Tuner comparison test

I’ve had a 4 tuner Tablo now for a while now and have been happy with it except for a glitch that showed up after the .12 firmware update that introduces random tuning failures and the occasional crash.

As an experiment I’ve added a distribution amp and split my signal off so now I have the Tablo and two HD Homerun Extend tuners. Each has all brand new RG6 cabling, new hard drive for the Tablo, and a new UPS for everything to live on.

I’ve installed the Channels app and the beta Channels DVR. I plan on installing Plex and their DVR as well.

My goal is to compare the live TV quality and the DVR recording quality. Initial impressions don’t look good for the Tablo. While it stutters with green globs and picture glitches, the HD Homerun tuners are pulling in a completely clear signal.

I wish Tablo would acknowledge the issue and give us some firmware fixes.

My LG TV and Homeworx PVR pull in a channel perfectly (no pixelation whatsoever anytime). The Tablo gives it one dot and can barely display it for two minutes before it says “no signal.” No contest!

It’s frustrating when I have to tell my wife, “You’ll have to watch that one channel on our television and it’s not recordable.” She likes to use the Tablo for watching everything.

I bought a Mediasonic Homeworx ( hw220 stb) and it picks up twice as many channels my Tablo does, but not all. So if I want to watch a certain channel the boxes don’t pick up I go to my study to watch oat channels

If my Tablo ever dies, I will be sorely tempted not to replace it but stick a Homeworx box on every TV at 30 bucks per TV lifetime subscription notwithstanding… It’s getting to the point where good reception is the most important thing for us and manual recording is fine using TitanTV as a guide. I usually look at my iPad to see what’s playing anyway when watching another show on the Tablo since it has no transparent guide.

Mark why do internal tv tuners pick up more channels then external tuners. Maybe it is my location out here in the country. Tablo = 30 channels , Homework= 60 channels and tv will pick up 100 on a good day. I was thinking of trying Tivo over the air box. Do you know anything about Tivo.

LG and Samsung make the best tuners. However they don’t necessarily license them to others. DVR makers then have to get the next best tuners. From experience in the past 15 years, my LG and Samsung TVs have always been the best OTA tuning performers.

It’s been known that LG’s tuners have the best multipath combatting design. They incorporate multipath considerations into their tuner architecture.

I had a Tivo ten years ago and found its tuners to be average. I would say that the LG, Samsung and Homeworx tuners are ahead of Tivo’s. I used to think that the problem with tuner performance inside DVRs was due to everything the DVR had to do. But how to explain the Homeworx which gets and keeps channels the Tablo doesn’t even see? If you try a Tivo, you’ll see that the Homeworx will beat it as well.

With Tivo you should pull very close as your TV. That what I have. With Tablo it is a weak tunner I had to switch to TV to watch show while the outside weather was not good. With Tivo I don’t have that problem and I do pull extra chnnels that I did not had on Tablo.

Being between Houston and Beaumont and Lake Charles, L.A . I have so many channels and just trying to find the best external tuner. But Tivo over the air is $350 plus, so I was just checking to see if I should buy.

Users complaining about their tuners is nothing new.

“Using a Clearstream 2, no splitters. it works with Vizio TV ok but same cable to Tivo is pixelated or no picture at all.”

"I’m starting to think the TiVo’s tuners have poor internal signal
splitting. You don’t see it during signal scans, but watching live TV or
recordings is a different matter. It seems like all 4 (or 6) tuners are
always running and it degrades the signal being received. I’m having a
similar issue with my Roamio OTA. "

I added a TiVo roamio to my original test for a few days as I had a friend that was selling his. It worked ok but the HDHomeRun units seem to pick up more stations and fit my needs better.

I can also agree that my TVs seem to have solid tuners - a small 2012 Samsung and my big oled LG both pull in clear signals while the Tablo flakes out.

My experiment is over now, Tablo was sold on eBay to someone who hopefully has very strong signals near him.