OTA Broadcast Frequency (RF) Change FAQ's for Antenna Users

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by QuietMan, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. QuietMan

    QuietMan New Member

    6
    2
    Nov 15, 2018
    Ohio

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    This thread applies to TiVo users running Premiere DVR's with Software 20.7.4 and receiving their programs via over-the-air antennas. Many of the FAQ's also apply to Roamio and Bolt DVR's with antennas. But if you have information to add, specific to Roamio or Bolt, please start a new thread in this forum.


    FAQ 1: What can I do if TiVo has never updated the Channel List for a frequency change?

    First, wait a reasonable time for TiVo to learn about the change and give them a chance to make their update. The people at TiVo will be dealing with thousands of these manual updates between 2018 and 2020.

    Then if TiVo still hasn't updated the Channel List for a station you want to view or record off of, you might consider contacting support.tivo.com and providing the following information:
    • The fact that you cannot record programs off a station you do receive on your antenna
    • This is because of a broadcast-frequency (RF) change
    • It is not a "lineup" error or issue
    • The station's complete call letters, such as "WABC-TV" or "KXYZ-LD"
    • The station's old broadcast (RF) frequency
    • The station's new broadcast (RF) frequency
    • A complete list of all the virtual subchannel numbers which that station transferred to the new frequency
    • Your request for TiVo to update the Channel List to reflect the new broadcast frequency.
    Some TiVo reps know right away what to do. But if not, see FAQ 2.

    It is to be hoped that TiVo might eventually create a page on tivo.com for reporting these broadcast-frequency (RF) changes, akin to the existing page for reporting lineup errors. However, that's in the future as of November 2018.

    FAQ 2: What if I reach a rep who's unfamilar with frequency changes or doesn't know how to process related customer requests?

    Until TiVo has a chance to update its on-line resources and re-train all support personnel, you may reach reps who don't know about RF changes, nor how to process them.

    Despite what some TiVo support reps are telling customers, it does no good to:
    • Repeat Guided Setup, nor to
    • Clear and rebuild the TiVo's Program Guide, nor to
    • Reset or restart the TiVo device, nor to
    • Rescan a TiVo device for new channels you already receive, nor to
    • Force a Connection to the TiVo Service, nor to
    • Contact some other department such as the Lineup Team or the toll-free phone staff.
    If TiVo hasn't updated the RF frequencies in the Channel List at its end, those ideas only waste your time and TiVo's.

    You may have to make multiple calls or open multiple case numbers in TiVo Support before you find a rep who knows how to address this issue. Just keep trying until you succeed.

    FAQ 3: My TiVo's Channel LIst is showing the correct, new frequency, but my TiVo device still won't record programs or display actual information in the Program Guide. What shall I do?

    After TiVo updates the Channel List with new broadcast frequencies, it's your responsibility to tell your TiVo device that you actually receive the affected sub-channels. Here's how:

    After TiVo has completed its update, and only then:
    • You will see station call letters with the new frequency in your TiVo's Channel List entries.
    Then you must do the following to restore your Program Guide and recording functionality on the new frequency:
    • From the main TiVo Central menu, go into Settings > Channels > Channel List
    • Scroll down to the virtual subchannel numbers affected by the frequency change
    • Press Select to check-mark the subchannels which display call letters with the new frequency
    (That adds the check-marked subchannels, with their new RF frequency, to your "My Channels", that is the collection of channels you actually receive.)​
    • Press Select to delete check-marks from the subchannels with the old, discontinued frequency
    • Navigate to Done and press Select to save your changes
    • Press the Guide button on your remote to go to your TiVo's Program Guide
    • Set Program Guide options to display All Channels or My Channels -- not Favorites; not a filtered list
    • Verify that the newly-changed subchannels, which you just check-marked, do appear in Program Guide and the ones you un-checked do not.
    Now, schedule information for your newly-checked subchannels automatically shows up in your Program Guide or it will after your next connection to the TiVo Service. As soon as it does, your automatic-recording functionality will work again on the subchannels you just check-marked.

    FAQ 4: In Channel List, must I checkmark ALL the subchannels of an affected station?

    No. You can checkmark only the subchannels that might carry programs you might be interested in.

    Or you can checkmark all the subchannels and later un-check the ones you don't use.

    FAQ 5:
    My TiVo box has multiple virtual channels or call letters with the same RF frequency. Is this normal?


    This is becoming more common as stations sell their broadcast frequencies and "multicast" (piggyback) onto the signal of other stations.

    For example, in southwestern Ohio, WDTN-TV (virtual channel 2), carries its own subchannels plus those of WBDT (26) and WKOI (43), all on one signal, one frequency. The three stations aren't even all licensed to the same city by the FCC.

    FAQ 6: Why doesn't TiVo take care of this for me, automatically?

    TiVo can't totally automate the process of updating the RF's in the Channel List and Program Guide.

    Without investigation, TiVo has no way to know whether a newly-launched subchannel is a new station, a new program service on an existing station, or an existing station that's changed its frequency.

    Furthermore, there can be two or more stations in one viewing area, all using the same subchannel numbers and broadcasting different TV shows on the same frequency. (Digital tuners are designed to tune to the station that's strongest at the tuner's physical location.)

    For example, in the southwestern Ohio/northern Kentucky viewing area, there are currently three separate, unrelated stations, all broadcasting their signals on frequency RF 20. Two of them even use the same virtual subchannel numbers. In theory at least, a TV set, tuner, or DVR in that part of the country "sees" only the one of the three that's strongest at the device's location, but TiVo has to provide separate program listings for all of them.

    FAQ 7: Why are so many TV stations changing their broadcast (RF) frequencies?

    Several hundred stations nationwide will change their broadcast frequencies between 2018 and 2020. It's a result of the FCC's spectrum auction and channel-repack program. These initiatives are designed to pack all over-the-air TV into broadcast (RF) channels 2-36 and to free up 37-59 for more wireless internet, cellular phones, and other growing services that need more capacity.

    At the same time, the FCC is requiring most stations to change to new over-the-air (OTA) broadcast frequencies. This is in order to "pack" all or most of the stations in each city on to adjoining frequencies. It should, in theory, make it easier for antenna users to build, buy, or adjust antennas for their own cities' respective parts of the frequency spectrum.


    FAQ 8: Will every TV station change its broadcast frequency (RF) once and only once?

    Most TV stations, but not all, will make only one frequency (RF) change.

    A few stations won't change their broadcast frequency at all.

    But some may have to make two or more changes in order to relinquish spectrum they've sold, to avoid signal conflicts during the transition phase, and/or to conform to the FCC's new channel assignments.

    For example, in southwest Ohio, some of the subchannels of the former WOTH-LD will have made three (3) frequency changes by the time the whole initiative is complete.

    No matter how many RF changes a given station makes, every change requires TiVo to manually update the RF frequency in Channel List. Your TiVo device's Channel List must always have the current frequency in order to continue displaying schedules in the TiVo Program Guide and recording programs from OnePass/Season Pass and Wish List.

    FAQ 9: When will all the this frequency-changing ever end for good?

    A guess: probably never. The current phase is scheduled to be complete in 2020. But there's never-ending pressure for the broadcast (OTA) TV industry to give up its channels to expanding, newer services such as smartphones and wireless internet.

    FAQ 10:
    If, in the future,TiVo creates new instructions which override anything in this thread, what shall I do?


    You should, of course, follow any instructions thatTiVo posts in the future on support.tivo.com if they update or correct anything in this TiVo Community thread.

    FAQ 11: Where can I find more information about OTA television, frequency changes, and the repack?

    If you need help with any of the terminology used in this thread, please go to support.tivo.com and use the Search function.

    Besides support.tivo.com and this TiVo Community forum, other useful resources include fcc.gov, rabbitears.info, tvanswers.org, antennaweb.org, tvfool.com, nab.org, the TiVo user's guide or manual for your device, and the websites of your local OTA broadcast stations. More blogs and forums are listed on tivopedia.com.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  2. Rodbooth

    Rodbooth New Member

    1
    1
    Sep 6, 2019
    My city in Tn the tv channels has just started changing frequency’s l gave the info to tivo support and they are telling me the problem with channels not showing the correct programming will be fixed in 7 to 10 working days.
     
    Donbadabon likes this.
  3. pfiagra

    pfiagra Well-Known Member

    886
    301
    Oct 13, 2014
    In my experience, it corrected itself in 24-48 hours.
     

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