Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Laguna Woods, California
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Yes, I use the Guide+ and probably have more experiences with it's quirks (and how to get around many of them) than most folks.
I have an RCA 7000N, a Panasonic DMR-E85HS, and a Panny DMR-E95HS--all with Guide+. I've upgraded the two Pannys, and have also had to fight Gemstar automatically-downloaded upgrades. I've even had to cope with our local provider changing lineups and posting the wrong data to TV guide.
The first thing you need to know wit a Panny/Gemstar/TV Guide+ unit is that you need to update the firmware *immediately*--even if you just bought it (mine was 14 months old the day I brought it home).
Second, *DISABLE* the listings on start-up. This is the second greatest cause of crashes. This is done in the Setup pull-down menu from the Listings or Schedule screen--the same Setup that you use to reassign and enable/disable channels.
Now, on to your question:
In the Setup pull-down menu, the middle choice on all of mine allows customization of channels. To turn on one that is not enabled, *FIRST* find the call sign or name, assign it the proper channel number (from the right side), and then turn it on.
You can then go to the left side of the same listing and move the channel up or down on most recorders to put all of your active channels at the top of the listing so you don't have to page through so many. You can even type in a line number to send it to a given position. I send every live one to 1 as I go down and every dead one to 111. That gives me a gap, and I reposition the live ones in a separate step.
Turn off all channels you do not plan to watch. The more channels you have on, the longer it takes to download, the fewer channels get updated, and the less data you have for each channel.
Also, move your PBS stations to the top of the list, as Guide+ walks through channel selections from the top down, looking for a programming stream. Since you may have multiple PBS stations (I have 3), try experimenting with a different one on top, if your programming doesn't update correctly.
Also, if you only ran set-up once, you may not have the correct provider choice. If you live in an area with multiple providers (and/or multiple packages) you may have to run it again to choose the proper lineup.
In the first Setup selection from the pull down menu, you have the chance to say that your regional information is correct, but your listings are wrong. It takes yo to another screen where you can select which provider you have--if there are multiple providers in your area. If yours has the wrong channels (or too few) try another. If you chose "Basic" try "Premium" or "Digital" if they are available.
Also, if you live near a zip code boundary, try other zip codes within your area. My zip code was new, and after three days, I still had no listings. I changed to my neighboring zip code and got a large list of providers--including mine. It was a while back, and I don't remember if I had to wait overnight again to get them.
Finally, the programming *ONLY* updates at set times and *ONLY* when the set is in stand-by mode and *NOT* recording. In my area, these occur between midnight and 9 a.m. and turning my machine on (or recording a program) at *ANY* time during that period breaks the data stream and results in many holes in my schedule for nearly a week.
Once you break a programming stream, it apparently *thinks* you have it--and doesn't retry to load it again until you get within the 3-day window of the older units.
In effect, if you want to use Guide+, the machine is virtually useless from midnight to 8 or 9 a.m.