Does your CATV company use physical channel numbers or OTA virtual numbers for local stations? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Does your cable TV system use OTA virtual numbers or their own physical channel numbers for non encr
OTA virtual numbers 7 100.00%
CATV physical numbers 0 0%
I don't know, I use their equipment (STB). 0 0%
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-07-2013, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Just how many cable TV systems still use their physical channel numbers for the unencrypted local broadcast stations instead of the actual stations virtual channel number? This is without using a Cable Card or their eqjuipment.

Example; in this market, the NBC affiliate (WGRZ) old analog allocation was VHF channel two. Their digital OTA physical channel is now 33.1, but is ID'ed as virtual channel 2.1 (which creates problems and confusion when it comes to antenna selection, but that is another subject).
TWC up to two or so years ago, on your equipment (TV, DVR or tuner) w/o a CableCard the station channel number would show whichever cable TV physical channel number it was. In my case (IIRC) was 88 or 89.1. Now they have remapped that to the OTA number making it easier for Joe Sixpack to figure out what is what using the old analog number (which is why the NAB wanted it this way for OTA).

I wonder how many still use the CATV physical channel number. TWC in my market switched around two years ago.

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Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way. If you like Wi-Fi so much, OTA fits right in. After all, it is wireless.
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-07-2013, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Just how many cable TV systems still use their physical channel numbers for the unencrypted local broadcast stations instead of the actual stations virtual channel number? This is without using a Cable Card or their eqjuipment.

Example; in this market, the NBC affiliate (WGRZ) old analog allocation was VHF channel two. Their digital OTA physical channel is now 33.1, but is ID'ed as virtual channel 2.1 (which creates problems and confusion when it comes to antenna selection, but that is another subject).
TWC up to two or so years ago, on your equipment (TV, DVR or tuner) w/o a CableCard the station channel number would show whichever cable TV physical channel number it was. In my case (IIRC) was 88 or 89.1. Now they have remapped that to the OTA number making it easier for Joe Sixpack to figure out what is what using the old analog number (which is why the NAB wanted it this way for OTA).

I wonder how many still use the CATV physical channel number. TWC in my market switched around two years ago.

Cox in my area uses the same virtual channel number that their STBs use. For example, the CBS affiliate (KFMB-DT) is on 1008 either on the STB or as ClearQAM using the TV's tuner. Likewise, the ABC affiliate (KGTV-DT) is on 1010 either way. This method is used on all of the non-encrypted digital channels (about 30 channels.)
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-07-2013, 02:48 PM
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I voted for OTA virtual and my local Comcast uses mostly that but a few sub channels have vastly different numbers.
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-07-2013, 07:01 PM
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WITHOUT a CableCard or Digital Converter Box, to see Local OTA Digital Channels in HD, you have to tune to the PHYSICAL QAM Channel number, which on most systems are located somewhere ABOVE all of the Analog channels (about 73 max now on TWC-SD??). Just to keep things interesting, the cable systems keep changing the Clear QAM Channel assignments, forcing users to periodically RESCAN (and EDIT out the Encrypted QAM Channels)...what a hassle....

When using a CableCard with a QAM capable HDTV, it remaps the Physical QAM Channel number to the assigned Digital Channel number....which may or may not be same as the OTA Virtual Channel number for Clear OTA Channels. On TWC-SD, Cable Ch5 is remapped from RF Ch19 (69.1), Cable Ch6 is remapped from RF Ch23 (6.1), cable Ch9 is remapped from RF Ch18 (51.1), Cable Ch11 is remapped from RF Ch30 (15.1), whereas Ch8 (8.1) and Ch10 (10.1) don't require remapping.

When Cable Ch5 (69.1) initially fired up their Ch18 DTV transmitter in San Diego, they chose to use their CABLE Channel number as their OTA Virtual Channel number (5), rather than using their ANALOG Channel number (69). This caused problems for some STBs and HDTVs in North San Diego County and along the Coast, since the REAL ANALOG Ch5 in L.A. was using Virtual 5.1 on their Digital broadcast (RF Ch31). Some STBs and HDTVs didn't know how to handle TWO stations using the SAME Virtual Channel number. It took several emails to explain the problem and convince them to use 69.1 as their Virtual Channel Number, thus eliminating the problem as they adhered to the "expected" Virtual Channel number assignment system.....and a later follow up when station personnel changed, who had to be "re-educated"...

So there are lots of different "Channel numbers": OTA RF, OTA Virtual, Cable Analog RF, Cable QAM RF and Cable Digital Virtual Channel Number.
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-07-2013, 09:15 PM
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Well it depends...here in Comcast Minneapolis land

Our Big4 +PBS stations are on their analog broadcasting numbers on cable (2,4,5,9,11)
CW, My and Ion are on 8,10,20 respectively even though they are on OTA 23,29,41

QAM for all those locals match what is OTA (2-1, 4-1, 5-1, 23-1 etc)
All subchannels but one matches OTA. For some reason live Well is 5-7 on OTA but 5-5 on cable (and before you ask, there are 2 RF channels here in Minneapolis that merge their PSIP info....we dont have 7 channels on the ABC) wink.gif

Religious, pubic access, shopping are just random but the public access, gov't access and educational access the mapping is close. Analog they are 14,15,16 and QAM they are 93-14,93-15,93-16
Oddball is WGN HD. Its 22 analog and 50-1 digital (qam is some weird number)
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-07-2013, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

WITHOUT a CableCard or Digital Converter Box, to see Local OTA Digital Channels in HD, you have to tune to the PHYSICAL QAM Channel number, which on most systems are located somewhere ABOVE all of the Analog channels (about 73 max now on TWC-SD??). Just to keep things interesting, the cable systems keep changing the Clear QAM Channel assignments, forcing users to periodically RESCAN (and EDIT out the Encrypted QAM Channels)...what a hassle....

Cox hasn't changed any ClearQAM channel assignments since they started mirroring the STB channel numbers. KPBS was 1011 two years ago, and it is 1011 today - both on ClearQAM and on a STB.
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-08-2013, 12:06 AM
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Why does it matter? Clear QAM is likely going away in most markets, anyway. My cable Co doesn't mess with the tags. If a channel has one it gets passed on, if it doesn't they add one. If there is a tag, what number it shows up as depends on the tuner. On most of my tuners they show up correctly. I do have a Phillips HDD recorder, however, that numbers the first sub-channel it finds as XX.1, the second as XX.2 and so on regardless of the actual sub-channel number.
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-08-2013, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Cox in my area uses the same virtual channel number that their STBs use.
Never heard of that. Makes more sense if these MSO's would just use the OTA virtual channel number instead of some silly fictitious three or four digit number.
Quote:
the cable systems keep changing the Clear QAM Channel assignments
Not all systems and ones that have, rarely. Shouldn't be much of a issue. I think that was more prevalent just after the switch over,
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So there are lots of different "Channel numbers": OTA RF, OTA Virtual, Cable Analog RF, Cable QAM RF and Cable Digital.
Actually four since analog doesn't enter into the equation here. wink.gif Of course it should of been three, but thanks to the NAB, the whiners wanted to confuse the situation more by using their outdated analog number. Funny, stations can change call letters left and right, but heaven forbid changing a one or two digoit number was a big deal. With a little education, people would/could of gotten use to a different number, this eliminating most of this confusion.

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Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way. If you like Wi-Fi so much, OTA fits right in. After all, it is wireless.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-08-2013, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Why does it matter? Clear QAM is likely going away in most markets, anyway.
Some markets. Yes it does matter. The lack of the ability to edit channel numbers on certain devices causes serious problems that some manufactures have no clue about. As in matching their stupid fictitious channel numbers with the equivalent OTA number.

This was only referring to OTA, not CATV services.

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post #10 of 16 Old 02-08-2013, 11:12 AM
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Greenville SC, Charter ... recently (maybe a year, but time flies) changed the PSIP such that my QAM (directly) connected TV now shows the broadcasters' intended channel numbering. As one specific example, WYFF has 4.1 and 4.2 DISPLAYED via both OTA and Charter. Our cable box, on another set, shows plain 4 for the SD broadcast (in analog), 704 for the 4.1 (1080i) broadcast, and 136 for the 4.2 broadcast. REAL RF ... OTA ... are 36.1 and 36.2. REAL RF, over the cable, is 114.1 and 114.2 (there are 2 HD and 4 SD on this 735MHz channel).
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post #11 of 16 Old 02-08-2013, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Quote:
Cox in my area uses the same virtual channel number that their STBs use.
Never heard of that. Makes more sense if these MSO's would just use the OTA virtual channel number instead of some silly fictitious three or four digit number.

Why? With Cox's method, when they list the channel number on their website, they just list a single channel that's correct for those using a STB and for those using ClearQAM. Same goes for the online guides like Zap2It or TVGuide.com. When they list KFMB on 8 (SD) and 1008 (HD), it's correct no matter if the user is using a STB, or just his TV's tuner. It just makes sense.
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post #12 of 16 Old 02-08-2013, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Simply because one number is recognized for the OTA station number (what the NAB fought for), their fictitious number is not. It can be anything. I'm sure the local broadcasters don't like it either. It only adds more confusion if there isn't enough of it already.

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post #13 of 16 Old 02-08-2013, 02:34 PM
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Physical (2 & 3 digit), Virtual Cable (4-digit), Virtual OTA and Frequency for COX-SanDiego QAM Channels are listed here:
http://www.sandiegohdtv.org/forums/thread-Cox-ClearQAM-Dec-2012

Physical, Virtual Cable, Virtual OTA and Frequency for TWC-SanDiego QAM Channels are listed here:
77.aaaa, 705 (69.1), 543 MHz
77.bbbb, 706 (6.1), 543 MHz
78.cccc, 707 (7.1), 549 MHz
78.dddd, 708 (8.1), 549 MHz
79.eeee, 709 (51.1), 555 MHz
79.gggg, 710 (10.1), 555 MHz
79.hhhh, 711 (11.1), 555 MHz
Decimal values in QAM Channel Numbers varies, depending on how the user equipment determines this value.....

On CATV systems, FOUR digit CABLE Channel numbers are ALWAYS Virtual numbers, which can be arbitrarily assigned by the cable company (on TWC-SD they are 1, 2, 3 & 4 digits). For those systems still broadcasting an Extended Analog Tier (typically up thru about Ch70-80), Digital QAM Channel numbers within Analog Tier are studiously avoided, since they result in a "blank" or snowy/noise channel when tuning through the Analog Tier. Hence Digital QAM Channel numbers (plus perhaps one to four decimals indicating a sub-channel number) usually start as two digit numbers in the 70's, 80's and 90's plus 100's up to about QAM Ch124, with a 50 MHz protection gap before MOCA at 850-1500 MHz (usually):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_cable_television_frequencies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimedia_over_Coax_Alliance

BTW: I would like to see the Cable companies assign the SAME Virtual Channel Number to the HD Tier as they do to the Analog Tier (e.g. Ch5 thru 11). Since it's an arbitrary Virtual number assigned by the cable company, look up tables in HD STB's could be easily reprogrammed to do this. If a rare HD-STB user wanted to tune to the SD version of the OTA HD Channel, let THEM use a four digit Virtual Channel number. And SD STB's would still enter Ch5-11, with THEIR internal look-up table set-up to pick the SD version on the appropriate shared QAM channel.
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post #14 of 16 Old 02-08-2013, 09:29 PM
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BHN in Detroit uses both. Stations on this side of the border get the proper virtual channel in Clear QAM. WDIV is 4.1, WWJ is 62.1, etc. OTOH, CBC Windsor (Virtual 9) is 81.1 or some such.

BHN obviously mirrors the published channel allocation with an STB or CableCard. WDIV is 4 (SD) and 204 (HD), WWJ is 14 (SD) and 214 (HD). CBC Is 9 and 209.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #15 of 16 Old 02-08-2013, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Simply because one number is recognized for the OTA station number (what the NAB fought for), their fictitious number is not. It can be anything. I'm sure the local broadcasters don't like it either. It only adds more confusion if there isn't enough of it already.

Huh? 8 is the recognized channel number for OTA KFMB. 8 is also the channel number on cable, whether a STB is used or not. That's confusing?
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post #16 of 16 Old 02-09-2013, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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domino92024;
I'm talking about systems that don't do this.

Now if the 'head in the sand', brain dead morons over at TiVo would understand this, their product would be far better as far as their gross oversight and lack of understanding about having guide data for OTA stations on cable using what appeasr to be universal use of OTA numbers that show on non MSO supplied devices instead of some fictitious number (three or four digit) they decided to use.

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Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way. If you like Wi-Fi so much, OTA fits right in. After all, it is wireless.
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