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Unable to tune Universal Sports subchannel in Atlanta

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by DarinC, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. DarinC

    DarinC Hall Of Fame

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    We are now unable to tune in 11.3 on our OTA capable DVR. I didn't realize until now (that I'm searching to see what the problem is) that Universal Sports is becoming a "cable channel", and will no longer be available OTA. But as far as I can tell, it's not supposed to disappear from OTA until 2012, and I can still tune it in via Comcast. So why can't I tune it on the DirecTV DVR? Is DirecTV "blocking" tuning that channel since it's now carried in their Sports Pack (which we don't subscribe to)?
     
  2. espnjason

    espnjason Armchair Referee

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    I thought Comcast/NBCU will not distribute Universal Sports via OTA after the new year. I guess they already started the phaseout.
     
  3. ejbvt

    ejbvt AllStar

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    I still have it on 17-3 WNCN Raleigh and on D* channel 625. The only difference is local commercials and weather updates and the occasional SEC overflow game.
     
  4. mhking

    mhking Legend

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    Atlanta
    Universal Sports still airs on both 11.3 and 36.3 in Atlanta (I work for WXIA). There are plans for that to change (I think it's first of the year but don't quote me); we're picking up a different sub channel network at that point.
     
  5. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    Until I read this thread, I didn't realize that the OTA version was going away. I checked the Universal Sports website and it does show our local version on ch 5.3 is going away at the end of the year. The website has a form you can submit to your local provider, but that must be for FiOS, Uverse, cable, etc.
     
  6. maartena

    maartena Hall Of Fame

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    You are in Atlanta... a quick Google search revealed that: WXIA-TV is the local carrier for that substation.

    The Wiki of that substation reveals: "The station added Universal Sports at the beginning of May 2009 on channel 11.3, added it to 36.3 in October 2011, and then deleted it from 11.3 in November 2011. However, it uses severe video data compression, which leaves very obvious compression artifacts (blurriness and pixelation) during high-motion scenes common in sports. This low-bitrate sacrifice protects the quality of the main HD channel, and is unavoidable because Universal Sports transmits this programming via satellite in this highly compressed form (4.48Mb/s). It was therefore not originally transmitted on sister station WATL (virtual channel 36.3, digital channel 25) because it would look the same there, and that station's bandwidth is being used for mobile television (ATSC-M/H), including WXIA's mobile channels. Additionally, mobile communications work better on higher UHF TV channels than on low VHF ones."

    So 11.3 is gone, deleted by WXIA, but it may still be available via 36.3. Now.... DirecTV is know to be slow in adding OTA stations to their guide when they change, so there is a chance DirecTV doesn't have this station in the guide yet (and thus you can't get it using the DirecTV tuner add-on..... however, you can try to tune your TV to that channel and see if it picks it up.

    I don't think this was a "deliberate block" from DirecTV.
     
  7. DarinC

    DarinC Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks, I had searched WXIA's site for info, but couldn't find anything (though I did notice that 11.3 was mysteriously missing from their schedule). It's odd that I'm still getting it via Comcast. I only have basic cable from them, so it's not like I'm getting it as a cable channel, I'm still getting it from the same 11-3 channel via Comcast that I always have.

    Yeah, I just re-did the OTA setup on the DVR... 11.3 is now gone, but still no 36.3. I don't currently have my OTA antenna hooked up to anything but the DVR, so I can't confirm what is actually being broadcast.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  8. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Peachtree...
    I have OTA connected directly to a TV in one room and WXIA's 11.3 was showing a simulcast of what was showing on 11.1.
    I have both an AM21 and AM21N and both units act completely differently.

    the AM21 shows for WXIA that there is an 11.1, 11.2, & 11.3 but when I attempt to change to 11.3, I get a searching for signal message. 11.2 displays correctly.
    At the same time, WXIA's sister station only displays 36.1 even though there is now a 36.2 (Bounce Network) and a 36.3 (Universal Sports)

    with the AM21N, I show no sub-channels for WXIA including 11.2 ( WXIA weather authority). WATL 36.2 and 36.3 both show up with 'Regular Programming' in the program guide.
     
  9. DarinC

    DarinC Hall Of Fame

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    This is exactly what I got on my AM21, until yesterday when I re-ran the OTA setup. That removed 11.3 from the guide.

    I'm still baffled as to how I'm still able to get 11.3 via Comcast (from an HTPC using HDHomeRun tuners). I guess Comcast either mirrored 36.3 over to 11.3, or they're just sending the raw network feed over the same channel that used to carry 11.3.
     
  10. maartena

    maartena Hall Of Fame

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    Assuming your TV is next to your box, you can hook up the antenna to the TV and see. Seeing as the channel will drop anyways by the end of the year, I don't think DirecTV is going to be bothered to add it. As I said, they are known to be slow anyways to add/change OTA stations to their lineup.

    It's scheduled to go off the air in what, 6 weeks? Looks like you just lost out early, but you can still watch it by hooking up the antenna to the TV.
     
  11. maartena

    maartena Hall Of Fame

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    Comcast probably just gets a raw network feed, and then mirrors the channels to be the same as OTA, so not to confuse customers that just ordered cable after being OTA only. They probably haven't updated it, and maybe comcast will also put Universal Sports on a proper digital channel number at some point later this year, and drop the 11.3 mapping.
     
  12. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

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    What??!!?? I wonder why the AM-21 and AM-21N are behaving differently. Are they and the HR20-700 not supposed to be "the same" functionally for OTA?

    I will have to go check my AM-21 when I get home.

    My AM-21 and HR20-700 have NEVER shown 36-2, (or 36-3 for that matter, which I was not aware of). About this time last year they moved the local radar off of 11-2 and onto 36-2, and I was not able to tune if for the 10 moths or so it was on 36-2. Now it is back on 11-2.

    My AM-21 and HR20-700 guides still have no 36-2. At least last I checked.

    I really do wish they would let the AM-21s have normal channeld setup/scanning.
     
  13. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Peachtree...
    I believe the AM21N does some form of scanning as the AM21N does not display Channel 8 (WGTV) or 14 (WXPA) on my system but does show channel 16 (WYGA 16.1-16.3), 26 (WTBS 26.1-26.10), 32 (WAAN 32.1 - 32.10 & 32.21 to 32.30), & 56 (Dish Network 56.1) as well Channel 28 (WJSP 28.1 to 28.3) from Columbus.

    However, none of this does us any good if they won't fix the program guide as most of the referenced channels on display 'Regular Programming' in the guide.
     
  14. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

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    Fascinating if true.

    As to the guide - I consider guide data supplementary to being able to detect/setup/tune any given channel. (For example, I don't really need guide data for the local live radar and weather subchannel.) Give me tuning and true setup ability first.
     
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    It is imperative to classify this action as a change, not an addition. Correcting the channel number in the existing guide data stream seems a lot more likely to happen than an addition if the rumors are true.
     
  16. DarinC

    DarinC Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, I could, if I were really motivated, but it's a real PITA to get behind my equipment. Considering it'd be a short term solution anyway, I haven't bothered.
     
  17. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

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    I think what it may be doing is checking each OTA station that it receives info on from the database (the master list I will call it) and if it is not able to successfully tune it up during set-up, it does not show it as an option.

    I live on the other side of town than you (near Kennesaw, in fact in the "shadow" of Kennesaw mtn when it comes to line of sight to the Atlanta TV towers), and I don't get any of those stations (16, 26, 32, 28) that you do, either direct via the TVs or through the HR20-700 or HR24/AM-21 combo.

    Because of Kennesaw mtn, some of my channels are weak/fickle as far as reception. Most notably, "11" (rf10) and "8" (rf8). Channel 8 in fact I rarely get even via the TV tuners. Channel "14" (rf51) and "63" while strong are sometimes fickle, especially when windy like today because my antenna is not oriented to them.

    I cleared and reran my OTA setup on both units. In so doing, I now have "lost" 11-3 (which in fact no longer exists) but I still have no 36-2 or 36-3.
    My TVs automatically know of these changes. What I noticed after doing the set-ups last night and today is that on my AM-21, it shows channels for 14-1 etc and 63-1 etc, but my HR20-700 does not after this morning's setup. Neither is showing 8-1 etc. I believe/suspect the reason for the no shows for 14 (HR20 only), 63 (HR20 only) and 8 (both units) is because the units did not successfully tune them during the setup. On the other hand, I can tune 36-1 just fine on both units, but have no 36-2 or 36-3 available. The only explantion I have for that is they are not in DirecTV's master list database.

    Also, interestingly at one point a year or so ago I had a boatload of 32-1 32-2... music channels in my HR20-700 menu (I did not yet have the AM21). DirecTV had pushed that info to my guide even though I could not tune them. So I think they are able to "push define" channels/subchannels if they so choose. I lost them after re-doing the setup at that time, and I get no 32s after doing the setup today (I can't receive them anyway)

    So bottom line is this: As we know the units during setup download a bunch of OTA station definitions, which include subchannels. I suspect that IF (and only if) the unit is able to tune a station during the setup, then the channel is displayed as an option in the "edit off air channels" menu. If not, then it is not displayed. It's a one time opportunity that requires re-doing the setup on a better reception day to re-add a missing station to the list.

    As I have said before, this whole approach to OTA setup is so obtuse and Rube Goldberg to me. Normal ATSC tuners are able to automatically recognize additional or discontinued subchannels (such as 36-2, 36-3 and 11-3). Normal ATSC tuners allow you to manually "dial" a RF channel, and if it picks up a DTV broacsast, to map that RF channel to the virtual channel thereafter. Normal ATSC tuners allow manual setup and auto scannning.

    Holding the tuners hostage to a DirecTV managed master list is a bad way to do things, and completely out of synch with the rest of the ATSC tuner industry.
     
  18. mhking

    mhking Legend

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    Atlanta
    We had pulled 11.3, shifting Universal Sports to 36.3. As it stands today, we have restored 11.3, but have not pulled it from 36.3 -- which a quick check from my OTA showed today. Our set up right now is 11.1: WXIA Air; 11.2: 11Alive WIZ; 11.3 Universal Sports; 36.1 WATL Air; 36.2: BounceTV; 36.3: Universal Sports.

    After Jan. 1, Universal Sports will come off both WXIA & WATL. 36.3 will have a new entertainment based network source (I can't let that cat out of the bag yet as the official announcement hasn't come yet). 11.2 will continue to have a weather based product (upgrades are due in Jan/Feb timeframe), and 11.3 will go dark in preps for a different product later in 2012.

    Comcast and Charter in Atlanta are taking the 11.3 signal right now. I'm not sure what arrangement they'll have for the new 36.3 signal after Jan.

    As for 11Alive's and MyAtl's web listings, we get them from Titan -- and they are notoriously slow to update. I'll admit to not paying as much attention to them of late (I'm manager of 11Alive.com), but they ought to have the new setup in place for 1/1. (knock-on-wood)

    Michael
     

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