Jeff is amazed by the uncompressed quality of HDTV you can get with a TV antenna. Leo says that's because the signal is sent over the airwaves uncompressed. You don't get that with cable or streaming. But is there a DVR for over-the-air recording? Leo says yes, there are a few. TIVO makes one. ChannelMaster is very popular. And then there's the SiliconDust HDHomeRun. Leo likes the HDHomeRun the best. One box can feed multiple TV and mobile devices around the entire house. But it's just a box.
Patrick wants to cut the cable. How can he cancel cable and stream live TV? Leo says if he has straight access to a line of sight to the tower, then an antenna is the best option out there. What about a DVR? Leo says that there are two OTA DVRs. One is ChannelMaster, and the other is the Silicon Dust HD Home Run. Both will work with an antenna and home network, so he can stream to any TV in the house. Is there a monthly charge? Leo says just for the channel guide, though only for the HD Home Run. Channel Master doesn't charge.
Ron has a Channel Master Play Plus DVR and he notices that his voice-activated remote will cause popups of suggestions. What's going on? Leo says that the remote has Bluetooth LE (low energy) and it's possible it's picking up errant Bluetooth signals if around 30 feet. He can maybe dumb down the Bluetooth by turning off scanning.
Mike is thinking of getting an over-the-air DVR and antenna. What's the best one to get? Leo says he's a TiVO fan, but it is the priciest option out there. There's also ChannelMaster, which is a nice OTA and they don't charge for the TV Guide. Silicon Dust also makes the HD Home Run. But Leo is a fan of TiVO because it lets him ad-skip.
As for Antennas, check out TVFool.com and AntennaWeb.org.
Frank bought a Sony XBR 800e. Three weeks after his warranty expired, it started having trouble. Leo says that while the warranty is expired, it's close enough that if he calls them and pleads his case, Sony may be willing to extend the coverage and fix it, and it's likely just a tuner that's gone bad. The other option is to use a third-party tuner. Leo recommends a TiVo or Channel Master product.
Michelle has finally cut the cable and wants to know how to stream her movies and TV shows from the internet. Does she need special equipment? Leo says maybe. If she has a smartTV, then she might not. But Leo recommends getting a streaming device anyway and he recommends the Roku. Streaming services include Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But there's also new services coming from Disney and many others. How does she pay for them? Leo says she would have to give them a credit card.
Rich has an old HDTV that is losing its ability to play audio until it warms up. It works better on analog, but not on HDMI. Leo suspects that the TV's digital to analog converter is going bad on it. One way to test this is to plug in some headphones and see if the problem persists. If it does, then he'll know it's the converter.
Lot has a TIVO Series 3 and he did a a required update, but now it won't work when rescanning. So he's in a constant reboot loop. Leo says he can try going back to factory settings, but if that doesn't work, then the update is incompatible with that TIVO and it's more or less bricked his device. Leo would advise contacting TIVO and demanding they fix it or replace it.
Mike has a Channel Master DVR and he had to install his own hard drive because the one it comes with is really small. But it was worth it because he doesn't have to pay a monthly fee.
The tuner, though, loses signal strength and degrades in quality sometimes. Leo says that's odd because digital should either work or not. It doesn't degrade well.
Dan is getting rid of his cable box and is looking for an analog to digital converter for his over-the-air antenna. Leo recommends the ChannelMaster. It's like a TIVO for an antenna. This is a great option for cable cutters.