IT’S NOT JUST YOU: The tuner in your new TV probably isn’t as good as the old one.

Good news is, there’s something you can do about it. First, the problem: You’ve just upgraded your living room from a 40″ to a 60″ screen. Maybe this is your first big upgrade since you went HD in the mid-2000s. After all, a 60″ TV costs practically nothing today, so why not?

You get everything hooked up including your antenna only to discover about half your channels are gone. “What the…” you exclaim. Same cable, same antenna, fewer channels. This is not what you have come to expect from an upgrade. Yet, if you think about it there’s some sense to it.

Today’s 60″ TVs cost only a fraction of what a 32″ TV cost a generation ago. It’s not all manufacturing improvements, though; TV makers have figured out exactly what they need to keep and what they can get rid of, and everything they get rid of saves them money. You probably didn’t notice, but that old TV had several composite and component inputs. Yeah, right? They’re probably missing on the new TV. Why? Who needs them? Average folks only want HDMI and if you’re serious about home theater, you probably have an A/V receiver with multiple inputs. That’s only one of the cost-cutting changes that have made their way into your new TV. Another, unfortunately, is the use of less sensitive tuner chips.

There are a lot of folks who have TV antennas and that number is growing, but it still represents only about 7% of the total number of people who have TVs. People today are often more interested in built-in networking or Wi-Fi rather than over-the-air transmission, at least that’s what the marketing departments are telling these manufacturers. So, say farewell to that super-sensitive tuner and say hello to a low-cost component.

Here’s what you can do: Solid Signal has the Channel Master CM7001 tuner available. This is not only one of the strongest tuners available, it’s also one of the only external tuners that natively outputs full HD through HDMI. Instead of relying on the tuner in your TV, add this component to your system and it’s very likely that you’ll see the same number of channels or more that you saw with your older TV.

Yes, it’s another component to add. Yes, it has a cost attached to it. But hey, look at your home theater. When has that ever stopped you before?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.