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Another AM21 Oddity

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by mjfoxtrot, Jul 11, 2018 at 6:07 PM.

  1. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot Member

    48
    6
    Apr 18, 2018
    Washington,...
    I live in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore region, and because of fortuitous location of my house, I get pretty good OTA reception with my rooftop antenna. I get a nice assortment of 30 OTA channels out of D.C. and another 30 out of Baltimore. From both cities, I get all the major networks, PBS, and lots of sub-channels that I like to watch, including Decades, Me-TV and others.

    While I realize that the DirecTV's AM21 tuners are no longer "supported," I have nevertheless found them to work decently for my purposes. I use them on several of my HR24 DVRs and, while they don't pull in every channel, I like the integration of the OTA channels with my DTV program guide.

    But two days ago, something strange happened. After rebooting a couple of the HR24s, I noticed that the program guide on both were only showing the Washington channels, and NOT the Baltimore channels. So I ran the OTA setup on the HR24s again. Still no Baltimore channels. I took the added step of running a CLEARMYBOX command on each of the DVRs, unplugging and replugging the USB from the DVR to the AM21, and re-booting and running the Initial Setup again. Still, no Baltimore channels. Not one. And all the Washington stations appear just fine in the guide, and tune in perfectly.

    It seems to me that the problem is on DirecTV's end. I can find nothing obviously wrong with the HR24s or the AM21s. For some reason, it appears that DirecTV is simply not providing the program guide for any of the OTA Baltimore stations, and since there is no program guide, the channels don't appear.

    One other important clue: To test my hypothesis that the problem is on DirecTV's end, I did another initial OTA setup with the HR24 and told it to look for channels associated with zip code 95201 (that's Sacramento, Calif.) I did this because that area has channels 13.1 and 13.2, and a few others that I get in Baltimore. As soon as I ran the scan, the channels appeared in the DirecTV program guide, albeit with Sacramento program listings. That tells me that my AM21 tuner is working fine and that, for some strange reason, DirecTV's database isn't providing any OTA programming guide for the Baltimore channels.

    I know DirecTV's program guide OTA listings are provided to them by Tribune or some derivative company of Tribune. Is it possible that Tribune has just dropped support for all the Baltimore OTA stations and is no longer providing guide data for them?

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be most welcome.
     
  2. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    8,581
    942
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    There might have been some sort of boundary changes for your zip, either on Directv's end or on the part of their guide data provider. If you add a secondary zip for Baltimore you should pick up those channels (plus some other channels you may or may not be able to receive, but you can edit those out or ignore them)
     
  3. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot Member

    48
    6
    Apr 18, 2018
    Washington,...
    Yep, I thought that as well, and tried that to no avail. I used Baltimore as the secondary zip rather than the primary, but there were still no Baltimore channels showing up. I also tried running a couple of different Baltimore area zip codes as both the primary AND the secondary, and that also didn't work.

    I think the Baltimore OTA stations are simply not being provided in the DirecTV OTA database. It's a relatively recent development, as I had run the OTA Initial Setup on another DVR just last week and everything worked fine. But by Monday of this week, no more Baltimore stations. I guess all I can hope is that it is a temporary glitch on DirecTV's end and that they will eventually fix it. There's no reason that they would intentionally delete ALL the Baltimore stations from the guide . . . at least, I wouldn't think so.
     
  4. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

    5,390
    137
    Aug 9, 2006
    Have the Baltimore channels been repacked onto different frequencies/
     
  5. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot Member

    48
    6
    Apr 18, 2018
    Washington,...
    The repack, if it was done, would not apply to every single channel. But I confess I do not know for sure.
     
  6. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    8,581
    942
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    There is a lot of repack activity taking place ahead of schedule where possible, and the guide data provider Directv uses (Gracenote, f.k.a. Tribune) is not particularly prompt in updating it to reflect repack changes in channel frequency.

    If using Baltimore as a zip doesn't work it sounds like this is what happened to you. Nothing you can do about it except wait until the data gets updated to reflect those changes. No idea how long it will take - when a channel around here changed frequency a few years ago it took about two weeks for the change to arrive, but with the repack there are a LOT more changes so it may take much longer, unfortunately.
     
  7. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    4,778
    745
    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    Please stop spreading this false information. The RF number does NOT need to match for it to pick up stations, so you do NOT need to wait for TMS/Gracenote to update their data. You can just rerun initial setup and it will pick up existing stations with just the major-minor matching.

    As has been mentioned multiple times in previous posts, here in the Pocono's I have no problem picking up the following shares with the AM21, even though the RF numbers don't match:
    WYBE/WLVT/WFMZ who are sharing with WBPH on RF 9, even though the database still shows RF 35, 39 and 46
    WWSI who is sharing with WCAU on RF 34, even though the database still shows RF 49
    WUVP who is sharing with WPHL on RF 17, even though the database still shows RF 29
    WVIA who is sharing with WNEP on RF 50, even though the database still shows RF 41

    After you enter your zip code(s) it does a scan and it attempts to match with major-minor and RF-minor. It's how Coconut's tricks to get additional stations to appear works. (i.e. how I can also use a NYC zip to get some of WBRE's and WYOU's channels to appear via the entries from WPIX and WNET)

    We had an issue getting data yesterday, hopefully today is better and we can grab a fresh transponder map to see if something is going on with Baltimore's OTA data.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 7:33 AM
  8. Michael H..

    Michael H.. Member

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    7
    May 31, 2007
    One other place to check:
    Make sure that the missing channels are listed in the "Blocked Channels" and simply got unchecked.
    If so, check those, then go back into the OTA "Edit Channels", where they should now be listed, and check those there.
     
  9. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    8,581
    942
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    I don't know what to say but this did NOT appear to be the case for me when one of my locals moved from RF 51 to RF 29 a few years ago. I tried re-running initial setup multiple times over the two weeks or so after the change was made, but I couldn't pick up the channel until the change was made to the data Directv was using, as reflected in the weekly spreadsheet data collection. This was true on both AM21s and H20s' built in tuner.
     
  10. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    4,778
    745
    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    the keyword is right there...a few YEARS ago. The ability to match on both major-minor and RF-minor was something that was introduced via a software update about two years ago. Please stop giving people outdated advice, you have been told via replies in multiple threads where you have given this outdated info that this is just not the case anymore with proof of how it works NOW.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 1:36 PM
  11. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    4,778
    745
    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    We confirmed it. There is an issue involving one of the fast PIDs for guide data which is affecting the following markets LIL/OTA stations:
    512 Abilene, TX
    513 Albany, GA
    514 Albany, NY
    515 Albuquerque, NM
    516 Alexandria, LA
    517 Alpena, MI
    518 Amarillo, TX
    521 Atlanta, GA
    522 Augusta, GA
    523 Austin, TX
    524 Bakersfield, CA
    525 Baltimore, MD
    526 Bangor, ME

    Hopefully it's fixed soon, since it also affects LIL channels for these markets. The local guide data is still available via the slow PIDs, so the only way people without an AM21 would notice is if they do a double reset and see that it takes much longer for the guide data to populate for their local channels.
     
  12. mjfoxtrot

    mjfoxtrot Member

    48
    6
    Apr 18, 2018
    Washington,...
    Good to know. Thanks so much for the information. I figured it had to be something happening outside of my house. So the best thing to do is to just be patient and hope the problem is corrected, hopefully sometime in the next few weeks?
     

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