Interest in Custom QAM Lineups?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by stubby, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Dec 5, 2008 #1 of 42
    stubby

    stubby New Member

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    Currently TiVo does not support guidedata for clear QAM channels, so it's not possible to have program info, season passes, wishlists, etc. for clear QAM channels. Having cablecards or (evidently) a tuning adapter will overcome this, albeit with some extra cost.

    I've developed a method to provide guidedata for clear QAM without requiring cablecards or a tuning adapter, and have successfully tested it. The method requires the owner making a restoring a backup image (akin to a drive upgrade), so it's not for everyone.

    I'm looking to gauge relative interest in such an offering to see if it's worth supporting.

    To provide some details, the method:
    1. Requires you to open your tivo's case, make a backup image of the drive, and then restore an image back to your drive
    2. Will likely result in losing any current recordings (this depends upon a number of factors)
    3. Will provide guidedata for your clear QAM channels (allowing onscreen guide, searches, season passes, and wishlists to operate as you would expect)
    4. Will persist through software upgrades (notwithstanding some dramatic change or a deliberate action on TiVo's part)
    5. Will *NOT* survive a repeated Guided Setup or a Clear and Delete Everything (unless you subsequently restore from a good image)
    6. Will likely *NOT* survive clear-QAM channel reassignment by your cable provider.
    As I mentioned above, I've tested this process with a forum member who had advocating for clear QAM support, so I'll let that member comment about the method/results if desired.
     
  2. Dec 5, 2008 #2 of 42
    Saxion

    Saxion Substantive Member

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    I can confirm that this method works! I now have guide data on all my clear QAM channels!

    Extracting the drive image isn't all that difficult, if you are at least comfortable opening up electronics (both your TiVo and your PC) and moving the hard drive from one to the other. WinMFS is a great tool to run on your PC to extract and restore the drive image.

    Note that this method maps the antenna guide data onto the corresponding cable channel numbers as provided by your PSIP data, if any. What this means is that you'll have to rerun Guided Setup first and specify both antenna and cable as your signal sources (even if you don't have an actual antenna connected). Then, you should do a channel scan to make sure you pick up all the clear QAM cable channels along with their PSIP data. At the end of that process, you should have a list of cable channel numbers and a corresponding list of antenna channel numbers, that you will then provide to stubby.

    By the way, a big THANK YOU to stubby for doing what TiVo should have done a long time ago!!!!
     
  3. Dec 5, 2008 #3 of 42
    Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Am I missing something or are you not actually posting what the method is..?

    Are you teasing us?
     
  4. Dec 5, 2008 #4 of 42
    stubby

    stubby New Member

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear. I'm thinking of offering this as a service for payment.

    The actual method/process is quite technical, took considerable effort to develop, and not suitable for most folks as a DIY method.
     
  5. Dec 5, 2008 #5 of 42
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    You might consider creating images for use by people in major markets. If you did Series3/THD/THDXL images for the top 20 markets, that would cover the majority of the folks on this forum.
     
  6. Dec 5, 2008 #6 of 42
    stubby

    stubby New Member

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    Good suggestion.

    Could lead to a large number of images, which might be overkill for demand.
     
  7. Dec 5, 2008 #7 of 42
    ciper

    ciper Active Member

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    edit: post removed.
     
  8. Dec 5, 2008 #8 of 42
    Saxion

    Saxion Substantive Member

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    Regardless of how he figured out how to do this, he made it utterly simple for me, and that is worth something (to me). I don't have the time or patience to investigate hacking forums to figure out how to do this myself; I'm happy to pay someone to do this for me. You don't have to pay for this service if you have the inclination to do it yourself; it's a free country.
     
  9. Dec 5, 2008 #9 of 42
    stubby

    stubby New Member

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    Everything I'm using is my own work. Someone else could develop something similar and release it for free, that's entirely possible. People may wish to wait to see if that happens or to wait to see if tivo will implement it.

    My technique is too difficult for most (and I believe that any other method would be as well), so I'm considering offering it as a service for those interested.
     
  10. ciper

    ciper Active Member

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    I have a suggestion that should make us all happy - share your method and continue selling the service. Those who have the ability will perform the hack themselves and the others who would rather leave it to the experts will use your service.

    I always thought the Tivo Community was about helping each other, not profiting from each other :(
     
  11. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Are you modifying the image that they make, before its restored onto a Tivo? (If so, why couldn't you do the same modification to a drive itself?)

    I don't think I want to lose all of the tons of programs I have already recorded, but am definitely interested in the idea itself.

    If you actually sold images, Tivo would likely go after you.
     
  12. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Above 2 factors alone make this a pretty risky proposition for selling this service. Does one have to then pay for service again should one of the above happen? In the long run you would do much better to share the details of the hack and setup voluntary PayPal donations for your efforts. By sharing the details you will get a much wider base of people willing to try this out without fear of getting screwed and probably make more money in the long run, not to mention good will.
     
  13. stubby

    stubby New Member

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    Nov 20, 2008
    ciper: suggestion noted

    mattack: yes, the modification could be made to a drive (requires shipping it back and forth) and that would keep all recordings. Agreed about the selling of images (not my intent or goal).

    moyekj: understood and agreed about the shortcomings and also an interesting suggestion regarding the donation route.
     
  14. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Agreed. For Comcast in the ATL, you'd have to do this at least once a year (i.e. remove/replace the HD with a new image) because they've been remapping some of the QAMs whenever new HD channels are added. We need an easier way to hack this in the Tivo, IMO.
     
  15. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    +1
     
  16. JJ

    JJ TiVoPlantation Owner

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    Comcast Atlanta has been very stable with QAM channel locations. This may only apply to the Stone Mountain headend but I have not experienced the almost daily 'hide and seek' changes that followed the complete stripping of PSIP data that happned in January07.

    Since Vista already lets me map QAM/Guide data properly I think that I will wait a bit for this method to mature before comitting.

    Comcast has promised that complete PSIP data will return on or before digital switchover date. I know that I laughed when I heard the story. I continue to hope that TiVo will eventually make a consumer (not Comcast) friendly decision and use the PSIP data along with the broadcast data...
     
  17. TolloNodre

    TolloNodre En Fuego

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    Or you could just figure it out yourself and not complain that someone won't give you their own work for free...
     
  18. ciper

    ciper Active Member

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    Even though it's not software I guess you don't understand the intention behind the open source community. Many of us have put effort into helping others on this forum with no expectations of compensation. For example a person with a single post to there name often means they won't be back to say thanks for helping and yet many of us still reply with a solution.

    I have a multistream cable card installed in my Tivo now which gives me proper guide information. I'd like to see how this method differs from the other script for no reason other than curiosity. It may just be that we could combine the two methods to create an even better way to get the job done. Even if stubby is a genius I'm sure that others may be able to improve or streamline his method.

    We all know how to upgrade our internal drives and the methods extremely well known and yet there are still companies that sell preconfigured Tivo upgrade drives. How do you explain that?

    I don't like your attitude.
     
  19. Saxion

    Saxion Substantive Member

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    It would be interesting to see what would happen if the carrier frequency of a clear QAM channel changed, but the PSIP data carried along with it did not. In this case, a new channel scan would be necessary to pick up the new freq, but the PSIP-provided channel number itself would not change. Note, this is just a "channel scan", not a full "Repeat Guided Setup". Stubby, do you think your hack would survive a channel scan?

    Regardless, I agree with you slowbiscuit that an official TiVo solution or a simple, DIY hack would be preferable. Personally I'm fairly tired of waiting for TiVo to provide this feature :) and am grateful to at least have stubby's hack for now, which is still working great for me.
     
  20. stubby

    stubby New Member

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Seems there's little interest in a QAM mapping service (understandable, given the potential shortcomings). This thread got a little off-topic, but for those who might fall into the same category as Saxion (stable QAM assignments, for which they wish to have guidedata), PM me and I'll see about doing the mapping gratis, time-permitting.

    For those who are interested in pursuing this on their own, JamieP's post here (link) lays things out nicely.
     

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