OTA tuners are little handy devices that can be connected to almost any standard TV to offer high-resolution television feed. OTA tunes offer a much better experience compared to standard cable networks with on-demand content and many handy features such as record and rewind.
This will let you stay up to date with the schedules of your favourite TV shows and watch every episode without missing. If you are also looking for a decent OTA tuner for TV, we have a handful of choices available on our list. But before you buy one, here are some things to keep in mind while doing so.
- Size: The size of an OTA tuner must be taken into consideration if you don’t have a lot of space available around your TV. You will find both large as well as compact OTA tuners that might be perfect for your applications. Although, the features available on a compact OTA tuner are also lesser compared to a standard option.
- Type: There are mainly 2 types of OTA tuners available in the market. You can either go with the standard box-type OTA tuners that offer multiple connectivity options, or you can prefer compact USB-powered options. The type of OTA tuners that you are going to pick should be based on how you are going to install it and what features you want to get with the device.
- Connectivity: The connectivity options available on an OTA tuner should also be checked before buying one. On any standard device, there are various options available such as wireless connection, USB, and ethernet for a lossless network connection. However, compact options only feature a USB connection which offers limited connectivity.
Today, we have picked up the best OTA tuners available in the market right now. Due to the rise in popularity of smart TVs and streaming platforms, there aren’t a lot of options available for dedicated TV tuners. Therefore, we have handpicked the following options based on the factors mentioned above. Along with that, you will also find a “Buying Guide” for the best OTA tuners right after our picks.
Best OTA Tuner 2021
Best OTA Tuner Reviews
We are starting off our selection with one of the most popular brands for OTA tuners. The following option from Tablo might be a bit expensive but offers many great features.
In the 1st position, we are putting the Tablo Quad Over-The-Air DVR, which also happens to be one of the most premium choices from our picks. Once you install this DVR, you won’t be needing your cable connection anymore as this will offer you the same entertainment with more features. The Tablo Quad Over-The-Air allows you to pause, rewind and record content on an external HDD which you can connect via the USB port. You can also browse the upcoming shows and movies with the TV guide feature.
Instead of connecting to your TV, the Tablo Quad Over-The-Air can be directly connected to your router to offer live feed at any place and any time. This OTA tuner supports a WiFi connection so that you can install the device easily. Tablo also offers a dedicated application for Android and iOS platforms for remote entertainment. This OTA tuner is backed by a year of warranty from Tablo.
- Supports wireless, USB, and ethernet connection
- Measures 4.84 x 7.87 x 2.01 inches in size
- Comes with a year of warranty
- Android and iOS platforms are also supported
- Provides strong network via the antenna and WiFi connection
- Supports WiFi connection
- Compact box for such features
- No need to have a cable connection after getting the Tablo Quad Over-The-Air DVR
- The hard drive and antenna needs to be purchased separately
If you are not interested in paying a fortune for a basic OTA tuner, then the following option will be perfect for your needs. The OTA tuner from the Dish network is the most affordable option in the lot.
In 2nd place, we have the Dish Network Digital OTA tuner. This is the cheapest as well as one of the most compact unit OTA tuners available in the market right now. The device measures only 7.5 x 4.6 x 2.2 inches in size and features USB connectivity. Thus, this module will let you add the device directly to your receiver. It also supports popular receivers such as Hopper or Wally so that compatibility is not a problem.
The Dish Network Digital OTA tuner gives you the ability to include OTA channels on your TV along with a programming guide for a seamless watching experience. All of the channels that are available via the antenna will appear on your dish network with the Dish Network Digital OTA tuner. Apart from high-quality content, you also get a program guide that lets you check up to 14 days of program time on your network
- Supports USB connection
- Measures 7.5 x 4.6 x 2.2 inches in size
- One of the most compact units
- Most affordable OTA tuner
- Easy to install and use
- Offers up to 14 days of the advanced program guide
- Features all OTA channels on the dish network
- Supports high-quality dish networks like Hoppe and Wally
- Not as reliable as other OTA tuners
Amazon has a wide range of products specifically designed for entertainment-focused applications. Similar to the echo show and firestick, Amazon also features an OTA tuner with many smart features.
Our 3rd choice is likely the most premium option available in the market right now for an OTA tuner. But, you will certainly find the Fire TV Recast absolutely worth its price range because of its smart features. This is a DVR that allows you to record the content you are watching for up to 150 hours. And to make the content more accessible for everyone, it allows simultaneous recording from 4 sources at once. There is 1 TB of storage capacity allotted on the Fire TV Recast which offers to record the content at high quality.
If you connect your Fire TV Recast with an HD antenna, you can also enjoy live sports events and news channels with the same accessibility features as before. There is an ethernet, USB, and a TV antenna port provided on the box for wired connection. You also get support for WiFi connection for wireless access to the device. To control the device, you can either use a remote or control it via voice commands directly via Alexa voice assistant.
- Supports wireless, USB, and TV antenna, ethernet connection
- Measures 7.1 x 7.1 x 2.9 inches in size
- Comes with a year of warranty
- Comes with a 1 TB storage capacity
- Up to 150 hours of content can be recorded
- No monthly fees or subscription is needed
- Records simultaneously from 4 sources
- Remote access available via Alexa voice assistant
SiliconDust is yet another renowned brand name for a variety of TV accessories. You will find almost all essential TV accessories from SiliconDust including an OTA TV tuner.
Up next, we have yet another premium choice listed on our picks for the best OTA tuner. The SiliconDust HDHomeRun offers many great features which justify its premium price range. First of all, it allows you to use a single device for your home instead of renting set-top boxes for every room. With the SiliconDust HDHomeRun, you can get output on 3 TVs simultaneously via a WiFi network.
It also has DVR features so that you can pause and record the content on-demand. You can also get access to the premium cable channels via the CableCard subscription service. As the device is compatible with DLNA functionality, you can stream the content on most smart devices in your home. You also get a warranty of 1 year on the SiliconDust HDHomeRun.
- Supports wireless, USB, SD Card and ethernet connection
- Measures 4.84 x 7.87 x 2.01 inches in size
- Comes with a year of warranty
- Offers output to 3 TVs at once
- DLNA compatible OTA tuner
- A great option for the price
- Supports wireless streaming to DLNA supported devices
- Pause and recording functionality included
- You must have a USB cable subscription along with the SiliconDust HDHomeRun
Lastly, we will feature a cheap yet reliable OTA tuner for our readers. This is also one of the compact options on our list and is specifically designed for Windows OS.
A lot of users prefer to get entertainment and productivity on the same device. Thus, a laptop or desktop computer is the preferred choice to watch entertainment content such as TV shows and movies. For that, the HAUPPAUGE WinTV is going to be the perfect option as it supports Windows 10, 8, and even the older versions such as Windows 7 and Vista. The HAUPPAUGE WinTV features built-in ATSC so that you can watch your local TV directly on your computer.
There is a USB port attached directly to the device, which eliminates the need for cables for connection. You can directly plug the device into the USB port of your computer and get instant access to its features. The HAUPPAUGE WinTV allows you to either watch 2 channels at once or record from one source while streaming another. In any case, you will not be missing out on important news shows with HAUPPAUGE WinTV. Also, it has 2 years of warranty provided by HAUPPAUGE.
- Supports USB connection
- Measures 3 x 1.28 x 0.5 inches in size
- Comes with 2 years of warranty
- Supports simultaneous stream or recording for 2 channels
- Supports Windows versions 10, 8, 7, and Vista.
- One of the most compact OTA tuners
- Comes with a long warranty period
- Easy to install and use
- Only works with windows powered devices
Buying Guide For The Best OTA Tuner
If you wish to enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies on demand, you have a handful of options available. For smart TVs, you can get a subscription for a variety of streaming apps or invest in a streaming box that works over an HDMI connection to offer the same smart features on a non-smart TV.
But, if you own a traditional TV, the best option is to get an OTA tuner. Even though all OTA tuners offer similar output, it is necessary to thoroughly check the options available around you and buy the one which suits perfectly with your budget. If you have looked at our picks for the best OTA tuners, you probably know what to expect from an OTA tuner. But in our buying guide, we will guide you on how you can select the best OTA tuner according to your requirements.
The size becomes an important factor for portable devices like OTA tuners. As these devices are designed to work with different sources, you might need to move them around time after time based on your installation. In such a case, a compact option is much better and offers better portability.
Even for the installation, larger OTA tuners need to be placed in an open area that might interrupt the viewing angle for the TV. Or they might simply look odd according to the decor of your setup. On the other hand, the features and connectivity options are better on a large device. Due to the compact size, almost all manufacturers cut down the additional features and provide a base device with a compact form factor.
Apart from the quality available at the output of the OTA tuner, you should also check the overall quality of the product in terms of construction and accessories. This includes the quality of the OTA tuner as well as the cables and wires that are included with it. Premium brands generally offer high-quality products that last for quite a long time without any problems. If you check the customer feedback section for such options, you will find a couple of years old reviews that are still positive for the product, assuring the overall quality and reliability.
The lifespan of an OTA tuner generally depends upon its application and the build quality of external as well as internal components. It is quite difficult to simply pinpoint a dedicated lifespan for such devices as there are a lot of things that can go wrong with such devices.
Most importantly, you should always prefer getting a device that comes with a warranty period. In such a case, even if you do not get a satisfying performance from the device, you can contact the brand and demand repair or replacement. A longer warranty period dictates a better lifespan as well as the longevity of the OTA tuner.
Lastly, you should check the compatibility of the OTA tuner before buying it. Even if you are buying one for your home, it should offer multiple connectivity options and should be compatible with a range of devices for a versatile application range. Even though you might not need the additional compatibility options right away, it gives you a window for upgrading later without needing to upgrade all peripherals. If the OTA tuner is compatible with a certain operating system or device, it will not offer versatile usage which might become a problem later on.
Q. Why prefer an OTA tuner?
The OTA tuner is a very simple device that receives content broadcasted from the local TV stations around you and offers it on your TV. But unlike traditional cable connections, OTA tuners offer smart access to the content with additional features like pause, rewind, and even record so that you won’t be missing out on the best moments. The OTA tuners also offer high-resolution output, which matches the quality of popular streaming platforms.
Q. Which brand is best for OTA tuners?
As we mentioned earlier, OTA tuners are very simplistic devices. Therefore, there are a lot of brands that offer OTA tuners. But to get the best value for your money, you should prefer popular and reliable brands. Brands like SiliconDust, Amazon, Tivo, HAUPPAUGE, etc., offer the best OTA tuners along with reliability for performance. Our picks include OTA tuners for these brands, which will certainly be beneficial for you.
Q. What does OTA mean?
OTA stands for over the air. In simple words, over-the-air content is something that has been aired or broadcasted from a remote location and accessed by a receiver at a distant location. In previous times, there used to be antennas over the television sets that used to perform the same task as what an OTA tuner does nowadays. But, the performance of the receivers has increased a lot as you will be receiving a lossless video feed from an OTA tuner along with additional accessibility features.
If you own a traditional non-smart TV, then you must buy an OTA tuner to get the best entertainment and accessibility for the same on your TV. The OTA tuners will offer you the best quality video feed, which is broadcasted directly from the TV stations. While it is quite easy to use an OTA tuner, it is somewhat difficult to pick one option from the lot.
Today, we have shortlisted the best OTA tuners for you right here. Any of these OTA tuners will not reduce your monthly expenses over your cable connection, but also improve your watching experience tenfolds. If you haven’t found the ideal OTA tuner for your needs, take a look at our buying guide for the best OTA tuners. We also have some recommendations lined up right here.
- If you are willing to invest a handsome amount for an OTA tuner, we will suggest you go with the Fire TV Recast DVR. This device is made by Amazon and mimics the functionality of the popular Fire TV stick on a DVR. There are no monthly fees for the Fire TV Recast, and it still allows you to record over 150 hours of content at once. Plus, it allows you to record up to 4 shows at once so that you will not miss anything important.
- Dish Network USB Digital OTA Tuner, on the other hand, is the cheapest OTA tuner you can find in the market right now. This is a compact OTA tuner that can be installed on the rear side of the TV with ease. It works over the USB connection and is designed to work with popular receivers like Hopper or Wally DVRs. This small device manages to stream local programs directly to your TV along with the programming guide.
- If you are looking for a compact option, it is recommended to spare a couple more bucks and get the HAUPPAUGE WinTV-DualHD TV tuner. This is also a compact device designed for Windows computers. You Will get to watch free live TV with the HAUPPAUGE WinTV-DualHD on almost any Windows-powered system. Another interesting fact is that this device is backed with a 2 years warranty period as well.