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Is anyone ACTUALLY recording in-the-clear QAM Channels with the S3?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Dajad, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Dajad

    Dajad New Member

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    Oct 7, 1999
    Toronto
    Thanks to the helpful advice of fellow members, I determined through this thread that I have more than 30 in-the-clear standard definition QAM channels available for manual recordings along with the 70ish analogue channels.

    Is anyone having success at manual recordings of QAM channels with the S3?

    Hows it going? Any anecdotes you'd wish to share?

    Will several episodes of a repeating manual recording save in a common folder?

    Can/does the TiVo access the PSIP information to label the show in "Now Playing"?

    When I first moved back to Canada a few years ago I used my S1 in manual mode for years before "alternative" methods became available. So, recording manual channels is something I'm used to doing. I think that until OTA-HD guide data becomes available through Tribune to TiVo, I may very well use the S3 with only analogue and manual QAM channel recording capaibility.

    That is assuming others are having success doing this?

    ...Dale
     
  2. MickeS

    MickeS New Member

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    Dec 26, 2002
    AZ
    "I think that until OTA-HD guide data becomes available through Tribune to TiVo, I may very well use the S3 with only analogue and manual QAM channel recording capaibility."

    Not to derail the thread, but I'd be pissed if I was you and paid a subscription to TiVo for providing guide data, and they didn't do it...

    I hope the Series 3 will be able to handle QAM mapping soon... but I doubt it...
     
  3. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    If you don't mind paying $800 plus $7-$13 per month for basically VCR functionality then go for it. Although I think if I were you I'd probably just hold out until TiVo at least gets OTA data for your area.

    Dan
     
  4. Dajad

    Dajad New Member

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    Oct 7, 1999
    Toronto
    Hey Dan, I still have my one-time grandfathered lifetime transfer right. So I won't have to pay monthly fees. Indeed, as per this thread , that is one of the SEVERAL reasons I'm skipping a dual-tuner S2 and jumping straight to the S3 - I refuse to pay monthly fees, I need a new TiVo to replace a glitchy Series 1, and I am willing to go through the early adopter agony (and price tag) so long as I'm getting SOMETHING of valye out of the box - until cablecards or OTA-HD works here (or I return stateside).

    ...Dale
     
  5. rickertk

    rickertk Not quite new Member

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Suburban...
    My Cablecards are supposed to be installed on Saturday, so I've been using manual recordings of the clear QAM channels. I had already mapped the local broadcast networks HD (and SD subchannels) since my LG LCD TV has a QAM tuner, so it was just a matter of confirming the channel numbers and setting up repeating recordings. So far, that works as well as you might expect. The only quirk is that it sometimes wants to set up the same recording on both tuners (especially if you add padding to a single instance or do other changes to the recording options).The duplicate copies can be deleted from the To-Do list with no problems. I don't have any recordings of the same timeslot twice now, but I don't think it groups them. I have no PSIP data over QAM, so there's no interpretation of that.

    Keith
     
  6. Dajad

    Dajad New Member

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    Oct 7, 1999
    Toronto
    Thanks Keith, when you say you "already mapped the local broadcast networks" what do you mean. I thought we couldn't do any manual mapping of in-the-clear QAM signals? Also, how do these channels show up? For instance if I want to set up a recording of a QAM channel from 8:00 to 9:00 each Tuesday (House) are the "channels" given a number of some kind? How did you know what the number was?

    As I understand it when you say you have a cable line up the S3 will somehow scan for in-the-clear digital stations, but I'm not sure how it reports those stations back to you? Can you give a few examples.

    Many thanks.

    ...Dale
     
  7. John949

    John949 basic cable

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Orange...
    I have basic analog cable but I am recording several HDTV shows off the major networks each week. The recordings are working great. Of course there is no guide info to go with the channels. My Now Playing list just has a bunch of dates/times/channels. No titles are listed for these recordings. I am happy with the hardware but not so happy with the Tivo software/service.
     
  8. rickertk

    rickertk Not quite new Member

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Suburban...
    What I mean by already mapping is that I and my wife had sat down with the LG TV and it's QAM tuner and figured out which channel number was which HD station (110-1 = our local CW station, 119-1 = PBS HD, 119-3 = PBS SD, 119-2 = CBS HD, etc.) The S3 and my LG TV are using the same channel numbers for the frequencies, so I just set up a manual recording for 110-1 Tuesday nights 8-9 to get Gilmore Girls. I can provide more details, but I'm not entirely sure what more you might want.

    Keith
     
  9. Dajad

    Dajad New Member

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    Oct 7, 1999
    Toronto
    John, do you have any repeating recordings, eg: every Tuesday on Chanel X from 8:00 till 9:00. If so, do they put these identical shows into their own folder ... that would be ideal so, for instance, if I recorded an weeks worth of Charlie Rose through a manual recording they'd all show up in one folder. Makes sense to me.

    ...Dale
     
  10. Dajad

    Dajad New Member

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    Oct 7, 1999
    Toronto
    THanks Keith, that's exactly what I wanted to know ... except, does the weekly Gilmore Girls so recorded get put into a folder with prior-weeks recordings or do repeating manual recordings just get tossed into the one long Now Playing menu without any foldering for repeat shows?

    ...Dale
     
  11. rickertk

    rickertk Not quite new Member

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Suburban...
    As I said in my earlier post, I don't have two copies of any particular repeating recordings on hand - I've had the S3 for just over a week, and have already watched the first few manual recordings on it. So I don't know if there's any grouping of manual recordings with no guide data. I'm supposed to get my Cablecards installed on Saturday; if that doesn't work or the installer doesn't show, then I might be able to answer the question.

    Keith
     
  12. greenstork

    greenstork New Member

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    Apr 5, 2006
    Why is there no guide data for these QAM channels? I don't really understand what QAM is really but if I had to guess, I'd say that it's just cable over the cable line, before it hits a STB or CableCARD. It includes some digital, some analong, mostly SD, but HD locals are required by the FCC over QAM. Do I have it about right?

    Aren't we paying for guide service from TiVo? I mean, what the heck are all of the monthly fees if we can't get a channel guide for certain tuners.

    There should be a channel guide for OTA, correct?

    My Tivo arrives today so please forgive the noob questions.
     
  13. Dajad

    Dajad New Member

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    Oct 7, 1999
    Toronto
    "Do I have it about right?"

    Not exactly, on my ditigal cable tier, there are some 30+ in-the-clear QAM signals available. Some correspond to OTA analogue stations. Most do not. Every cable company seemingly chooses based on some unknown criteria which are there and which aren't. But more fundamentally, the cable company chooses where in the cable spectrum to carry the channel. TiVo has no ability to know where in that spectrum that channel will be carried. And it can change at the whim of the cable-co.

    So, yes, TiVo will know, based on the zip code you provide, what local stations should be on the cable, but they won't know WHERE on the spectrum they are nor will they know which are in-the-clear and which are not.

    ...Dale
     
  14. woodie

    woodie New Member

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    Feb 7, 2005
    Menlo Park, CA
    I had success recording movies from StarsHD, while there was a promo, and they were in-th-clear.
    I am thinking about pulling my cards this weekend to record Battlestar Ggallactica in HD from UHD,
    which in not mapped by the cablecard. UHD is no longer available when the card are installed.
     
  15. greenstork

    greenstork New Member

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    Apr 5, 2006
    So is it safe to say that QAM is a neglected stepchild of cable co.'s, only in existence because of some FCC mandate? It doesn't sound like there's a lot of effort to make this tuner stream usable.
     
  16. rickertk

    rickertk Not quite new Member

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    Suburban...
    QAM is how all digital cable channels on your cable stream are carried (some encrypted, some not). However, the cable company digital cable boxes have a table that translates the user-entered channel number (which is what they make available to the public) into the direct QAM frequency. Say, on my system Channel 240 becomes 119-1. Chanel 435 becomes 79-17 (or something like that). With a Series3 Tivo, the CableCard can also do that, and so you can get interpretable guide data for the digital channels. Without a Cablecard, you can tune any unencrypted channels, but there's no good mechanism for figuring out which digital frequency corresponds to which published channel number.

    Keith
     
  17. greenstork

    greenstork New Member

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    Apr 5, 2006
    I think I'm getting it now. It's more like a raw tuner stream, with some encrypted content and some "in-the-clear" channels. To really interpret which frequency belongs to which channel, and decode it in some cases, you need some cable company device like a STB or a CC.

    The way cable companies manages the frequencies in this raw stream is entirely up to them, as long as their STBs and CCs can figure it out.

    So why can't you map a QAM channel on the TiVo, like tell it that this QAM frequency is NBC and let it acquire use what it knows to be the NBC Comcast guide data for my geographic area?

    Seeing as how I'm actually going to acquire two CableCARDs, I guess I shouldn't be all that concerned, but I'm just curious, and thanks to those who have responded already.
     
  18. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    Why would you have to pull the cards? Can't you just set a manually recording for the QAM channel that is UHD? Why is this different whether the cards are installed or not?

    Edit: just saw your thread about loosing some QAM with CC installed. strange
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=4424404&&#post4424404

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=4427652
     
  19. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    Software currently doesn't have that feature is all. Hopefully that will change.
     
  20. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    Sep 21, 2004
    Adding this feature is not that complicated. Since you tell it which cable system you use during setup, it already knows what channels you can get (just with QAM some will be encrypted). So the guide data will be there. Just in the case of in the clear qam, you will get less channels than using a cable card but the channels you do get will already have the guide data. The only issue is if TiVo is going to add this feature or whether they never will. It should be an easy question to answer, but in the great TiVo tradition, we will probably never get a straight answer for a long time.
     

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