DBSTalk Exclusive First Look: AM21N Off-Air ATSC Adapter

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Stuart Sweet, May 29, 2011.

  1. Jun 2, 2011 #121 of 250
    raoul5788

    raoul5788 Guest

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    I'm sure the numbers are small, that's not my point. It would take little effort or money on Directv's part to make the tuners scan. It seems foolish for them not to when virtually all other tuners made can scan.
     
  2. Jun 2, 2011 #122 of 250
    DogLover

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    But they have no need to care what all others do, unless they are losing customers by not having it or can gain customers by adding it. And how many would they have to lose or gain to make it worth while. It never makes sense to spend $10 to get $1.
     
  3. Jun 2, 2011 #123 of 250
    Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    You don't know that .. Remember, it works the way it works now. Everything would have to be rewritten, tested, trained, etc. What may seem to be "little effort" will take a lot of people .. which will rack up the man-years .. which will rack up the cost.

    Why does it seem foolish? What if the numbers are so low that it will cost DIRECTV more money to make the change to something that works than it would cost if every single one of those customers left? Folks that really, really want OTA channels not available through DIRECTV can simply connect the antenna directly to their TV and pick them up. Remember DIRECTV is in the SAT business, not the OTA business. I don't see Comcast, Uverse, or FiOS providing any OTA solution. DIRECTV likely covers 100% of the OTA needed for 90% of those with OTA and 90% of the OTA for the remaining 10% who use OTA. Yeah, there are some holes, but there are ways to mitigate the problem.
     
  4. Jun 3, 2011 #124 of 250
    bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    These two categories are not mutually exclusive :D

    Although most of the locals I watch are already carried, I find the AM21 to be quite useful for watching and recording such subchannels as RTN or Antenna TV. I recently bought a second AM21 (it was the original version, not the AM21N).
     
  5. Jun 3, 2011 #125 of 250
    loudo

    loudo Well-Known Member

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    I know that DirecTV does strive to get as many local markets on satellite as possible, but the bottom line is they only transmit a portion of the available channels. In our area we receive 17 channels from DirecTV via satellite, of the 39 available OTA channels. And the truth is, that it wouldn't be cost effective for them to add the other 22 channels and subchannels, as their viewer base is lower that the 17 they now provide. But those other 22 channels are watched and important to many, some contain PBS sub channels, local news and weather, as well as independent networks. That is why I feel DirecTV should continue to improve their OTA technology.
    Many could care less about anything other than the big 4 OTA networks, but to some of us the other available programing is just as important.
     
  6. Jun 3, 2011 #126 of 250
    Beerstalker

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    Actually I doubt the new AM21 had anything to do with demand, they would have just produced more of the old AM21 to cover that. The H25 is the reason for the new AM21. They couldn't send the old AM21 out without a cap over the power port since the H25 doesn't use that port anymore. Without that cap there is a chance of people getting shocked/electrocuted and DirecTV would have been liable.

    Although I personally can't see many people using an AM21 with the H25 since it's about 4 times as big.
     
  7. Jun 3, 2011 #127 of 250
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I think you're only about halfway right, Mr. Stalker. H25 compatibility is certainly part of the equation, but their is still some residual demand in markets with no locals. As I said several pages ago, DIRECTV could have simply sent those people to eBay for used AM21s but they didn't. They decided to build new hardware. They didn't spend a boatload of money on engineering the case, but they did deliver a new device instead of relying on the secondary market.
     
  8. Jun 3, 2011 #128 of 250
    raoul5788

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    The lack of a scan feature would be moot for most if they bothered to update their database to accommodate new channels. WTIC in Hartford added AntennaTV as a subchannel January 1st. Directv has yet to add it to the database. When I emailed them about it they first claimed it was an analog low power station. Then they tried blaming Tribune, but that was wrong too, since it's in the Zap2it listings. Finally they told me to call about it. That was another waste of time!
     
  9. Jun 3, 2011 #129 of 250
    aa9vi

    aa9vi Godfather

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    BINGO! Right on cue. We just hashed this whole argument out for the 10th time in the last year 2 or 3 weeks ago just like I predicted.

    WHEN WILL DIRECTV GET THE POINT? We need the scan enabled. If you can't do that then at least synchronize with Tribune Media's guide every 2 weeks. You can always put in "Regular Programming" if you want to conserve guide info on rarely watched channels. This isn't difficult.

    DUH?

    See you back here in another 3 weeks for the next thread about the same thing yet once again. DirecTV Engineering, How many ways can you spell TONE DEAF? :)
     
  10. Jun 3, 2011 #130 of 250
    Carl Spock

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    One way would be FOE AT END.
     
  11. Jun 3, 2011 #131 of 250
    aa9vi

    aa9vi Godfather

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    Douglas, I think you are missing that ATT U-Verse, Comcast, FIOS, and Time Warner all have OTA subchannels on their digital tiers. Many of them on their free QAM signals for anyone who gets a cable modem through them. So, the cable providers are providing something DirecTV does not. Dish has an ideal OTA accessory that DirecTV should have.

    So, when looking at increasing your customer base, don't you want to say, yes, we offer at least the same as if not more than our competitors? Don't you want to brag you have more HD then they do? The current DirecTV shAM-21 holds them back from saying we have so many more HD channels (and SD channels for that matter, too). Why not use the OTA as a way to pad your brag list?

    Then there are those in markets where it is unprofitable to launch another bird for the locals. Well, why not have a good solution for them too. At some point the subscriber growth will plateau and you'll have to look at what you may consider too small to care about markets for growth. Collectively they do add up.

    Market it right and you reap the benefits. Please consider explaining this to your manager if you work for DirecTV.
     
  12. Jun 3, 2011 #132 of 250
    CCarncross

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    Noone NEEDS this OTA and the ability to scan for channels that dont make the database for your zip...many WANT it, and apparently aren't ever going to give it a rest....:beatdeadhorse:
     
  13. Jun 3, 2011 #133 of 250
    raoul5788

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    No one NEEDS Directv either. What's your point? If you don't really care, don't post about it. Let those of us that do care continue to discuss it.
     
  14. Jun 3, 2011 #134 of 250
    aa9vi

    aa9vi Godfather

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    How about another way of looking at it... How many of you out there would pay $75-$100 for an AM-22 that scans for channels?

    Mark me down for 2.
     
  15. Jun 3, 2011 #135 of 250
    tkrandall

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    Me too.

    I wish DirecTV could see the advantage and appeal of having a product offering that would allow the customer to view all his receivable OTA channel offerings (not a remotely managed sub set, but all) through a single box: the DirecTV receiver or DVR for OTA.

    While OTA reception is not core to what DirecTV does, neither is being able to watch youtube or pics from my computer on my receiver either.

    Having a product that makes it easy for the customer to tune and even record all the available OTA channels without having to have multiple connection to his TV, having to switch input modes on the TV and/or Home Theater system and not have to split the antenna input to both the DVR and the TV would only ENHANCE the DirecTV product.

    Finally, from the engineer pride-in-your-work side of me I cannot understand why they would prefer this "klugey" database restricted model, versus a more elegant solution in keeping with industry norms that allows scanning and manual setup. I suppose that gets under my skin as much as anything.
     
  16. Jun 3, 2011 #136 of 250
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    And as I said, it would be great but I suspect it's a matter of cost benefit. The database-restricted model, as you call it, allows them to use a single source for guide data and to have some degree of confidence in that source.

    I think of it this way. Without knowing the exact number of OTA users, let's shoot WAY high and say it's 10% of all DIRECTV subscribers.

    Now, in general, how many DIRECTV customers are super-techs like the people in this forum? Let's say that 50% of the super-techs have registered here. That's high, but still, let's say. Since our membership historically has been about 50% DIRECTV and 50% dish, those 50%s cancel out and we can say 85,000 super-techie satellite watchers exist.

    If the proportion of OTA users among super-techs is the same as in the regular DIRECTV population, that puts the number of OTA super-techs at about 8,500.

    So 8,500 out of 20 million subscribers... meaning that subchannels and full coverage is important to roughly .05% of the DIRECTV population. 99.95% of the subscribers by my admittedly fuzzy math are either ok without OTA or ok with the OTA they get.

    Of course it's all made up numbers, but I have some reason to believe it's not that far off.
     
  17. Jun 3, 2011 #137 of 250
    Beerstalker

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    I agree, but like I said I think the new design (AM21N) was specifically because of the H25.

    If they were only making them to meet demand for markets without locals via Sat they could have just made another run of the old design (AM21).

    I'm just a little suprised they didn't re-do the case to make it match the HR24/HR34 case designs though (AM24?). Then if someone was using a HR21-23 they could buy the AM21, if they were using an HR24/34 they would get the AM24.

    I doubt many people would use the AM2x with the H25 or any non-dvr for that matter, as if you are just wanting to watch OTA live you can just as easily use the OTA tuner in your TV rather than spend the money on the AM2x.
     
  18. Jun 3, 2011 #138 of 250
    raoul5788

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    That could very well be, but realistically, how much would it cost them to reprogram the AM21 to scan? It's a one time thing. I doubt it would take more than a couple of hours of code writing to accomplish. Failing that, at least keep the database of stations up to date. They have failed miserably in that regard.
     
  19. Jun 3, 2011 #139 of 250
    Beerstalker

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    Not sure it would be that easy to rewrite the code. Although maybe they could go back to the code from the H20 and use it as a starting point.

    As far as keeping the database of channels up to date many of us don't think that it is a problem of them failing to do so, or not feeling like doing it. We think that they are to the point where they don't have room to add the data at all.

    It seems to me that the point in time where they seemed to start getting bad about adding new OTA channels to the database, and actually started removing low power channels from the database, occurred right around the same time that channel logos, show logos, and more in depth program info and parental ratings were added to the guide. I'm wondering if that didn't take up a lot more room than they originally thought it would and they decided to sacrifice OTA info in order to keep this expanded info for Sat channels.
     
  20. Jun 3, 2011 #140 of 250
    raoul5788

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    That's the first explanation I have heard that makes sense.
     

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