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HR20 Now Scans for Local OTA Channels

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by twaller, May 20, 2013.

  1. twaller

    twaller Member

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    Don't know if this has been posted, but the HR20 now SCANS FOR OTA CHANNELS. I know this is not a documented feature, but I discovered this by accident. I have an antenna rotator and live in a place that I can get 3 markets. I cleared all saved OTA info, and set up my primary as Lansing, MI, and secondary as Flint, MI. My antenna was pointed to the Detroit market, and when the OTA set up was complete, only the Detroit stations were set up. The set up completely ignored the other 2 market's stations even though I put in their zip codes.
     
  2. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    Have you verified that? Have you used something else (TV or digital converter box) to scan and see if you are getting something different?
     
  3. Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

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    I have seen behavior similar to this in the past on my HR21. What was happening was the receiver was removing OTA channels that had no signal but it never added channels that weren't in DIRECTV's guide data. Only the Genies can do that.

    After a software update however, they all come back and I had to re-run the OTA setup again or manually remove them.
     
  4. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    Since when does a HR21 have OTA tuners?
     
  5. Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

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    Since never. I have an AM21 hooked up to it. ;)
     
  6. twaller

    twaller Member

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    I made completely sure that all stored channels were removed then even did a reboot. Then set it up with another city's zip code. When the receiver had finished the set up, none of the channels were added in the zip code that I entered, but all channels were added where my antenna was pointed. I didn't know what was happening at first, so I repeated the process 3 times. It can only be that it is scanning and adding the channels after the scan. Totally undocumented for the HR 20 I know, but I can think of no other explanation.
     
  7. twaller

    twaller Member

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    So after some more experimentation the HR20 does not do a pure scan per se, but a combination scan and database fill from the stored data. I put in a totally different zip out of state. The local channels were found but IDd from the out of state zip code.
     
  8. coconut13

    coconut13 Member

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    I agree with this. I have an AM21 on my HR24 and after the latest software upgrades my AM21seems to scan for channels. I know this because I have duplicate channels picked up because I'm in an area where I receive the station signal, but also a translator station signal. The AM21 picked up both. Also you can receive a channel if you enter a zip code with a channel number active. For example (My zip code doesn't have an active channel 29.3 but if I enter a secondary zip in the AM21 with an active 29.3. I get the channel with the guide info for the city I enter. BUT I get the 29.3 broadcast from my area.) It put's the channel in the guide with the info from whatever that city's 29.3 has. I've re-entered different zips and it seems to work that way.
     
  9. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    This probably still not a true PSIP scan, which would be the way your TV works. I don't think PSIP can be loaded in firmware into boxes not really designed for it, for one, and there really is little room left for firmware adds in older DVRs these days. PSIP is typically in hardware.

    It could be new instructions that say "If there is a signal found on scan, then add it, and use whatever the best info available for the guide info, whether that is correct or not". That would be a workaround that makes sense.

    One of the issues with DVRs not having a true PSIP scan was that if new stations popped up before DTV could get them in the database, you could not receive them until they did, which generated a lot of phone calls to tech support because they were notoriously behind in keeping the database updated.

    If it were a true PSIP scan the info would always be as correct as the PSIP data itself, and since that comes direct within the signal, it is difficult for that to be too far off. This hybrid approach solves the problem above, to a degree, by letting folks at least have stations not in the database quite yet, even if the guide info may or may not be perfect.

    The non-PSIP approach is a legacy holdover from Tivo and the pre-PSIP days. But it is not as elegant a solution as true PSIP. DTV was correct to start to transition to true PSIP in its newer boxes, and this change in the older software is probably also a good idea, however imperfect.
     
  10. twaller

    twaller Member

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    Yes correct. Not an actual PSIP scan but sort of a hybrid, using database values to ID scanned channels.
     
  11. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    what a mess DTV created from beginning :(

    why they made OTA reception such awkward hurdle for customers ? any dumb TV with ATSC tuner handle it without hassles ...

    :eek2: ?
     
  12. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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    Because the TV does not need to record. And as we know, the DVR must have an accurate guide data to record. It would be to simple to have the DVR scan for what is available but then it would be no recording options except with a manual recording.
     
  13. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    So what ?
    TitanTV and other sites giving you a week to schedule recordings...
    or you imply DTV developers have no knowledge how to parse PSIP ?
     
  14. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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    But the problem is they can't parse PSIP to every single OTA channel plus its sub channels, as not every receiver receives all of the channels and as such, the task is left up to the DVRs to "scan" through all the data to find the specific info that it needs. the bigger this file is the longer it would take the DVRs to scan
     
  15. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    I don't know what you try to procure, but many (all with ATSC tuner!) TV and standalone OTA DVR and just 8VSB OTA tuners perfectly do the choir. There is no one issue to Scan and parse PSIP of stations what user left in the list of services..
     
  16. hancox

    hancox Godfather

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    Nonsense. Every other DVR with OTA capability does this. Dish manages to do it. Tivo. Etc. Everyone else makes this work, except for D*. It's been a design flaw from day 1.
     
  17. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    perhaps he is the one of these who made it or did the dum^%46 decision :(
     
  18. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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    I just know some things.....
     
  19. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    The problem with that theory is that "Day One" for DVRs happened in about 1998, which was also about the time PSIP was finally just beginning to become more than what was just a glimmer in some Engineer's eyes. And that was 11 years before the analog shutoff. Plus, it took many years from that point for there to be OTA digital stations broadcasting PSIP, at least in any quantity. The top 10 markets started rolling it out in 1997 and it took another decade for the bottom 50 markets to come around. So PSIP in a DVR happened more like on "Day 3200".

    So PSIP is a great solution, but is one that was not available on "Day One" for DVRs, and was never available ever for SD OTA, and so a different solution had to be employed, which was to use Tribune or some other service to provide channel info by zipcode along with program info, and relay that over the sat by rolling it into the bitstream. I used to get a channel guide from VideoGuide back in the day (pre-DVR) that came in over the pager system, because that was what was available. And that was probably the genesis of Tribune and the others, which finally became viable with Tivo, and became a cottage industry today providing into to OTA stations and cable/DBS (here's an interesting ancient web page with a review and obituary of VideoGuide for the curious: http://www.wherry.com/gadgets/videoguide/)

    Today, TV stations outsource the changing metadata (guide info) to Tribune or some other service, but the fixed metadata (channel info) is created locally in PSIP, meaning Tribune or another service is still used, just routed from them to you through PSIP. Tivo and others used Tribune on "Day One" because there really was no PSIP, and what there was was a work in progress for some time. And speaking as someone intimately involved in the labor pains related to birthing PSIP in local TV, in many ways still is.

    And of course DTV used the same model when they designed the DVR+ in 2005/2006, and that was a choice that made sense at that time. It was tried and true, and cheap to implement, and PSIP was a mess. Now, PSIP is tried and true and cheap to implement, and it is a better solution, so they are migrating there, apparently not fast enough for some of us.

    A premium DVR like a Tivo that has to win you over (compared to a cable or sat DVR that is whatever they send you) or a DVR designed later on the PSIP timeline than the DVR+ is more likely to use PSIP. That seems pretty realistic. We can place a lot of blame on DTV for a lot of questionable decisions, but accusing them of being late to the game of PSIP probably is not among them.
     
  20. hancox

    hancox Godfather

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    Ha! Don't break your neck bending over backwards to defend D*!

    I'm not saying they were "late to the game of PSIP." I'm saying that they put a flaw in for the sake of convenience, and it's still a flaw.

    With any other DVR (or tuning device, really, but that might be too broad), you can actually view a channel, as long as it's received in some form. D*'s implementation of OTA prevents viewers from viewing channels they can physically receive. How does that possibly make sense? All in the name of guide data? Pfffffft. Tune the channel, call it "manual digital channel", or similar, and call it a day. Manual recordings will work. Live viewing will work. You only lose the ability to have retrieved guide data. I think anyone frustrated with the current flawed system would live with that.

    Don't tell me, though. D* had OTA scanning in the original manual for the HR20. They removed it when they wouldn't/couldn't fix it. That was the main point of my "day one" remark, not some reference to PSIP data.
     

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