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AM21 Picks Up Channel but Won't Show it in Guide

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by mjfoxtrot, May 17, 2018.

  1. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot New Member

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    Apr 18, 2018
    I live in the Washington-Baltimore region and I have an AM21 that works well with an HR24-500. The OTA signal comes from an antenna in my attic, and after the initial setup on the HR24, the "Edit Off-Air Channels" listing shows 41 channels. All of the channels have a white "x" next to them, and almost all of them show up in the DirecTV program guide. The two that do not appear in the program guide are channels 4.1 and 4.2 (WRC-TV out of Washington, D.C.) The HR24 signal meter shows both these stations are getting 100% signal strength.

    I'm aware that the DirecTV OTA channel database is finicky, but these channels are clearly in the DirecTV database, otherwise they would not be showing up in the Edit Off-Air Channels listing after the initial setup. And, like I said, both channels test with a strong signal. But no matter what I have tried, those two channels will not appear in the program guide, meaning that I cannot tune them in.

    I've rebooted several times, and re-run the initial setup three or four times, trying slightly different zip codes in my area as the primary and secondary. But always the same result: the Edit Off-Air Channels listing shows 41 channels found, but only 39 appear in the program guide. And the two that are missing are always channels 4.1 and 4.2.

    Everything else is working fine and dandy with the AM21 and the OTA channels. I would like to figure out why I cannot see channels 4.1 and 4.2 in the program guide after the AM21 has clearly scanned them successfully.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  2. Michael H..

    Michael H.. Member

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    May 31, 2007
    If you are using "favorites", make sure that 4.1 and 4.2 are checked there as well.
     
  3. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot New Member

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    Apr 18, 2018
    Nope, not using favorites. I always use the “All Channels” list. And channels 4.1 and 4.2 are definitely not there.
     
  4. gilviv

    gilviv Godfather

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Miami, FL. USA
    This is going to sound nuts but same thing happened to me here in Fla. after 2 attempts at initial setup 2 channels wouldn't show, the 3rd or 4th attempt worked, I also made sure that the TV wasn't tuned to that channel in question, in other words the OTA signal was going to the AM21 only. Like I said NUTS! I even tested this by having my TV tuned to 7.1(as an example) at its OTA input and then running the setup, guess what didn't show up as an available channel...... 7.1, every time I tried a new channel that one won't show, so MY solution was not to have an "available" channel tuned on the TV's OTA input while running the DVR's Antenna setup, said it was weird but after 3 or 4 attempts it worked.
    having AM21s on several machines here in SoFla helps with the occasional "passing" weather but setting them up, well can get frustrating! good luck!
     
  5. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Icon

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    Jul 24, 2007
    I have a similar issue, but I think mine is due to the OTA "repack." I have 3 DVRs with AM21's, an HR44, HR24, and HR 23. I am in RI near Boston and historically have gotten all channels from Providence and Boston until a few months ago. The Boston NBC affiliate changed, which began a string of other changes including changes in location of some of the transmitters. In January there was a storm, and we briefly lost power with a slight surge. When the HR44 rebooted, the channels from the AM21 were missing, and I had to redo the initial setup. When I did, WGBH and WGBX from Boston (channels 2 and 44), public television stations I like to watch, were as you said above listed in the "edit channels" section but not available to watch. The signal is 100%. Channels 2.1 and 44.1 are not in the guide. They map instead to 15.1 and 24.1 but those channels are two other Boston Channels. Interestingly, the subchannels 2.2 and 44.3 and 44.4 are in the guide with the correct channels. I believe this is related to the "repack" because 15.1 and 24.1 are two new channels not previously in the guide. Also, 15.1 and 24.1 are not even in the "edit channels" section listing all the OTA channels!

    It is frustrating, and I have been in contact with both D* and WGBH and both do not know why this has happened. Both say they have made no changes, and WGBH says its PSIP data are correct and regularly checked.

    Maybe this is part of your problem. If so, it is only likely to get worse. In another storm the HR23 and HR24 both lost their links to the AM21 and required a repeat initial setup, and those channels are gone from those recorders as well.

    Another frustrating part is that since I am in the Providence DMA not Boston, if I got my locals through D*, I still wouldn't get those two channels.

    SMK
     
  6. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Iowa
    PSIP is irrelevant to Directv, it isn't used by the AM21. Channel changing due to the repack depends on Gracenote/Tribune (or whoever owns them now) updating the info on their end. That's who supplies guide data to Directv. In the past when channels have changed numbers it can take a week to several weeks for it to filter through to the AM21. With all the extra action happening with the repack (which will really ramp up this fall when it starts for real) those times might lengthen, depending on what process Gracenote uses to make these changes.
     
  7. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot New Member

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    Apr 18, 2018
    Thanks for the responses. The thoughts about the repack are interesting, although I am not sure that the repack is behind my particular problem. I was just looking on antennaweb.org, and while channel 4.1 is indeed going to be impacted by the repack, it's not supposed to happen until Aug. 2, 2019. I also don't see any other channels that are being repacked as of right now in my area.

    AntennaWeb - FCC Repack Station Results

    Channel 4.1 has not moved or shifted anyplace in the grand scheme of things, as far as I can tell. It seems like it is just a simple bug on the D* program guide, in all likelihood. But who knows. Bottom line is that trying to get OTA working well requires not only technical know-how, but also a witch doctor who knows voodoo magic.

    I'll just have to learn to live without channel 4.1 on my D* program guide, most likely. I still get the NBC affiliate out of Baltimore (WBAL 11.1, comes in clear as a bell), so I suppose I am not losing that much. If there is anything in particular I want to watch on 4.1, I still have the program guide and the tuning ability of my Bravia TV (but of course without DVR capability.)
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 4:51 PM
  8. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot New Member

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    Apr 18, 2018
    Thanks, gilviv. It was worth a shot. I made sure my digital TVs in the house were not tuned to channel 4.1, and I re-did the initial setup three times today on my HR24/AM21. Alas, the channel still does not appear in the program guide, despite showing up in the D* "Edit Off-Air Channels" list.

    This strikes me as a problem that might just solve itself out of the blue in a few weeks or months, with no explanation. In the meantime, I will live without digital stations 4.1 and 4.2 in my D* program guide. First-World problem.
     
  9. coconut13

    coconut13 Member

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Something that you maybe haven't tried is a double reboot, or a CLEARMYBOX maneuver. This is the only way to truly clear an AM21 and start over. But, that doesn't always work to cure a problem like you are having. I've had extensive experience working with an AM21 and know how time consuming rebooting and rerunning zip codes can be. So good luck, if you want to go through the 45-60 minute process of doing this.
     
  10. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot New Member

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    Apr 18, 2018
    Fair point, I suppose I could try that. But as you point out, these things can get frustratingly time consuming, and in the end, I MIGHT gain two channels. And who knows, after the CLEARMYBOX and the re-running of several initial setups, I might have other missing channels. I guess the easiest thing is to be happy with my 39 working OTA channels.
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Michiana
    Is there a market with a repacked channel where they are getting both of the major channels right on the AM21?
     
  12. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    We do here in the Poconos where we get both Philly and Wilkes-Barre stations OTA and several of them have started sharing, and I have no problem tuning to any of them:

    RF 9 (WBPH/WYBE)
    60-1 WBPHDT
    35-1 WYBEDT
    35-2 WYBEDT2

    RF 17 (WPHL/WUVP)
    17-1 WPHLDT
    17-2 WPHLDT2
    65-1 WUVPDT
    65-2 WUVPDT2

    RF 34 (WCAU/WWSI)
    10-1 WCAUDT
    10-2 WCAUDT2
    62-1 WWSIDT
    62-3 WCAUDT3

    RF 50 (WNEP/WVIA)
    16-1 WNEPDT
    16-2 WNEPDT2
    44-1 WVIADT
    44-2 WVIADT2
    44-3 WVIADT3


    It's kind of complicated to explain, but after you enter the zip codes it does a scan and attempts to match channels on major-minor and RF-minor. It's basically why coconut13's secondary zip code tricks work, and it's also a way to handle cases where the RF number doesn't match the database like translator stations, and now spectrum sharing/repacking.

    I think it's getting confused when you have cases where a shared channel isn't in the database and the RF-minor matching is sending it to the wrong major channel. Like in DC where 44-x WZDCCD is sharing with 4-x WRC, and Boston where 15-x WYCNCD is sharing with 44-x WGBX and 24-x WFXZCD is sharing with 2-x WGBH.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018 at 12:42 AM
  13. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    I don't know your particular situation, but I know a lot of stations are moving 'early', where it is permitted (i.e. if the new RF channel they are moving to won't conflict with any currently existing stations) Where there's a conflict they need to wait for the scheduled phase.
     
  14. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    46,953
    1,167
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    If the tuner can tell the difference between 60-1 and 35-1 on the OTA channel (and give the correct EPG for each channel) that is good. I do not have any repacks in my area.
     
  15. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Icon

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    Jul 24, 2007
    Well, it's taking a lot longer. I keep trying to do an initial setup of the AM21 at least once a week and nothing improves. It's been that way at least since January.

    Does "clearmybox" really clear out all the AM21 data? Even when I try to do an initial setup, my zip code is already in when I do it. I still have to enter the secondary zip code, but I end up with the exact results. It seems to me that the only way to do a truly fresh AM21 setup would be to delete everything, and I'm not ready to delete my hard drive programs.

    SMK
     
  16. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot New Member

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    Apr 18, 2018
    Thanks to this comment and others, I’ve solved my problem. You were right about channels 4 and 44 having a shared relationship; I noticed on the channel guide that channels 44.1 and 44.2 had programming that was incorrect and that the programs listed for 44 were actually the programs airing on channel 4. Simply put, the D* guide was confused.

    So it got me thinking that if there was some way to “jolt” the database by getting some “real” channel 44s into the guide, then maybe I might get lucky. What I did was to follow some of coconut13’s previous guides on how to import different out-of-market zip codes into the D* initial setup for the AM21. I also consulted this handy site that lists all the digital channels for every state in the U.S.: Antennas Direct | List of Digital TV Stations

    I looked for a zip code that had channels 4.1 and 4.2, AND another zip code that had channels 44.1 and 44.2. Milwaukee (53201) fit the bill for 4.1 and 4.2. Santa Ana, Calif. (92701) has 44.1 and 44.2. So I did an initial setup with both zip codes and let it rip. When it finished . . . BAM! It worked. I had the Santa Ana stations in the guide instead of the Washington 44.1 and 44.2 stations, which are Spanish language stations that I never watch anyway. Meanwhile, channels 4.1 and 4.2 now had two program entries each: one for Milwaukee, and one for Washington, D.C. . . . Problem solved. I got lucky, too, because none of my other OTA channels were supplanted by the Milwaukee or Santa Ana channels. Everything is as it should be.

    I made a custom favorites list to remove the duplicated 4.1 and 4.2 entries and everything works great. Thanks for everyone’s input on this weird little problem, I could not have fixed this issue without this great forum.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018 at 8:28 AM

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