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Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Stuart Sweet, May 29, 2011.
I tested my AM21N with an HR24-500 and have had zero issues.
When you scan for OTA channels with your H20, are you able to see any channels in your market that you otherwise (if your were using an HR20 or AM21) would not be able to tune due their not being in the DirecTV market database?
If so, what does the guide show for those channels? Does the channel show in the guide? What does the programming content for that channel say?
In this case, I simply prefer the DISH model for handling OTA channels and guide info. Let the receiver scan for and/or be manually set up for any OTA channel. If DISH has guide data, then show it. If not, show "digital service". It's very simple.
For example, from posts # 3 and 4 of http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=186611 regarding how DISH does it:
What results someone will get is very dependent on their DMA, and what OTA channels are added to the receiver from another DMA. I have many sub-channels in my DMA that appear as Digital Service, but I also have maybe two dozen OTA sub-channels from the Bay Area with Guide info. I'm 100 miles from the Bay Area towers, so actually watching SF or SJ stations isn't predictable. I have Guide data for the Sacto sub-channels 1 thru 3 of ION, qubo, & IONL, but Digital Service for -4 Wors. The Bay Area 65-1 ION has info but the next 3 are Digital Service for me.
I have about 50 OTA sub-channels that have EPG info and 12 that say Digital Service. Some are my DMA, some are the Bay Area.
If you sub to your DMA's locals in addition to your satellite delivered channels you will get the guide data for any available channel (available in the guide data database, that is) that is scanned into your OTA receiver.
I get one OOM OTA station virtually 24/7, with one sub channel. I get the correct guide data for those two stations. Additionally I have scanned in other stations from that distant city that only come in when the atmospheric conditions assist those signals in getting out here. I can see the guide data even when those signals are not receivable.
I also get guide data for many, but not all subchannels from my locals.
Bottom line YMMV.
tkrandall - THAT is a great solution, and I wish D* would consider it.
My fear is they actively DID consider it, and they decided that not having to entertain customers calling asking "why don't I have guide data?" for every subchannel that goes live (achieved by denying the customer the ability to tune channels unless DirecTV has it in a database) was somehow preferable to entertaining calls of "why can't I tune this channel?", and "why won't your box let me scan for channels like every other tuner in the world?"
That, or they just simply did not think through it at all and without much thought for the implications went with a solution they are already comfortable with like for the channels they deliver via sat, i.e. a database managed solution.
The more I think about it, the more I wonder if it may be the latter - they just did not give the OTA tuning/setup issue much thought from the user perspective and instinctively went with the database solution. It's how every other aspect of their prodect delivery is handled, but it is just not a good approach for how to handle OTA in my opinion.
Or more likely, the implementation cost would far exceed the cash benefit or the goodwill gained.
That's pretty much how I see it as well Stuart ...
I also think it is probably more like the latter. I think that when they originally came up with the way they do OTA channels in the guide they didn't have any problems with it. There weren't as many channels to add and they didn't include as much information at the time. I'm thinking that they probably had plenty of room for the guide info until they made the upgrades to the guide info and added the cast & crew information, screenshots, parental info, etc. I think when they made that upgrade it vastly increased the amount of data the guide info takes up and it has caused issues in the receivers since. Seems to me it was shortly after the expanded guide info was added was when they started dropping low power channels from the OTA guide, stopped adding subchannels, etc.
I also wonder if they couldn't add all these channels in if they considered dropping a few days from the guide info, like from 14 days to 10 or so. I believe a lot of their competitors only go out that far as it is.
Yes I agree at this point it is probably too far gone to mess with re-writing the programming to allow scanning and getting guide data by other means. However, if the upgrade to the HD-GUI contains a major overhaul of the way the guide data is distributed etc. then it could possibly be implemented at that time without costing too much extra. Of course I have no idea if the HD-GUI will need a major overhaul to the guide data though.
Beerstalker, to be totally straight I think that there just isn't a lot of effort being put into OTA. DIRECTV already provides more OTA support than most other multichannel providers, and the need for such support is so minimal... seems to me that they just don't see a reason to make such a large change.
What you say is correct as long as it's DIRECTV, Dish and cable that you're talking about, but make it just DIRECTV and Dish, then IMHO Dish handles OTA better.
When it comes to cable, yep they normally don't support OTA at all. Why, because normally they carry all the local's DMA channels and subchannels, no need for an OTA solution.
I don't have the data on every cable provider in the nation, but all I can tell you is that not one cable provider in my area carries even a single subchannel.
Mine does here, and I checked where I used to live and they're also carried there. So YMMV, but IMHO I think over all cable does a better job of carrying local channels, especially sub channels, then DIRECTV does, so no need to support an OTA facility in their STB's.
It sounds like your markets are far better served by cable than mine, then.
Cable here does support a good chunk of the sub channels.
In my area, the local TV stations in a not so subliminal way, push Comcast.
Example, local NBC station ends weather morning, afternoon, evening and 11pm forecast every time with "24hr weather available to you on Antenna 5.2 or Comcast channel xxxx". Keeps ramming cable and OTA at the viewers. Weather is big here given the location.
But I understand why Directv focuses on many other areas. Economically they have to.
As I see it, my simple mind's concept of how DirectTV could handle OTA, which would be largely how DISH does it, would be LESS COMPLICATED and require LESS SUPPORT and maintenance by DirecTV in the end. Therefore less costly to them in the long run. There would be no need to set up and maintain a zip code based OTA database and customized software in the boxes to download the channel tuning info. Perhaps fewer employees dedicated to this task as well. Let the receivers tune and scan for OTA channels, just as is the industry standard for other ATSC tuners.
Rather than a database, the tuning and picking up of the actual terrestrial broadcast is what would give the receiver the channel identification info, including sub channels. Using that channel identification info, the guide issue could/would be handled from the Satellite provided guide info, for any OTA channels DirecTV happened to have in the database. If a channel is not in the DirecTV database and guide stream, that would be OK too - simply show "digital service" or "guide info not provided" or some other generic label in the guide. I see no value proposition (either to DirecTV or the customer) in holding OTA channel tuning hostage to a database.
I probably have said enough on this topic so will try to stand down......
They do a beta software download virtually every weekend. Don't you think they spend a lot of time and money on those? How could putting a little extra time into programming the ota tuners to scan add anything significant to their costs? It's a one time thing, not every week like the beta testing.
I have to wonder which there are more of... Cutting edgers or OTA enthusiasts.
Enthusiasts, is probably a small subset of OTA users, very small. But I bet Directv sold quite a few AM21's and felt the need to embark on the AM21N to satisfy a need for OTA. Since they did an add on product and all receivers continue to support the USB implementation, I suspect more than 50K AM21's were put into service.
Admittingly a swag but if it was less then they probably wouldn't have bothered with a new one.
How many are involved in the CE program is irrelevant. Directv is spending time and money nearly every week to run the program. Why not spend a little bit extra and allow the ota tuners to scan? It's likely a one time fix.
The only reason for a new AM21 is to meet the demand of those markets not yet served by DIRECTV. I'm pretty sure that DIRECTV would like to serve every market via SAT. As a result any extra money will be headed that direction rather than making scan work for OTA.
Look, I'm sure that DIRECTV could make it happen .. OTA works the way it does now and for the most part development is done. There will be some people (some here in fact) that are directly affected by this decision, but the vast majority of users are served by the existing model. It's not anything against those of you that need it, it's just that there are bigger things that interest DIRECTV. The demand for this is tiny .. infinitely tiny. That's why it's not being done.