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Question about the guide problems for OTA


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   tkrandall

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 02:59 PM

So, I am wondering, with the purported capacity issues that I keep hearing about being the cause of the OTA guide issues (lack of additional channels), I am wondering just what they issues actually are. Are they capacity limitiations within the receivers? Limitations in the downlinked data stream? What?

For example, do my HRxx units actually contain/download all the guide data for all the local channels across the whole contry, but it only DISPLAY the ones for my locality? I am just trying to get a feel for what the limitation/constraint actually is that prevents DirecTV from being able to add more OTA channels to the guide for my market (Atlanta).

Edited by tkrandall, 15 July 2011 - 08:33 AM.
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#2 OFFLINE   Beerstalker

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 03:51 PM

Yes I believe they actually download the guide data for every OTA station in the database, and only display the info for your area (or whatever area you enter a zip code from).

Now as to which item has the limit that is causing the problems (whether it is receiver limit or satellite stream limit) I do not know. On top of that, the people around here who do know most likely can't tell you so don't be upset if you don't get too much of an answer about this.
Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
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#3 OFFLINE   texasbrit

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 04:45 PM

I don't think they do contain all the data. The problem as I understand it (and I might be completely wrong) is that there is a guide datastream coming from the satellite that contains all the data for all the channels both DirecTV and OTA. The datastream is of course broadcast at a fixed bandwidth so the more data that is contained in the stream the less often is it refreshed. If the data takes too long to cycle through all the channels and go back to the beginning then loading the guide data on startup for a particular receiver takes longer and can get to the point where the reboot time is unacceptable. When you consider that the number of OTA channels in the guide datastream is already probably significantly more than 50% of the total channels, you can see where the problem probably lies.

#4 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:40 PM

Easy solution is to just use broadband for guide data.
TV Guide on screen moved to that some years ago so they didn't have to rely on a station in every market to broadcast all their channel data.

With all the MRV and TV Apps and Cinema Kits, IP connections are becomming pretty common.

#5 OFFLINE   davring

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:48 PM

Many people have sat service because of their rural location. Probably a good number of those have no access to broadband, probably lucky to get dial up
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#6 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:52 PM

Many people have sat service because of their rural location. Probably a good number of those have no access to broadband, probably lucky to get dial up


I agree many people don't have broadband. But last study I read stated over 70% do have broadband, so it may not be a perfect solution but could be helpful. Might solve some of the unhappiness with missing guide data that is available.

#7 OFFLINE   davring

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:59 PM

I agree many people don't have broadband. But last study I read stated over 70% do have broadband, so it may not be a perfect solution but could be helpful. Might solve some of the unhappiness with missing guide data that is available.


Never much thought about before but the guide data could get to be a fairly large file, every OTA station in the country plus the cable channels updated, hourly?
HR20-700(2.0TB)>Sony XBR-55HX929
HR20-700>Sony KDL40V2500
OTA RS outdoor ant
Hardwire networked to Cysco Router 6.0 AT&T DSL
MRV enabled
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#8 OFFLINE   tkrandall

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 08:51 AM

Appreciate the replies. Whatever the limitation is, it would be nice to have a better understanding of what it is and how DirecTV intendes (or not) to fix it.

Also, I wonder how DirecTV's method for managing OTA channel guide data (not channel tuning specifics, but just the guide data) differs from that employed by Dish? Does Dish have similar guide data limitations, and if not, how do they manage it differently?

As you may know, as long as you subscribe to locals through Dish, they will allow you to receive all channels that you can physically tune over-the-air, whether or not Dish knows of its existence or not. They allow scanning and manual OTA setup. Those tunable channels will populate in your guide. This is because, I believe, Dish identifies a channel by data the local channel broadcasts. It then correlates that identifying info to the guide data (upcoming programming) that comes from the sat. If a channel or subchannel does not have upcoming programming guide data in the sat stream, then the channels still shows in the guide, just with a "no guide data available" type message of some sort. It's so simple it's brilliant.

Edited by tkrandall, 15 July 2011 - 03:11 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   dishrich

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 01:21 PM

As you may know, as long as you subscribe to locals through Dish, they will allow you to receive all channels that you can physically tune over-the-air, whether or not Dish knows of its existence or not. They allow scanning and manual OTA setup. Those tunable channels will populate in your guide. This is because, I believe, Dish identifies a channel by data the local channel broadcasts. It then correlates that identifying info to the guide data (upcoming programming) that comes from the sat. If a channel or subchannel does not have upcomiong programming guide data in the sat stream, then the channels still shows in the guide, just with a "no guide data available" type message of some sort. It's so simple it's brilliant.


Yes, & that's EXACTLY the way the D* HD Tivo's worked - which is why I STILL keep it active. If only D* had sense enough to have made their H/HR series receivers work like this, we would NOT be having these conversations! :mad: :rolleyes:

#10 OFFLINE   tkrandall

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:15 PM

Sad thing is, the one channel I'd like to be able to tune (w/o having to split the antenna feed to an ATSC capable TV directly) but that DirecTV will not put in the guide is the weather plus full time weather/radar subchannel 36.2 in Atlanta. I hardly need guide data for that! I also have an AM21 - attached to an HR24 that is attached to an older non-ATSC capable TV (2003 vintage, darn thing refuses to die). As a result I cannot tune 36-2 at that location at all.

#11 OFFLINE   gcd0865

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 04:08 PM

The channel selection and guide data capabilities in the AM21s have also presented serious limitations for me, so I have to use an A/B switch to toggle my antenna between my AM21 and my tv tuner. With an outside antenna on a rotor, I get all of our local stations, plus stations from 4 additional markets/cities. Sure, most of these stations are network duplications, but it's helpful to avoid network preemptions and sports blackouts and take advantage of a few shifted time slots (such as for a few PBS programs I watch). I've also read the various complaints about lack of added subchannels and low-powered/translator digital stations in the on-screen guide, and I'd be very interested in any OTA improvements for both of these reasons.

Next month, 4 nearby Canadian stations will flash-cut to digital HD OTA by the August 31 Canadian deadline. Haven't heard whether DirecTV will carry any of these stations via satellite (which would be great), or whether they will at least add them to the OTA station listings (hopefully).

Some opinions say that the amount of memory in the AM21 receivers is only sufficient for two markets' worth of OTA guide data (not sure if that's true or not). Since the receivers cannot communicate back to DirecTV about what local market stations are being received via antenna (especially if not attached to the internet or a telephone line, as many are not), I've always assumed that all OTA station listings and guide data for all markets/cities must be continually downloaded from the satellite(s) for all receivers to access whenever needed.

If guide data memory is not a limitation, perhaps DirecTV could provide a firmware update to allow more than just two markets (zip codes) to be entered into the AM21s and/or allow scanning and manual addition for local channels. I'd actually prefer entry of more (5-6) local markets (if there's sufficient memory for that much guide data), simply selected by drop-down menus by state, and then by city, on the screen, supplemented by manual addition capability, just in case a station isn't in the Tribune zap2it.com database or otherwise not included by DirecTV. I'd also be very interested in any replacement receiver that allows these features, whether it be an upgraded AM21 or a new HDTivo/DirecTV receiver.

If guide data memory limitation is the issue, I'd still prefer to at least be able to tune to every receivable station in my area, even if no guide data is available.

#12 OFFLINE   admdata

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 05:24 PM

As far as I know (And I could be totaly wrong on this), the am21 doesn't store any guide data at all, only the DVR has the guide data, and when you hookup the am21 and put in the 2 zip codes, the dvr access the guide data that it has on the drive and displays the channels that Directv does have guide data for (ie why some channels don't show up), the only DVR that has OTA scanning is the hr20, (plus it is the only one with the OTA build in)
Account closed by Directv on 7/7/2011
All leased equipment returned

On 7/8/2011 Directv charges me for 2 receivers one DVR at ($175.00) and a Standard STB for ($45.00), good grief!!


Note: Directv did reverse the equipment charges

#13 OFFLINE   Beerstalker

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 07:38 PM

Actually I don't think the HR20 scans either, think it works the same as the AM21. I think the H20 is the only (MPEG4 unit) that can scan.
Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
-by Jack Handy

#14 OFFLINE   litzdog911

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 08:58 PM

Actually I don't think the HR20 scans either, think it works the same as the AM21. I think the H20 is the only (MPEG4 unit) that can scan.


Correct.
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