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ABC sub-channel not mapping - VIP722 - Little Rock


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#1 OFFLINE   badpenguin

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 09:50 AM

I am wondering if anyone else in the Central Arkansas area is seeing this same problem.

The national networks in my area are not available in HD via the local dish packages, so I receive them OTA. I am subscribed to the local package so that I get the local guide data. The guide data for all of the local channels, OTA and dish provided, is correct, except for one sub-channel. The sub-channel, 007-01, happens to be the ABC national network. What is really strange is that the guide data for this OTA sub-channel is actually the guide data for another station from the dish-provided local channel package, KWBF. The ABC affiliate guide data is correct in the guide data for the dish provided local channel, actually there are two of them, 007-00 and 9350.

This problem did not appear in my first vip722, which blew a power supply and was replaced with a new vip722.

I have attached a screen shot of the problem. One showing the local OTA listing of 007-01 (ota) with bad data, right below the correct data for 007-00 (same channel, local dish package). The second screen shot shows the guide data for the actual dish local channel KWBF that is showing up for the ota guide data.

I have complained 4 times to DISH about this, each time they tell me it is the local provider guide data feed that is bad and that they will "check with them" and get back to me. Once they walked me through several menu options that kicked off the download of new guide data, among other things, during a call that took at least an hour. The problem has gone unresolved for several months. I have a hard time believing it is a local providers problem since a) it worked before my receiver was replaced and B) the guide data is pulling from another, incorrect channel.

Can someone give me some hints as to what exactly to tell DISH to get them to actually take care of this problem? I have a feeling I just need to get hold of someone in customer support and ask them the right questions.

Has anyone else actually had this problem and gotten it resolved? It is somewhat of a deal-breaker for me, considering the fact I can only record Lost and Desperate Housewives (WAF) in HD via the OTA guide data. Well, I can manually schedule, but it does not catch reschedules, repeats, etc...

Attached Thumbnails

  • ota-epg-katv.jpg
  • local-epg-kwbf.jpg


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#2 OFFLINE   CorpITGuy

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 08:50 AM

I think I've figured it out.

When KATV's tower in Redfield crashed, they started leasing a tower from channel 42 on a digital channel they own, virtual channel 42.3. The guide data is based on virtual channel 42.1, which is what Dish sees because the actual digital signal is coming from 42.3, not VC 7.1 which is what KATV would normally be doing. Not sure if there is a fix, though, until the digital transition when KATV starts broadcasting from their own tower at its new location near Little Rock.

Anybody know if Dish can fish this?

#3 OFFLINE   CorpITGuy

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 08:53 AM

Here is a Wikipedia article that covers the tower collapse and explains the leasing issue:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KATV

#4 OFFLINE   EXTACAMO

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 09:25 AM

Not sure if E* can do anything about that because all the info about digital channel numbers and associated sub-channels is contained in the stations PSIP data. Until that gets corrected at the station level nothing will change. Try contacting the station engineering staff.

#5 OFFLINE   badpenguin

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 02:39 PM

Not sure if E* can do anything about that because all the info about digital channel numbers and associated sub-channels is contained in the stations PSIP data. Until that gets corrected at the station level nothing will change. Try contacting the station engineering staff.


Well, I contacted them via their web site (cfc.katv.com/contact.cfm), hopefully if enough people do the same they might do something about it. What really bites is the fact that I live about a mile from their tower, get great HD reception OTA, but can't schedule recordings because of the problem ;(

Sorry about that mangled up URL, I am not allowed to post URLs until my 5th post here apparently.

#6 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 02:53 PM

Well, I contacted them via their web site (cfc.katv.com/contact.cfm), hopefully if enough people do the same they might do something about it. What really bites is the fact that I live about a mile from their tower, get great HD reception OTA, but can't schedule recordings because of the problem ;(

Sorry about that mangled up URL, I am not allowed to post URLs until my 5th post here apparently.

Its partly because the channel mapping is all screwed up like CorpITGuy said (if they had actually left it alone saying 42.3 instead of remapping it again to 7.1, then everything would have been fine) and partly because the Dish equipment isn't really all that great as far as OTA stuff goes. I do not think, however, that my dad who is on Dish is having this problem, so your problems may lie with the receiver alone.

This kind of thing is not a problem with DirecTV equipment. We have never had any issues with the OTA guide data being wrong other than 42-2 showing the same exact guide data as 42-1. I worked with Tribune Media Services for a couple of months to get that cleared up. Once I got Tribune fix the incorrect guide data for the sub-channel, there has been no other problems. (Yeah, it was me who fixed that, so to everyone out there that was annoyed by it, you are welcome.) So, basically, it is a Dish problem in that their equipment (or at least this piece of equipment) just doesn't know how to handle the multiple remapping of channels, like 42-3 back down to 7-1, correctly.

Contacting the engineers about it won't do a lick of good either. They just do not give a crap about anything. They only care about the bottom dollar at that station. Maybe once they get new management in there next year things will be different, but until then they could care less about the people watching the channel.

#7 OFFLINE   badpenguin

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 03:54 PM

I worked with Tribune Media Services for a couple of months to get that cleared up. Once I got Tribune fix the incorrect guide data for the sub-channel, there has been no other problems. (Yeah, it was me who fixed that, so to everyone out there that was annoyed by it, you are welcome.)

Can you give me some pointers on contacting Tribune? Perhaps I should try that route also.

Contacting the engineers about it won't do a lick of good either. They just do not give a crap about anything. They only care about the bottom dollar at that station. Maybe once they get new management in there next year things will be different, but until then they could care less about the people watching the channel.

Unfortunately this pretty much sums up the responses I have gotten from customer support at dish. I was hoping perhaps the local station would actually care, but who knows...

I pine for the days when products that were advertised and sold to work a certain way actually did, and someone gave a rats ass when they didn't.

#8 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 04:00 PM

I can't give you pointers because, like I said, there is nothing wrong with the guide data as is. I have two DirecTV receivers that get it, plus 2 OTA tuners in my computer and 2 OTA add-on boxes for my old TV's and it is not a problem on any of them. I have enough sources to check to confirm that there is nothing they are doing wrong. It is merely an issue with your receiver and if Dish is doing nothing to help you, then I don't know what to tell you. The best advice I can give is to try to make something go wrong with it to see if they will swap it, or just deal with it and make recordings manually until its fixed.

I will do my best to check with as many Dish owners as I can find to see if anyone else is having the problems. I figured if my Dad was having the same issues, I would have heard by now from him, but I haven't. He usually complains about stuff like that.

#9 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 06:38 PM

Just because it works on DirecTV equipment does not equate to it not been a stream related issue. From my understanding DirecTV does frequency to station mapping different than Dish and it is possible that Dish uses different pieces of the stream in such way that the Dish receiver is confused in this case where the DirecTV receiver is not. This would not be the first time and both services have their mapping issues (It is complicated).

This situation has happen in the past and the reason that steveken's dad is not seeing the problem and you are is in the fact that he has not down a recan. The possible scenario that might explain why it does not work but works now is the following (Not sure if the timing maps).

1) Get the 722 receiver, scan for locals and mapping seems fine.
2) Tower falls and in the process something changes in the stream but since you have your configuration saved what changed does not show up until.
3) You replace your 722 and then do a scan this time picking up the changes.

Ofcourse this is just one possibility where I could see this issue appearing and would explain why you did not see it in your old receiver.

My suggestion would be to contact the station. We have had a number of members here do such a thing and at times there had been something wrong in the PSIP stream that when correct got the Guide data back. Ofcourse, there is the possiblity of a change resulting when the tower crashed that Dish did not pick up on and therefore their mapping table is off.

Either are a possibility and I would not rule it either out because other system are not seeing it because there is always that possiblity that the other systems are not using a bad configuration in a PSIP stream that a Dish receiver is.
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#10 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 08:43 PM

That may be about the DirecTV receivers, but, if you will notice, I talked about multiple other sources that were NOT DirecTV receivers. Specifically, Windows Media Center (which I know gets its data directly from Tribune through the Internet), as well as two of the Zenith boxes that Circuit City sells in their stores. The Zenith boxes use the same OTA PSIP data as the Dish box uses, but its got the right data. THAT is why I think it might be something wrong with the Dish receiver in the programming of it.

The receiver might have something wrong in its OS that makes it look at the PSIP data incorrectly when a situation like this occurs. Like this meaning the station being broadcast on 42-3, then having the virtual channel changed to a different assignment to where it reflects a -1 assignment confusing the receiver where the receiver is only looking at the -1 part of it as well as the physical channel it is on, thus assigning it the 42-1 guide data because it is thinking that since its coming off of 44 and it has a sub-channel of 1, then it MUST be 42-1 and not the 7-1 that it truly is. That seems more than likely the cause to me.

When you are writing code, I can see it as being a lot easier to have like maybe a master list of the physical channels that an area has, then just assuming that there are no other remapped channels, so you ignore the preceding virtual channel number and only concentrate on the -1's, -2's, and so on. If you write the code that way, you can easily get guide data misplaced in our current situation because it is seeing the channel as coming off of physical 44 with a sub-channel mapping of -1 and easily ignore the fact that it is being remapped to 7-1 instead of 42-1.

Does that make sense? Is that where you can follow it easily? It sounds good in my head. :)

#11 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 10:36 AM

That may be about the DirecTV receivers, but, if you will notice, I talked about multiple other sources that were NOT DirecTV receivers. Specifically, Windows Media Center (which I know gets its data directly from Tribune through the Internet), as well as two of the Zenith boxes that Circuit City sells in their stores. The Zenith boxes use the same OTA PSIP data as the Dish box uses, but its got the right data. THAT is why I think it might be something wrong with the Dish receiver in the programming of it.

Yep. I read that and it still does not point the finger to the Dish Receiver though it is a very useful data point. About two years back there was a similar issue being reported on Dish Receivers with the same type of feedback. Works on DirecTV, works on the TV OTAs etc. Turns out that later it also did not work on a Samsung box and turned out to be a PSIP issue that only effect Dish and a certain brand of Samsung receiver. Morel of the story is that just because it works in on and does not work in another does not rule out miss configuration in the PSIP. One suggestion I would give is to go over to AVSForums, check out the local HD area for the DMA in question, and see if anyone else is reporting issues. Not saying this is the case and after reading the situation of the channel my guess it might be more related to the fact station is piggy backing on another station that maps to KWBF sub channel 3.

The receiver might have something wrong in its OS that makes it look at the PSIP data incorrectly when a situation like this occurs. Like this meaning the station being broadcast on 42-3, then having the virtual channel changed to a different assignment to where it reflects a -1 assignment confusing the receiver where the receiver is only looking at the -1 part of it as well as the physical channel it is on, thus assigning it the 42-1 guide data because it is thinking that since its coming off of 44 and it has a sub-channel of 1, then it MUST be 42-1 and not the 7-1 that it truly is. That seems more than likely the cause to me.

Possible.. After reading the Wikipedia entries My guess would be that Dish receiver sees the KWBF mappind and if there is some additional second level of indirection the Dish reciever is not picking it up. IF this is the case, I would expect the fix to be lot more difficult than a table change and might explain why the change has not happend. Does this channel show up also as a subchannel to KWBF? IF so that might provide a work around.

When you are writing code, I can see it as being a lot easier to have like maybe a master list of the physical channels that an area has, then just assuming that there are no other remapped channels, so you ignore the preceding virtual channel number and only concentrate on the -1's, -2's, and so on. If you write the code that way, you can easily get guide data misplaced in our current situation because it is seeing the channel as coming off of physical 44 with a sub-channel mapping of -1 and easily ignore the fact that it is being remapped to 7-1 instead of 42-1.

Though I write software for living since I don't have extensive knowledge of how PSIP works in relation the Dish implemenation I will leave this to the guys that do. ;)

Does that make sense? Is that where you can follow it easily? It sounds good in my head. :)


Makes sense to me and I think CorpITGuy might have the finger on the root cause. I still would not rule out PSIP data, but I also would agree that the fact that you have two Stations prodcasting from the same frequency mapping to two different channels might be the root cause and might be a use case Dish did not consider. It is one I would have personally not thought off.

Hopefully the details here hare helpful to either Dish or the station to get the mapping back online, but if the root cause is the multiple stations on one channel frequency mapping to different channels was not handled in the Dish system this fix might be a while in coming.

Do you guys know of any plans on this channel moving back to its old home?
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#12 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 11:11 AM

If this is something that has occurred in the past on Dish equipment, then I feel more than confident in saying that this is yet another shortcoming in Dish's performance to its customers. Its just not something that happens to anyone else. Just so you know, I am one of the most active people on the local DMA's AVSForum page. We talk about stuff like this happening constantly and not one single other person has brought up this problem. I am fairly knowledgeable in how things work around here and what is needed to do things or get channels.

The channel does not show up as a sub-channel of KWBF. Due to the re-labeling of the 42-3 channel to reflect 7-1, it is still a sub-channel, but not one that shows up as 42-3 anymore. It is purely 7-1 now. The channel will move back to its original home just as soon as they can get a new tower built and the transmitter brought online. That will not be until at least the early part of next year.

#13 OFFLINE   badpenguin

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 11:36 AM

Possible.. After reading the Wikipedia entries My guess would be that Dish receiver sees the KWBF mappind and if there is some additional second level of indirection the Dish reciever is not picking it up. IF this is the case, I would expect the fix to be lot more difficult than a table change and might explain why the change has not happend. Does this channel show up also as a subchannel to KWBF? IF so that might provide a work around.


It almost has to be some sort of mapping issue local to the receiver. This channel is available in 3 different slots:

007-00: SD, provided via the $5 monthly local channels package
007-01: HD, OTA
9350: SD, provided via the $5 monthly local channels package.

All but the OTA channel have correct guide data, and they are all streams provided by dish. The OTA channel stream is provided by the rabbit ears which are plugged into the receiver, and has incorrect data.

If I plug the rabbit ears directly into my tv, the correct guide data (channel number, programming) shows up for the OTA channel, which I assume is data embedded into the actual digital OTA signal.

So it seems the receiver is reading something in the OTA transmission and mis-mapping that to KWBF, in the receiver. I am not knowledgeable enough to know if that would be the PSIP (what is that?) or channel number embedded in the transmission that is getting incorrectly translated by the receiver or what...

All I know is that DISH charges you $5 monthly to be able to get local, OTA channel guide data, so it is supposed to work, and it doesn't. Since I am paying them the $5 monthly, I expect them to take ownership of the problem and fix it. I shouldn't have to chase down the source of the problem, contact TV stations, contact Tribune, etc... Oh well, welcome to the real world, right ;)

#14 OFFLINE   badpenguin

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 11:41 AM

One suggestion I would give is to go over to AVSForums, check out the local HD area for the DMA in question, and see if anyone else is reporting issues.

Been there, done that, before I posted here... Couldn't find anything relevant.

#15 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 11:45 AM

I am beginning to think that the guide data for the OTA channels is a little mix of the receiver picking up the channel, determining what channel that is, then getting the guide data from Dish in the stream that comes down on the main guide data transponder. I don't think it is actually getting any of the data via OTA. That's why you get the right data and everything on your TV when the ears are plugged directly into it.

So, the problem ultimately lies with Dish not having the right information plugged into the new version of the software that is loaded on your receiver. They need to get on the stick and update the software so that the confusion of what channel is where and what data gets assigned to it. Unfortunately, you are not going to be able to get any Dish employee that will ever know what the hell is going on enough to fix it. You will have to find a way to get the issue escalated HIGH up in the Dish infrastructure before anyone will be able to figure out what to do.

#16 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 11:48 AM

Been there, done that, before I posted here... Couldn't find anything relevant.

You never made a post there asking people about it. I know because, like I said, I am a major contributor there and would have known if this issue was put up there. Maybe you should go over there and let us continue this conversation. We have a LOT of people who know a lot about this stuff there to help out.

Unfortunately, when you post a problem like this here, you will get tons of people who don't live here, have no idea what is going on around here, and only read wiki articles about around here giving you "suggestions" and "fixes".

#17 OFFLINE   badpenguin

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 12:00 PM

You never made a post there asking people about it. I know because, like I said, I am a major contributor there and would have known if this issue was put up there. Maybe you should go over there and let us continue this conversation. We have a LOT of people who know a lot about this stuff there to help out.

Unfortunately, when you post a problem like this here, you will get tons of people who don't live here, have no idea what is going on around here, and only read wiki articles about around here giving you "suggestions" and "fixes".


I posted here first because it seemed to be a DISH-specific issue... But I will go post over there also, the more eyes on the problem the merrier ;)

#18 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 12:27 PM

Unfortunately, when you post a problem like this here, you will get tons of people who don't live here, have no idea what is going on around here, and only read wiki articles about around here giving you "suggestions" and "fixes".


Totally agree and that is why I always recommend wondering over there to get a wider picture of the issue you are running into. You do get people here that have more Dish Receiver experience and that can apply that experience and past history of issues to a particulate experience but the localized expertise definitely hangs out in those local HD forums at AVSForums (I have used that resource in the past and it is most excellent).

As for Dish being the only one ever having issues with OTA guide info. Perhaps this is true in the Little Rock area, but i have been in to many conversations both in Dish and the DirectTV forums that I have formed an opinion that both companies have their share of issues from time to time that crop up from supporting OTA accross the nation. From the posts I have read over the last year or so Dish is not the only one where localized issues crop up.
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#19 OFFLINE   badpenguin

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 12:41 PM

Totally agree and that is why I always recommend wondering over there to get a wider picture of the issue you are running into. You do get people here that have more Dish Receiver experience and that can apply that experience and past history of issues to a particulate experience but the localized expertise definitely hangs out in those local HD forums at AVSForums (I have used that resource in the past and it is most excellent).


Just found a post over there from someone else experiencing the exact same problem. I think I will follow up on that post and see if he ever found a resolution.

#20 OFFLINE   badpenguin

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 10:52 AM

Unfortunately, this is the response from technical support.

Thank you for your email. We apologize that it took so long to respond.
We've received an unexpected amount of e-mails this month. Our normal
response time is 24-48 hours. We would also like to apologize for any
inconvenience this issue has caused and understand the frustration of
this issue. Since ABC 007-1 is a multicast channel unfortunately we have
no control over the guide information on that channel since it is
multicast from ABC. You will need to contact your local ABC for further
information on this issue. We apologize again for any inconvenience this
issue has caused. You may also use the second link below for any further
information or concerns you may have.






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