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OTA and no guide data


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43 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   badwilly

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 08:08 PM

Hi all
I read the thread about if you don't subscribe to the locals you don't get guide data on the the unit. Here is what I found interesting.
I did a search for "charlie" in the search screen because I was looking for something. The search window came up with 6 hits. They were all for channel 12 at 1:00-2:00 pm each day. However, it said "digital service" so I was wondering why it picked those. I switched my TV back to its own tuner and brought up the TV Guide. It just so happens the time slot the VIP622 search window came up with for "charlie" were all for the show "Charlie Rose" on channel 12 at 1:00pm each day.
So, apparently, the VIP622 knows what is on the "digital service" OTA channels, it just won't display them if you don't subscribe to local channels. It is getting the information from either the satellite or the PSIP of the channel. I think that is pretty poor of Dish. If I have OTA with good reception, why should I have to subscribe to locals just to get guide data it apparently already knows. I just switched from DirectV to Dish two weeks ago and this is the only bone I have with Dish. I didn't subscribe to locals with Directv and the guide data was still available for OTA channels. I think in this one area, Dish is not being fair to its customers.

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#2 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 09:19 PM

No PSIP. Interesting "bug".

IIRC: E* has to pay for EPG data. They recoup their cost by charging for local channels. It would be nice if they just charged somewhere else and allowed people to view the locals EPG for free.

#3 OFFLINE   badwilly

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 10:03 PM

They must read some of the PSIP because when it did the channel scan, it assigned the stations by their correct call letters. Like I said above, Directv didn't prevent the guide data from displaying. And I didn't subscribe to locals. Since I have been with Dish for a couple of weeks and never signed up for locals, how do you think the search window knows the guide data on the OTA channels. Interesting that the search window only displays "Digital Service", but still accomplished the search.

No PSIP. Interesting "bug".

IIRC: E* has to pay for EPG data. They recoup their cost by charging for local channels. It would be nice if they just charged somewhere else and allowed people to view the locals EPG for free.



#4 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 10:14 PM

They do not use PSIP for the EPG ... sorry if I didn't make that clear.
The EPG is on the satellite for those who subscribe to your locals.

#5 OFFLINE   badwilly

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:40 AM

Your reply was clear. I just didn't read it correctly. Thanks for the reply.

They do not use PSIP for the EPG ... sorry if I didn't make that clear.
The EPG is on the satellite for those who subscribe to your locals.



#6 OFFLINE   lujan

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 09:54 AM

Your reply was clear. I just didn't read it correctly. Thanks for the reply.


"You was clear"????:lol:
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#7 OFFLINE   badwilly

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 10:53 AM

Are you saying my initial explanation was not clear as to what I discovered?

"You was clear"????:lol:



#8 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 10:59 AM

I believe lujan was running a grammar check on the title of your last post.
("You was clear" instead of "you were clear" - although I've heard both in speech.)
I tend to overlook those things as long as the message is readable. :D

#9 OFFLINE   badwilly

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:17 AM

Thanks. After reviewing my initial post I saw some spelling errors as well. It was a long day. All and all, I like Dish better. I wanted the expanded HD offering and the mpeg4 DVR.

I believe lujan was running a grammar check on the title of your last post.
("You was clear" instead of "you were clear" - although I've heard both in speech.)
I tend to overlook those things as long as the message is readable. :D



#10 OFFLINE   mchaney

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:06 PM

No PSIP. Interesting "bug".

IIRC: E* has to pay for EPG data. They recoup their cost by charging for local channels. It would be nice if they just charged somewhere else and allowed people to view the locals EPG for free.


To me, that is completely irrelevant. The FCC mandates that PSIP EPG data be transmitted with each digital (sub)channel. There is no reason that Dish couldn't enable the PSIP EPG data in the guide just like DirecTV does. The only reason they charge you is they want to make an extra buck off those of us who can (and should) receive the data for free!

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#11 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:44 PM

Does the FCC mandate that receiver manufacturers provide a PSIP guide?

You make this sound like a PSIP EPG is an on/off switch. Building a guide via PSIP requires individually tuning each channel and buffering what is found. Despite the mandate many OTA stations still don't push an accurate guide. Are you certain that is how D* provides their guide? Or do they provide EPG via satellite?

E* made a business decision to require locals before giving out EPG data. Right or wrong they have the right to make that decision. Don't make it sound like it is an "FCC mandate" when it isn't.

#12 OFFLINE   foghorn2

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:29 PM

Does the FCC mandate that receiver manufacturers provide a PSIP guide?

You make this sound like a PSIP EPG is an on/off switch. Building a guide via PSIP requires individually tuning each channel and buffering what is found. Despite the mandate many OTA stations still don't push an accurate guide. Are you certain that is how D* provides their guide? Or do they provide EPG via satellite?

E* made a business decision to require locals before giving out EPG data. Right or wrong they have the right to make that decision. Don't make it sound like it is an "FCC mandate" when it isn't.


PSIP for the locals here in Vegas are a joke. Its basically useless as it stands right now. Also you cannot view as matrix guide, it scans channel by channel. I'd like the guide for free too, but I understand that it takes alot of resources and money to provide locals in the first place. So I just use manual timers which works perfect.
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#13 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:55 PM

Unless things have changed, my understanding is that D* does not use PSIP guide data in their EPG guide. Yes they do the mapping like E*, but they use their own guide data feed just like E*. As to requiring subbing to locals to get Guide info, well I am not sure what D* requires.

At one point in time, I thought providing PSIP guide integration was a desirable feature. Now after reading numerious posts like foghorns and understanding the ramifications of adding such a feature I am no longer in favor of adding PSIP guide integration unless there was someway to have high confidence that accurate data could be provided.

If accurate PSIP data cannot be provided across a wide spectrum in a reliable manner, the results would be user confusion and innaccurate recording. One huge benefit I see with using your own stream is control and an expected level of service.

Personally I am not a big fan of tying guide data to local subbing, but I don't see the answer to this issue PSIP guide integration. OTA support from a national perspective has enough issues without adding PSIP integration into the pot.
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#14 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 07:37 PM

If you want to find out how bad PSIP can be take a look at AVSForums ... lots of complaints over there. Some stations can't even get their channel number right all of the time.

Probably the best solution is EPG via satellite. I wonder if E* could setup PSIP receivers to pull the EPG off of individual DT stations and combine them with the guide they send? It would still be a mess, and only right if the local station provided an extended guide (as required by the FCC) - but at least it would be a controlled mess at E* instead of an uncontrolled mess at every receiver.

That is a lot of hardware. Probably will be simpler once E* starts to carry ATSC stations instead of NTSC stations (in 2009). At least the receiver will be there. There are other improvements E* needs to do before messing with PSIP.

Having the guide data from other sources is the most accurate they can get and likely the easiest to integrate on to their system.

#15 OFFLINE   Bill R

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 08:56 AM

Unless things have changed, my understanding is that D* does not use PSIP guide data in their EPG guide. Yes they do the mapping like E*, but they use their own guide data feed just like E*.


You are 100 percent about that. DirecTV does NOT use PSIP data to get their EPG listings. They purchase thier listings from a vendor just like DISH does. The problem is that DISH does not supply the listings for ALL the digital stations (and substations).

It is just this simple: DISH needs to supply the listings for ALL the digital stations that a customer receives.
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#16 OFFLINE   mchaney

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 08:57 AM

You make this sound like a PSIP EPG is an on/off switch. Building a guide via PSIP requires individually tuning each channel and buffering what is found. Despite the mandate many OTA stations still don't push an accurate guide. Are you certain that is how D* provides their guide? Or do they provide EPG via satellite?


And you make it sound like getting PSIP EPG data in the guide is an impossible task. Far from it! I have two other standalone OTA receivers that are not connected to satellite that do it without a problem as does DirecTV. And yes, I know that DirecTV uses PSIP EPG in their guide on the HR10-250 because I confirmed that the data matched with my OTA receivers (and that data sometimes differs slightly from the satellite locals). They have data for every subchannel and sometimes there are as many as 7 or 8 subchannels and the HR10-250 could properly display the PSIP EPG data for every subchannel on every station. I never had a problem with it in over 2 years. On Dish, you get the wonderfully informative "Digital Service" on every channel except the sub-1 channel!

When I moved over to Dish, their "finagled" guide displays programs for a PBS channel on the ABC OTA channel. See the WMAR Baltimore thread. This continues for nearly three months before they can figure out the problem. Dish claims over and over that it is a WMAR problem, "try a different antenna", and other mindless answers. They only fix the problem when another poster here figures out which station they were improperly mapping and I forward the problem to the director of engineering at WMAR and mention the words "ABC" and "FCC" to Dish. Then they finally take us seriously and the problem appears to now be fixed.

I'm not saying that all problems can be avoided with PSIP EPG, but at least provide the data when it is available! Showing "Digital Service" 24 hours a day and stripping the PSIP EPG data on all but the sub-1 channel is not helpful, especially when we are forced to pay for local channels to get guide data that we know is there for free because it is mandated by the FCC. If Dish wants us to pay for the guide data from the satellite, fine. First of all, if you are going to charge for it, at least get it right. Second, for the people who don't want to pay to get guide data they already receive for free, display the PSIP EPG data for those people instead of the satellite guide (or nothing, which is what you get now). Better than nothing, and in my area at least, the PSIP EPG data is very good/accurate.

Mike

#17 OFFLINE   mchaney

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 09:03 AM

You are 100 percent about that. DirecTV does NOT use PSIP data to get their EPG listings. They purchase thier listings from a vendor just like DISH does. The problem is that DISH does not supply the listings for ALL the digital stations (and substations).

It is just this simple: DISH needs to supply the listings for ALL the digital stations that a customer receives.


Well, you are certainly right that they need to supply data for ALL substations. But I believe you are wrong that the HR10-250/DirecTV don't use PSIP in their guide! I've confirmed multiple times in the past that the guide data from my standalone (non-satellite) OTA receivers matched the guide from the HR10-250 on ALL subchannels. That alone isn't proof, but furthermore, disconnect the OTA antenna to the back of the HR10-250 and you STOP getting guide data for the OTA locals after a while. I know because I had mine disconnected for a while for some work I was doing and eventually all the OTA subchannels on the guide went to "regular schedule". To me, that proves they (or at least the HR10-250) use PSIP EPG in the guide. The channels still appeared in the guide but the guide had no data with the OTA antenna disconnected.

Mike

#18 OFFLINE   tammyandlee

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 11:01 AM

I think the HR10-250 uses guide data supplied by TitanTV. If you look on there web site they provide guide data for most sub channels.

As Dish is charging us for the local guide info they should at least get it right.

#19 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 11:04 AM

First off, Just because removing the OTA results in guide data being removed does not equate to you get your guide Data from PSIP stream. Another possibility is that when the receiver does not sense an OTA signal for a channel it stops updating that slot in the EPG guide. Personally I think that is more likely the case than it gets it from the PSIP stream. It is possible that DirecTV gets the data for your particular channels from the same source as the OTA provider. This has been the case for a number of channels as has been reported in the past.

As for the PSIP guide.. Once again for your configuration it might seem accurate as you compare the 622 guide to an OTA receiver, but if you look at it as a general over the board solution, that is where this feature falls apart and that is where Dish needs to evaluate it from. Since Guide information is a vital part of the NBR system, mixing PSIP guide data with a known source is jsut a formula for a support nightmare and a nation level. PSIP guide support makes more sense for an HD receiver like the 211 or 811, but I don't think it is a good idea with a DVR and personally I don't want the feature because I see it creating more problems than it would solve.

As for sub channels, this is definitely a mixed bag. I personally get a lot of sub-channel information on my OTA for the SoCal area, but I also know that other areas don't get as much data provided. Not sure if this is a EPG source provider issue or a recevier mapping issue or both, but having been through a 921 and 811 and reading numerious posts regarding this issue it definitely is a mess. With all the DMAs and all the different use cases surrounding this feature, it definitely is the toughest part of the system to get accurate at a national level.

I agree with Bill that I really wish they did not tie PSIP guide information to subbing locals. A business decision I wish they would change, but that is what it is. However, with the addition of Dish locals in my area it makes the point moot because I want the ability to record three local streams at once.

Personally I see the ability of OTA support as an excellent feature and I see why they don't provide PSIP guide support. I think if do some research you will find that D* does not also. One quick check is to see if your OTA tuner guide information goes as far out as your D* receivers. It a lot of causes there is only a few days worth of information while the NBR receivers go out much further. (Well at least E* does).

Fully understand not wanting to pay for locals to get guide information and wanting to use the PSIP guide, but also you are not required to sub and can use manual timers.

Like James said.. It is a business decision Dish made. If it is not accaptable , I suggest sending opinions to the CEO office and it if is totally unacceptable there are other content providers available.

This thread might answer the where does D* get OTA guide info...

http://www.dbstalk.c...2641#post642641
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#20 OFFLINE   mchaney

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 02:01 PM

I don't see that thread as a definitive answer either. Seems like some people talking about what "appears" to be happening: no different than what we're doing here. I also doubt that Tribune carries all the data for the long list of local subchannels like digital weathernet, local radar feeds, PBS special programming, etc. all of which showed up on the HR10-250. I still think the HR10-250 picked up PSIP when the Tivo guide data was not available. Another clue is that the guide data for the OTA channels didn't run as far out as the DirecTV guide for the same satellite local. If they both came from the same place, why a discrepancy... on the same channel? The only difference is that one comes from the satellite and one terrestrial.

In the end, it really doesn't matter. The fact of the matter is that DirectTV has, for years, been providing guide data for all subchannels OTA for free. I'm not about to change providers because I've done both, and yes there are only two reasonable alternatives available in my area. I'm much happier with E* than D* but that doesn't mean I have to be 100% satisfied or that I can't voice my opinion about something that is quite obviously lacking on the E* end: guide data for ALL subchannels. And... some assurance of accurate guide data since it took a handful of us three months to get the correct guide data for our local ABC station.

Mike




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