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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if there is an OTA ATSC Tuner out there that has mulitple inputs for multiple Antennas whereas the Box itself will auto switch to the antenna with the best signal on any particular channel. Meaning you can have multiple antennas pointing in different directions and they will work together seamlessly.
 

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I do that with my HTPC, it has two tuners (you can use more if you like). One US one Canadian. I use SageTV for the software, works great. I think the HD Homerun with dual tuners also supports this.
 

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Similar to blueroomelectro's setup: My HTPC with 3 ATSC tuners does just that: one Hauppauge 1250 single-tuner with one antenna input, one Hauppauge 2250 dual-tuner with one antenna input. Windows Media Center 7 allows me to choose my first, second and third preference for tuner (=antenna) for each channel individually.

Example: I have one antenna pointed to the South (Mount Mansfield) and another antenna pointed east (Montreal). For Télé-Québec I tell Media Center to use my 1st tuner. For ABC I tell Media Center to either use my second or my third tuner (both on Hauppauge 2250 dual-tuner card). Switching channels is like switching on a satellite set-top box. The user is not aware that different antennas are used. Media Center 7 currently supports a maximum of 4 TV tuners ... and it's a fine piece of software: nearly bug-free, incredibly elegant user interface, fantastic free program guide covering all US and Canadian channels (the ZIP code I use is 12919), etc. etc.
 

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Add my vote for the HTPC solution too. My MythTV backend server has 5 ATSC tuner devices (2 x pcHDTV PCI cards, 2 x Hauppauge 950Q USB, 1 x Hauppauge 950 USB) and 2 NTSC ( 2 x Hauppauge 150 PCI cards).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm looking for more of an off-the-shelf type product. I also have an HTPC with multiple ATSC tuners. I want something consumer friendly. I guess they may not exist yet. We all know, to recieve every available DTV channel, likely requires multiple antennas.. A solution that provides a simple way to combine them with some type of auto-switch would be sweet.
 

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I also have an HTPC with multiple ATSC tuners.
That's probably the best solution you will find. Just map the channels received by each antenna to the appropriate card and the software should take care of the rest. It will take a little effort to set up but should be very user friendly for everyday use.
 

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At some point the number of tuners becomes an issue of practicality. There are only so many channels and so many shows that I care to record, and only so many hours in the week that mrs. stampeder and I put our feet up and watch them. Thus, while I have 5 available ATSC tuners, only the first and second ones get a regular workout while on occasion the third does. When I'm experimenting with new antennas/OTA gear I use the 4th and 5th ones so that I don't disrupt anything previously scheduled.

In your case, thenewdc, I take it that you are already missing programming due to the lack of tuners?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Its not for me but for a friend, and a rotor is a pain in the neck. I have 3 antennas already in my attic that gets everything, fed to my HTPC.
 

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Some ATSC tuners support Smart Antenna, which near as I can tell is supposed to switched array antenna system, electronically switched on command from a receiver.
The receivers that support version one of it it will have what looks like a phone jack, with the locking tab to the side though. Version 2 can be sent over coax somehow.

If you knew how to decode the protocol in a microcontroller, you could use that to switch actual antennae.
 

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That technology has not had much buy-in from manufacturers or consumers, but you can read all about it in here:

Smart Antennas, Adaptive Arrays, Automated OTA Gear

A multi-tuner apparatus gets around scheduling conflicts, so unless a consumer box comes out with 2 or more tuners I don't see options out there for your friend except for the HTPC solution or else as many current OTA PVRs as are needed.
 

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I think the closest thing to what you're looking for is a "frankenswitch" , i think it's custom circuit modified based on a Diseqc switch and then relies on a MythTV box or similar box to ask for a channel change to select the right antenna. I'm sure i have part of my description wrong, so just search for it in the forums and you'll get better descriptions AND talk to the right guys.
 

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Although the satellite industry has supported a STB to antenna array backchannel for over a decade, the TV industry has shown little interest in providing similar technology. You can't even buy a TV which will control a rotor when you change the channel, much less one which can handle selecting different antennas.
 

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multi atsc tuner

anyways, from my personal experience, HDhomerun dual tuner, is a sick machine. you can record 2 show at the same time with 2 different antennas or one split into 2. I love this machine, but it consume your hard drive fast. 4 gig per half an hour roughly. I am thinking of getting another one. works easily with Sage TV and your home network. you just need a medium pc system with a big hard drive or buy another hard drive.

awesome personal Digital Video Recorder.
works with Over The Air and unencrypted digital tv.

the downfall is that you will have to buy yourself a Digital Video Recorder software or go with Linux if you are familiar with Linux for free stuff.
 

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I went looking for the same thing last year and came up empty. I started looking into Myth TV and I liked it, but it would have required a faster pc than the one I had. I didn't have a lot of $$$ to spend, so I finally settled on SageTV and I love it. Three PCI tuners (all for OTA) stuffed into an older PC I had lying around (1.6Ghz CPU, 1G ram, 20Gb drive for the OS, 1 external 500Gb drive for recordings). I have the Sage HD200 out at the TV while the CPU is in another part of the house. The nice thing about using the HD200 extender is that I can use an older, slower PC for the tuners. The HD200 does all the work while the tuner pc just plays traffic cop. So I can watch one Hi Def channel while recording two others, and the old pc doesn't even break a sweat. It pulls the program guides off the internet (two weeks out), which is a big help. I have a DTV converter box in one bedroom and the program guide on that is really poor. If you've got an old pc lying around, I highly recommend it. The Sage software will also convert shows to other formats for archiving (or ipods, etc...), so shows I want to keep (mostly PBS) get converted to Mpeg4 and tucked away.

Hope that helps in some way.

Bobby
 

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TV with 2 coax Antenna inputs.

Perhaps not exactly what you are looking for / not exactly what you describe as far as functionality ... but we have a nice TV at work that has TWO (2) antenna inputs at the back to receive two standard coax F-connectors.

The two are labelled:

ANT 1 IN (Cable in) - and - ANT 2 IN (Air in)

It's a Samsung Plasma TV. Model HP-R5052C

But I'm not sure if the TV has the smarts to switch automatically between one or the other input based on on the channel you select.

However ... this TV does have some smarts ... it can search and select automatically a "live input" - for example from a recorder connected to one of the other inputs (ex. the TV's component input connected to a DVD player).

It's a really nice big screen HD TV ... and has both Analog and Digital Tuner.

We've got a home made Grey Hoverman GH6 antenna hooked up to ANT 2 (Air in) input - picking up a combination of Analog and Digital stations here in Ottawa.

No CABLE TV at our spot right now ... so right now nothing is hooked up to ANT 1 (Cable in) input.

Not sure if you can hook up a second Antenna there ... or if it *HAS* to be Cable TV. (?)

Might be something to check into ...
 

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You could always try hooking up your antenna to ANT1 (Cable in). You might only get VHF analog stations as OTA UHF uses different frequencies for each channel than OTA and QAM instead of VSB for digital.
 
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