Looking for the best external HDTV network tuners for sale? You’re in luck! In this article, we review give our opinion on the best HDTV tuners, and the situations they should be used in.
External HDTV tuners are getting more popular as people discover the benefits and flexibility that they give. Companies like Tablo and SiliconDust have dominated the industry in recent years, but which one should we trust? Without further ado, let’s get started.
External HDTV Network Tuner Benefits
There are many benefits of network tuners. Here are a few of the top reasons why we believe they should be the main focus in any HDTV OTA Antenna setup:
Wired/wireless streaming options
External HDTV network tuners allow you to distribute your antenna signal over your networks. This means that you aren’t forced to enjoy television in just one location. Either of the routers listed above will allow you to stream your antenna signal to more than one TV, which can be done via a media streaming box like NVIDIA SHIELD TV (Amazon Link) or via Android. What’s great is that you can use any compatible device. Any of the following smart devices will work:
- Windows 32 bit or 64 bit Laptop’s or PC’s
- Android 4.4.2 and higher (NVIDIA Shield TV) – (Amazon Link)
- Amazon Fire TV (Amazon Link)
- Xbox One (Amazon Link)
- Mac OS X 10.11 and higher
- iPhone/iPad 10.3.3 or higher
External HDTV network tuners give you the ultimate flexibility in installation. In fact, you no longer ever need to worry about how far your antenna is from your TV or splitter. This is a massive benefit that few can overlook.
With that said; we always recommend keeping your cable runs short. You see, long cable runs can result in reduced signal quality. External HDTV network tuners allow you to place your box wherever you want, which is great for creating a small distance between the antenna and tuner. I like to keep mine close to the TV, but inside a closet to keep everything tidy.
Multiple HDTV tuners built in
Many of the best HD television tuners come with multiple tuners built in. In fact, it is not unique for some people to own more than one HDTV network tuner, meaning they can have 4 tuners working at once!
Third-party signal strength apps
The best digital TV tuners allow for third-party signal strength apps, which makes it incredibly easy to fine-tune your TV antenna setup. Both of our recommended tuners have third-party signal meter support. You can download the Hdhomerun Signal Meter for free from the Google Playstore. This app comes in handy more than you would think, and I am very glad that I know about this little tip.
The app works by automatically locating your network tuner, and then allows you to fine-tune the device to any channel – all from the app. This means you can make changes from the comfort of your sofa, or anywhere else you find yourself!
The tool measures SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) Quality, Symbol Quality, and Signal Strength. We also love that it gives you live data rates and allows us to tune into any station via our phones.
Dedicated HDTV tuner hardware
External HDTV network tuners are dedicated hardware. But, what do we mean by this? Well, TVs aren’t known for their excellent tuner hardware. TVs are great for giving us high-quality audio and picture, but the TV tuner is not up to scratch.
In fact, most companies don’t spend any time or investment into their built-in TV tuners. They are okay, but nowhere near the quality of SiliconDust or Tablo. These companies specialize in building the very best TV network tuners. With that in mind, it is no surprise that their tuners are so much better than the ones in our TVs.
Although the old TV models had a TV tuner built into the system, a lot of the new models come with a built-in tuner or converter. This is exactly why buying the best external TV tuner is a wise choice and something we always recommend. They also come with a number of extra features, like live TV record.
So, those are our best external HDTV network tuners. We hope you have enjoyed this article and now understand why external HDTV network tuners are such an important part of any HDTV OTA Antenna setup.
Even though most TV sets (especially old ones) already come with a TV tuner and only need an antenna to start working, we recommend people to use a special network tuner, as this will allow for the best quality service and a number of cool features.
To get the most benefits from your tuner, you will also need an external antenna, but there are many good options on the market. To sum up, external HDTV tuners are a low-cost option and a must-have for the ultimate cord-cutter setup.