QAM mapping letter campaign (HD w/o cablecard)

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

  1. Sep 2, 2007 #81 of 2121
    Scopeman

    Scopeman 2 x Basic Roamio

    413
    0
    Oct 22, 2002
    Central Texas

    Advertisements

    In fact, the basic code to make this happen has been in teh S3 software since it shipped. The reason that I (and others) know this for a fact is that for almost a year those of us in Austin TX had this feature active - our original S3 systems were able to get schedule data via our HDTivo interface w/o cablecards. It was great - no OTA hookup, no CCard costs, and I was only paying $13/month for cable and got all my locals in QAM HD with Tivo recording features.

    NOTE: This feature *started* after asked Tivo to tweak their lineup to recognize the 15xx series local channels as beings our local stations, and to map the Tivo data. Tivo complied.

    A year ago this suddenly stopped, and calls to Tivo and TimeWarner produced the following:

    TIVO: "We won't map data to QAM channels"
    TWC: "We have not changed anything in our setup/PSIP/etc to cause this change"

    Both of those were verified a number of ways (including checking out what changes (none) had occured to people using QAM to get guide data in non-Tivo appliances.

    So from this we can assert the following:

    #1. The solution (mapping OTA guide data to QAM) is a trivial act already, a capability already in Tivo software or in the Tivo headend datastream.

    #2. It requires no act by the Cable Co to enable (although it may require the Cable Co to consent).

    #3. It does not require Cable Cards to execute.

    Based on that data, it clearly is a Tivo issue to solve - they need to outline what is required, explain the downsides (items may remap) and allow for users to opt-in with full disclosure. *IF* Cable Co consent is needed then they need to let us (the users) know, so that we can bring pressure to bear.
     
  2. Sep 2, 2007 #82 of 2121
    Scopeman

    Scopeman 2 x Basic Roamio

    413
    0
    Oct 22, 2002
    Central Texas
    And one other thing - the original Austin mapping success was caused by the first few S3 owners putting in lineup requests (I owned 2nd S3 in Central TX).

    If all owners in a particular area all submitted the same line-up fix requests on the same day/weekend then the mass similarity of the requests may get more notice than a random splattering.

    Thoughts on this? Want to coordinate a city-by-city / weekend-by-weekend barage of lineup requests to see what happens?
     
  3. Sep 2, 2007 #83 of 2121
    vstone

    vstone Active Member

    1,250
    1
    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    This is probably because the PSIP data mapped the clea QAM channels to the same channel as listed on the channel lineup. While this appears to make sense, it also appears to contradict federal laws which require them to map OTA virtual channel 7.1 to cable clear QAM virtual channel 7.1, not clear QAM cable virtual channel 1507 or whatever. If cable companies complied with federal law and Tivo supported a clear QAM lineup choice, all would probably be happy.

    Between FEB 12 and FEB 14, 2007 the HD channels disppeared on most clear QAM receivers in the Myrtle Beach area, and presumably in all TWC system in SC. TWC swore that no changes were made locally or at the head end in Columbia, SC. they never admitted that they made any changes, but the channels finally reappeared. I'm not sure that many TWC tech folk have been trained enough to know what they're doing. Clear QAM channels seem to come and go with crows in our yard on the TWC system in Greensboro, NC.
     
  4. Sep 2, 2007 #84 of 2121
    smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

    25,659
    2,331
    May 24, 2003
    I don't think it even requires them to consent. It does require the cablecos and the OTA broadcast stations to implement the PSIP correctly. As I understand, the cablecos are required to pass the PSIP channel number that the OTA station supplies. That requirement was likely put into the spec specifically to prevent the cablecos from playing games with channel numbers.

    Strangely enough, someone in the FCC had enough foresight to predict that the cablecos would try every trick in the book to make government-mandated HD programming cost more than SD programming. It's odd for a government agency to think in advance like that.... :)
     
  5. Sep 2, 2007 #85 of 2121
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    1,579
    5
    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...

    Advertisements

    The powers that be in my local Comcast are quite accepting of their obligations. They're as confused by TiVo's incompetence as us owners. When I ordered Cablecards my Comcast guy called back to explain how I can already get clear QAM with the limited basic I was paying for. I still don't think he believes my explanation that I needed the cards because of TiVo's ineptitude.

    My local Comcast supplies the 1st card for free, $1.79/mo for the 2nd card. Truck roll is $15. Comcast can't make money with rates like those (especially with a large number of callbacks for pixelation etc) so they would probably prefer TiVos to work w/o cablecards.
     
  6. Sep 2, 2007 #86 of 2121
    sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    2,883
    486
    Jan 6, 2007
    #1 and #2 *only* work because the Cable company *does* put PSIP info that maps the QAM to a cable-style channel # the guide provider can recognized and produce data for.

    Eliminate that PSIP then it doesn't work. Personally I think all cable companies should have the PSIP channels map to something the guide provider can produce data for and the guide provider should provide guide data for every PSIP channel # cable provides, however not all of us are lucky enough to be in that situation, which has given rise to calls for manual channel mapping. I think automatic mapping is perfectly doable if the parties cooperate and Austin proves that.

    Yes the same thing can be done with OTA-style PSIP channel #s, but it seems TiVo assumes any channel # with subchannels automatically refers to the OTA antennae input and this prevents that from working, even if you could convince the guide provider to provide data for 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, etc.
     
  7. Sep 3, 2007 #87 of 2121
    smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

    25,659
    2,331
    May 24, 2003
    Perhaps. However, the cablecos are in the DVR rental business themselves, so there is a clear conflict of interest, and it is to their benefit that Tivo installation be non-trivial.

    They also like to be able to charge extra for "digital" cable and "HD" programming, even though they are required by the FCC to provide network affiliates in digital HD with basic cable service.

    So there are many reasons why they would view clear-QAM as not in their best interests.
     
  8. Sep 3, 2007 #88 of 2121
    restart88

    restart88 New Member

    703
    0
    Mar 9, 2002
    St....
    A little off topic here but are you saying Media Center has a functional channel guide capability? :confused:

    I ask because I have 2 Dell Dimensions with MCE, one of which now is used to stream my home security cams 24/ 7.

    I bought an analog Powercolor Theater Pro card some time back and could never get it to work on either one and just gave up. Customer support was no help and I am about to donate the thing to charity in case someone else might have better luck.

    Hey I'd try an HD tuner card to tide me over if it will automatically update the program guide and actually work right. It would be worth it to me just for the OTA feeds.
     
  9. Sep 3, 2007 #89 of 2121
    JJ

    JJ TiVoPlantation Owner

    357
    0
    Jul 14, 2000
    Land of...
    YMMV
    In MCE2005 I choose Setup/TV/Settings/Guide/Add Missing Channels then choose Add Channel or Add DTV Channel as appropriate for you. I need this locally for WUPA-DT 43.1 as the mapping of RF43 to 69.1 seems ineffective. Matching the available WUPA listings to the created channel is easy as selecting from a list...

    I have much love for the Avermedia A180 HDTV card, and hope that someday the QAM functionality available only in the AverTV software can work in MCE2005...
     
  10. Sep 3, 2007 #90 of 2121
    restart88

    restart88 New Member

    703
    0
    Mar 9, 2002
    St....
    I'm glad you mentioned Aver Media. That's my security DVR card and I would have been inclined to get their card as their tech support was crucial in getting my card & software up and running well. Of course the documentation in the box was a joke but the online FAQs answered some of the questions.
     
  11. Sep 3, 2007 #91 of 2121
    JJ

    JJ TiVoPlantation Owner

    357
    0
    Jul 14, 2000
    Land of...
    Don't expect
    the same level of support as the security cards. You are far more on your own. There is much help on the web and you are covering well travelled ground. Generally a look at the avsforum / home theater computers section for excellent advice and guidance.

    Get a quality software DVD decoder and research your video card choices carefully. I still like my ATI X700 in AGP and PCI-E variants, but they are not a 'perfect' solution, but they have been able workhorses.

    Thouroughbreds can run much faster and are prettier to watch, but my sytems run fine and look excellent on my R-PJ/Plasma/LCD displays...
     
  12. Sep 3, 2007 #92 of 2121
    Scopeman

    Scopeman 2 x Basic Roamio

    413
    0
    Oct 22, 2002
    Central Texas
    But the contradictory point in the Austin area is that ONLY S3 Tivos were impacted - all other folks using QAM Tuners in other devices continued with no apparent impact to their setups.

    Are you suggesting the the changes from Feb 2007 in Mrytle Beacj would only have impacted S3 devices and all other QAM users would be unaffected?

    Also - I got my guide data when the local QAM via Cable was showing on 1501/1511/1521/1541/etc - *NOT* at 7-1/24-1/etc. So there is obviously a way to get the guide data without having the QAM channels correctly mapped away from the cable co. assigned channel #s like 1521.

    Even more interesting - when I switched over to OTA the Season's Passes jumped from the "15xx" channels to the OTA version (XX-X channels) without my intervention, which clearly indicates the Season Passes had so level of awareness of the underlying true nature of the channel.

    In addition, the Tivo staff at the resolution center confirmed for my the the changes in late 2006 that caused this issue on my S3s came from a Tivo change. They should revert to the original setup, and enable this mapping.
     
  13. Sep 3, 2007 #93 of 2121
    sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    2,883
    486
    Jan 6, 2007
    Unless they used TiVo as their guide provider, why would they be affected?

    As mentioned earlier, Austin was lucky because they had 2 things:
    1) cable company provided PSIP virtual channel #s that mapped to what they were using in their digital cable lineup
    2) Austin TiVo users were able to convince TiVo to include those channel #s in the guide data

    Austin lost #2, so that is why they no longer see the guide data in TiVo. TiVo can still tune those channels but has no guide data to record them. Austin is just like the rest of us poor S3 users now, except their channels are still PSIP mapped to 15xx instead of 2.1, 3.1, 4.1 like many others.

    That doesn't indicate the TiVo module in question is aware of the underlying true nature of the channel. What it indicates is your Season Passes are created using the channel station identifiers and if the station identifier moves to a different #, TiVo will remap automatically. It would do this regardless of whether we are talking QAM or OTA/8VSB.

    Yes, as mentioned earlier, someone convinced TiVo to dump the guide data for 15xx channels, just like someone convinced them to add it earlier.
     
  14. Sep 5, 2007 #94 of 2121
    jvandecar

    jvandecar New Member

    19
    0
    Feb 10, 2006
    USA
    These are the channels I can get through Time Warner, direct Coax to Tivo HD. No set top box, no Cable Card. I have Basic and expanded Cable (no digital anything). I found them by doing a channel search.

    83-1 KET HD
    86-3 Bloomberg?
    87-13 ShopNBC.COM
    88-1 CBS WKYT
    92-1 ESPN-HD
    101-5 Jetix (Spanish)
    101-6 History Channel (Spanish)
    103-1, 103-2, 103-3, 103-4, 103-5, 103-6 ESPN Radio
    104-1 Discovery HD
    105-1 Cable Advertising PPV
    105-9 Fox HD
    106-5 Jetix
    108-5 through 108-49 Digital Music Channels
    109-00 TNT HD
    114-1 ESPN2-HD

    TiVo doesn't recognize the channels, and doesn't provide any programming information for them. Big pain in the arse.

    Is there anyway I can manually tell my TiVo what channel is which network, so that I can get lineup info and record using it, instead of telling it to record 101-6 (History Channel HD) at BLANK time on BLANK day? These channels have dumbed the Tivo down to a VCR.

    All I'm really interested in ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, TNT HD, History Channel HD and Discovery HD, since I get OTA HD from broadcast networks.
     
  15. Sep 5, 2007 #95 of 2121
    jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    4,471
    2
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    No, that is exactly the point of this thread - if you could do that, we would have QAM mapping! ;)
     
  16. Sep 5, 2007 #96 of 2121
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    12,285
    938
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    Your cable company is really messing things up in the 1st place - I'd say it's pretty rare/unusual to find those channels unencrypted, especially ESPNs & Discovery. They will probably correct that at some point.
     
  17. Sep 12, 2007 #97 of 2121
    Dmon4u

    Dmon4u Unresponsive User

    2,163
    0
    Jul 15, 2000
    PA
    My local Comcast had ESPN-HD up till two weeks ago. Now it's gone. I wonder why ?

    Football Season ! Get your HD Programming from Comcast now (as heard on a local radio commercial) !
     
  18. Sep 13, 2007 #98 of 2121
    restart88

    restart88 New Member

    703
    0
    Mar 9, 2002
    St....
    Just curious if you're in a Big Ten city? I hear they've been having contract disputes.
     
  19. Sep 13, 2007 #99 of 2121
    Dmon4u

    Dmon4u Unresponsive User

    2,163
    0
    Jul 15, 2000
    PA
    If your talking about Comcast playing the same game as they did with the NFL Network, yes ! They want to put it in a Sports Package to help sell other worthless Sports channels or as an expensive stand alone to make mega-$$$ for Comcast, itself.

    Though, in this case, the BTN is less than 7% football programming during each year, 83% junk sports that have no audience/Fans (and make no money) and 10% Basketball.

    At least the NFL Network is 100% America's Sport, year around.
     
  20. Sep 20, 2007 #100 of 2121
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    Here is an example of the difficulty that could arise in providing the QAM mapping for guide data. My local Comcast (Pittsburgh) had been doing a great job of providing the in-the-clear local QAM channels, mapped exactly to the OTA channel numbers. Suddenly this week they all disappeared. I reran the Channel Scan and found them. Instead of mapping to OTA numbers they now are:

    75.2201 NBC
    75.2203 CBS
    76.2301 FOX
    76.2302 MYTV
    85.2101 ABC
    85.2103 PBS

    In addition, I now get 40 music channels mapped to odd frequencies. I also continue to get the neighborhood VOD programming on various channels.

    My Mitsubishi DLP did a proper job of mapping out the frequencies and finding all the channels. However, my Panasonic Plasma (brand new) only uses 3-digit sub-channels and it could not map half of the channels and I can't get them on that set.

    Other than the cynical answer that Comcast does this to force customers to subscribe to their digital packages, what other reason would a cable company have to start using 4-digit sub-channel numbers?

    Also, in checking the specs of a TV, is there a way to determine if it has 4-digit sub-channel capabilities with the QAM tuner?
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements