1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Some good news I hope for all the OTA fans from DirecTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by pjs344, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Jan 12, 2017 #1 of 181
    pjs344

    pjs344 New Member

    26
    2
    May 21, 2014
    Idaho
    On 10/11/17 I chatted with a CSR about getting the truth about the OTA deal and the CSR stated that DirecTV has changed its mind on its ota decision that it made a few years ago to end ota support do to the amount of subscribers interested in it. I guess all the chatter over loosing OTA from the subscribers that have the AM21 and the amount of new local sub channels being advertised on their local stations and that got other subscribers to look into it for more options for there their TV viewing. The CSR stated that a new version of the AM21 is in the works and since TiVo bought out Gracenote with its big TV network guide data base that a new contract was in the works for DirecTV’s network program guide. TiVo also shares its DVR OS/software with DirecTV’s receivers and DVRs. The CSR stated he did not know when a new contact would be signed this year and when the updates would start up again on the existing AM21 listings. But you should see a new OTA tuner offered this year or next year. It would be a smaller usb ota tuner box or stick type that would be 480 SD to 4k UHD.

    Till then you will just have to use Rabittears to populate your missing channels in the guide and to finding your Networks with the corresponding channel numbers. It took me a while to get most of my channels on guide and this is how I got most of my missing channels. I first made a list of all my local sub channels with there corresponding networks that were missing in the guide. Then I did a state by state search on Rabittears and scanned through all the local station channels in each major state/city market. I found some that had my networks on the same sub channels and others I could not. Then I looked up the zips for each city that had the channels I wanted to add to the guide list.

    Hows to add channels to your guide? Run the initial ota setup, put in your main city zip and it scans for channels, than it asks you for a secondary city zip, (you can add as many secondary zips to fill in all your channels as you need to) then it scans again and then it’s completed. The trick is to never change your main city zip or do a reset and only change the secondary city zip. All the secondary zip really does is add channels to the guide list and does not remove or replace channels. You just have to run the initial ota setup each time you change the secondary zip to another city zip. After you have completed your channel updating you can select the channels that you want to be view able on the guide and to match as many networks with their corresponding sub channels. Sometimes a channel or two my disappear during an updating and all you need to do is re-run the zip that the channel is associated with again. If it should happen with the main zip you will need to use another zip(same zip will not work?) from the same city and no secondary zip.
     
  2. Jan 12, 2017 #2 of 181
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    24,116
    356
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    1) On 10/11/17 ? perhaps Jan, 10 ?
    2) this is a dish forum
     
  3. Jan 12, 2017 #3 of 181
    Brandon Wedgeworth

    Brandon Wedgeworth Administrator Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    604
    8
    Jan 6, 2007
    Alabaster, AL
    Moved to DirecTV General Discussion.
     
  4. Jan 12, 2017 #4 of 181
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    8,581
    942
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    While I'd love to believe that's true, the CSRs seem to have inaccurate info about Directv's future plans at least as often as accurate info.

    The claim that "Tivo shares its OS/software with Directv's receivers and DVRs" is most definitely not true.

    Also, Tivo didn't buy out Gracenote, Rovi acquired Tivo. Tivo switched FROM Gracenote's (formerly known as Tribune) to Rovi's guide data as a result of this. Which has been a painful transition for us Tivo owners, as the Rovi guide data is of lower quality than Gracenote's even despite several months of working on things since the transition.

    So based on those two wildly inaccurate statements, I'm going to file this in with "random stuff CSRs say that probably have little or no basis in fact".
     
    Kithron likes this.
  5. Jan 12, 2017 #5 of 181
    SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    2,076
    162
    Dec 28, 2007
    I'm filing it in the obviously "fake news" file. I can guarantee you that if you called in 100 times, the number of CSRs that would have any clue on what OTA or AM21 are would be less then zero. Even when they were selling the AM21, CSRs never heard of 'em. They have absolutely ZERO knowledge about contracts or what hardware or OS is shared between models.
     
  6. Jan 12, 2017 #6 of 181
    dod1450

    dod1450 Legend

    388
    15
    Dec 16, 2009
    Even the technicians that come to the house have no knowledge of the AM-21.
    Will Directv update their TV guide to included the new OTA sub channels?
     
  7. Jan 13, 2017 #7 of 181
    inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    23,961
    1,286
    Nov 13, 2006
    It's not their guide. It's their database for channels. It's currently maxed out and I don't see them rewriting their entire database but who knows. Maybe they will someday because of integrating with Uverse tv subscribers. But I doubt it.
     
  8. Jan 13, 2017 #8 of 181
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,300
    96
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Wishful thinking. Move on.
     
  9. Jan 13, 2017 #9 of 181
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    8,581
    942
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    If they ever do release new OTA hardware, I'd expect they'd make changes to fix the 16 bit TMS ID problem. What would be the point of new hardware if it couldn't access 1/3 of the OTA stations out there (I think TMS IDs in the 90K range nowadays) With the coming repack and then maybe ATSC 3.0, the IDs are only going to mean more stations that can't be accessed via a 16 bit ID.

    If they did, hopefully such a change wouldn't break the OTA from the H20/HR20/AM21, but I guess if they had improved OTA hardware most of us wouldn't care.
     
  10. Jan 13, 2017 #10 of 181
    KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    4,778
    745
    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    They reached 100000 late last year, they're about to, or just did past 102000.

    After the thing was first created, the rise of digital cable started, so providers that use their data starting providing listings for system specific public/educational/government access channels, then a bunch of cable companies requested specific edits for certain channels like ESPN and TBS so blackouts don't show up in the schedule. They also expanded to parts of Europe and Latin America which really drove up the count.

    For the repack they're likely just going to reuse the existing IDs and change the RF number in their data just how they did post-transition and everyone with a digital signal on channels 52-69 moved down and others changed numbers. When you see RF number changes in the OTA database, that's not DirecTV's doing, that's TMS updating their data, the same when a long dormant subchannel becomes active again and is automatically added to the database. (i.e. here last time WNEPDT3 16-3 was active, it was very early on in the digital transition before the OTA database was a thing)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  11. Jan 13, 2017 #11 of 181
    longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    4,170
    212
    Apr 21, 2007
    Elizabeth, CO
    Thank you for the explanation, it always mystified me how the database could be maxed out when the total count of all primary channels, subchannels and even low power transmitters in the US was somewhere around 30,000 (I looked it up once and dont remember the exact number but 30000 is close)
     
  12. Jan 13, 2017 #12 of 181
    SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    2,076
    162
    Dec 28, 2007
    I would. I'd love to get rid of my pizza box and 3 extra cables to free up some space and simplify wiring. Doesn't really make sense to release a new OTA dongle or whatever that doesn't support ATSC 3.0 and that isn't finalized yet.
     
  13. Jan 13, 2017 #13 of 181
    dod1450

    dod1450 Legend

    388
    15
    Dec 16, 2009
    Why not they have all there programmers who are overseas who are doing nothing. Ever sinse ATT purchased Directv it seems that customers are getting less and less products. Just IHPO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  14. Jan 13, 2017 #14 of 181
    KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    4,778
    745
    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    This problem existed long before AT&T was going to purchase DirecTV. (Heck the removal of OTA scanning was done under DirecTV's watch, NOT AT&T's) When the database first started in the mid 00s they were only in the 40000s range (at that point what is AT&T today was still SBC). That 65535 (0xffff) limit was hit at some point in 2009.

    I take it you don't know anything about integers and how they relate to compiled code. Changing a field from a 16 bit integer, 65535 (0xffff) to a 32 bit integer 4294967295 (0xffffffff) isn't trivial, especially when you're working with limited storage and memory. You have to change that value to a 32 bit integer EVERYWHERE it's used in the code, everywhere it's stored in memory, and everywhere it appears in the guide data stream, and once compiled makes the firmware significantly larger and the memory requirements higher. Even though the current possible highest TMS ID is around 102000, those leading zeroes before every number still take space when you store and use the value due to the way it's stored. (i.e. 102000 would be 0x00018E70 or 00 01 8E 70)

    The OTA data comes from the same guide data stream as the satellite channels, it's kind of like additional local channels, but mapped to a RF number instead of a transponder and VPID. So as of now it needs to work from everything as far back as the last few pre-Dx receivers that support the APG data stream to the latest HR54. So if they would have addressed it in 2009, they would have had to modify the firmware for EVERY device that used the APG guide stream, including long forgotten devices like the Phillips DSX series which haven't gotten an actual firmware update since the early 00s, outside of random updates to support the change of daylight savings time. But because of the storage and memory thing involved, that's a non-starter for most of them. Post 2019 when MPEG2 goes away, they'll still need to support the H20, you know that device that didn't even have enough to support the HDUI. Even some of the HR2x's as well as the HR34 might have problems handling it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  15. Jan 13, 2017 #15 of 181
    James Long

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

    47,129
    1,200
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    Are the TMS IDs transmitted OTA? If not, what is their relevance in matching EPG to the received signal?

    DISH uses the OTA transmitted TSID to match the station and a second field to match the subchannel on whatever station is using that TSID. The TMS ID is not part of their data feed.
     
  16. Jan 13, 2017 #16 of 181
    KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    4,778
    745
    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    The TMSID is how they ID the guide data and reference it, not how they match the OTA channels. DirecTV does their matching based on RF, major and/or minor number. It does a scan after you enter the zip codes, so it's able to pick up translators and repeaters as long as they have the same major and minor number of the main station, but it ignores stations not in the database. (This also allows you to do some tricks to get similar guide data using a station in a different market that uses the same number and is affiliated with the same network) With the RF and minor matching it can also pick up some weird cases like WCAU in Philly where WCAUDT3 62-3 is a simulcast of the Atlantic City based Telemundo affiliate, even though the database still has it as 10-3, it appears as 62-3 on the guide. The major/minor matching helps with situations like WNYW and WWOR in NYC where the 5-x and 9-x subchannels are split between both stations and because of Fox not caring to have it fixed with TMS, WWORDT2 9-2 has WWOR's RF number instead of WNYW's RF number.

    They both have their benefits and draw backs. Dish's method depends on the station transmitting the correct TSID with their signal (a bunch of stations don't) as well as their data being mapped to the correct OTA channel numbers. DirecTV's method depends on the stations keeping TMS updated on any changes they make. One benefit for DirecTV is as long as the TMSID is under 65535, it's in the database, which helps with stations that last had subchannels early on in the transition when it was common for stations to have SD simulcasts or a doppler radar on a subchannel (i.e. 16-3 locally which returned as Justice Network last year, the last time it existed was in 2004 when it was a doppler radar, it still had the same TMSID, when Ion added a 4th channel for their O&O stations, it used the same TMSIDs they used when they carried Worship on -4). While it appears Dish just manually adds channels, but at least they scan so any missing channels appear for manual recordings. Also, for DirecTV you're limited to the two DMAs you enter as primary and secondary zip codes (you can stack additional zip codes, although you have to redo it each time you reset), while Dish just matches on TSID no matter which markets you get, so if you are in a sweet spot with access to 3 or more DMAs you can get them. (Although I'm not really sure how well Dish is if you're in a market where stations come from different locations and you have to rotate your antenna to get half the channels) Since Dish uses the TSID, you also can't detect things like repeaters that use the same major/minor numbers unless they are tied to the main station. i.e. translators would work since they use the same TSID as the primary station, but not -LD (Low Power) or -CD (Class A) repeaters which get assigned their own TSIDs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  17. Jan 13, 2017 #17 of 181
    inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    23,961
    1,286
    Nov 13, 2006
    DIRECTV still does their own programing in house here in Los Angeles. This is the same as it's always been, no less product at all for over the air. Heck they cleared out the am21 before att really had any control.
     
  18. Jan 14, 2017 #18 of 181
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    8,581
    942
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    Building a dongle that supports ATSC 3.0 when there are no ATSC 3.0 stations and won't be for several years at least would make no sense. It would use more power (with first gen ATSC 3.0 tuners maybe enough that it can't be powered by the USB port alone) and cost more due to all the patent licenses, which have all expired now for ATSC 1.0. I'd much rather see a cheap ATSC tuner, and they can offer a new one later to do ATSC 3.0 IF stations ever get on board with that.

    Of course, I'm skeptical Directv ever does a new OTA tuner. They seem content to have fee fights and screw the customers over by inserting the X-1 slates in the guide, making OTA less useful even for those who have it.
     
  19. Jan 15, 2017 #19 of 181
    pjs344

    pjs344 New Member

    26
    2
    May 21, 2014
    Idaho
    This has been interesting reading and once I read all the treads. I reviewed the CSR chat again and I guess I was duped by a smooth CSR that chatted like an Aussie. (no worries BS) I wonder if the Aussie CSR theme is common?

    One would wonder why Directv removed the scan option. I don't know what Directv would gain or loose by removing it. If Directv did not wont you to use the unsupported AM21 anymore or use it to manually DVR local programming Directv could of just removed the AM21 from the system.(removed from firmware/software or removed AM21 usb driver on receivers) Maybe the AM21 is embedded in the receivers and can't be removed? Does the AM21 operate independently or in combination with the receivers? Does the AM21 store the tv station data or the receiver? I have heard that some people have accessed the service mode in receivers in the past. But I do not believe an AM21 was connected to know if there was any options for the AM21 to change. I would check myself if I new how to access the service mode in my Genie. I am sure it's a few buttons on the remote or box to access it. Does anyone on here know how?
     
  20. Jan 15, 2017 #20 of 181
    longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    4,170
    212
    Apr 21, 2007
    Elizabeth, CO
    I dont know this for a fact but I think scanning was removed due to support issues. Customers would call in complaining that a channel had no guide data and even if you got a CSR that could properly explain the issue the explanation would go right over the head of most customers.

    Regarding the "service mode" there is not a whole lot you can change. It is a bunch of tests and some status screens. You get to it by pressing buttons on the front of the receiver during boot up but I have forgotten the specifics
     

Share This Page