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Discussion: DTV Transition and HR Boxes


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#1 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:40 AM

The issues are being reported in the appropriate sticky thread.

I wanted to make a point that perhaps others will comment on:

If you think things are messed up now with OTA on our D* boxes, just wait until June 12.

Many months ago I posted/predicted that when Feb 17th came around, the OTA section of the HR boxes would be a mess, especially if any of your local channels changed frequency, in addition to merely turning analog off.

The best predictor of future performance is past performance, and D*'s record in this narrow area has been abysmal. We went nearly a year with errors in the database that made certain channels unviewable (I do NOT mean they did not include a desired sub-channel...I mean the data was wrong and produced 771 errors when the signal measurements were strong)

Well, here we are....again. One thing right, 3 things wrong, (that weren't wrong the day before).

What they got right: The move of NBC from channel 19 RF to channel 13 RF. All that was needed was a re-initialization of the HR boxes OTA setup. Bravo D*!

What they got wrong: Three channels that were working perfectly before Feb 17, no longer work, and they made no changes to their assignments or anything else.

13-2 (NBC Weather)
17-2 (Fox)
23-1 (CW Network)

...no longer work. Signals show full quality. 771 errors, Searching for Signal.

This is exactly what we went through before....only this time, it was completely unnecessary. These channels were working fine. The channels made no changes. D* still managed to make these channels unusable.

So, 1 right, 3 wrong, Failing score in my book. Especially when the problems are historical, not new.

As always, the best predictor of future performance is past performance...or in this case, current performance. D* dropped the ball ....again...and they knew it was coming, but still couldn't get things even close to correct. In the grand scheme of things, this isn't exactly the end of the world...but it is a sad commentary on an admittedly narrow segment of their service.

Get ready for a tsunami of problems for OTA on the HR boxes in June. Everything points in that direction.
...hasan, N0AN

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#2 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:47 AM

Fair enough. Hasan's post is appropriate, but please remember the following though in future posts.

(1) While we understand your need to vent, let's refrain from making personal attacks. There's no benefit to making this personal in any way. We all agree that everyone involved is working as hard and as smart as possible, and we'd like to talk about how things can be improved. Clearly improvement is necessary.

(2) I expect that our friends at DIRECTV will not read this thread at all, so if you have an issue, report it in the issues thread.

(3) All other forum rules are still in effect. This is not a free-for-all and if the conversation goes seriously off-topic, posts will be deleted.

I thank you all in advance for remembering that this is a forum for members helping members.
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#3 OFFLINE   dorfd1

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:51 AM

What is so hard about doing what the digital transition comercials says to do!

#4 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:53 AM

What is so hard about doing what the digital transition comercials says to do!


Could you expand on that a bit? I'd like to see your thoughts on this.
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#5 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:54 AM

Fair enough. Hasan's post is appropriate, but please remember the following though in future posts.

(1) While we understand your need to vent, let's refrain from making personal attacks. There's no benefit to making this personal in any way. We all agree that everyone involved is working as hard and as smart as possible, and we'd like to talk about how things can be improved. Clearly improvement is necessary.

(2) I expect that our friends at DIRECTV will not read this thread at all, so if you have an issue, report it in the issues thread.

(3) All other forum rules are still in effect. This is not a free-for-all and if the conversation goes seriously off-topic, posts will be deleted.

I thank you all in advance for remembering that this is a forum for members helping members.


Excellent guidance, as always.:)

I'm not venting, btw. When I vent, it will be abundantly clear. I'm analyzing a failure and commenting on performance, and I'm VERY worried about June 12, given the track record so far. Of course, I would like the channels lost (for no justifiable reason), back. The irony of getting the hard part right (a frequency change), and the easy part wrong (taking channels with no changes and making them inoperable), is not lost on me.
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#6 OFFLINE   vikefan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:22 AM

As of the 17th here in Rockford IL, they switched off anolog. My HR21-100 lost 13-2(CW) also my HR10-250 lost 13-1 & 13-2. The funny thing is if I go through my tv tunner I can pick up every channel. It's only with my OTA on Directv recievers that I have a problem. I scanned and reset both recievers I was able to pick up 13-1 on the HR21-100 after that. Still missing 13-2. I called wrex13 to inform them of the change with my recievers and they told me to call Directv daily to have them update thier data base for Rockford. I guess until Directv does this I will not get these chanels. I am getting no where with DTV. I sent off a couple of emails and maybe I'll have better luck. I guess this must be a pain to update the data base?

#7 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:30 AM

As of the 17th here in Rockford IL, they switched off anolog. My HR21-100 lost 13-2(CW) also my HR10-250 lost 13-1 & 13-2. The funny thing is if I go through my tv tunner I can pick up every channel. It's only with my OTA on Directv recievers that I have a problem. I scanned and reset both recievers I was able to pick up 13-1 on the HR21-100 after that. Still missing 13-2. I called wrex13 to inform them of the change with my recievers and they told me to call Directv daily to have them update thier data base for Rockford. I guess until Directv does this I will not get these chanels. I am getting no where with DTV. I sent off a couple of emails and maybe I'll have better luck. I guess this must be a pain to update the data base?


The database has been maintained by Tribune Media. The D* receivers are wholly hostage to the info Tribune provides. My only solution in the past was to contact the local Engineer in Charge (at the TV station) and nicely :) explain the situation while requesting their help. It took about 10 days or so and the problem was fixed. D* was absolutely no help whatsoever. (over a six month period)

You will not get your missing channels until D* receives the correct info from Tribune. Tribune may not have the right info, or is not paying attention to it (as my local Engineer made abundantly clear to me).

Aside from any action D* may take as a result of the "issues thread", I don't anticipate they will get a lot done, but there's always hope.

Your best bet is a phone call to the local TV station's engineer. Be patient and nice to him/her. They have been overwhelmed with calls/complaints w/r to the dropping of analog stations. They can, if they so desire, be a large help in solving the problem, especially when nothing else works.
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#8 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:36 AM

Only one of the Seattle stations (KWPX-ION) made a change on Feb. 17. They turned analog off and moved their digital channel to the old analog frequency. I can't receive this station OTA so don't know if the Tribune database was updated, but Directv succcessfully handled the transition with the SD satellite channel.

#9 OFFLINE   scuba_tim

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:36 AM

I'm having the same problems... 771 on my OTA despite strong signal strengths. It all started last Thurs, and while I can reset my OTA settings to fix it, it happens at random times and I keep losing recordings. Oh, and I no longer have any subchannels.

What I don't understand is that I live in the great test city, and all of our locals have been switched over since Sept. Things were working fine, but now, everything is out of wack. And it's not like DirecTV didn't know changes were a coming and channels needed to be remapped. And they even had a test city since Sept and haven't gotten that one right.

Here's hoping to change we can believe in.

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#10 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:53 AM

I'm having the same problems... 771 on my OTA despite strong signal strengths. It all started last Thurs, and while I can reset my OTA settings to fix it, it happens at random times and I keep losing recordings. Oh, and I no longer have any subchannels.

What I don't understand is that I live in the great test city, and all of our locals have been switched over since Sept. Things were working fine, but now, everything is out of wack. And it's not like DirecTV didn't know changes were a coming and channels needed to be remapped. And they even had a test city since Sept and haven't gotten that one right.

Here's hoping to change we can believe in.


All of your experience points at incredible (read: not believable) numbers of errors in the Tribune database (or some failure in how D* massages such data). It is hard to fathom that it could have gotten this corrupted in such a short time, and with, as you noted, such a lengthy lead time to minimize said errors. While I predicted this would happen, I hoped it would not. God help us in June.

One good test will be if a person contacts their local TV engineer, and that person contacts Tribune personally with a correction, and that resolves the problem. If it does, it shows that Tribune was most likely, the problem. If it doesn't, then either Tribune is inattentive, or D*s use of the data is the problem.
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#11 OFFLINE   dorfd1

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 10:51 AM

Could you expand on that a bit? I'd like to see your thoughts on this.


the comericals said to rescan for channels.

I do not remember any comersials say to wait for tribune to fix the ota guide data!

#12 OFFLINE   ricochet

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:13 PM

What they got right: The move of NBC from channel 19 RF to channel 13 RF. All that was needed was a re-initialization of the HR boxes OTA setup. Bravo D*!


Be happy you got that to work. I'm also in the Des Moines market and I can't get any of my HR's to pick up 13-1. I tried different combinations of rerunning the antenna setup, rebooting, and changing my zip code to a different market and back but no luck. If it isn't working tonight I'll try entering your zip code and see if it works. Maybe each zip code has its' own mapping table and the 50323 one didn't get updated but 50212 did.

At least we have HD locals via satellite now and DirecTV did get that right for channel 13.

#13 OFFLINE   jdspencer

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:19 PM

the comericals said to rescan for channels.

I do not remember any comersials say to wait for tribune to fix the ota guide data!

The problem is that the HR boxes don't have the capability to scan for channels.
They rely on the Tribune Media information and DirecTV to correctly setup the channel data when a station changes its frequency.
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#14 OFFLINE   sean67854

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:23 PM

Be happy you got that to work. I'm also in the Des Moines market and I can't get any of my HR's to pick up 13-1. I tried different combinations of rerunning the antenna setup, rebooting, and changing my zip code to a different market and back but no luck. If it isn't working tonight I'll try entering your zip code and see if it works. Maybe each zip code has its' own mapping table and the 50323 one didn't get updated but 50212 did.

At least we have HD locals via satellite now and DirecTV did get that right for channel 13.


I have the same zip and when I rebooted and reran my antenna setup 13-1 came in again, but no 13-2. However prior to that, I didn't have any signal at all for 13 except the SD from the sat. How are you getting your HD from the sat, i don't seem to be able to do that.
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#15 OFFLINE   bjs188

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:18 PM

I have the same problem with my HR20 box, I get 13.1 but on 13.2 I get searching for signal.

On my HR10-250, I get both channels but get only "Scheduled Programming" for the guide.

#16 OFFLINE   dorfd1

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:44 PM

Wouldn't the HRs be violating the law that requires that all tv tuners have access to all channels, sice they do not allow you to scan for channels.

in cincinnati WBQC went digital but has not decided on sub channels yet. I can pick it up on y computer, conveter box, H20, not HR20.

#17 OFFLINE   lwilli201

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:55 PM

All analog was to be turned off on or before 17 Feb 2009. Tribune probably had everything ready for that. But with this stupid delay, with some changing, some not changing and some still wondering what to do, it is not surprising that the Tribune data is all messed up. One of the Kansas City stations moved its digital to the post transition channel today, 19 Feb, but did not shut down analog.

Edited by lwilli201, 19 February 2009 - 04:22 PM.

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#18 OFFLINE   ltrain20

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:54 PM

Hasan
I have had the same issue on 23-1 on my HR20-700 and HR20-100 before the transition.

If the box reset for any reason (aka I forced or D* forced). I would have to go in reset the Off-air channels and then rescan.

Once this was done I had to go in and select the correct 23-1. there are 2. KCWI and KDMI ( I think this is the name. I am not at home so I cannot check). Once I had done.

I had to unselect KCWI. KDMI is the one which works for me.

This is a pain but for me it is not a transition issue as I was having the error for the last month or two.
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#19 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:52 PM

the comericals said to rescan for channels.

I do not remember any comersials say to wait for tribune to fix the ota guide data!


There is no scan in the HR boxes...they are completely dependent on the Tribune data...so we have no alternative except to wait for Tribune, or get our local engineers to contact them. Do you own/use an HR series box? I only ask because your suggestion is ...well...inapplicable, and I would think an HR series owner would know that by now. Perhaps you are new to the HR series, and if so, then this information will help you....which is, after all, the purpose of these forums.:)
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#20 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:55 PM

Hasan
I have had the same issue on 23-1 on my HR20-700 and HR20-100 before the transition.

If the box reset for any reason (aka I forced or D* forced). I would have to go in reset the Off-air channels and then rescan.

Once this was done I had to go in and select the correct 23-1. there are 2. KCWI and KDMI ( I think this is the name. I am not at home so I cannot check). Once I had done.

I had to unselect KCWI. KDMI is the one which works for me.

This is a pain but for me it is not a transition issue as I was having the error for the last month or two.


Me too...the only points I was raising is that pre-transition we had 13-2, 23-1 and 17-2. Now none of them work, but 13-1 does. 13-1 was an accomplishment, the others are mistakes.

I don't want this thread to be Des Moines specific, but rather, bring to light and some discussion the generalized issues of this very early and limited transition. If this process isn't improved before June 12, we are going to have a real mess on our hands (ota wise)
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#21 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:57 PM

Wouldn't the HRs be violating the law that requires that all tv tuners have access to all channels, sice they do not allow you to scan for channels.

in cincinnati WBQC went digital but has not decided on sub channels yet. I can pick it up on y computer, conveter box, H20, not HR20.


No it wouldn't. The tuners do have access to all channels, but they are only "knowledgeable" about the ones YOU choose. You can choose any two markets you like, anywhere in the country.

Simply having a mal-performing, flash based tuner is not a violation. The problem can be fixed, so bringing in the "fcc rules" is a red herring.
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#22 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:07 PM

I have the same zip and when I rebooted and reran my antenna setup 13-1 came in again, but no 13-2. However prior to that, I didn't have any signal at all for 13 except the SD from the sat. How are you getting your HD from the sat, i don't seem to be able to do that.


In the Des Moines DMA, we have HD LIL provided by D*. If you aren't in that DMA, you might not have HD locals provided from the sats. We don't get every hd/digital channel from D*, but we do get the major networks in HD (if you don't count CW network as major:)

13 HD has been there for some time.
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#23 OFFLINE   Bob Coxner

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:15 PM

I posted the following in the DVR forum, before discovering that others were having similar problems:

HR20-700. My local ABC [KXXV] went digital on the 17th, although I'm not sure that has anything to do with my problem. It has 3 subchannels, 25.1, 25.2 and 25.3.

Last night I was able to watch 25.3, which is their weather only channel. The other subchannels were also working fine. This is all through the HR20. This is *after* the digital switch.

Today I can get the DTV uplinked channel 25. However, when I tune to the subchannels I get "searching for signal".

Here comes the head scratching:

When I check the signal meter it shows 100% on all three subchannels (I can see the tower lights from my back yard at night).

When I use the tv tuner, without an antenna, I can get all three subchannels. It's only when it goes through the HR20 that I lose the signal.

All other subchannels (other networks) are working fine on the HR20. I did a re-scan of the channel guide after the digital switchover, so that's not a factor. [I'm not sure what to call it but I did the antenna setup again]

When I do "Antenna Setup", "Edit Off-Air Channels" it shows the channels in the following order:

10.2
34.1
34.4
25.1
25.2
25.3
34.2
34.3

However, in the Guide the subchannels are in the proper order.

I live in tornado country, so that 25.3 weather subchannel is very important to me. I don't want the hassle of having to switch to the tv tuner for it. Also, DTV isn't yet uplinking the 25.1 in HD, only 480i, so if I want to record HD programs I need access to the 25.1 subchannel.

=================

The only thing I'll add to the original message is to reiterate that I was able to watch the 25.x subchannels last night, which was well after the digital switchover. In fact, I was watching the main 25 channel when they did the switchover, although I suppose something else could have changed after that.
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#24 OFFLINE   dorfd1

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:40 PM

No it wouldn't. The tuners do have access to all channels, but they are only "knowledgeable" about the ones YOU choose. You can choose any two markets you like, anywhere in the country.

Simply having a mal-performing, flash based tuner is not a violation. The problem can be fixed, so bringing in the "fcc rules" is a red herring.


How do you watch and record low power analog stations on the hr20?

#25 OFFLINE   Crypter

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:41 PM

I am in the same boat... I was getting my local NBC on 10-1 perfectly fine before the switch and now after Feb 17 I cannot get NBC at all. This really upsets me because I watch so many shows on NBC and I have missed all of them since Feb 17.

God only knows how long it will be before this is fixed. I am one PO'ed customer right now.


I live in a small DMA #154 Rochester, MN so I do not expect this to be solved soon and the worst thing is that I keep wasting time resetting my OTA hoping it is fixed. A Big waste of 10 minutes each time.




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