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Old 11-19-2006, 06:33 PM   #1
Rocko62580
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How Can we Lobby Tivo to support information for QAM Tuners?

So I know we all want Tivo to generate info for the QAM tuner's so we can record season passes on HD channels. But what can we do to Lobby them to hurry this process up?
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:21 PM   #2
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The info for what channel is on what QAM is not given to Tribune, where TiVo gets its guide info from.

QAM layouts are controlled by the individual cable headends.

It would be hard for TiVo to keep any kind of accurate data for this, much less how difficult it would be for them to gather this info from the cable headends.
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:28 PM   #3
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so let me get this straight...as of now, Series 3 Tivo's cannot have season passes on HD channels provided via cable?
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by alaan
so let me get this straight
That would be a really good idea.
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoMonkey
The info for what channel is on what QAM is not given to Tribune, where TiVo gets its guide info from.

QAM layouts are controlled by the individual cable headends.

It would be hard for TiVo to keep any kind of accurate data for this, much less how difficult it would be for them to gather this info from the cable headends.
Not really. All they would need is a feature that would duplicate the regular station. For example, if channel 4 comes in 82.001 on the QAM Tuner, you could tell your Tivo that channel 82.001 is the same as channel 4.
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Redux
That would be a really good idea.

LOL!
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaan
so let me get this straight...as of now, Series 3 Tivo's cannot have season passes on HD channels provided via cable?
No, Tivo will work fine with Season Passes on HD. I am specifically referencing the QAM tuner, (which let's you get HD channels, without paying for HD service.) Hope this makes sense!
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:04 PM   #8
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QAM mapping should not be hard to do - Tivo already has the basic info (mapping station number to frequency).

The Sony DHG boxes have a very easy to use QAM mapping feature - Tivo needs to implement the same type of function, even if doesn't update the mappings automatically.
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
QAM mapping should not be hard to do - Tivo already has the basic info (mapping station number to frequency).

The Sony DHG boxes have a very easy to use QAM mapping feature - Tivo needs to implement the same type of function, even if doesn't update the mappings automatically.

Maybe if Tivo knew that I could buy a Sony DHG because of this feature, it would change their minds, and they would enable this easy feature!
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rocko62580
Maybe if Tivo knew that I could buy a Sony DHG because of this feature, it would change their minds, and they would enable this easy feature!
Except that Sony discontinued the line about a year ago.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by alaan
so let me get this straight...as of now, Series 3 Tivo's cannot have season passes on HD channels provided via cable?
HD Channels on cable work fine, cable cards enable it.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:17 AM   #12
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This missing feature can best be described as the ability to manually map unencrypted QAM channels into the program guide (if not using CableCards).

The best way to lobby TiVo for this missing feature might be to go here and put in a feature request: http://research.tivo.com/suggestions/2web519.htm

Please, everybody do this! Even if this doesn't directly affect you (if you use CableCards), it could still be useful to you in the future, plus there are many people waiting on this feature to buy an S3, and more buyers = more subs for TiVo = better prospects that TiVo will survive...
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxion
This missing feature can best be described as the ability to manually map unencrypted QAM channels into the program guide (if not using CableCards).

The best way to lobby TiVo for this missing feature might be to go here and put in a feature request: http://research.tivo.com/suggestions/2web519.htm

Please, everybody do this! Even if this doesn't directly affect you (if you use CableCards), it could still be useful to you in the future, plus there are many people waiting on this feature to buy an S3, and more buyers = more subs for TiVo = better prospects that TiVo will survive...
Perfect! I just filled mine out!
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxion
The best way to lobby TiVo for this missing feature might be to go here and put in a feature request...
Another thanks for that link... I was wondering how to get feature requests to them as well, considering they're not doing email support anymore and the CSRs would probably only pass on half of what they heard if it were explained to them.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rocko62580
Not really. All they would need is a feature that would duplicate the regular station. For example, if channel 4 comes in 82.001 on the QAM Tuner, you could tell your Tivo that channel 82.001 is the same as channel 4.

Except that cable companies can and often do change the mapping. Thus, if your cable company decided to move Channel 6 to QAM 82.001, how would the S3 know?

Last edited by pjschaffer : 11-20-2006 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by pjschaffer
Except that cables can and often do change the mapping. Thus, if your cable company decided to move Channel 6 to QAM 82.001, how would the S3 know?
I'd say that if Tivo ever does QAM mapping they will end up doing some sort of backdoor enable along with a disclaimer of non-support for the feature. It really is fairly advanced for the normal person. And trying to explain any feature like this would cost TiVo way too much in support costs compared to the number of new buyers it will generate.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:00 PM   #17
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It would be cheaper just to rent the two Cablecards for a few bucks each. If you can afford a $800 DVR, you can afford to rent the cablecards.

An unsupported backdoor for advanced users would be nice, though.

Ther is an open question about QAM channel mapping. Our vacation house TV maps some, but not all, clear qam channels to proper channel numbers (ie, 805) and doesn't see some at all. Some STB's with clear QAM tuners map some channels, and others map all, when tested on the same cable feed. There may be a question of chip set and/or firmware. At least one clear QAM STB only covers up to channel 125. Some cable company headends may not be programmed properly and good luck in trying to speak to somewhat intelligent enough to help figure that out. I talked with a cable system head end tech (not an install tech), who really didn;t understand clear QAM tuners.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pjschaffer
Except that cable companies can and often do change the mapping. Thus, if your cable company decided to move Channel 6 to QAM 82.001, how would the S3 know?
They don't change the mapping of the OTA rebroadcasts very frequently. The last time they did anything with them in my area was over 2 years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjschaffer
Thus, if your cable company decided to move Channel 6 to QAM 82.001, how would the S3 know?
The S3 would "know" because the owner would tell it. Manually. The same way it's done on all other HD DVRs. The same way it's been done for years to support the VCRPlus code system. The same way it's been done for years with manually-entered channel labels on TVs and VCRs.

Look, dealing with cable channel lineup changes is nothing new. There is vast and consistent precedent for how to handle these sorts of things...let users manually tweak the channel map. It's not hard, it's not unusual, it doesn't have to be confusing or difficult. It can even be a back-door feature. But it should be an option.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:00 PM   #19
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It would be cheaper just to rent the two Cablecards for a few bucks each. If you can afford a $800 DVR, you can afford to rent the cablecards.
Not really for you to decide. For those of us who don't already have digital cable, it can be costly...the required upgrades in my area are $6/mo for Digital Gateway Service, $9/mo for HD Service, and $4/mo for a pair of CableCards. That's $228/year just to get what I already get today for free (I'm perfectly content with only the HD offerings on the network feeds).

I really don't understand why anybody would argue against adding this feature. How does this personally affect you negatively? Is there any downside, at all, to anyone? On the plus side, it adds more subs, which is good for TiVo, who desperately needs them.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Saxion
I really don't understand why anybody would argue against adding this feature. How does this personally affect you negatively? Is there any downside, at all, to anyone? On the plus side, it adds more subs, which is good for TiVo, who desperately needs them.
It does, it distracts TiVo from doing things which could otherwise benefit me. If they provide this feature, TiVo are just going to lose, it'll cause support calls and hate when the cable companies change the mappings. There's already a perfectly good solution to this "problem", its the cable card.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by vstone
Ther is an open question about QAM channel mapping. Our vacation house TV maps some, but not all, clear qam channels to proper channel numbers (ie, 805) and doesn't see some at all. Some STB's with clear QAM tuners map some channels, and others map all, when tested on the same cable feed. There may be a question of chip set and/or firmware. At least one clear QAM STB only covers up to channel 125.
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.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:17 PM   #22
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Except that cable companies can and often do change the mapping. Thus, if your cable company decided to move Channel 6 to QAM 82.001, how would the S3 know?
I would think that the S3 would attempt to revert back to the analog equivalent if there was no signal on the QAM channel.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:23 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by btwyx
It does, it distracts TiVo from doing things which could otherwise benefit me.
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?
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:10 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Saxion
Can you be big enough to do the same?
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.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:12 PM   #25
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I would think that the S3 would attempt to revert back to the analog equivalent if there was no signal on the QAM channel.
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.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:19 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by btwyx
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.
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.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:37 PM   #27
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They don't change the mapping of the OTA rebroadcasts very frequently. The last time they did anything with them in my area was over 2 years ago.
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.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:39 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jfh3
QAM mapping should not be hard to do - Tivo already has the basic info (mapping station number to frequency).
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.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:44 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Stormspace
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.
Its very different. The guide data is right, you tell it to find the channel in the wrong place, you get annoyed at TiVo.
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Also I would think that QAM channels would be limited in number
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.
Quote:
and not likely to assigned to another network at a whim.
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.
Quote:
It's more likely the QAM channel would just be static or whatever the digital equivalent is if it was no longer valid.
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.
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Old 11-20-2006, 04:31 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by btwyx
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.
I was under the impression that QAM would be limited to broadcast stations only. Everything else would be encrypted. Is that wrong?
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