Below is word for word, (with some spelling/grammar corrections) the email I got from a local TV station Chief Engineer that I have been corresponding with regarding missing OTA channels on the HR20. Make of it what you will, but he is certainly taking issue with the "it's Tribune or the Local station's fault" line that I have seen proffered here a time or two. In any case, he gives his take on the background of the "issue" and perhaps it will help someone solve their particular problem. Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger. Begin Quote Here: ============================================= I got onto the DBSTalk board this weekend and poked around. I was a bit dismayed by a lot of the comments on the boards concerning the lack of reception of OTA signals on the DirectTV receivers. Figured, if you don't mind, that I'd fill you in on stuff from my point of view. If you already are aware of these items, then sorry for taking up your time. I guess the biggest thing I saw is that DirectTV viewers are held hostage by Tribune & the local HD stations for lack of action. Nothing is further from the truth. You are held hostage by DirectTV. OTA broadcasters (and I've been one for 34 years) are required by FCC to broadcast a standard digital signal. This signal includes the broadcast channel, the 'branded' channel (i.e. 33-4 for example), a complete electronic program guide, closed captioning, emergency broadcast information, and the list goes on and on. When you hook up a normal HD receiver with an OTA ATSC tuner in it, you get all of that information without Tribune being in the middle of it. Correct channels, electronic program guides (ours is 7 days out!), channel display, everything. DirectTV uses non-FCC standard ATSC tuners in their receivers - that is why you can't get us without Tribune media being in the middle of it all. DirectTV has made a deliberate decision to do this. Therefore, you are 'held hostage' to their standards in order to use their equipment. They strip out all, or choose to ignore all the information they need, to replace it with the identical information simply formatted to fit their menu system. While it may be great for marketing, it's a REALLY bad deal for their OTA HD users. Just look at the DBSTalk forums! We have been feeding Tribune media our program information and channel information for ages. It wasn't until DirectTV came out with their new generation of PVR units that we disappeared from their tuners. I discovered this right after the first one hit Des Moines and the new owner contacted me. You know what the kicker was? This guy contacted DirectTV, they 'authorized' his tuner over the phone and that fixed the problem. DirectTV didn't do that for anyone after that. He got us just fine on his old DirectTV receiver but not the new one. Neither us nor Tribune changed anything - DirectTV did. DirectTV changed the format of the information they needed to get from Tribune media in order for it to work with the new tuner. The only thing DirectTV would tell me is that "there is a problem with the information." They wouldn't tell me what, they wouldn't tell me how to fix it. I was told it was up to me and Tribune media to figure it out, and that was from their lawyers! Yes, DirectTV had their legal staff contact me on this issue...not the technical side of the house... How's that for service? So pass on to your folks: => The stations have no control over the Tribune/DirectTV connection. Tribune is one of the services we provide our program guide to. => We feed the same information to Tribune media now as we did years ago => DirectTV will not provide OTA broadcasters any technical information on their channel 'guide' requirements => Contact DirectTV and ask them why they can't receive a FCC standard signal with all the information! => If you can't receive a channel in the local market, get with Tribune or DirectTV and they are the ones that need to fix the issue. Sorry for the rambling here. It's just that I have a cheepie ATSC OTA tuner at home and the first time I fired it up, I got ALL the stations in the Des Moines area with no issues. Audio, HD, 5.1, complete program guide for all the channels, everything. Why is it such a hassle with the satellite companies who claim to have an OTA HD tuner in their units? ============================================= End of Quoted Material I found this to be most interesting, and apologize if I bored anyone to tears by putting it up. Perhaps it will help someone. I know I am VERY fortunate to have such a responsive Chief Engineer locally. He has answered EVERY email promptly, with good information, and he was able to rattle the cage of "whoever" was needed to get one additional channel working in the last week, and is actively working on my behalf on the other. Keep in mind, this isn't "his" problem, he's just trying to help someone who seems desperately in need of it. He is to be commended for his willingness to go the extra mile to help out.