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How Can we Lobby Tivo to support information for QAM Tuners?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Rocko62580, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Nov 20, 2006 #21 of 165
    Saxion

    Saxion Substantive Member

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    San Diego
    QAM is QAM. The "clear" part simply means it's unencrypted. If a TiVo can receive a given digital channel using a CableCard, and that channel is sent unencrypted, then by definition it can also receive the same channel without a CableCard.

    The issues you are describing seem related to how some tuners handle the automatic mapping of physical channel numbers (like 79.3) to virtual channel numbers (like 803). Some tuners do a better job than others at handling the optional "PSIP" data that can be included in the channel data stream to describe this mapping, but oftentimes the PSIP data is missing entirely. But that just proves our point...a manual method of mapping clear QAM physical channels into virtual channels would fix all of this.
     
  2. Nov 20, 2006 #22 of 165
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    Hartsville, SC
    I would think that the S3 would attempt to revert back to the analog equivalent if there was no signal on the QAM channel.
     
  3. Nov 20, 2006 #23 of 165
    Saxion

    Saxion Substantive Member

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    San Diego
    But I don't lobby against the features you want. I see the value in adding features that benefit different segments of the TiVo user base, even ones that don't concern me. It grows the subscriber base, and keeps TiVo afloat. Can you be big enough to do the same?
     
  4. Nov 20, 2006 #24 of 165
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

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    Mountain...
    The problem's already been solved. The solution you want is not a good one. Also I'm not lobbying against it, I'm just pointing out its not a good solution, and there's a good one out there already.
     
  5. Nov 20, 2006 #25 of 165
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

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    Mountain...
    There would probably be a signal on the QAM channel. It'd be something else, which would annoy the user no end when it starts recording the wrong programs.
     
  6. Nov 20, 2006 #26 of 165
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    Hartsville, SC
    That happens now in the S2 units. Many times guide data has been wrong and I've had to search for an alternate showing to get a show. It's no different. Also I would think that QAM channels would be limited in number and not likely to assigned to another network at a whim. It's more likely the QAM channel would just be static or whatever the digital equivalent is if it was no longer valid.
     
  7. Nov 20, 2006 #27 of 165
    pjschaffer

    pjschaffer New Member

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    Dec 18, 2002
    That's really dependant upon your cable system. Cox in Orange County, CA was moving stuff all over the map for a year as they implemented digital simulacasting of all the analog channels. This has slowed down now that the conversion is complete but it still happens occasionally.

    I do understand how what you're asking could be useful to some, it just doesn't likely that TiVo would implement it as a feature if they can't be reasonably confident of up to date QAM mappings. The downside to TiVo of recording the wrong show because the QAM mappings changed is much greater than the upside to the limited number of advanced users this would benifit.
     
  8. Nov 20, 2006 #28 of 165
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Not for QAM.
    All Tivo has for cable channels is a channel number.
    The relation from that to frequency and subchannel are a function of the cablecard, although it could manually be mapped, and depencing, maybe even mapped without CC, if the data is there in the clear, and Cablelabs will allow access to it.
     
  9. Nov 20, 2006 #29 of 165
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

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    Mountain...
    Its very different. The guide data is right, you tell it to find the channel in the wrong place, you get annoyed at TiVo.
    Why would you think that? There are 120 or so channels you can have, each one of those can have an unlimited number of subchannels. Its not actually the QAM channel you're concerned about, its the QAM sub channel. I've seen at least 78 sub channels on one channel, it may be over 100 in some cases. There are at least 500 channels on my system, if you want to find a particular channel, you have to look through all of them.
    It depends entirely on the operator. I hear my cable system is quite fond of changing them around. There's no reason why they shouldn't. This is not published information, its just a configuration for the cable company to use as it sees fit, and the cable card is the way they smooth this over for the user. If you want to do agressive bandwidth management swapping the subchannels around could make a lot of sense.
    The channel will still be there, they just put something else on it. If it s clear, it can be recorded. If its not clear, it'll record blank.
     
  10. Nov 20, 2006 #30 of 165
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

    5,178
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    Hartsville, SC
    I was under the impression that QAM would be limited to broadcast stations only. Everything else would be encrypted. Is that wrong?
     
  11. Nov 20, 2006 #31 of 165
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

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    Mountain...
    Every thing on cable is QAM. Some is broadcast in the clear, some is encrypted. When I scanned the QAM channels with my S3 it found all 500 channels, I had to go find the ones which were in the clear.

    QAM doesn't mean unencrypted.
     
  12. Nov 20, 2006 #32 of 165
    Scopeman

    Scopeman 2 x Basic Roamio

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    Oct 22, 2002
    Central Texas
    I am very surprised to find a thread on this topic.

    I live in Austin, TX where we get about locals in the clear via QAM as part of "life-line" cable ($13/month).

    I sent Tivo a "Lineup Error" report listing the QAM channels and the correct mapping, using this URL:
    http://tivo.instancy.com/external/LineUpForm.aspx

    Tivo called our local TW office and got the mapping confirmed, and then updated the channels in the guide to show the same schedule as the comparable OTA channels. Took about 2 to 3 weeks total.

    Why would this option not work for all other markets with clear QAM?
     
  13. Nov 20, 2006 #33 of 165
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    QAM is a modulation scheme and is short for Quadrature Amplitude Modulation. There are many different types of QAM modulation schemes but most cable companies these days use QAM 256 for digital cable transmission. For analog channels it's an entirely different modulation scheme following NTSC standards.

    In any case, QAM has nothing to do with encryption. As stated you can have some digital channels that are encrypted and some that are not. "Clear QAM" is a shorthand to describe digital cable channels that are unencrypted, and typically at least the HD local transmissions are usually re-transmitted by the cable company unencrypted.

    The crux of this thread is that if Tivo provided a way of us telling it which channels in the guide lineup map to the specific QAM channel-subchannels then one would not have to subscribe to digital cable or need to rent cablecards to tune these channels which could result in significant savings/month on your cable bill. As it is right now without cablecards you can setup manual recordings for these channels but cannot associate them to guide channels and hence no season passes etc. are possible.
     
  14. Nov 20, 2006 #34 of 165
    mportuesi

    mportuesi As seen on TV

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    San...
    There are several known bugs in the Series 3 software, such as audio dropouts, toxic broadcasts and partial recordings. Plus, there's the known bugs in the latest 8.1 release that hit S2 units and will be hitting S3 before long.

    Personally I'd rather Tivo fix these bugs in their software before implementing features such as QAM channel remapping. QAM remapping is:

    1) unnecessary (get CableCARD),
    2) useful to a very few technically savvy users,
    3) is confusing and contrary to the simple Tivo end-user experience, and
    4) is likely to result in lots of complaints and customer service issues for Tivo.

    And that's not even including missing features like MRV and eSATA, which most S3 owners (including myself) would much rather see.
     
  15. Nov 20, 2006 #35 of 165
    hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

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    SF Bay Area...
    Well stated, mportuesi, I agree. Two cablecards are only $1.50/mo. here with Comcast and when multistream cards are available it should be no cost.
     
  16. Nov 20, 2006 #36 of 165
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    Once again I must re-iterate: Cablecards are not the only extra cost involved. In order to get cablecards you must also subscribe to digital cable which is pretty significant cost on your monthly bill. If all you care about in digital lineup are the unencrypted digital channels then you could save a bundle per month by not getting digital cable service and not renting cablecards. For me that would mean about $17/month in savings on cable bill.
     
  17. Nov 20, 2006 #37 of 165
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

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    Mountain...
    My channels are all digital. If I dropped down to $14 basic cable, I think (but haven't tested this), I'd be able to keep the cards to access them.
     
  18. Nov 20, 2006 #38 of 165
    jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

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    Sorry, but that's not a good solution - most cable companies will not even rent the CableCARDs to you in the first place if you don't already have a digital package.

    The people that want this feature don't want to have to add $40-$70/month to their cable bill to record unencrypted stations using their Tivo.

    This is an advanced feature - those that understand it will understand that they will have to check the mappings from time to time, unless/until Tribune starts tracking/providing this data.
     
  19. Nov 20, 2006 #39 of 165
    jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

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    Denver area
    In theory, yes.

    But I doubt many cable companies have their back-end systems set up to allow this (e.g. set your cards to authorize only the unencrypted, in the clear, broadcasts).
     
  20. Nov 20, 2006 #40 of 165
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

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    Tualatin,...
    I don't think that's true in my area.

    At any rate I know for sure that you can get $10 basic cable then add a premium like HBO (supported thru cablecard) without getting digital cable. I think it's an FCC rule that MSOs must offer premiums without requiring digital cable.
     

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