The original analog TVGOS pilot signal system is being slowly phased out in many markets, often without notice in hopes that interest and queries will just fade away with the signal. Some over-the-air stations are dropping it by accident or by design as they rush into preparations for the ATSC switchover in February. Workarounds are slow in coming and GemStar is not offering any official future-proof solutions to those affected. Cable systems across the country are figuring out how they can position themselves to benefit $-wise from the February transition, the last thing they're concerned with is preservation or delivery of the TVGOS signal: it doesn't generate income for them. There are a lot of factors hitting at once here. One of the biggest problems is that the only consumers who care deeply about TVGOS are the ones who bought TVGOS-equipped DVD/HDD recorders. DVD/HDD units did not sell as expected, and most were dropped from the market in 2005-6 (Panasonic, which had the best version of TVGOS, held on in Canada until this past summer). Mfrs are notorious for shrugging off support of unprofitable, discontinued products: without Toshiba, Panasonic, Sony and Pioneer putting pressure on GemStar, individual consumers lose vital industry leverage.
The new digital TVGOS system is being rolled out primarily as a feature of new big-screen TV displays, since no new recorders with ability to make use of digital TVGOS are expected in the USA/Canada (it requires a hard drive to be really useful, but hard drive DVD recorders do not sell, Catch-22). All of the existing TVGOS recorders have analog tuners which can't receive or use the new digital pilot signal. As the old analog signal gets turned off, you experience listing failure in the recorder. This is the technical hurdle that needs to be solved: its surprising GemStar is not sponsoring an ATSC converter box with a TVGOS conversion feature for older recorders. Perhaps they will after February, once the host channel agreements stabilize completely and the entire OTA-dependent populace is forced to buy conversion boxes. I think its a reasonable hope they will sell such an accessory.
But those who use cable may have a harder time of it. Cable systems do all sorts of rotten signal processing and they are not terribly responsive to consumer complaints. Cable systems carrying off-air ATSC digital broadcasts may not necesarily retain the new piggybacked digital TVGOS signal. If they do, you might need to rent the dreaded decoder box to pass along the new TVGOS. Cable vendors have long loathed customers who opt for the cheapest, "boxless" service tier and they are moving now to push as many as possible into taking the decoder box. "Boxless" or ClearQAM service is becoming more corrupted by the day, depending on which cable system you're on and how much abuse they think they can get away with. The more people hit GemStar, host stations and cable companies with emails, phone calls and letters, the more chance that solutions will emerge. Keep bugging all the parties concerned until you get results: this isn't the time to sit quietly and wait it out. Numbers speak: let them know there is a significant, active market.