HDHomeRun picks up cable HD channels, why doesn't my TV? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I have Comcast internet but no cable package at all. When we first moved in I tried connecting their coax to my TV and scanning for channels...a couple came up but I didn't get all of the networks. Since then I've been using an antenna with reasonable success.

A few months ago I bought a HDHomeRun, connected it to that same coax, and it pulls in a whole bunch of Comcast super basic channels (CSPAN, all of the networks in HD, ION, CW, etc.). I've tried a number of times to use the same feed on my TV but it doesn't correctly identify those channels. My TV is a Panasonic plasma, model TH50PX77U. I've been plugging the coax in the back and running the auto-scan for digital channels via the TV menu.

Does anyone know what might be causing this? Is there a way to get these channels directly on my TV?
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 07:37 AM
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The HDHomeRun looks to be a network devices. Your TV's onboard tuner is for off air digital broadcast, I guess the days of the free lunch are over.
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil17108 View Post

The HDHomeRun looks to be a network devices. Your TV's onboard tuner is for off air digital broadcast, I guess the days of the free lunch are over.

Well the HDHomeRun takes in a coax cable signal and provides the available channels over the network to computers and other devices. Essentially it's a digital tuner that streams each channel across the network. It should tune channels the same way the TV does (I think).
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 08:48 AM
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My guess is that your tv tuner does not have Clear QAM capabilities and if you run coax from your WD to the cable input of the tv, it takes whatever cable signals are not Clear QAM. Or, you're using OTA to scan on your tv and haven't set it to Cable.
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

My guess is that your tv tuner does not have Clear QAM capabilities and if you run coax from your WD to the cable input of the tv, it takes whatever cable signals are not Clear QAM. Or, you're using OTA to scan on your tv and haven't set it to Cable.

My TV (TH50PX77U) does have a QAM tuner, at least according to the specs, and I ran it as a cable (not OTA) search. I did get a few channels but certainly not all the ones that the HDHomeRun found. It's weird because it definitely picked up HD channels, just not all of them. And it detected a lot of strange numbered channels, like 42-342.
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 10:43 AM
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Maybe it's a mapping issue. Your tv's tuner doesn't understand the channel numbers it's receiving from the WD.
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 12:01 PM
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I actually don't see a confirmation at Pan's qebsite that is DOES have a QAM tuner (or rather, that it has the software capability to scan all the CATV frequencies; It's obviously demodding some of them when it finds them):
http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/TH42PX77U.PDF

I suspect your TV may be using OTA frequencies to scan, rather than CATV freqs. If you have a 'Cable' setting in your tv's menu, is it possible that is for Analog-cable only (in case there's any left on the users provider...).
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm yeah I didn't see anything in the manual that you linked either, strange. I had checked here which says it supports ATSC/NTSC/QAM -> http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/TH-50PX77U?t=specs

I think you might be right about it not scanning all the frequencies even when set to 'Cable' as the input source. I'm going to re-run the scan tonight and write down what it finds to compare to the available channel list on silicondust.
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 03:34 PM
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I didn't look down far enough in those specs to see the mention farther down. I had seen that page earlier but missed it.

I don't really like my explanation anyway. It doesn't make sense that if it scanned the CATV freqs for an analog signal (to build a ch-up/ch-down line-up) that that it wouldn't also use the same set of freqs when scanning for DTV (or do so in the same analog/digital scan).
It could be as Otto said (i.e. the missing channels are even "weirder" that 42-342 and your TV balks at using them). It could even be a signal issue. Comcast doesn't really use SDV and you didn't mention a tuning adapter, so it can't be that .
If you gave a list of the missing channel #s we could compare... Or a zip code, and I may be see what I get.
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-23-2013, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProstheticWings View Post

I have Comcast internet but no cable package at all. When we first moved in I tried connecting their coax to my TV and scanning for channels...a couple came up but I didn't get all of the networks. Since then I've been using an antenna with reasonable success.

A few months ago I bought a HDHomeRun, connected it to that same coax, and it pulls in a whole bunch of Comcast super basic channels (CSPAN, all of the networks in HD, ION, CW, etc.). I've tried a number of times to use the same feed on my TV but it doesn't correctly identify those channels. My TV is a Panasonic plasma, model TH50PX77U. I've been plugging the coax in the back and running the auto-scan for digital channels via the TV menu.

Does anyone know what might be causing this? Is there a way to get these channels directly on my TV?

Not all cable tuners are created equally. It is possible your circa 2007 Panasonic TV is not as sensitive to cable signals as is the circa 2013 HDHomeRun. Since you do not have a cable package, the cable company may have installed a filter to block the super basic channels. The blocking weakens those channels but probably not enough to prevent you from receiving them on your HDHomeRun only.
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post #11 of 21 Old 09-24-2013, 04:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredengineer View Post

Not all cable tuners are created equally. It is possible your circa 2007 Panasonic TV is not as sensitive to cable signals as is the circa 2013 HDHomeRun. Since you do not have a cable package, the cable company may have installed a filter to block the super basic channels. The blocking weakens those channels but probably not enough to prevent you from receiving them on your HDHomeRun only.
That or you've split the signals so much in your house that the signal reaching your TV isn't strong enough for the TV's receiver. As mention by retiredengineer, the sensitivity of many older TV's isn't as good as some of today's devices and everytime you put a coax splitter into a line you 1/2 the power. 9 times out of 10 when I see people complain about signal quality, countless splitters in the coax line is the culprit in which case you may want to consider an amplifier.

I have a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 in my Home Theater PC (HTPC) and it's able to pull in weaker OTA signals then my older LG LCD TV from 2008.
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post #12 of 21 Old 09-24-2013, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help everyone. I re-ran the scan overnight and wrote down all the found channels this morning, I'm in the process of comparing that list to what I get with the HDHomeRun. So far it definitely looks like some of the channels line up with the HDHomeRun.

My zip code is 15206 and the channel list from silicondust is here -> http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/lineup_web/US:15206#lineup_9850367

It looks like my TV might be having trouble with the channel names that end with XXXX (like 109-2301) which are unfortunately the HD network stations.

I've also been looking into a firmware upgrade for my TV but it looks like there might not be one for my model. I'll write another update in a bit when I'm done comparing channels.
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-24-2013, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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So I matched everything I could and it looks like I'm getting every channel of note on my TV except for the HD channels that end in 4 digit numbers (like 107-2201). Part of my initial confusion was that the channel numbers are just a mess (all of the networks in SD, for instance, are under channel 81 - 81.1, 81.2, etc.).

The main reason that I want to do this is so that I can avoid putting up an outdoor antenna. If I can't get the networks in HD that's what I'll have to go back to I think. I put in a ticket with Panasonic to ask about firmware tuner updates so I'll see if that helps. This is a circa 2007 TV so it may not be able to handle those channel numbers and I might be out of luck.
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-24-2013, 02:06 PM
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You'll have to put up an antenna soon anyway, when Comcast encrypts all the locals too. You're so close to the towers you can probably get away with an indoor antenna. Seriously.
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post #15 of 21 Old 09-25-2013, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I thought that was happening earlier this year but so far so good. It'll stink losing all the channels on the HDHomerun (though I guess I can hook that into the antenna too with some reconfiguration of wires).

I thought we'd have no trouble with OTA channels either but the Pittsburgh hills are killing us. I haven't found antenna positioning yet that brings in every channel clearly. Our current OTA setup is good enough for reception though, honestly, I was just hoping to avoid having to run wiring for a permanent antenna. Right now the antenna is sitting in the middle of a room on top of some boxes.

Haven't heard back from Panasonic yet but I realized last night that I can't even enter four digit secondary channel numbers on my TV. Hopefully they have a firmware update that changes that.
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post #16 of 21 Old 09-25-2013, 09:00 AM
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If you can get some channels decently with an indoor antenna then you should certainly get more channels, with better reception, by putting an antenna, with possibly a rotor, on your roof.
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post #17 of 21 Old 09-26-2013, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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So to conclude, I heard back from Panasonic and they said that there wasn't a firmware update...which was proven to be untrue by google. I installed the update that I found via google (on Panasonic's site even) but it didn't solve the problem.

Back to the antenna for me. Thanks to all for your help and suggestions.
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post #18 of 21 Old 09-26-2013, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProstheticWings View Post

So to conclude, I heard back from Panasonic and they said that there wasn't a firmware update...which was proven to be untrue by google. I installed the update that I found via google (on Panasonic's site even) but it didn't solve the problem.

Back to the antenna for me. Thanks to all for your help and suggestions.

Go to TVFool and then post the results in the Local-HDTV forum that is local to you. The folks there will advise you on which antenna will work best for your location and probably how to set it up.
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-26-2013, 10:58 AM
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I am getting an opposite result from my setup. I just got the HDHR Prime and, after setting it up (not using a CableCard), it is getting fewer channels than when I use the built in tuners of my TV's. I am still trying to track down the issue.
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post #20 of 21 Old 09-26-2013, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GreyRadean View Post

I am getting an opposite result from my setup. I just got the HDHR Prime and, after setting it up (not using a CableCard), it is getting fewer channels than when I use the built in tuners of my TV's. I am still trying to track down the issue.

They have pretty good forums over at silicondust if you haven't visited them already. Also their channel list will show you what the HDHR *should* pick up from your provider:

http://www.silicondust.com/support/channels/
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post #21 of 21 Old 09-28-2013, 07:37 AM
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