  2. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Some weeks ago, Circuit City was offering them at $249 with a $50 rebate. Of course, they had none in stock, it being so close to the superbowl. Wallmart has a $199 US Digital reciever, but it doesn't do DVI. (US Digital also offers, in some areas, pay HDTV, OTA. Because of this, some members of this forum feel uncomfortable paying for the box... Such is politics)

    There are an awful lot of negative reviews about samsung products-- and apparently, there is a thriving trade in refurbished units. Some reviewers may have been dissatisfied by the cliff-edge nature of HDTV: Either one receives a signal or one doesn't. They didn't, so back went the unit with a nasty note. But other reviews speak of more serious electronic glitches. Anybody have the skinny on this?

    As a result, the Samsung tuners are often available at steep discounts, though in the case of the '451, the cheapest was about $220.

    I should be receiving a Samsung tuner soon-- I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  3. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    I have the SIR-T451, and no problems (with the 2nd unit) so far. Works great. However, the first one I received was messed up. You could see neon green polka dots on all broadcasts. I had a SIR-T151 for about 2 years, and also no problems with that unit. I am able to pull in all local channels with an indoor antenna (Silver Sensor) and occasionally with the help of a small Channel Master amplifier. I do think the T451 has a little bit better sensitivity than the T151.
     
  4. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Sean , how far do you live from the broadcasting towers?
     
  5. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    My SIR-T165 finally arrived in the post today. Interesting, if finicky device. I can't get more than a couple of digital channels-- though I was able to see CSI in all its bloody glory, with a indoor antenna, with built in amplifier. I suppose I should look for a Silver Sensor, as "aiming" the thing seems to be hit or miss. It outputs to one of two setups (I can hear the groans already): a VCR over RF to an old TV, and a high resolution computer monitor. The latter is (naturally) the preferred setup.

    Output resolution is, in practice, limited to 720p, as 1080i mode doesn't allow letter-boxing on a 4:3 display.

    I probably will take advantage of the Samsung's ability to switch (and up convert) SVHS and component video. If nothing else, it will confuse my housemate. A great new toy. I sure hope those firewire jacks work-- have not had time to test them with Virtual DVHS...
     

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