Customer Reviews


45 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (6)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


144 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The answer for those who like something great for free
I recently purchased the Samsung SIR-T451. Although not advertised on this site, there is a $50 rebate from Samsung that makes this a very affordable unit indeed.

But now for the really good news. About two years ago I purchased a Mitsubishi widescreen "HDTV-Ready" TV. DVDs looked great, but regular TV did not--if you preserved the 4:3 aspect ratio of over...
Published on January 26, 2005 by Kevin M. Powell

versus
68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but with problems
This is my first HDTV tuner, so I cannot compare this with other tuners. I use Gemini ZHDTV1 (a good indoor UHF antenna) to receive over-the-air DTV broadcasting. This tuner has three output formats (1080i/720p/480p through a manual switch) for component/RGB/DVI outputs. Its S-video and composite outputs always output 480i so that you can always use this tuner with...
Published on December 21, 2004 by Chun Li


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

144 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The answer for those who like something great for free, January 26, 2005
By 
Kevin M. Powell (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
I recently purchased the Samsung SIR-T451. Although not advertised on this site, there is a $50 rebate from Samsung that makes this a very affordable unit indeed.

But now for the really good news. About two years ago I purchased a Mitsubishi widescreen "HDTV-Ready" TV. DVDs looked great, but regular TV did not--if you preserved the 4:3 aspect ratio of over the air broadcasting, the vertical bands looked bad; if you expanded to fill the 16:9 format, the faces looked bloated, the legs like stumps, and the overall image looked muddy. My next step was to order cable with HD. The HD channels looked great... but there are really a very limited number of them--just the basic networks, plus Discovery, a couple of cable-only channels that repeat a limited amount of content and a few (very few) HD things on ESPN. At $45/month, not a good value.

And now: the answer. For the price of less than five months of cable, this unit works unbelievably well with almost no setup, straight out of the box. Set up equals connecting your standard antenna (I have way substandard coax running for miles an old rooftop antenna) into the box, plug a set of component cables to your HDTV ready TV, and an audio cable to whatever you are using for audio (I am using a "home theater in a box"). The Samsung seeks out channels effortlessly, and an awful lot of them, and sets them. Presto allegro, in less than five minutes, you are watching some of the clearest, sharpest television you can imagine, much of it perfectly suited to your 16:9 format TV.

But the best thing is this. Oddly--amazingly-you will receive, for free, over the air, a lot of stations broadcasting HD content. In my case, more content that I actually watch than what is carried by cable! Imagine: on cable: no Super Bowl in HD (Fox is not one of the HD stations), but of course Fox is there for this happy owner of the Samsung! And then there are the 6 channels of PBS content, much in true HD, all very child friendly... truly the family friendly answer.

And --best of all--it's all "free". Why this isn't all the rage is beyond me.

PS: the competition is a Motorola decoder that has a serious liability: not only does it cost $100 more, but it has a very noisy, whining fan. You do NOT want the Motorola if you are watching TV in a reasonably quiet room.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well for over the air HD (ATSC), February 19, 2006
By 
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
I bought the tuner at Circuit City to watch the Olympics in high def. The signal for channel 5 (WMAQ) here was always a little snowy. Since the tuner has been used, I have to say "Wow, great picture!" All Chicago stations are crystal clear on my regular TV and when I put the high def on my video projector I get a spectacular 8 foot wide image on the wall of the family room. I am west of Chicago by 35 miles and have a roof-top antenna (mounted in the attic over the garage) connected to coax routed to this tuner. Since over the air digital broadcasts use the same frequencies as current TV channels I can use my TV antenna system. Not only am I getting the Chicago stations, but I am even getting Valparaiso, Indiana with good results. If I got an antenna rotator and put the antenna on the roof I could probably get even more distant stations.

A little background. The regular TV we have been watching for years is sent in a signal style called NTSC. The new TV is sent in a style called ATSC. In the US, the FCC has allocated channels of radio frequencies for TV transmission that we know as channels 2 though 69 on the TV. Due to advances in computers and in digital signal processing techniques it is possible to send up to 4 regular quality TV programs with ATSC on a channel compared to only 1 regular TV program on NTSC. Broadcasters have the option of sending 2 high def signals, 1 high def and 2 regular, or 4 regular signals. They can even send out more if you include some things like weather pictures and other such still or little moving images. On top of that they can send out data like program content details the tuner can capture and display as text. When you can tune in ATSC signals you therefore get not just the signals but a whole lot more shows to watch at various levels of quality and a lot of program details. And it is all FREE to receive! And it gets better. For technical reasons, you cannot have two broadcasters transmitting on adjacent channels when using NTSC. However, it is possible to do that when using ATSC, so more stations will be able to go on the air in the future. With over 60 channels and 2 to 3 programs per channel we might be able to get 120 to 180 channels in major metropolitan areas over the air. My, how that might change things.

So, who needs this? The question arises because more and more TV's already have an ATSC tuner built in. You could just buy a TV with an ATSC tuner built in. In a year or two (it keeps changing, but now looks like early 2007) all TVs will be required to have an ATSC tuner and there will be no NTSC broadcasts at all. Well, for me, I wanted to watch the Olympics now and I didn't want to buy a new TV at $1000-2000. The Samsung can decode an ATSC signal and create an NTSC signal that I can watch on my regular (NTSC) TV. It also has an antenna out jack, so I can still use my regular TV in the regular way. I also have an HD video projector, and the tuner output displayed on that is just spectacular. I have a lot of options on what signal to send where, so I can record to VHS tape and pipe the audio through the stereo, for example. Even with the TV's in the future having a tuner, they are not likely to have a high-def video out jack. So if you have several displays you want the picture to be on you need a tuner. In the future I will get a high def TV, but I figure the price will be in the $200 to $1000 range in 2008 compared to the $900 to $6000 range for HD TVs now.

Digital (ATSC) is pretty spectacular. When you get a picture it is perfect. When the signal is marginal the picture is still usually perfect, but there are occasional blotchy rectangles that pop up with brief image freezes. When the signal is really bad you don't get anything, but you wouldn't like an NTSC signal that weak. The Samsung unit seems to be able to handle the occasional glitches very well, with no problems on the good channels and just occasional picture breakup on the station out of Indiana.

Other reviewers have given good reviews. My experience agrees with them. There was one review that commented on poor channel change performance and other issues. I suspect he needs a better antenna. With digital there is always some delay during channel changes, which represents the time it takes for the processor to process the digital signal stream, decompress the signal, and create the signal stream to the display. Another issue that was complained about was the inability to go to specific sub-channels directly. I think that is an incorrect complaint. Stations can change sub-channel designations on the fly, changing from 2 to 6 signals broadcast from time to time as it suits their needs. One thing you can do is go directly to the show you want by going to the program guide selecting the show and pressing the enter button. That gets you there directly with this system.

There is a nice feature called channel reminder. You go to one of the program display guides which is an on the screen listing of upcoming programs. While the guide takes about a minute to load on first use it comes up quickly on subsequent display. You can select future programs and select a remind feature. A display pops up 5 minutes before the show and the tuner will automatically change to the channel when the show starts.

The menu system is intuitive and even fun to use. You can check signal strength in real time on each channel for aiming the antenna. There is an antenna out connector so that for analog station tuning you just connect the antenna out to your old standard TV which can then tune in NTSC standard signals.

My remote is a little slow to respond to button presses. I suspect it has something on the internal contacts. It has improved with use. Aside from that one glitch I am very happy with this unit. 4 out of 5 stars for the remote being a little buggy, and for lack of the HDMI connector option. Also, the unit requires selection with a back swith for monitor quality. Should have been menu driven, with option for a pass-through unchanged from the station for those monitors that are able to handle multiformat. The remote control has sparse controls to control the TV when used as a display device, so you will need the old TV remote by your side.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Hardware with Poor Software, February 6, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
The Samsung SIR-T451 is a very nice piece of hardware running poorly written software. If you can forgive a tedious setup through a poor interface, you'll be very pleased with the video, audio and reception quality.

Hightlights:

- Stylish, light-weight, and relatively small (13.5"x9"x2.5")

- lots of video output options (composite, component, DVI, DTV, s-video)

- lots of audio output options (rca stereo, digital coaxial, digital optical)

- supports all current resolutions (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i)

- has both antenna in and out coaxial connectors, making it easy to switch your tv between analog and digital reception (for those times when the channel you want to watch isn't broadcast digitally, UPN for example)

- comes with component video cables instead of the crappy composite ones that usually come with video devices

- video output quality is spectacular with widescreen HD broadcasts (for a good test, watch the Tonight Show in HD on 1080i or an ABC sports presentation in 720p)

-digital audio quality is also spectacular (for a good test watch CSI:Miami in Dolby Digital 5.1 with the tuner connected to your surround sound capable receiver)

Minor flaws:

- No 1080p option which makes no difference right now because no one broadcasts in this resolution yet (could hold you back in the future though)

- No HDMI out port (only a problem if you're a true video quality snob)

- Remote control could be more responsive

- Doesn't come with an antenna, so be sure to buy one separately (I get great reception with my Terk Indoor HD antenna)

- Channel changing is a bit slow (1-2 second delay)

- The mini program guide loads instantly and is fairly useless. The full program guide is useful but can take a long time to load (30 seconds to 2 minutes).

- No digital audio cables are supplied (most people want to choose their own anyway)

More Serious Flaws:

- Automatic channel search and memorization tool was completely useless and didn't find any of the dozen strong signals in my area. Save yourself some time and go to [...] to find your available local stations to manually program into the tuner. Once I did that, reception was perfect.

- The interface for adding and deleting channels is clunky and slow. I spent 5 minutes deleting 10 channels only to have them come back automatically the next time I turned the tuner on.

The bottom line here is that if you don't insist on HDMI output and you have the patience to endure a flawed user interface, you'll be happy with the quality of the hardware, the input/output options, and the audio/video output quality. You can probably do better, but you'll probably spend a lot more money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but with problems, December 21, 2004
By 
Chun Li (Anywhere, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
This is my first HDTV tuner, so I cannot compare this with other tuners. I use Gemini ZHDTV1 (a good indoor UHF antenna) to receive over-the-air DTV broadcasting. This tuner has three output formats (1080i/720p/480p through a manual switch) for component/RGB/DVI outputs. Its S-video and composite outputs always output 480i so that you can always use this tuner with your analog TV. But if you want to see the screen menu through S-video or composite on an analog TV, you need to move the manual switch to 480i. This tuner can search/add/delete channels, and it takes about 2-3 seconds to change channel.

There are some problems with the tuner. When watching programs on a 4:3 TV, you may want to use the zoom function to remove the bars on all four sides. The zoom function of this tuner tends to widen the picture such that people become fatter. When displaying 4:3 source on a 16:9 TV or 16:9 source on a 4:3 TV, the tuner will add light grey bars. Some people may feel it annoying to see them instead of dark bars, and there is no way to change that. When changing to a channel that does not have signal, you have to wait for 2-3 seconds to be able to change to the next channel.

Also note that the remote is NOT programmable as stated on this site, except that it has volumn buttons that is supposed to be programmed to control the volumn of your TV. But it does not work on my one-year-old Toshiba TV even though the manual provides codes for Toshiba.

Update: The problem of the zoom function is quite annoying because I found I often need it for most of the current network programs. I went to Circuit City to get another SIR-T451 and it had the same problem. A reviewer at Circuit City's own web site also reported this problem. If you need the zoom function, do not buy this tuner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Receiver at a Reasonable Price, March 4, 2006
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
After some patience in setting up, we are delighted with finally receiving DTV!! One serious thing that should be noted: if you have an analog set, as we do, MAKE SURE you set the rear little switch to analog or you'll get a white screen. This is not in the instructions and we had the unit replaced thinking it was defective.

We live about 25 to 40 miles to the transmitters past some hills and are connecting our Sony WEGA analog set to the unit. Unless you live relatively close and have a flatland situation, you really should get a quality UHF antenna (Radio Shack has an excellent one), a rotor system, and a preamp. that mounts next to the antenna to boost the signal (Channel Master 7777 Titan2 VHF/UHF model). Although the receiver is strong, a good clean signal is really important to reduce/eliminate dropouts.

Goods: quality picture, offers signal strength meter to help point up your antenna, simple and well-laid-out controller, strong RF amplifier for boosting signals, good price.

Quirks: Took us a long time (over days) to figure out the best way to add channels: use autolearn once for the bulk and then rotate your antenna to the other channels and add them manually. The controller's IR beam is aimed a little UP, so if you aim it at your TV, it actually hits the receiver. The zoom feature is great for channels that use HDTV and then have a smaller display for normal 3x4 programs - but as it zooms to fill your screen, it distorts the width so the pix is out of proportion; bad planning. Next, you cannot use the controller to directly access the "-" channels (e.g. 3-1, 12-3, etc.). The picture tends to "pixelate" when there is fast motion, scene changes, anything that creates a demand for repainting the screen info. I don't know if this is the compressor power inside the receiver or that's the way it's being transmitted.

Summary: We are simply ecstatic with the receiver. We watched a PBS special "Celtic Women" with crystal clear presentation and digital sound. We live with the fuzzy pix when it has to keep up with motion - it's not that bad. The antenna is the key: it MUST be exactly aligned with the station transmitter (see Antennaweb.org - they have point-up directions) or things go to pot. I would classify the device as: Highly Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Decent unit- Terrible customer support, October 24, 2005
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
I had a defective unit. Still under warranty, Samsung said they would replace it, but it was on backorder. 2 months later (and without any satellite signal to my main TV)and no new unit, I call them and come to find out that they were not going to replace it, but instead issue a refund (not including the sales tax). I had to fax a receipt, and wait another 2 weeks for an RA and shipping ticket. Once they received the unit in Mid-August, I am told that the check will take 8 weeks. 9 weeks later, no check. I call again and there was a supposed glitch in the communication at the wharehouse and that they would process my refund immediately, AND I SHOULD GET THE CHECK IN FOUR WEEKS. If the check arrives on time, it will be 7.5 months. So think twice before you buy any Samsung product, especially if its your primary source of entertainment...like television
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You need an ATSC, OTA HD tuner, November 2, 2006
By 
C. Giroux (Azle, TX United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
I love having these tuners around. They're essential for any HDTV that does not have an ATSC tuner built-in. If you don't have an HD tuner, but you have an HDTV, you need one of these. You get free HD broadcasts from all of the major networks (TV shows, movies, sports), and the bandwidth (and therefore quality) is supposedly wider (thus better) than satellite HD broadcasts. There is a stunning difference in quality between standard definition television (SDTV) and high-definition television (HDTV) broadcasts, even if you are getting your signal from a digital source, such as cable or satellite.

If you have an ordinary SDTV (standard definition, 480i), these tuners are still the best kept secret today. (Are satellite and cable broadcasters keeping this quiet?) You get fantastic signal quality on all of the TV stations you already receive, plus you get so many extra stations (free of charge!). In my area, I get local weather and weather radar, even a station that plays nothing but music videos ("The Tube"). Also, the FCC is phasing out all NTSC (analog) broadcasts after February 17, 2009. So, if you don't have an ATSC (digital) tuner, you won't be able to pick up over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts any more!

Most people don't know about these tuners, and most of the people who know about them think they are a lot more complicated than they really are. Go to [...] to determine what stations broadcast in your area and from what direction they broadcast. Then just point your antenna in the direction of the broadcast, and you'll probably get more channels than you expect. A lot of people are trying to sell "HDTV antennas". This is truly a crock. The "HDTV" antennas are really just UHF antennas. Most ATSC broadcasts are sent via UHF, but a few are sent via VHF. So forget all of the fancy antennas, definitely forget the amplified antennas (they amplify noise as much as the signal you want), and just hook up your old bunny ears. If you really live far away from the broadcast, you may need a bigger roof-mount or outdoor antenna. If you're in a city, and you don't have excessive obstruction (in a valley, lots of buildings or trees) you probably can get most, if not all, of the stations broadcast in your area.

I recently purchased an LCD TV that has a built-in tuner; so, I now have this connected to a standard definition TV. It's still great, even when connected to an SDTV. This tuner locks into weak signals quite well (so does the Humax). The ATSC tuner built into my new LCD TV does not pick up the weak channels as well as this box. This box does not have as nice of a program guide (just like your satellite or cable service) as the Humax tuner; however, the Humax tuner will freeze-up sometimes, requiring you to unplug and plug it back in. There are many options for connection on both boxes, the main difference being that the Samsung has DVI out, whereas the Humax has HDMI out. If you have an HDTV with HDMI in, but no ATSC tuner, you're probably better off with the Humax.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible! Back to the store it goes., October 21, 2005
By 
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
Review:

- Program guide takes forever to download and never gets all the data.

- Horrible customer service from Samsung. (HD tuners are no longer manufactured or supported by Samsung even if you have a "warranty.")

- Some digital audio problems.

My Experience:

I bought the Samsung SIR-T451 because my father had a good experience with an earlier Samsung model, both with performance and customer service. However, I had a completely different experience with this model.

When I first installed the tuner, it took about a half hour before it started to receive any signal. (My previous HD receiver received all signals just fine.) I called Samsung about the problem, and when the first person couldn't help me fix the problem, she said she was transferring me to a "level 2" support tech who could help me. After waiting on the phone for another 20 minutes I was disconnected.

Fortunately, while I was calling back, I was able to finally get a signal after tinkering around with the options myself. However, I immediately noticed 2 problems: 1. Occasional crackling sounds in my speakers when listening to the digital audio. & 2. The program guide took forever to download and never did get all the data from the channels. The only way to select channels was by the channel +/- button (very slow as well).

So, I ended up talking to Samsung techs several more times, each time asking me if all the cables were connected properly and telling me to unplug the power and call back later. They even tried telling me to call DirectTV to resolve the problems! (Hello! This is a terrestrial receiver, not a satellite receiver!)

Finally, I was able to get through to a "level 2" tech who basically told me to return the tuner and that there was nothing they could do for me since Samsung no longer manufactured external HD tuners.

So, back to the store it goes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adequate service. Nothing particularly special., June 14, 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
This receiver provides all the necessary functions to receive HDTV signals. The picture quality is very good. Plenty of output jacks including DVI and optical audio. Channel scanning is reasonably quick. The unit is light and compact fitting easily within anyones home entertainment system. One irritating point is the full program guide (EPG). The unit doesn't seem capable of processing program data in the background while you're watching TV. It seems like every time I press the guide button I have to wait several seconds to a minute for the unit to gather all the data. Of course, you can't do anything else except quit the guide until the data is gathered. I don't have experience with any other HDTV receiver of recent vintage so maybe they're all like this. Anyway, with the delay, the EPG feature is near worthless to me.

Oh yeah, the zoom still doesn't work.

Update 7/05/05
I have also purchased the Humax HFA 100. The difference is dramatic. The EPG works really good and fast. By the time I had the receiver setup and channels scanned, I had a functional EPG and the data is instantly there whenever I want it. The channels change and lockin faster. I'd say the Humax has a newer faster processor than the Samsung. In fact, the only reason to buy the Samsung is if you want DVI output. The Humax has HDMI instead. Of course they both have all the necessary alternative outputs.

And the Zoom works fine on the Humax.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT HD TUNER, February 27, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner (Electronics)
This tuner is great for anyone who has a normal t.v. antenna and an HD T.V. who doesn't want the expense of satellite or cable to get local channels in HD. The tuner works with a normal rooftop antenna to bring in the digital stations in the area. It seems to have a strong receiver, because it gets a couple of channels that other tuners will not. It's not expensive when compared to other satellite receivers, but remember it only gets the "over-air" stations. Not for satellite or cable use. I have purchased three of them for different places around the house.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition Terrestrial Tuner
Used & New from: $99.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.