Picture Quality Difference TVE v. HDHomerun Prime

Just set up Channels DVR for the trial and it TVE service. I am already using an HDHomeRun Prime and cable card. Very cool. I'm not particularly technical and have seen some comments that suggest that there is a picture quality difference between the two. At first glance, I'm not seeing it which is I suppose the real test but was wondering if someone could explain the difference if there is one so I can judge which would be the better source for recording and viewing.


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Depends on the channels for example Comet ota is 720x480 TVE is 1280x720 ... all my HD Cable channels are 1280x720 some on TVE are 1920x1080.

Perfect...I can check for that channel by channel. Are there other factors I should consider that could be different, e.g. codec, bitrates, container?


TVE Shows are all Stereo no 5.1 Really does not make a difference unless watching Action Movies.

I think Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV offer some channels in 5.1 at this point.

But that would only work in their respective apps, it’s not extended to TVE streams that Channels DVR uses.

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Bummer. OK so that's one more reason I still have cable, lol.

While channels tve is mostly reliable there are times some groups of channels will go down. Sometimes the devs have to make changes on their side and sometimes the cable providers are at fault. Just a few days ago espn’s wouldn’t authorize for me because spectrum hadn’t updated to espn that I was authorized to watch. After a day or two they came back. If picture quality is the same I would choose the prime as the preferred choice.

I used TVE for awhile, but didn't like what I perceived as a low frame-rate. Maybe because I have smoothing turned off on my TV? (I really don't like the soap opera effect from smoothing) It was noticeable enough that I went out and bought an HDHR Prime on eBay, which looks just right to me. I don't recall noticing any different in picture resolution.

For me comcast cable picture quality (cable) was much worse vs TVE. Now im coming from a former TIVO user. Also I find that TVE is a better quality picture than what I am getting with my local OTA . They sure do love there 1080i. Hope they will add ATSC 3.0 soon. I do agree that I wish they would update the sound so at least 5.1 comes through. But honestly it isn't that big of a deal. When it comes to movies I usually stream them from another service anyways and that does give me all the surround sound I want.

Thanks everyone for the responses. I watch live tv using emby so for fun I switched on the stats for nerds and in the vast majority of cases, other than the audio, the results looked the same. In a few the TVE bitrate was lower. All the TVE channels use H264 and the HDHomerun is more often than not Mpeg2 but I'm not sure that really effects picture quality that much. So far the biggest thing I notice is the reliability of the feed. The TVE on occasion takes a few tries to get it to come on for some reason. But to be fair, the signal strength on a few of my HDHomeRun stations is wonky though too and falls out or pixelates.

Got my ATSC 3.0 up and running for my locals. Works and looks great but seem to take several seconds longer of buffering time before it connects but then it's rock solid.

FYI, a little while ago, I created a spreadsheet that shows all the technical details of TVE streams.


If you start to rely on the TVE streams, you may want to frequently update the Channels server to the pre-release version (I do so every few days). The release version is frequently behind some modified weirdness or other that breaks TVE, whereas I have not noticed any problems since I switched to frequently updating the pre-release version.

FWIW right now Comedy Central TVE is in 1080i. I guess this is some dumb technical glitch. When it started, I assumed it would be caught and fixed soon, but it's been about ten days now, so???

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Thank you for the update. I will check the ViacomCBS channels and update my spreadsheet.

Those TVE stream bitrates don't look bad at all, especially the NBCU.
I used to have RCN cable, and a few years ago they migrated from mpeg-2 streams to H.264. Someone in the dsl reports forum posted the RCN bitrates, and I want to say the highest ones were something like 8MBS.
I guess as more and more people "watch everywhere" and fast networks are everywhere, it makes sense that the networks can stream at a high bitrate.
Finally, I use youtube tv for my TVE, and when watching on the youtube ap versus Channels, I don't see any difference. 5.1 sound would be nice, but at least I can use the receiver to create that.