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Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Rocko62580, Nov 19, 2006.
Huh... has Comcast become so large that their local branches have developed their own personalities?
Really! I stand corrected. Good for them.
But that doesn't guarantee that the the cable system encyrtption is set up that way, whether or not on purpose.
Just want to chime in that I am another potential S3 owner who is on the fence solely because of the QAM issue. I couldn't give a rats ass about MRV or TTG. I care about where my money goes. Just because a person can afford something doesn't mean "just pay it" is always the most prudent or easiest choice.
I'm on Cox in NoVa. They broadcast all locals in the clear on QAM. They require a "digital gateway" fee PER CABLECARD ($6.95 for the first, $5.95 for additional), plus a $2 rental fee. They also require a service upgrade to their "digital basic" tier of service for $9.95 per month. I've talked to 3 CSRs on the phone, went in to the local office and spoke to a CSR and a manager, and sent several emails to the local regulatory authority. If I want to record 2 HD programs at once with a Tivo S3, I'm gonna have to shell out an extra $26.85+tax ($322+tax/yr).
The cablecard is itself provided at a nominal fee. It is the service that they "require" to use the cablecard that pumps the consumer. Cox uses the same "if you have HDTV/S3 Tivo, you can afford to pay for the cablecard" presumption to justify their greed. It doesn't look any better on TC users than it does on them. Let me decide what is a good use for my money, mkay?
Until the Series3 maps QAM channels like every other consumer device with a QAM tuner (like its an engineering nightmare to program an instruction that says "If guide says 'Record channel 5," then physically record channel 5.1"), one thing I won't be spending my money on is an S3.
I don't know what you're talking about. Local HD channels are not encrypted.
In some regions, unfortunately, some channels that shouldn't be encrypted, are. Someone has to complain to the cable provider &/or the local franhciser/FCC before that is rectified. And as alluded to by vstone ... it isn't necessarily intentional or malicious.
I have Cox too. Are they just the worst here or what? Exorbitant pricing model...they won't give you a CableCard without these service upgrades, but they can still claim that the fee for the CableCard itself is low!
I just heard back from the Town Selectmen. They are forcing the cable company to contact me in regards to this. Will let you know what happens!
Is this implying that unencrypted broadcast digital channels (and all subchannels?) is an FCC mandate?
I have been only giving the wishy-washy "it's a de-facto standard" because I haven't been sure it was an actual requirement.
As I understadn it, at least the main digital channel broadcasts of the national big 4 are required to be free/included/unencrypted.
I just installed my TiVo Series 3 two days ago. Here are the problems I have had so far with relation to trying to access and use basic cable QAM Comcast channels:
1 - When running guided setup and selecting "cable" as the only option and typing in my zip code of "94565", the only channels that show up in the TV Guide once setup is complete are 2-73 in standard definition. No HDTV channels show up by default? (This makes sense because it did not scan for HD digital QAM channels from the cable, which I chase as the option) Why TiVo wouldn't scan digital channels by default on an HD device during setup is beyond me? Maybe it is a bug, or they rushed it out the door or didn't think about it?
2 - In order to see the cable QAM HD channels in the TiVo Guide coming from Comcast basic cable for the big four networks and PBS, you must go into the Settings and scan the digital channels manually. When finished scanning, it does successfully detect all of the un-encrypted HD channels of the big four networks and PBS which I can tune to and watch in HD just fine. This scanning step wasn't obvious to me initially, since the included setup document didn't show this. Here is my basic cable information:
Pittsburg, CA 94565 Comcast Cable (Basic) with local QAM Channels as of 12-1-2006 (Antioch, CA 94531 is also the same):
2-1 (KTVU-HD [FOX] = Ch2)
5-1 (KXTV-HD [CBS] = Ch5)
7-1 (KGO-HD [ABC] = Ch7)
7-2 (Non-HD KGO???)
7-3 (KGO Weather)
9-2 (Non-HD PBS)
11-1 (KNTV-HD [NBC]= Ch11)
11-2 (KNTV Weather)
3 - Now after scanning manually, the channels show up in the guide and I can tune to them successfully, but no Guide data shows up? I assume this is because TiVo doesn't know about these QAM mappings for my zip code for these stations. Another reason I believe it doesn't pick them up is because you have to scan and add channels after having already run Guided Setup (which is when TiVo downloads the channel data for the channels it knows). Since it did not know about the QAM digital channels during setup, it fails to populate the fields properly.
In talking with a TiVo technician after being on hold for over 1.5 hours and getting disconnected twice, I found the following: He explained that the guide data for my zip code for the HD channels I have listed above is not in their system and this is why the Guide Data is not showing up. He put in a request to add the channels to the cable lineup for my zip code and he said it would take about 5 days to complete. He also agreed with me that it should scan for digital channels during setup and he would look into why it was not.
Others have talked about enabling channel mapping or a way to copy the channel guide data of a known channel to that of an unknown. I would be happy with either of these solutions or any other way to link two channels together or maybe simply replace the option to replace the SD channel with an HD channel of choice (like a substitution), since there isn't a need for both SD and HD of the same channel.
Overall, I am very happy with the TiVo Series 3 device. The quality is superb when recording and or playing back TV and the sound is phenomenal when using a 6.1 THX sound system as I am, plus it has the intuitive easy to use 'Wife' approved interface.
I only have the following issues:
1 - The unit rebooted the second day when we were watching TV for an unknown reason around 8:30pm.
2 - The unit does not play the TiVo "sounds" when fast forwarding/rewinding or accessing the Data Guide. (My Series 2 does this just fine as well as my DirecTV Series 2). I am using the Optical digital out connection to my surround receiver, which is the same way my DirecTV unit is connected.
3 - Digital QAM guide data does not exist for any channels scanned? This defeats the purpose of being able to tune QAM channels since you cannot use Season Pass or any other of the features, it basically acts as a high tech VCR at this point in time for these channels.
4 - There is no recycle bin
5 - No MRV or TiVo To Go
6 - eSATA is not usable
I understand this is a new device and I expect many of these fixes with a software update. I will update when/if the guide data gets populated for my QAM channels. If this will not be possible, I will be forced to use cable cards and spend more money monthly which I do not want to do. Sorry this was long winded, but I wanted to get this information out there for other people since many are on the fence and I want everything out in the open. I still recommend this device highly though!
I wonder if those of us who know this stuff should just make it a practice to add the stations, figure out exactly what they are, and then submit them to TiVo...
They've got their Report a Lineup Issue form:
We could just figure it all out, get the exact frequencies, and in the "Any other info" just list them off...
Local HD stations over Cable do not show up in guide data.
QAM Cable Channel 119.2 equals OTA broadcast channel 3.1
QAM Cable Channel 123.2 equals OTA broadcast channel 6.2
I'm open to suggestions/discussion on the best way to present/report this data to TiVo so that we're not giving them too much information but that they know what we're talking about and can get it done for us
Please let me know what happens! This may be the way to get it done, without buying the Cable Card!
Nobody's really followed up on this idea...
Is there any value in reporting our self-discovered QAM channel info to TiVo?
It's not really valuable because:
1. Not all cable providers pass along the PSIP information such that you get the "friendly" channel numbers that look like the OTA counterparts as in the post above.
2. Even for cable providers passing along PSIP information properly there are many other digital channels in the clear without PSIP information. It's expensive for cable companies to manufacture PSIP information themselves so most don't do it.
Without the PSIP information the Tivo has to tune to the RF+sub-channel for tuning which is why manual mapping to guide channels is needed without cablecards.
i would love to see this feature added also.
FWIW... my local broadcast HD stations were easily found on my TV (along with a bunch of digital cable channels)... 110.1 111.1 111.2 118.1 118.2 118.3 118.4 118.5 119.1 119.2 and have all stayed the same for the past 6+ months. I'm going to submit a report to TiVo via the channel lineup report page, and see what happens (c:
Thanks for the pointer ... I plan on doing the above for the ONLY HD channels on my system (the big 4) when I get home tonight.
I meant to do mine last night, and I started going through them to confirm, but I spent most of the night actually rewiring my so-called-entertainment center to hook up the S3, and then Heroes was on...
I'll get to it. I promise!
Though, I think a degree of responsibility comes with this. QAM channels can switch whenever the cable company feels like it, so we have to
- Be aware that TiVo isn't responsible if the channels change and we miss programs
- Be alert to let them know if/when the channels change
With great power comes great responsibility. But I think this is one of those things that could be very useful. I'm still debating whether I want to bother, or just get a good antenna; but I'm gonna report it anyway.
I went to Comcast yesterday in Seattle and they told me I had to get a digital service to get the cards. Although I would rather have more channels in digital since the recording is better.