Lack of TVs with decent OTA guides - AVS Forum
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HDTV Technical > Lack of TVs with decent OTA guides
jim12's Avatar jim12 07:28 PM 04-12-2012
I have been looking for tvs to replace my aging analog sets that I use with a converter box that has a guide. Not great but it shows the current and next show on all the channels. I picked up a Sharp DP47840 and found it only gives the info on the current show. So I asked around and Vizio was suggested. I picked up a E220VA and found it only gave info for the currnet show. Before I got it I emailed Vizio about the guide and got this response which I consider very misleading - I don't think info on the current show is a guide and I think most people would agree with me:

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your recent inquiry with VIZIO. I would be more than happy to help you with your concern. Here at VIZIO we do offer best in class technical support.

VIZIO TVs do come with a Guide feature. Unfortunately many broadcasters and cable companies have stopped sending the information the Guide button on the remote displays. It may work sometimes when using an antenna on the digital channels provided but it is still at the discretion of the broadcaster if that information will be sent with the signal.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you need any additional assistance feel free to contact VIZIO at 1-888-849-4623 or chat with us at chat.vizio.com

Thanks and have a great day!
---------------------------------
I also contacted Sanyo about a guide. They at least were honest about it and said:

Unfortunately we dont have a TV set with EPG built in except for the DP32649 model that TV set has TVguide built in, but that would be a discontinued model which we stopped manufacturing at the end of 2009.

Thank you have good day,
SANYO Support.
----------------------------------
Seems like a few years ago TVs had this but no longer...

gregzoll's Avatar gregzoll 08:35 PM 04-12-2012
With more CATV, Satellite, alternative tv like FiOS & Uverse, with their Onscreen guides through the Set-Top boxes/DVR's, there is no need for tv's to have TVGuides. It pretty much went away when people started to get Digital Settops. At one time, companies had a scrolling TVguide on a specific channel, then that became a channel with highlighted programs, and then TVGuide pretty much is making it go away, because people do not use it, due to having Onscreen guides on their STB/DVR.

Also to add, once the digital changeover came about, the PBS stations could no longer send the info through the airwaves to those tv sets that would use it to update their clock and guide info.

I use the guide online or through my iPhone on the Buddytv app.
Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 08:59 PM 04-12-2012
gregzoll is correct. There just isn't that much of a demand for built-in Onscreen guides. We have a digital OTA station here that has a fairly comprehensive TVGuide (WhatsOn) for all of the OTA stations in our area but I rarely use it. In fact, I just use the one that comes in our Sunday paper.
BCF68's Avatar BCF68 03:26 AM 04-13-2012
I wouldn't have gotten a Vizio for OTA viewing anyways since it lacks a signal meter. Unless they've changed recently.
ljo000's Avatar ljo000 06:57 AM 04-13-2012
I hardly think Vizio's response was misleading. Their hardware supports displaying OTA guide info. If the broadcaster doesn't send that info, its hardly Vizio's fault. In my area, most of the channels have current and next showing populated.

I agree that it is ridiculous that broadcasters aren't sending more complete guide data though.
Otto Pylot's Avatar Otto Pylot 09:39 AM 04-13-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

I wouldn't have gotten a Vizio for OTA viewing anyways since it lacks a signal meter. Unless they've changed recently.

That's not the only reason why I wouldn't buy a Vizio Besides, signal meters can be misleading depending on what they display (signal "strength" and/or dB readings).
ljo000's Avatar ljo000 11:32 AM 04-13-2012
I love my Vizio XVT, running strong for the last 18 months.

- great picture
- Vizio apps include Amazon VOD
- wireless N included
- bluetooth included
- bluetooth remote with slide out QWERTY
- cheap!
JoeWS's Avatar JoeWS 01:56 PM 04-13-2012
I own 2 Visios. I bought the E370VL about 18 months ago and it has a guide that shows current time, and info on the current show. If you press "GUIDE" again, you get shows for the next 12 hours or more in some cases.

A few months ago, I bought another VISIO (42" model) and the guide feature showed current show only. I called their customer service department and was told the guide feature was changed on the newer model and no longer showed upcoming shows.

As far as a signal meter goes, both sets display signal strength (as well as other data) if you press MENU, then select HELP, followed by SYSTEM INFO.
jjeff's Avatar jjeff 04:54 PM 04-13-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWS View Post

I own 2 Visios. I bought the E370VL about 18 months ago and it has a guide that shows current time, and info on the current show. If you press "GUIDE" again, you get shows for the next 12 hours or more in some cases.

A few months ago, I bought another VISIO (42" model) and the guide feature showed current show only. I called their customer service department and was told the guide feature was changed on the newer model and no longer showed upcoming shows.

As far as a signal meter goes, both sets display signal strength (as well as other data) if you press MENU, then select HELP, followed by SYSTEM INFO.

Does your 42" Vizio remote have a GUIDE button? It was always my belief if the remote had a GUIDE button(not just INFO button) then it would have a full PSIP guide. Both my Vizios have a GUIDE button and go out 12 hours up to several days. Of course Vizio is correct, if hooked to cable or if your market isn't good about updating PSIP you may not have much or any guide listings.
Oh my newer 37" also has a signal meter but not my older 20".
Very few other mfgs. support the GUIDE functions and your more likely to see it on low end brands than ones like Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung, etc.
Phase700B's Avatar Phase700B 06:16 PM 04-13-2012
Assming a person wants decent program info for OTA reception the best thing would be to look for a TV that offers electronic TV Guide On Screen . . . or TVGOS. My 5 year old Mitsubishi LT-46231 has it as does some others. Also, some external DVRs may have TVGOS such as Sony and I think Panasonic had in the past.
jjeff's Avatar jjeff 09:35 AM 04-14-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phase700B View Post

Assming a person wants decent program info for OTA reception the best thing would be to look for a TV that offers electronic TV Guide On Screen . . . or TVGOS. My 5 year old Mitsubishi LT-46231 has it as does some others. Also, some external DVRs may have TVGOS such as Sony and I think Panasonic had in the past.

True but TVGOS does have it's drawbacks as mentioned in this similar thread by the OP.
I have TVGOS on my Sony HDTV and really like it but it is only 24hrs and no more. Not a limitation of TVGOS but just how Sony implemented it.
I don't believe Panasonic ever had TVGOS on it's HDTVs but did for sure in it's HDD DVDRs but only analog TVGOS which is basically worthless now days.
Phase700B's Avatar Phase700B 09:45 AM 04-14-2012
Hmmm. . my Mitsubisi LT-46231 has an 8-Day program guide and I use it all the time to time shift our HD TV programs we like to watch. It also allows output , albeit 480i, to record programs to an external DVD recorder or S-VHS recorder from live TV or from our (IEEE1394 Firewire) DVR. One reason I bought the Mits in 2007 was BECAUSE it had so many input/output options, including two IEEE 1394 Firewire I/O ports. The I/O panel is huge and TV makers have only reduced I/O capabilities a great deal in the last few years.

And Panasonic has TVGOS on the OTHER devices such as the DHG-HDD250/500 recorders.

Otherwise, of course, there is always the option of using a home theater PC with a tuner card or online streaming to record video and store it on a hard drive. There are many possibilities these days to record OTA, cable, or web based streaming programs of all sorts. In fact, it gets almost confusing with all the overlap and options available.

I've resorted also to viewing past episodes of TV series on our HTPC, but to me it defeats the purpose of having an HDTV somewhat since the video quality it not as pristine as OTA reception. So, yeah, lot's of options, but also trade offs too.
Ken H's Avatar Ken H 03:08 PM 04-14-2012
TVGOS is on the way out. Fewer and fewer cable providers support it, they are very unresponsive to end user questions and concerns, and they are slow in responding to their broadcast partners issues.

Besides, it's a moot point as there are no current consumer products that even offer it. At least that I'm aware of.

Having said that, there are few current HDTV's that have OTA PSIP based guide capability. Between the fact OTA stations are less than diligent with maintaining PSIP and such a small percentage of TV viewers (10%-15%) depend on it, it never really caught on.

I strongly believe the next guide option in HDTV's will be an Internet based app that will provide OTA viewers with full guide data. It already exists in the recently available Channel Master TV CM7400 HD DVR, who charges owners $50 a year for the option. All TV manufacturers would need to do is license access to the data and write an app that would use the data. In light of the fact Internet connected 'smart' HDTV's are so popular, this is a natural progression.
videobruce's Avatar videobruce 05:45 AM 04-15-2012
Quote:


signal meters can be misleading depending on what they display (signal "strength" and/or dB readings).

Actually, I beleive they read error rates, not necessarily signal level. Either way, most of those indicators are worthless AFAIC.

If the device doesn't have it, it shouldn't be a big deal.
videobruce's Avatar videobruce 05:45 AM 04-15-2012
Quote:


TVGOS is on the way out.

Bite your tongue!
kenglish's Avatar kenglish 10:10 AM 04-15-2012
Broadcasters are still legally obligated to provide a certain level of Electronic Program Guide, via PSIP.
The trouble has always been, how to update it at the station end, and get simultaneous updates to the Cable and DBS providers. That's one reason it has not been enforced very well.
JoeWS's Avatar JoeWS 11:59 AM 04-15-2012
Both remotes are identical.
Ken H's Avatar Ken H 01:35 PM 04-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Bite your tongue!

Wouldn't you rather have something that works well & works reliably?
Ken H's Avatar Ken H 01:43 PM 04-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Actually, I beleive they read error rates, not necessarily signal level.

It varies. Some designs use one or the other, while some designs use both combined.

Quote:


Either way, most of those indicators are worthless AFAIC.

If the device doesn't have it, it shouldn't be a big deal.

?

You can't maximize reception without some idea of what you're getting.
videobruce's Avatar videobruce 03:34 PM 04-15-2012
Quote:


Wouldn't you rather have something that works well & works reliably?

TVGOS in my market has been very reliable. The only "outage" that was substantial was one time for an host station equipment failure. Other than occasional 'No data' for the 8th day, it's been very reliable here.
Quote:


You can't maximize reception without some idea of what you're getting.

True, but, if the readings are questionable, which are with most receivers I have seen, one doesn't get a true indication of signal quality.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I see readings stating high signal levels where in fact the opposite is true. Real signal readings from a real SLM show a different story.
jjeff's Avatar jjeff 05:13 PM 04-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWS View Post

I own 2 Visios. I bought the E370VL about 18 months ago and it has a guide that shows current time, and info on the current show. If you press "GUIDE" again, you get shows for the next 12 hours or more in some cases.

A few months ago, I bought another VISIO (42" model) and the guide feature showed current show only. I called their customer service department and was told the guide feature was changed on the newer model and no longer showed upcoming shows.

As far as a signal meter goes, both sets display signal strength (as well as other data) if you press MENU, then select HELP, followed by SYSTEM INFO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Does your 42" Vizio remote have a GUIDE button? It was always my belief if the remote had a GUIDE button(not just INFO button) then it would have a full PSIP guide....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWS View Post

Both remotes are identical.

That's bad, then one really has no idea if their Vizio will have a guide, unless they just assume all newer Vizios even if they have a GUIDE button will not have the guide To me GUIDE means guide, INFO should be used for a display of whats currently on!
As I said before with the older Vizios if it had a GUIDE button it was PSIP and went out as far as was broadcast, sounds like things have changed for the worse at Vizio
sneals2000's Avatar sneals2000 08:07 PM 04-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

gregzoll is correct. There just isn't that much of a demand for built-in Onscreen guides. We have a digital OTA station here that has a fairly comprehensive TVGuide (WhatsOn) for all of the OTA stations in our area but I rarely use it. In fact, I just use the one that comes in our Sunday paper.

Hmm - is this because there just isn't much of a demand for OTA? If people watch OTA, I'd imagine there was a demand for a guide.

If OTA is your main viewing platform I'd imagine that an OTA EPG would be pretty useful - particularly if you had a DVR?

This side of the pond most countries using DVB-T/T2 OTA implement a multi-day/multi-channel EPG using the open DVB EIT standard. In the UK all stations broadcast 7 days of listings for ALL channels (not just the channel you are tuned to) and the EIT data has remote start/stop record trigger functionality for DVRs (so the recording starts when the broadcast playout/MCR triggers that the show has started - not by the clock) But then we're used to this. We've had a guide, of sorts, on analogue TV since the 70s when Teletext listings became available (and in the 80s when PDC - Programme Delivery Control or VPS - a similar remote start/stop system became available)

I wouldn't be without my GUIDE button on my nothing-special Sony OTA TV.

This is what I see when I press it :

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

In fact, I've just got back from the US, and kept looking for a GUIDE button to work out what on earth was on (not easy with no EPG and no Teletext)... I ended up going onto the web...

I think the US is unusual in not having popular OTA guide services. Europe, Japan, and most of the rest of the world embracing digital TV has them AIUI. However I can see the complexity in implementing them in the US - where local stations handle final playout/scheduling (which is quite unusual elsewhere in the world)
Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski 10:02 PM 04-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I don't believe Panasonic ever had TVGOS on it's HDTVs but did for sure in it's HDD DVDRs but only analog TVGOS which is basically worthless now days.

They did, in the analog days. Worked fine, with full 7-8 days' data.

I briefly had one with v9 myself. It was nice.
Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski 10:13 PM 04-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

I strongly believe the next guide option in HDTV's will be an Internet based app that will provide OTA viewers with full guide data. It already exists in the recently available Channel Master TV CM7400 HD DVR, who charges owners $50 a year for the option. All TV manufacturers would need to do is license access to the data and write an app that would use the data. In light of the fact Internet connected 'smart' HDTV's are so popular, this is a natural progression.

This is where I see it headed, too. If nothing else, you could always access a free internet guide, such as TitanTV or Zap2It, through a Smart TV's browser.
videobruce's Avatar videobruce 04:50 AM 04-16-2012
Quote:


only analog TVGOS which is basically worthless now days.

Not so if your MSO still provides an analog data source (host) as is the case in this market.
Jed1's Avatar Jed1 12:45 PM 04-16-2012
As I stated a while back on AVS, TVGOS is now a legecy product and is no longer listed on their products page. It is only listed under their support section.
Click on this old link for TVGOS from the DHG thread and see where it takes you:
Interactive demo of TV Guide OnScreen
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...6&postcount=58

As you will notice there is no mention of TVGOS and now shows the Total Guide products.

Rovi has moved onto a new guide that will be available in some new tvs this year. It is called Total Guide and will use a internet connection to get guide data. The same guide will be available to cable companies to embed in their STBs.

A word of caution about Tribunes Media Services Guide is Tribune is in bankruptcy and it is not known what will happen to some of their underperforming divisions.
So those with Tivos, Moxis, Windows Media Center, and Ceton products better brace themselves for the worst cas scenerio.
I was considering buying two Tivos and putting a Ceton quad tuner cablecard in my PC, but I am holding off purchasing anything with this guide until it is known what will come of the bankruptcy.
sneals2000's Avatar sneals2000 02:36 PM 04-16-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jed1 View Post


A word of caution about Tribunes Media Services Guide is Tribune is in bankruptcy and it is not known what will happen to some of their underperforming divisions.
So those with Tivos, Moxis, Windows Media Center, and Ceton products better brace themselves for the worst cas scenerio.
I was considering buying two Tivos and putting a Ceton quad tuner cablecard in my PC, but I am holding off purchasing anything with this guide until it is known what will come of the bankruptcy.

Though I think the warning about Windows Media Center may be US/North America only. AIUI the European WMC listings are provided by BDS (a former division of the BBC based in London)

Tribune provided listings for the UK' s short-lived S1 UK Tivo (made by Thomson) - until that service closed a year or so ago (years after Tivo boxes ceased to be available in the shops) when Tivo relaunched in the UK as a cable box. (Wasn't massively impressed by their guide data or understanding of the UK broadcast platforms - though it got better)
Jed1's Avatar Jed1 10:12 PM 04-18-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Though I think the warning about Windows Media Center may be US/North America only. AIUI the European WMC listings are provided by BDS (a former division of the BBC based in London)

Tribune provided listings for the UK' s short-lived S1 UK Tivo (made by Thomson) - until that service closed a year or so ago (years after Tivo boxes ceased to be available in the shops) when Tivo relaunched in the UK as a cable box. (Wasn't massively impressed by their guide data or understanding of the UK broadcast platforms - though it got better)

I really didn't look to see if the Tribune Media Services was just US based, North American based (Canada, US, Mexico), or global.
They maybe using a different name outside of the US if they are global.
VendorBS's Avatar VendorBS 11:24 PM 04-25-2012
Well actually even Sony has followed Vizio in the lack of signal strength meter category. I assumed my 32" Sony Bravia would have one but nothing doing.
jjeff's Avatar jjeff 07:06 AM 04-26-2012
Did you look the customer support tab? It doesn't really make sense but that's where mine is and it's a nice meter with several readings other than signal strength. Note my Sony is several years old so it's possible yours is different.
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