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HR34 & HR24 Different OTA Channel Lists?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by denpri, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. gcd0865

    gcd0865 Legend

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Noticed from one of your other posts that you're receiving stations from the Peoria, IL market. Your PBS station, WTVP, uses 47.1/47.2/47.3 as its virtual channels, but its REAL broadcast channel is 46 (46.1/46.2/46.3) - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTVP.

    On your HR34/AM21 combination (that currently does not see your virtual PBS channel numbers on 47.1/47.2/47.3), and assuming that your antenna is properly oriented, what happens if you manually enter in the REAL channel numbers 46.1/46.2/46.3 with your DirecTV remote? Does the HR34/AM21 then actually detect that real channels are there, and add them to your memorized list of stations? If so, does it add them by their virtual channel numbers (e.g., 47.1/47.2/47.3)?

    Also wasn't entirely sure whether you had the original AM21's, the newer AM21N's (with the matte finish) or a mixture, among your HR34 and HR24. Some posters have reported differences in how the AM21 and AM21N act on the issues of scanning and manual addition of OTA stations.
     
  2. dakeeney

    dakeeney Legend

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    Aug 29, 2004
    I'm new to DTV and had the install done 1/24/12. I have the HR-24. Does it support OTA? I see no OTA connection.:confused:
     
  3. GP245

    GP245 Godfather

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    Aug 17, 2006
    By itself, no it doesn't.

    For OTA you will have to buy a DirecTV AM21 or AM21N.
     
  4. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

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    Oct 3, 2003
    Understood, but it is not a "problem."

    Example - Let's say you get a new HDTV and hook it up directly to an antenna. You do not do a auto scan/setup. You know your market has several stations you want it to "know of". You know the true RF frequency for them.

    Let's say channel "2" is really RF19. and Channel "5" is really RF25. You type in 19 on your brand new TV, it automatically detects the ATSC feed and instantly remaps is to virtual channel 2.1 From now on when you type in 2 on your remote you will get 2.1, which is really RF19. Likewise, you type in 25 in the remote the first time, and the TV maps to 5.1 hence after picking up the station that first time. Auto scanning feature essentially do this behind the scenes, tuning each true RF channel, and then virtually mapping any channels it finds from there.
     
  5. TheFigurehead

    TheFigurehead AllStar

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Spent some time on this last night. Not very happy with the results. I re-aimed my antenna (was facing mostly south) to face west. Then re-ran the initial antenna setup on the HR34. Ended up losing more channels after it was completed. Still did not pick up any of the WTVP OTA signals. I guess I'll just aim the antenna south again... Seems to me the method the HR24 uses is better than the 'new' scanning feature the HR34 uses. At least in my case.

    FWIW, I am using the older AM21. And I did have to RBR after re-running the antenna setup... HR34 was crazy unresponsive.

    After having the HR34 for a few weeks now... I gotta say there is really only 2 features (for me) that make it better than the other HR models:

    1) 5 tuners
    2) extra storage

    In my opinion, the HR34 is no faster than the HR24 (it might actually be slower), OTA options inferior on the HR34, I hardly ever use PIP, I don't use RVU, I don't care about series link limit, I miss having an optical digital audio output.

    All that said, the 5 tuners and 1TB hard drive alone make it worth the money I spent.




     
  6. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Aug 31, 2002
    Thanks for the handy if unnecessary but confusing tutorial, Captain Obvious, but it's not a problem, never was, and its not that complicated or revolutionary. Now here's mine.

    "Channels" have always been arbitrary pointers to frequencies. A channel is a name, a label, and nothing more. Channel mapping (using one arbitrary name or label to refer to something previously dedicated to another arbitrary name or label) has been around since analog cable and C-band backyard dishes. Maybe longer. After all, selecting Ch 24 on an old C-band IRD remaps the frequency 4080 to Ch 24. Take that to the ultimate conclusion, and even in 1939 Ch 2 on broadcast was a remap from 55.25 MHz. OK, OK, that's not really a RE-map, its just a map.

    But dynamic remapping was available on cable way back in the day and on DBS the day it launched. The difference is that with something that you can change the mapping on, the STB needs a scorecard to keep up, and the solution to that is a database. If all the channels are the same everywhere, all you need is a static database accessed from every STB.

    That becomes even more important when every market it different; you either need a larger static database that covers each market (conventional DVR remapping) or you need a dynamic database that can be rewritten by the user (conventional ATSC STB remapping). ATSC used the latter because every ATSC TV required the ability to read PSIP, and a local scan to write the local database was implied. DBS boxes typically used the former because they did not require PSIP, and they already had a legacy way of tapping into the Tribune database instead.

    So its easy to see why each path developed differently; why add PSIP at extra cost if you don't need to?

    But as LSI's improve, they start to become "one-size-fits-all" for economic reasons; for instance, its not unusual to find decoder chips that are the same in boxes for different purposes, where one vendor's box uses one subset of the available functions and another vendor uses a different subset. The DBS IRD and the cable STB have much more in common than they really need or use, and that is why.

    It's unlikely that DTV is bucking their favorite trend: cost-cutting. It's only a guess, but I don't think that DTV added this capability because they felt like they needed to pay more for PSIP functionality; it is much more likely that the chips that made the most economic sense at the time this DVR was designed (and designed one-size-fits-all so they can sell the same chip to DTV, DISH, Sony and Vizio, for example) probably just coincidentally had PSIP functionality already on them, and probably even at a lower cost than the earlier-gen chips that didn't.
     
  7. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    I like the entertaining read on the history lesson of channel mapping TomCat, but on your speculation at the end here I don't see how the HR34 is actually using such a PSIP capability if it's chips indeed have it. The HR34 appears to be doing an off-air scan and then comparing the results with the downloaded local channel database. For the channels that match, guide data is listed for them.

    Otherwise its merely time blocks labeled "Regular Schedule" for the OTA channels with no information in the database on them. I think Dish receivers handle their OTA line-up in a similar fashion.

    This is what leads me to believe, and gives me hope, :sure: its only a firmware difference on the HR34 to enable OTA scanning which the earlier receivers may be compatible with as well should DIRECTV choose to give it to us of course.
     
  8. gcd0865

    gcd0865 Legend

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    Jul 23, 2008
    TheFigurehead:

    Did you manually enter in the REAL channel numbers 46.1/46.2/46.3 with your DirecTV remote during your last test of your AM21/HR34 to try to add your WTVP virtual 47.1/47.2/47.3 manually into memory, or did you only run the automatic scan-type setup? Wasn't entirely sure about that part from your last post.

    Denpri:

    Since you have the AM21N with your HR34, while TheFigurehead has an AM21 + HR34, do you happen to know of any definitely-receivable OTA station(s) in your area that are not currently in your memorized station listing (maybe a low-power or religious station), such that you could enter in the REAL channel number(s) with your DirecTV remote to see if the AM21N/HR34 combination can manually add a previously non-listed station? Some posters have reported differences in how the AM21 and AM21N act, and if TheFigurehead cannot add his PBS station 47.1 by entering the real channel number 46.1 into his AM21/HR34 combination, but the manual entry by real channel number does work for your AM21N/HR34 combination, then we will have confirmed that the AM21 and AM21N do indeed act differently for manual station entry with the HR34's.

    St. Louis market stations are listed here - http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?mktid=28. Clicking on "Expand/Contract All" shows the "Display" (virtual) and "Physical" (real) channel numbers for each station.
     
  9. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

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    Has anyone tried setting up their HR24 or HR34 for sat service first without the antenna feed. Then attaching the antenna and disconnecting the sat feed, and trying an OTA setup that way? I wonder what the boxes would do in that scenario without any access to a database via the sat cable.
     
  10. TheFigurehead

    TheFigurehead AllStar

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    Mar 28, 2009
    I don't think that there is a way to manually enter any channels or sub-channels into the HR34 guide. I get the "Channel Not Available" text on the screen if I hit 46.1, 46.2 or 46.3. So I am thinking the receiver first looks up potential channels in the zipcodes and then does an actual signal scan... and then only adding channel info to your guide if a signal is found. Again, I am just making a guess about this...
     
  11. gcd0865

    gcd0865 Legend

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Ah, okay. So now we know for sure that the AM21/HR34 combination will not permit manual addition of stations into memory by entering in their real channel numbers, in the way that many tv tuners permit. Perhaps we'll find out if the AM21N/HR34 combination acts differently.
     
  12. denpri

    denpri AllStar

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Using my HR34/AM21N combination, just tried to tune to an OTA channel that wasn't listed in the Guide & it did NOT work. Tried both "virtual" and "RF" channel numbers (and subs). I've come to the following conclusions (i.e., "your mileage may vary"):

    The HR34/AM21N combination "logic" STARTS with the OTA channel Guide data. It then performs a FULL (i.e., ignores Guide data) scan of all OTA RF channels and does the following:
    a) DELETES Guide data (including subs) for any OTA RF channels it doesn't "see".
    b) ADDS a FIXED Guide entry ("Regular Schedule") for BOTH additional RF channel-specific subs that aren't contained in the satellite feed AND all additional OTA RF channels (e.g., low power) that don't have any Guide data.

    Although I couldn't manually add an OTA RF channel, I did notice that if I perform a "Reset" followed by another "Initial Setup", it does a rescan and will add/delete Guide data as appropriate. In my case, one OTA channel is very marginal and it added (or deleted) Guide data depending on signal strength.
     
  13. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    Question;

    Do the guide data-less channels labeled as "Regular Schedule" at least follow the actual time duration of the shows or are they simply fixed length blocks possibly 1 hour long or some other?
     
  14. denpri

    denpri AllStar

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Looks like a "perpetual" listing of "Regular Schedule" without regard to any program or channel-specific criteria.
     
  15. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    I see;

    No problem setting up any manual recordings for those channels though?
     
  16. denpri

    denpri AllStar

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Manual recording for these channels (& subs) works fine.
     

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