QAM mapping letter campaign (HD w/o cablecard)

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by smbaker, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Dec 8, 2009 #2041 of 2121
    Speeden71

    Speeden71 New Member

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    Comcast in ATL just did away with analog basic. I am an OTA and basic cable user. I have run scans on both my HD Tivo's and guess what? Found all the basic channels in digital form. But like one of the posters said, the program guide is now useless. I do manual recordings and use a TV guide. It would seem to be to be so easy to put in a manual mapping function so I could map the digital channels to the old analog guide info. Of course, it is probably only a matter of time before the analog guide info disappears since there are not longer any analog basic cable channels.

    Better yet, will it ever come to pass that the new digital basic channel numbers get added to the program guide?

    I am perfectly happy with digital basic SD and OTA. I really do not need HD versions of the cable channels and have no desire to pay for cable cards.

    Anyone else in this boat???
     
  2. Dec 8, 2009 #2042 of 2121
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    I don't think that Comcast in ATL did away with all analog basic, however they did move many channels from analog to digital. You should still be getting about 20 channels in analog form.

    I also use Comcast basic cable and an antenna (OTA) on my TiVo HD, however I have it connected to an HD TV. Comcast here moved 13 channels from analog to digital. When I did a re-scan I found not only my local channels in HD (as usual) but also the complete Standard Cable and Digital Starter in digital form (about 70 channels). Of course, other than the local HD channels, they are on strange channel numbers like 68-12, etc.

    It certainly would be nice to have TiVo provide guide data for all of these channels, but as pointed out here for two years that doesn't seem likely.

    On the tivo.com help forum (where I post regularly) a program engineer from a small cable company said that he had been working with TiVo and Tribune Media Services for six months to get them to do this. His company is 100% digital, but does not use cableboxes or cablecards. Everything is provided clear-QAM. He stated that the stumbling block is that Tribune Media Services says that their software does not support sub-channels for cable lineups (although they do for OTA) and they have no plans to change this.

    It is probably a lost cause, but I continue to encourage people to post this on the TiVo "New Features" web page, requesting program guide information for clear-QAM channels. In the past two weeks I've signed up five new recruits. You may want to try it:

    http://research.tivo.com/suggestions/
     
  3. Dec 8, 2009 #2043 of 2121
    sbourgeo

    sbourgeo Hepcat Daddio

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    Absolutely, but TiVo has pretty much stated that adding it is not a priority.
     
  4. Dec 8, 2009 #2044 of 2121
    fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Bellingham WA
    Here in Bellingham Comcast made the Extended Basic digital cutover about 3 weeks ago. We don't have SDV. Now that things have apparently stabilized; here's how TiVo, Moxi, and the Sony hi-def DVR now operate when used without CableCARDS:

    TiVo provides EPG data for Limited Basic analog Chs. 2 through 28 plus 75 and 78. All actual digital channels above Ch. 28 are scrambled and unavailable except for a handful, also viewable from a DTA, as a promoted freebie extra.

    All formerly analog Extended Basic Chs. are now included in a totally new line-up of virtual Chs., viwable on HDTiVo with no EPG info. Hi-def simulcasts of OTA Chs. are available, using PSIP generated virtual OTA equivalent Ch. #'s with no EPG info.

    Bottom line is that Comcast's Extended and Limited Basic Chs. remain watchable on HDTiVo, but only Limited Basic Chs. have EPG info. :thumbsdown: :up:
    ---

    Moxi automatically maps all Comcast Limited Basic Chs., including OTA hi-def simulcasts, to their Comcast channel numbers without viewer involvement. Hi-def Chs. use Comcast's numbering system instead of PSIP OTA equivalents. (IOW, Ch. 5 hi-def is Ch. 105, not 5.1)

    Moxi is totally oblivious to the new virtual Extended Basic channel numbers! IOW, Comcast's Extended Basic Chs. (except for the handful of unscrambled DTA promo channels) are not viewable from Moxi. :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:
    ---

    Sony's hi-def DVR accesses the same Comcast line-up as TiVo. If a viewer invests the time and effort (almost) the entire Comcast Extended Basic Ch. line-up can be mapped to Sony's advanced (Ver. 8) TVGOS EPG.

    A few minor mapping glitches, apparently related to subchannel groups, cause several channels not to be mappable at the same time as others but with apparently only 1 exception data is available for all channels. Sony's DVR is a single tuner recorder but aside from that significant limitation offers, at this time, in this area, the best and cheapest Comcast viewing experience with no CableCARD hassles or Additional Outlet Fees! :)
     
  5. Dec 8, 2009 #2045 of 2121
    cogx

    cogx Member

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    I think that most of us have always assumed that it is up to TiVo to do the implementation to allow us to map guide data to our clear QAM channels. This is why I've been asking what if TiVo made a web-based app that let us specify the Station-Lineup-(QAM)Channel relationship. The new <map station='' channel='' channelMinor=''> element(s) would be added to our specific cable company <lineup> with a post-processing script, before the data was pushed to our specific devices. This approach would eliminate the absolutely impossible request and that is to get TiVo to add this new mapping ability on the TiVo hardware itself. TiVo would have control over it centrally and letting "advanced users" have access to this "advanced feature" would allow them to make us click through a EULA that would all but say, listen, we aren't responsible if your recordings end up blank, because your cable company changed the QAM channel or you are just outright clueless as to what you are doing. It would also be a single click to disable any such extra guide data processing through our TiVo accounts.
     
  6. Dec 8, 2009 #2046 of 2121
    lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like tivo would just have to create a lineup for that system. Just map the Tribune designations for the channels to the QAM channels used by that system.
     
  7. Dec 8, 2009 #2047 of 2121
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Except, he said that they all are provided with sub-channel numbers, which TMS does not support.
     
  8. Dec 8, 2009 #2048 of 2121
    cogx

    cogx Member

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    TMS shouldn't have to. This is something TiVo should being doing.
     
  9. Dec 8, 2009 #2049 of 2121
    schwinn

    schwinn Member

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    I'm so annoyed that my TivoHD can't use existing QAM channels. I wish I had known this. My MythTV box has no issues with this type of "cohesion"... there's no reason the TivoHD can't do this as well. MythTV uses the channel ID and matches the network accordingly... very easy to do. There's no reason this can't be done here. Ugh... frustrating and annoying.

    If you don't want to do it automatically, that's fine too - allow users to set the correlations themselves. For those "advanced" users who can do it, like myself, we get the functionality quickly and easily. For the people who don't want to / can't deal with it, they can get cablecards and pay for the convenience.

    Manual correlation should be easy enough to do... what's the excuse for not doing it?
     
  10. Dec 8, 2009 #2050 of 2121
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Check the previous 2,048 posts for your answer.
     
  11. Dec 8, 2009 #2051 of 2121
    SugarBowl

    SugarBowl Member

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    The HDHomeRun does it too. It matches based on the call sign of the station.
     
  12. Dec 9, 2009 #2052 of 2121
    cogx

    cogx Member

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    To followup on my last post, about my idea of TiVo giving us the ability to add QAM channel mapping to our specific TiVo guide data, before it is pushed out to our devices, via our TiVo web accounts - suppose this hypothetical one channel lineup:

    Code:
    <data>
    <stations>
    
    <station id='12345'>
    <callSign>KQZX</callSign>
    <name>KQZX (KQZX-DT)</name>
    <fccChannelNumber>10</fccChannelNumber>
    </station>
    
    </stations>
    
    <lineups>
    
    <lineup id='PC:00000' name='Local Broadcast Listings' location='Antenna' type='LocalBroadcast' postalCode='00000'>
    <map station='12345' channel='10' channelMinor='1'/>
    </lineup>
    
    <lineup id='CableCoID' name='CableCoName' location='City' type='CableDigital' device='Digital' postalCode='00000'>
    <map station='12345' channel='430'/>
    </lineup>
    
    </lineups>
    
    </data>
    
    This hypothetical TiVo owner does not pay for a digital cable STB and they also now have problems getting in "KQZX" OTA, since that station switched to VHF from UHF, back in February '09. Although they are able to view station KQZX on QAM channel 101.4, there is no guide data available, even though this station already exists in the guide data pushed out to their TiVo.

    But, what if this TiVo owner was able to get this child element added to their <lineup id='CableCoID' ...> element:

    Code:
    <map station='12345' channel='101' channelMinor='4'/>
    Obviously, the web-based application would abstract things so that the owner was simply given a way to associate station 12345, which already exists in their guide data, to channel 101.4 in their existing cable lineup.

    Anyway, maybe this is all nonsense, maybe I missed my calling as fiction writer, but as others have pointed out repeatedly over the past 3+ years, devices exist that allow this sort of thing and TiVo claims to be the superior product to everything and anything else on the planet that records TV, so... ya know. Of course, I recently had the displeasure of using a Moto STB at a friend's house and, wow, it does make one appreciate a TiVo, even despite this gaping hole of ineptitude.
     
  13. Dec 9, 2009 #2053 of 2121
    lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    I am sure TiVo could give us the mapping but it would different for each cable system, TiVo has enough problem keeping the line-up correct for each ZIP code, their is a real cost to TiVo in doing this and cable cards solves the problem. The question is how much should TiVo put into mapping to save a few customers the expense of getting cable cards.
     
  14. Dec 9, 2009 #2054 of 2121
    lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    Tivo decided the answer is zero.
     
  15. Dec 9, 2009 #2055 of 2121
    cogx

    cogx Member

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    Sep 22, 2006
    That's why I'm not talking about TiVo staff creating custom mappings, as everyone has agreed long, long ago that is a non-starter. However, computers are great things, they have a real knack for automating things so that humans aren't involved in every step. With my idea here, a "map processing" routine is run on guide data, before it is pushed out to our devices. For people who don't take advantage of the custom mapping, the routine doesn't do anything, for those of us who would make use of it, the extra map elements are added.
     
  16. schwinn

    schwinn Member

    312
    3
    Sep 18, 2004
    ^ +1

    Exactly...

    But if that's not acceptable, give us a way to hack/modify the mappings in some special way, and I'll be happy. That way, those who are experienced with the concept/process can do it, and the rest can pay for the convenience with cablecards.

    On the other hand, all of this is moot because of the FCC waiver which now allows them to encrypt clearQAM anyway. Morons. I know in my area, it's just a matter of time before I lose my QAM channels.
     
  17. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

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    Bellingham WA
    Isn't scrambling authorized by FCC waiver for what used to be QAM Extended Basic different and less secure than scrambling for Premium channels?

    As I posted above Comcast has already begun scrambling Extended Basic actual channels in my area. But now there is a whole new tier of equivalent unscrambled PSIP virtual channels available.

    ---
    I'd forget about getting any kind of TiVo involvement with any kind of QAM mapping unless you like beating your head against the wall because it feels oh-so-good when you stop, because it's just not worth it for TiVo.

    HDTiVo users without CableCARDS can receive these new virtual Extended Basic channels and can record them manually. Moxi with its much ballyhooed mapping feature is completely oblivious to virtual channels making its QAM mapping largely irrelevant.
     
  18. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,671
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    Florida
    No. The distinction has nothing to do with the service level. All cable networks can be encrypted by the standard means. What you are thinking of is the special waiver granted to Pace, Thompson, Cisco and Motorola, allowing their customers to deploy DTAs with privacy mode enabled. That is a different and less secure encryption. However, there is no requirement for service providers to secure expanded basic using only privacy mode, as long as they do not plan to use these DTAs for expanded basic. They could, instead, just require regular (non-waiver) STBs for expanded basic, and then encrypt in the normal manner.
     
  19. PGrey

    PGrey New Member

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    Mar 5, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    The other side is, Comcast for example really, really doesn't want to sell to or allow basic-cable users to have cablecards at all. I had to go through several weeks of haggling and various supervisor levels in order to get approval to get one with basic-cable.
    They were fine with it however, if I wanted to upgrade to their full extended digital package, for three times the cost.
    Others have had an easier time getting them, but apparently the seattle-area is particularly difficult...
    One solution is a mediacenter PC, which allows any type of remapping, QAM or otherwise. I almost went this route and ditched Tivo entirely (after having the service since the last 90's) when Comcast relented.

    -pete
     
  20. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

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    Bellingham WA
    But that's exactly what Comcast uses DTA's for; to provide Extended Basic channels for customers who previously received analog versions.
     

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