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Best TV tuner/receiver for OTA only

Posted on 2008-10-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-06
I'm buying a TV which will be used with an antenna to watch free, OTA programs and the occasional rented DVD.
What makes one receiver/tuner better than another?
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Question by:pickwick-systems
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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 22824127
Few of the traditional specifications for over-the-air receivers [sensitivity; capture ratio; etc.] are even published any more, since the vast majority of televisions are used with either cable or satellite and have signal levels well above the minimums.    Basically any set with a current (i.e. digital) tuner will work fine. Since you want to play an occasional rented DVD, you should be sure the set has an input consistent with the DVD player you plan to use -- or buy a set with an integrated DVD player.

For the casual use you've suggested, you do NOT need a BluRay player -- an inexpensive standard DVD player is fine.

As for specific suggestions -- I'd be glad to suggest a couple sets that would work well; but first are you looking to buy a standard definition set or a high definition set? ... and what screen size do you have in mind?
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Author Closing Comment

by:pickwick-systems
ID: 31510186
If there is a difference between one tuner/receiver and another, I would call the company's 800 number to get the unpublished specs. Are sensetivity and capture ratio the ones I need to know to make a decision?By way of explanation, I bought a $19 electric toothbrush that rotates at exactly the same speed using the same motion as a $100 plus toothbrush of the same brand. The difference was the name, the packaging and a 2-minute buzz timer.  
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by:garycase
ID: 22828815
Realistically, with the forthcoming transition to all digital tranmissions, it doesn't make any significant difference => digital signals don't have the same characteristics of the analog transmissions.   You simply need to decide what size you want; whether or not you want HDTV; and then buy any reputable brand with the features you want.   The difference between the higher-end sets (with 3D digital comb filters, better sensitivity, etc.) and less expensive sets is primarily in their ability to work well with very weak signals.   You can overcome these weaknesses with a good antenna and/or signal amplification.    For the usage pattern you've described, virtually any set will do just fine.
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