Comparing new HDHR5-4K with my older HDTC-2US

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
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Comparing new HDHR5-4K with my older HDTC-2US

Post by RonRN18 »

I just received my newest HDHomeRun last night, from supporting the Kickstarter campaign. Before this, I have many other HDHomeRun units: I have two EXTEND tuners, one original CONNECT, and a DUAL. The way that I use my tuners, I NEVER use the transcoding “capabilities” of the different tuners. Due to this, the difference between the units is fairly negligible. Unfortunately, ATSC 3.0 is not yet available in my market, so the largest improvement in this unit is doubling the tuner count. Despite this, I wanted to compare this new tuner to my EXTEND tuner.

While the technical details from the developer model would have been nice, I couldn’t justify the added expense, so I went with the non-developer model. When the new tuner arrived, I had only my two EXTEND units plugged in. I exchanged one of the EXTENDS for the new 4K tuner. When I first logged into the web interface of the tuner, I went to System Status and followed the steps of updating the firmware to 20201015. I then did a channel scan. Just to compare “apples to apples”, I did a channel scan on my remaining EXTEND. I noticed one interesting difference between the two in the channel scan. The EXTEND appears to start scanning the channels from the lowest frequency and goes up while the DHR5-4K appears to start scanning the channels at the highest frequency and goes down. I compared the channels detected by each tuner and found that my older EXTEND ended up with 80 channels while the new “4K” tuner had 76 channels. The difference was a low-power broadcaster located about 4 physical miles away but at a completely off angle. From my house, nearly all of the television broadcasters are at an azimuth between 190-192°, while this low-power station is at an azimuth of 17°. In our market, nearly all of the stations are broadcasted on UHF but there are two VHF stations. One of these VHF stations has a low-power UHF translator, our ABC affiliate; our PBS affiliate only transmits on VHF. The EXTEND chose the VHF signal of the ABC affiliate while the “4K” chose the UHF signal of the ABC affiliate.

Of the 76 channels detected by BOTH of the tuners, all of the channels report a Signal Strength of 100% and a Symbol Quality of 100%. The only variable on these tuners is the Signal Quality. The majority of the 76 channels have a Signal Quality of 96-98% on the EXTEND, but those same channels on the “4K” are reporting a Signal Quality of 100%. For the ABC affiliate, the EXTEND reports a Signal Quality of 63% for the VHF broadcast while the “4K” reports a Signal Quality of 70% on the UHF broadcast. They both report a Signal Quality of 63% on the PBS broadcast on VHF.

On the 4 channels that are only detected by the EXTEND, the Symbol Quality is about 85% with Signal Quality reporting at about 53%. The picture quality sucks big-time and for the most part, unwatchable without a great deal of patience and grace for less than perfection.

On all of my prior dual-tuners always default the first stream on “Tuner 0” and on the new “4K”, the default first stream is on “Tuner 2.” If I recall correctly the first two tuners on the “4K” are for ATSC 3.0 and the second are for ATSC 1.0. I thought that the ATSC 3.0 tuners, while defaulted for ATSC 3.0, are capable of ATSC 1.0… is that correct?

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Re: Comparing new HDHR5-4K with my older HDTC-2US

Post by nickk »

On the HDHR5-4K tuners 0 and 1 support both ATSC3 and ATSC1. Tuners 2 and 3 support ATSC1.

When auto-tuner selection is requested...
If the channel is known to be ATSC3 the HDHR5-4K will choose the first available tuner out of tuners 0 and 1.
If the channel is known to be ATSC1 the HDHR5-4K will choose the first available tuner in order 2, 3, 0, 1. This is done to maximize the chance of an ATSC3 tuner being available if a later ATSC3 tune request comes in.


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