Tivo: your approach to OTA lineup is broken please fix it

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dboreham, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. dboreham

    dboreham Member

    Jan 19, 2016


    Hopefully someone with a clue from Tivo is reading this:

    Tivo handles OTA channels like this:

    1. User supplies zip code.
    2. Box queries Tivo mothership for list of channel records pertaining to that zip.
    3. Box scans actual RF signals present on antenna input.
    4. Box joins #2 and #3 USING ONLY THE PHYSICAL CHANNEL FIELD to present flattened list of "channels" and asks the user to select the subset that are correct.

    The list always wrong in that it will present all the Virtual Channels for which there is a Physical Channel in the received signal set, regardless of whether the ident string matches or not. So you end up with channels that you don't receive in the list, with the task to figure out which is which.

    But for some users (like me) it gets much worse because the list fetched in #2 can be wrong (e.g. missing channels that are receivable from your location).

    In that case, even though the box is receiving the channel(s) perfectly well in "antenna strength" UI, there is no way to get the channel into the roster for viewing or recording.

    The solution to this problem (which the user has to figure out after days of reading Internet forum posts) is to ask Tivo to add the missing channels.

    They sometimes do this (mine were added a few months back).
    They sometimes randomly delete them again (mine were two months back).
    They sometimes never bother to respond to the lineup request ticket (still waiting..)

    The whole design is totally broken and wrong imho.

    It should work like this:

    1. Box asks user for ZIP.
    2. Box downloads receivable channel set from mothership.
    3. Box performs RF scan.
    4. Box joins the downloaded list #2 with the received channels #3 USING THE IDENT AND PHYSICAL CHANNEL FIELDS.
    5. Box now knows for sure what is what in the set of RF channels it has picked up.
    6. Box also knows if it has picked up "alien" channels that are not in the set fetched in #2.
    7. Box can inform user of this situation and allow cool stuff such as offer to fetch adjacent ZIP data sets to see if those channels are present there, or punt to support, or punt to web UI to fix the problem from publically available listing services.

  2. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    I like it. And beyond that, the PSIP data has the complete channel info so they can just find the channel in their database no matter where it is.
  3. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    I hope TiVo adds PSIP support also.
  4. satmaster

    satmaster Member

    Sep 11, 2004
    After finally getting the local channels listed. You still have not added back the dish network ones. You deleted them again.

    What do I have to do to get the local channels lie about my zip code and use the zip code where the channel is located?

    This worked for years why is this so hard to fix now?
  5. dboreham

    dboreham Member

    Jan 19, 2016


    In my case I tried the "alien zip" trick but it turned out they omitted one of the channels I actually receive from my native zip so neither gets me a complete lineup.
  6. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    And I did a complete guided set up for one TiVo because of the Rovi mess. Even after guided set up, TiVo still forced upon me a ton of San Diego and other out of market channels. It was up to me to figure out which channels were which, and this was no easy task as LA has about 180 local channels by itself to contend with. I wanted to mark all the channels I received, even if foreign language because I do record using OnePass Japan Railway Journal or other programming that I can't necessarily track down, that air on different channels with some inconsistency. I don't know all the call signs of all the 180 LA OTA channels and sub-channels, so it took a LONG time of trial and error. Then I was able to select thumbs up for those that are for my favorites.

    All in all, a huge PITA. I had to do the same with the other TiVo's in the house without necessary to do a guided set-up.
  7. dboreham

    dboreham Member

    Jan 19, 2016
    My lineup request support ticket to get my channels back is now 2 weeks old. Still no resolution. At some point this becomes a fitness for purpose issue and I'm going to return the Tivo box and demand my 1yr subscription fees back.

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