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Dish and local channel disputes made me think...


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45 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   Curtis0620

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:43 PM

Yeah, if the local(s) come back, then when I do the math, the Hopper is again 999.9999999 (rounding error) times better than the Genie.

 

 

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Decimal is in the wrong place.  .000999999999


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#22 OFFLINE   Michael P

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:30 PM

When an OTA is pulled from satellite the EPG is changed. You should be able to set a manual timer for a show on an OTA that has been pulled but it probably would not match up with the Autohop information.

I briefly lost my local CBS last month.  I get another CBS OTA from a distant market.  I set up a timer to record a CBS program off that distant OTA signal.  Since the guide data was available for the distant OTA I thought I would have a good recording with the guide data information.

Guess what happened?

SKIP.  Another distant on the same RF frequency whacked my reception at the precise time of the desired program.  :bang


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#23 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:09 PM

I can find nothing that requires Dish to remove this information from the EPG, or to disable AutoHop information.


Can you find anything that requires DISH to provide information for channels they don't carry? Typically they do not. The EPG contains only channels that are carried by DISH and related subchannels of channels they carry.

They can keep the EPG and AutoHop for as long as they want.


Perhaps ... But I have not seen their contract with Tribune Media Services for EPG data. So I am not going to assume that the data can be carried without the channel.
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#24 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:19 AM

Can you find anything that requires DISH to provide information for channels they don't carry? Typically they do not. The EPG contains only channels that are carried by DISH and related subchannels of channels they carry.


Perhaps ... But I have not seen their contract with Tribune Media Services for EPG data. So I am not going to assume that the data can be carried without the channel.

 

Obviously, Dish is not required to do it or they would be doing it already.

 

You are correct that they have a contract with Tribune Media Services and that may have some impact on what guide data Tribune supplies them with.  But PSIP data includes guide data for at least 24 hours by FCC requirement, and there is nothing can prevent Dish from using that information except bullheadedness.



#25 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:36 PM

Obviously, Dish is not required to do it or they would be doing it already.

 

You are correct that they have a contract with Tribune Media Services and that may have some impact on what guide data Tribune supplies them with.  But PSIP data includes guide data for at least 24 hours by FCC requirement, and there is nothing can prevent Dish from using that information except bullheadedness.

 

That 24-hour data is virtually useless to a DVR for setting timers.  That's why Dish doesn't use the PSIP data for setting timers or showing in its EPG.

 

On my HDTV, I find that it often isn't a 24-hour guide anyway... sometimes it only goes out a few hours before it can't find any data... so I'm not sure how "required" that FCC requirement you are talking about is in reality.


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#26 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:10 PM

PSIP that goes beyond 12 hours ? Maybe on some channels - but not on most of them around here. TVGOS was great for the DTV PAL DVR, but when Rovi stopped that - the DVR's went to PSIP only and lost quite a bit of functionality. I suppose it is better than nothing....


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#27 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:22 PM

But PSIP data includes guide data for at least 24 hours by FCC requirement, and there is nothing can prevent Dish from using that information except bullheadedness.


Retransmission consent. That guide is part of the broadcast of the station and cannot be retransmitted by DISH without consent. DISH could redesign their receivers to use PSIP data direct from a station ... but the receiver would need to tune to each station to download the data - so you would not have data for other channels. (And there is NO FCC requirement that the PSIP guide data be complete or accurate. It could say "Digital Program" 24x7.)
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#28 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 04:17 AM

Retransmission consent. That guide is part of the broadcast of the station and cannot be retransmitted by DISH without consent. DISH could redesign their receivers to use PSIP data direct from a station ... but the receiver would need to tune to each station to download the data - so you would not have data for other channels. (And there is NO FCC requirement that the PSIP guide data be complete or accurate. It could say "Digital Program" 24x7.)

 

Okay, okay, okay.  We're beating a dead horse here.  Dish removes data from a station when it no longer carries it, and you state that perhaps this is because their contract with Tribune prohibits guide information with stations they don't carry (though I would find this a rather odd provision and neither of us have the actual contract to check.)  Then I propose that they use the PSIP data for guide data, and you throw retransmission consent at me - say what?  I wasn't talking about Dish retransmitting it, I was talking about programming the receivers to decode the PSIP data and incorporate it into the guide.  Sure, it's a little more work for Dish, but they already have a need to do that work.  I have 2 channels that I receive OTA that Dish does not provide guide data for.  Even when I tune to them, I get a parental warning for no rating and have to input a code (twice!) to watch the channel and even then, it doesn't read the PSIP data to tell me what program I'm watching.  These aren't popular subchannels, and I get that.  But Dish's PSIP ignorance makes those channels difficult for me to enjoy, and incorporating the PSIP guide data would be a very nice feature.  Then the same feature could be used during stalled contract negotiations.



#29 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 12:54 PM

You're continuing to ignore the posts others have made on all the negatives of PSIP data.  There is a reason why almost no one uses PSIP data for EPG info and DVR timers.


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#30 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 04:12 PM

DISH Network satellite receivers DO NOT use PSIP data for the guide. The furthest DISH goes with using PSIP information is to read the station ID (TSID) and compare it against a field in the DISH Network EPG. If the TSID and subchannel match DISH uses that satellite transmitted EPG as the EPG for the over the air received station.

PSIP guide data is unreliable and is difficult to collect. The receiver would need to tune away from whatever OTA channel was being tuned to tune in to the other stations to collect their EPG data. It would only be able to do that when you're not watching a OTA channel. This just adds more unreliability to the unreliability of the PSIP EPG data.

It seems pointless for DISH to redesign their receivers to use unreliable data.

Probably the best place for DISH to collect PSIP data (if they would use it at all) would be at the local point of presence where they receive signals for retransmission. Sending that data to Colorado so it could be added to the satellite fed EPG would be the best way to get it to receivers. But that would be retransmission of a station's signal.

The bottom line though seems to be that if a station does not want to be carried by DISH ... if they withhold their signal from retransmission ... why should DISH go out of their way to make it easier for customers to watch that channel? Let the local station lose viewers to the other local channels.
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#31 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 04:41 PM

I'd have to agree with James here - you can either set manual timers on the OTA channels, or get another device that can read the PSIP info / record from that.


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#32 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 05:52 PM

Dish drops guide data for stations in dispute for the exact reason that they are in dispute with the station and they do not want to in any way encourage watching that station by any means since they are not allowed to carry it.

 

IMHO Dish could continue to carry that data but it would be at cross purposes with their own interest.


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#33 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 04:28 AM

I'd have to agree with James here - you can either set manual timers on the OTA channels, or get another device that can read the PSIP info / record from that.

 

So because I've set my DVR to block MA programming, I have to input my parent code twice to tune to a channel that shows nothing but classic TV shows (MeTV) or a constant weather loop.  And when I record an OTA program with a manual timer from these channels, how exactly does it show up in the guide?  Wouldn't the PSIP title be superior to a generic message?

 

It's hilarious that we're told the Hopper is the best DVR on the planet, and then you suggest we should go get a different device to record channels from.

 

And yes, it isn't in Dish's best interest to provide the data, but it is in their customers'.  



#34 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:10 AM

When in doubt, lock it out. It has been that way forever.

DISH receivers do not read PSIP EPG. Only the satellite provided EPG (if available) is used).

The Hopper as shipped does not even tune OTA. OTA reception is an add on using a dongle. If you want to know where OTA reception ranks on the list of important features on the Hopper there is your answer. I won't call it an afterthought, but one OTA channel per Hopper on a dongle that was not available until months after the Hopper was introduced does not reflect a high priority feature.

Personally I'd like to see a four tuner OTA add on box that ran on the network. Place the box in a central location where an outdoor TV antenna can be connected and stream the tuned channels to the Hopper and Joeys (similar to HD Homerun). But DISH went with a dongle ... and a wiring system where mixing OTA on the satellite cable can cause interference so one has to run a completely separate antenna feed to the dongle than to the receiver.

Not being able to use PSIP EPG (a feature not available even on the better equipped receivers with multiple OTA tuners) isn't the first thing I'd complain about on the Hopper.
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#35 OFFLINE   jsk

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:14 AM

Why wouldn't it be in Dish's best interest to let the guide data go through during a contract dispute?  It would prevent them from loosing some customers when a station is pulled.  I think it would be in Dish's best interest to assist customers (for a fee) to add an OTA antenna.   Then, they can tell the stations that x% of their customers aren't affected by their station being pulled because they can receive the station (or same affiliate) OTA.


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#36 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:43 AM

If people can receive channels OTA without DISH why does DISH need to carry the channels at all?


DISH needs to put themselves in a place where OTA stations need DISH to expand their coverage area and reach their viewers. Assisting people to work around their DISH network service to get OTAs another way is against that goal.

The only way I see DISH helping to get locals other than via satellite is if DISH delivered local stations via IPTV, using the apparent loophole that Aereo uses. DISH can install thousands of antennas in an array have each feed to a personal tuner that is fed to an individual customer via the Internet. If Aereo can do it why not DISH?
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#37 OFFLINE   jsk

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 01:42 PM

I thought Dish looses money on OTA channels with the crazy rates the stations are charging.  Besides, the stations know that if they aren't carried on Dish, many subscribers would switch to Direct or cable and the stations would still reach their viewers.  Unless Dish is able to offer so great of a selection of channels that viewers won't care about their locals, Dish can't make the case that the stations need Dish more than Dish needs the stations.  I don't see that happening.

 

If Dish bought out Aero or licensed their technology, they may be able to drop locals in some markets in favor of Aero.  However, this would only work for people that have an Internet connection, but some of those people might be able to get OTA.  I guess they could use Sat. Internet, if that would work with Aero, but does Dish have the Sat bandwidth to support individual streams of Aero?


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#38 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:57 AM

Dish should provide the guide data for all OTA channels a customer receives.  I don't care how they do it, what technical hurdles they face, how high on the priority list this is, or whether they are in a contract dispute or not.  Dish's implementation of OTA is poor, and could be improved.



#39 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:17 AM

Sure thing. Just add $20 per month to everyone's bill to pay for the service. Since you don't care how they do it I suppose you would be willing to pay for the technology / software upgrades.
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#40 OFFLINE   jsk

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 11:00 AM

I don't understand the hurdles that prevent them from providing the guide data for every channel.  They get the TSID of the station OTA and they get the data from Tribune.  Match the two together and you get the guide data, right?  With Maryland Public Television, I only get guide data for WMPT (22.1-.3).  WMPB (67.1-.3) & WFPT (62.1-.3) simulcast WMPT and just show "Digital Service."  Since I receive WMPB more reliably than the other channels, I would rather record off of that channel. 


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