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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 #41 of 165
    mportuesi

    mportuesi As seen on TV

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    Nov 10, 2002
    San...

    I don't subscribe to digital cable, but I do have CableCARD. I get HD channels, and digital simulcast for the analog ones.

    In my neck of the woods (Comcast San Francisco), you can get CableCARD without subscribing to digital cable, which will get you the locals in HD:

    HDTV - Limited Basic

    702 KTVU-2 (FOX) HD
    703 KNTV-HDTV
    704 KRON-HD
    705 KPIX-(CBS)
    707 KGO-HDTV
    709 KQED-HDTV

    HDTV - Digital Classic

    719 InDemand - HD
    720 FSNBA (Check Listings For Times)
    722 Discovery - HD
    723 ESPN - HD
    724 ESPN 2 HD
    725 HD Special Events
    726 TNT HD

    Note that the local stations do NOT require Digital Cable service. All they require is CableCARD for $1.50 a month. This is the exact same lineup you would get if Tivo gave you QAM mapping.
     
  2. Nov 20, 2006 #42 of 165
    jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area

    Sorry, I was being overly simplistic. The mapping would still be simple, just a table created from the existing channel list.
     
  3. Nov 20, 2006 #43 of 165
    jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

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    Denver area
    You are pretty lucky if you can get HD versions of ESPN, ESPN2 and TNT without an underlying package. That's not supposed to happen - which is probably why most cable companies require you to get a digital package.
     
  4. Nov 20, 2006 #44 of 165
    ashu

    ashu User title defunct

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    Nov 8, 2002
    MD
    Precisely. You only still have them because your market's cable head-end folks don't know better. Goa dvertising it on *some* forums, and it will be noticed and disabled. Happened in the DC area in some Comcast neighborhoods.
     
  5. Nov 21, 2006 #45 of 165
    jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    For anyone that understands what QAM mapping is, it's not confusing at all. The Sony DHG box does it and it is trivial - no reason the S3 can't do the same. Would I like to see other features have a higher priority over this? Sure.
     
  6. Nov 21, 2006 #46 of 165
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    I would venture to say this is an exception, not the rule. I asked my cable company about dropping digital cable and keeping the cablecards and they said that's not possible. Some in this forum have stated in the past you can just cancel digital service and hope they don't ask for the cablecards back and don't notice the "strange" configuration of the account with cablecard charges and no digital cable service. In any event that seems like a questionable way to keep things setup at best and I wouldn't want to count on that to continue working unchallenged.

    I agree this should not have priority over bug fixes, MRV, TTG, etc. but to totally discount it as a worthless request when there are clearly many who want and understand the implications of it is going too far.
     
  7. Nov 21, 2006 #47 of 165
    mportuesi

    mportuesi As seen on TV

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    Nov 10, 2002
    San...
    Please go back and read what I wrote. The "Limited Basic" channels do not require digital cable. The "Digital Classic" channels do. The "Limited Basic" channels are exactly the same ones you would get through clear QAM channel remapping.
     
  8. Nov 21, 2006 #48 of 165
    Saxion

    Saxion Substantive Member

    485
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    Sep 17, 2006
    San Diego
    If you are able to get CableCards on "Limited Basic" service, then you are very lucky. I guarantee this is not how things work in my neck of the woods, because I asked. I have to subscribe to some sort of digital programming (HBO, HDTV, etc) to get a CableCard.

    THANKS to all of you who put in this feature request!
     
  9. Nov 21, 2006 #49 of 165
    MScottC

    MScottC Member

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    Sep 11, 2004
    I too am for a "backdoor" or "advanced user" option, where one is warned of all the pitfalls of Manual QAM Mapping. Given all the potential pitfalls involved in mapping, especially the work involved in setting up the mapping, and the potential of headend changes screwing up that most important recording, this is a function that could ruin the "user experience" for all but the more tech savvy users.

    I really do wonder, if one of the cablelab requirements imposed on TiVo is the use of CCs in order to find/tune and use the channels. I too, am in a market where they mandate buying the digital tier and an additional outlet fee in order to rent 2 cable cards at $1.50/month. I won't know what my total bill will be for another 10 or so months, as the good folks at Comcast put me (unbeknownst to me till I got my first bill since the CC install) a promotion for Digital Silver for a year. If my bill goes up horrendously at the end of this promotion, I too may be wishing for QAM mapping in order to record the three major networks, which quite frankly make up the vast majority of what my wife and I watch.
     
  10. Nov 21, 2006 #50 of 165
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    Martinsville...
    I'm not really against it. In fact I hope it becomes supported if the S3 supports MRV soon. I'd love to have a second S3 in the bedroom wher I can go when my wife is using the main TV for shows that don't appeal top me. This second TV would not need the cablecards.

    My real point is that there are unresolved issues with QAM tuners. These issues may be chip, firmware, etc related. At this point we can't really say that cable companies are not a partial cause. These may be some techical reason why the S3 chipset cannot even detect all clear QAM channels.

    It would be nice if Tivo would say whether or not there is an issue with the S3, with the cable companies, etc and say whether thsi feature can be added without rewtiting significant pieces of code. Remember analog channels are self defined by their frequency. The Tivo was designed to get digital cable channel numbers from the cablecard. Maybe they didn't foresee or dismissed the desire for manual mapping of QAM channels. Maybe there is a technical reason why the S3 can't detect and/or can't manually assign clear QAM channels.

    It would be nice for them to say something on the matter.
     
  11. Nov 21, 2006 #51 of 165
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    Hear, Hear!

    How many hear think that cable operations are properly set up everywhere? Anywhere? We just recently got TCM in stereo here. The instalations techs are system techs are given only enough info to make the system work and rarely have time to do anything beyond that!
     
  12. Nov 21, 2006 #52 of 165
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    11,134
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    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    Before I got cablecards my S3 was able to tune to all unencrypted QAM channels. A scan did not find them all but since I keep track of the unencrypted channels with a QAM capable PC tuner card I know exactly where they are and could directly tune them and then add them to the channel lineup. The only thing missing is a means of manually associating them with guide channels.
     
  13. Nov 21, 2006 #53 of 165
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    Martinsville...
    Sounds to me like your S3 could not find all of the clear QAM channels by itself. All mine found was about 16 versions of channel "0."
     
  14. Nov 21, 2006 #54 of 165
    ashu

    ashu User title defunct

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    Nov 8, 2002
    MD
    (moyekj & vstone) That is VERY odd. Mine found all (100+) QAM-in-the-clear channels, including the 4 local HD OTAs, PBS, a few inDemand/PPV 'channels' currently active and a plethora of MusicChoice channels (with a background album art/poop-up video thing) and another plethora of sound-only music channels.

    Every single one that my HDTV's QAM tuner also found.
     
  15. Nov 21, 2006 #55 of 165
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    That's why I think that cable head-end setups are part of the problem.

    Some S3's have no problems, some have some problems, some have lots of problems. It would be interesting to see if we could correlate problems to one or more specific cable companies (although it's more likely to be specific to a cable system than a cable company) and/or one of more pieces of head-end equipment make/model. It might be that the only way to address this area is for the FCC to pressure the cable companies and opencable labs to look into this and fix what needs to be fixed.

    Sounds like the S3 doesn't have a problem with properly setup cable systems, but it could just be that the S3 was not tested against a wide variety of cable systems and/or head-end equipment.

    I don't expect a quick resolution, but it would be nice for Tivo to acknowledge the issue and suspected causes.
     
  16. Nov 21, 2006 #56 of 165
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    Apr 13, 2004
    Hartsville, SC
    I got that, but what btwyx was saying suggested that an unlimited set of Clear QAM channels would be available. My contention was that it would likely be a limited set based on local broadcast HD stations only. Currently there are what, four major networks and two minor plus independents? Granted in a densely populated area like DC this might add up to a lot, but for most of the country we are talking at most maybe 10 stations. Currently in my area with a good roof mounted antennae I can get ABC, CBS, Fox, CW, PBS, and NBC (Maybe). Unfortunately I don't have a good roof mounted aerial, so I only get CBS and ABC without cable. Still I don't think TW is going to give me anything other than locals without making me pay more.
     
  17. Nov 21, 2006 #57 of 165
    woodie

    woodie New Member

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    Feb 7, 2005
    Menlo Park, CA
    Until recently, I had a cable trap that filtered out out 35-66. My Series 2 was able to record 68 SciFi, but my Series3 (with cablecards) was not.. channel 68 was blocked. I also noticed that the series 3 was able to tune some of the analog channels that were filtered out, like 48 Bravo, 56 CNN, 65 Court TV, because the cablecards were remapping a digital to the lower channel number.

    Now that I have extended basic, I can tell that most of the lower channels are now digital (remapped QAM channel, replacing the same analog channel). My recordings from 15 Discovery, 68 SciFi, 63 Comedy Central and 37 TNT are of a superior quality to what I would see from my Pioneer 810H, with component video out.

    Cablecards make most of your channels look really good, they are simple to install (in my experience), and they are extremely inexpensive (for me: first one free, second one $1.50/mo), so if you have cable and a Series 3, get the cablecards.
     
  18. Nov 21, 2006 #58 of 165
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    You are assuming that you have digital versions of the analog channels. I do not. However, the S3's MPEG processing on the analog channels also works very well.
     
  19. Nov 21, 2006 #59 of 165
    gbrown

    gbrown New Member

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    Oct 31, 2006
    Another way to do this is to split the cable. I run one side into my Bravia and the other into my S3. That allows me to watch a QAM encoded HiDef channel on the TV while I record 2 other channels on my TiVo.

    The Bravia does a fine job of tuning any and all digital channels. Albeit it takes 30 to 50 minutes to tune and then anothe 30 to 60 minutes deleating the digital audio and unwanted (shopping for me) channels.
     
  20. Nov 21, 2006 #60 of 165
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

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    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I only said there's potentially unlimited number of QAM channels, up till them you never mentioned "clear", that's one difference in what you're saying.

    Also its not just HD stations which are in clear QAM, its all the basic cable stations for me. That's all the broadcast stations, all the crap stations (home shopping, local access etc) and the lowest tier of the good channels (CNN, Discovery, Travel, etc).

    There were about 60 clear QAM (sub) channels on my system when I looked.

    I can't remember if the music channels were clear, if they were, there were another 100-200 clear QAM channels to look through.
     

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