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Dish DTVPal technical and TVGOS topic  

post #1 of 822
Thread Starter 
Lets leave the other thread to places to buy the unit and this one for all reviews and pictures
post #2 of 822
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4CZftKSCSPE
post #3 of 822
There is a sequence of five segments recorded June 12th:

DTVPal Unboxing
DTVPal Setup, Part 1
DTVPal Setup, Part 2
DTVPal Setup, Part 3
DTVPal Setup, Part 4

It's all here -> http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2008-06/...n-with-dtvpal/
post #4 of 822
Here's the review over at that other forum:

First Look: Dish Network's DTVPal Digital Converter
post #5 of 822
Thread Starter 
well i guess that says something about the nice and fancy tv guide epg, it ain't working.
post #6 of 822
I'm not too worried about that too much myself, as I intend to use it with my recorder's TVGOS.

But if one was hoping to be able to depend on it, well, then they're likely to be disappointed. Personally though, I expected and accepted that the moment I heard it would be using the PSIP data. I was already familiar enough with the unreliability and incompleteness of that.

At least you can set timers though, and that's still something that no other CECB box out there yet can do.
post #7 of 822
Thread Starter 
i hope it's ok i post this
http://www.gizmolovers.com/tag/tvgos/

Victim Of The Digital Transition: Analog TV Guide On Screen Devices?

Posted Wednesday, December 26th, 2007 at 21:03 by MegaZone. Filed under DVR, General Tech, HDTV Tags: digital television, Gemstar, TVGOS

Bruce Perens over at Technocrat pointed out something I hadn’t even thought of, and that I don’t recall being discussed elsewhere - the pending possible failure of TV Guide On Screen (TVGOS) dependent devices. According to Gemstar, more than 25 million households have TVGOS devices. Many, probably most, of these devices obtain their data from a signal embedded in the local analog PBS station’s broadcast. While an updated version of TVGOS which can use data from digital stations was released in 2006, most of the installed devices are analog-only.

The Gemstar TVGOS guide system was, and is, used in many TVs, VCRs, DVD recorders, and even DVRs. The Sony CableCARD DVRs, the DHG-HDD250 and DHG-HDD500, rely on TVGOS for not only their guide data, but also to set their clocks.

What will happen to all of these devices when the analog broadcasts cease on (or before) February 11, 2009? Even if you don’t use antenna, if the local PBS station goes all digital, the feed to your cable provider would be from the digital source. Even if the cable provider continued to provide the channel in analog form, it would be unlikely to contain the TVGOS data as the source feed would not. It seems likely that these devices will simply cease to function, or at least suffer a major loss of features, when the guide data is no longer available. It is already known that the Sony DVRs wouldn’t work in some areas of the country where the TVGOS data was simply unavailable as it was not carried by any of the stations.
post #8 of 822
It should work with most or all of the SD recorders with TVGOS (as long as the recorder has the correct Scientific Atlanta cable box code in it's code base, to be able to change the channels on the DTVPal with it's IR blaster), but as far as the Sony and LG DVR's, which have their own, built-in digital tuners, nobody knows for sure yet.

I'm thinkin' that it should work with the TV's that have TVGOS, too.

The box is supposed to "convert" the digital TVGOS data to analog (I believe) so that the recorder's TVGOS will still fill in with info and basically function the same as before.

All I know for sure is that I'll find out once I get mine, which should be within the next couple of days. And I promise to post my results here and in the DVD Recorders sub-forum as soon as I can, because I know there are legions of people here waiting to find this out.

As far as cable, who knows, because once they convert the local digital host channel to analog, that data gets stripped out. It just depends on whether they care enough to put it back in or not. I know that a couple of people here have had success bugging the heck out of their cable companies until they replaced it.
post #9 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by partsman_ba View Post

Here's the review over at that other forum:

First Look: Dish Network's DTVPal Digital Converter

Wow, thanks. I like their link to a copy of the manual. Well, at least a partial copy.

Does anyone have page 28?
post #10 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagger666 View Post

Even if you don't use antenna, if the local PBS station goes all digital, the feed to your cable provider would be from the digital source. Even if the cable provider continued to provide the channel in analog form, it would be unlikely to contain the TVGOS data as the source feed would not.

Is this true? I have read it both ways.

From other reports, the digital source will contain a digital copy of the old analog vertical blanking interval (VBI) data. Hopefully, when a cable company converts the digital source into an analog channel, they will take the digital copy of the VBI, and actually insert it into the analog's VBI.

This isn't to support TVGOS, but rather to support analog closed captioning (CC), which I believe, is legally required. If they do it "right", the TVGOS data should just come along for the ride with the analog CC data.

True?
post #11 of 822
The problem is that once they strip the signal out, many stations are not even bothering to put it back in.

And they don't have much incentive to do so, considering they'd really rather rent you their recording equipment with their guide.
post #12 of 822
Anyone know how the DTVPal's pass through feature work? Does it work when the unit is on?
post #13 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildgoose View Post

Anyone know how the DTVPal's pass through feature work? Does it work when the unit is on?

Yes dave or scott showed pics. You pus a analog passthru button on remote and then push yes or no to confirm. Not sure how to get box back though
post #14 of 822
DTVpal seems to have a whole lot of people stirred up.
post #15 of 822






Stolen from zatznotfunny.com - go to Dave's site and support him (so he won't object to my stealing his pics!)
post #16 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltA View Post

From other reports, the digital source will contain a digital copy of the old analog vertical blanking interval (VBI) data. Hopefully, when a cable company converts the digital source into an analog channel, they will take the digital copy of the VBI, and actually insert it into the analog's VBI.

If it doesn't, I suppose everyone will be returning theirs to Dish in Feb. as a defective product since it says it has a 7-day EPG but wouldn't.
post #17 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFranchise View Post

If it doesn't, I suppose everyone will be returning theirs to Dish in Feb. as a defective product since it says it has a 7-day EPG but wouldn't.

the EPG and the TVGOS features are distinct from one another, and about the EPG, DTVPal says "up to seven days" (my emphasis), because it's PSIP based, not TVGOS based

as for page 28, it's in one of the posts in the real DTVPal thread (as are the pics above and many more...)
- as the alternate for REAL zip codes, it lists a single fake zip code for each met area, e.g., NYC is 00001, San Fran is 00005
post #18 of 822
I posted the content below to the main DTV-Pal thread, but I'm afraid it got lost in all the talk about availability, price, and so on. So, I thought it was probably worthwhile to start a thread specifically discussing the ins and out of the DTV-Pal's TVGOS functionality.

____________________________________________________________ _____

Quoted from the CNET review:
"The DTVPal can also work in conjunction with a TV or DVD recorder that has TV Guide On Screen, or Guide Plus (also known as Gemstar). The instructions are in the manual, but basically you need to connect a G-Link cable from your TV Guide On Screen-capable device, set up the IR blaster in front of the DTV Pal, and set the DTVPal to TV Guide On Screen mode. We didn't have any TV Guide On Screen-capable devices on hand to test this, but it's a nice extra for those who use the service."

I've read, and perhaps misunderstood, that the DTV-Pal would somehow "convert" it's PSIP data into something that older TVGOS enabled devises could display on their guides. I'm wondering if I was wrong in my assumption.

Here's the way I understand the above CNET quote:

TVGOS data comes from OTA to TVGOS device.
Device sends TVGOS data to DTV-Pal via G-Link.
DTV-Pal reads TVGOS data, selects proper channel, emits an IR signal via IR blaster back to TVGOS device.

I had a TVGOS DVDr and it did display digital channels on the guide, even though it only had a NTSC tuner. So, TVGOS does broadcast program info for digital stations.

The only thing I'm wondering though, is what happens to the current TVGOS signal after 2/17/09? Will it continue? Or will the TVGOS abilities of the DTV-Pal just be a short term solution for legacy TVGOS devices?
post #19 of 822
So the DTVpal uses a PSIP based tv guide and not TVGOS tv guide but it does convert the digital TVGOS broadcast signal to analog for use with analog based TVGOS tuners? I sure hope the TR-50 DVR uses TVGOS as PSIP is not very reliable.
post #20 of 822
ok, operation of the DTVPal with TVGOS was described previously in the DTVPal thread AND there's a thread on VCRs and TVGOS...

a couple of us who are familiar with TVGOS and have looked at the relevant manual pages of the DTVPal have, I guess, gotten a little tired of describing its operation

but I have now answered your specific questions here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post14168745 in the main DTVPal thread, in the hope of not continuing to have ANOTHER new thread on the DTVPal...I don't know whether that hope will be fulfilled, but I do hope I've answered your questions...(one of the reviews that talked some about DTVPal's capabilities in this area was written by someone who probably didn't know much about how TVGOS works...
post #21 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWinbrook46636 View Post

So the DTVpal uses a PSIP based tv guide and not TVGOS tv guide but it does convert the digital TVGOS broadcast signal to analog for use with analog based TVGOS tuners? I sure hope the TR-50 DVR uses TVGOS as PSIP is not very reliable.

Not only that, PSIP info rarely goes out to 24 hr let alone 7 days.

I keep reading posts claiming the unit converts digital TVGOS to analog TVGOS, but is that a confirmed feature or just another speculated feature. There also seems to be the tacit assumption that the DTVpal will be programmed by selecting an entry in the EPG. Again, is that real or just more wishful speculation. These are the kinds of answers we hope to find out from those of you who are expecting units to arrive soon.
post #22 of 822
I should have been more specific then in how I wanted this thread to go. I didn't intend for it to be just another dtv-pal thread, I want it to be specific to TVGOS devices that work with the dtv-pal.
post #23 of 822
I think this is a worthwhile thread.
I know that I am only interested in the DTV-PAL b/c it MAY? keep my 3410 updated with TVGOS listings.
I will keep monitoring the "regular" DTV-PAL thread, hopefully to learn when these are available at a B&M here in the Twin Cities, so I can avoid S&H charges.
But I need some concrete answers on how this will work with the 3410A, which is seemingly in between as it CAN tune digital channels and I don't think it needs to change the channels on the DTV-PAL using the G-Link cable.
I JUST WANT THE TVGOS LISTINGS !!
post #24 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by anyhoo View Post

I think this is a worthwhile thread.
I know that I am only interested in the DTV-PAL b/c it MAY? keep my 3410 updated with TVGOS listings.
I will keep monitoring the "regular" DTV-PAL thread, hopefully to learn when these are available at a B&M here in the Twin Cities, so I can avoid S&H charges.
But I need some concrete answers on how this will work with the 3410A, which is seemingly in between as it CAN tune digital channels and I don't think it needs to change the channels on the DTV-PAL using the G-Link cable.
I JUST WANT THE TVGOS LISTINGS !!

I left a detailed post on that on the 3410a thread, but we won't know until someone tries it...we may need to trick the unit while the PBS analog station is still broadcasting...http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post14169082
post #25 of 822
I am wondering if we can't just turn off all our analog stations on the 3410?
Then, I am wondering if we turn on 3-0 (or 4-0) and that will be the "analog" station carrying the TVGOS data.
But as you say, we won't know until we try
post #26 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Not only that, PSIP info rarely goes out to 24 hr let alone 7 days.

I keep reading posts claiming the unit converts digital TVGOS to analog TVGOS, but is that a confirmed feature or just another speculated feature. There also seems to be the tacit assumption that the DTVpal will be programmed by selecting an entry in the EPG. Again, is that real or just more wishful speculation. These are the kinds of answers we hope to find out from those of you who are expecting units to arrive soon.

the manual pages about the TVGOS feature seems clear that the DTVPAL supplies the TVGOS data to analog devices that use TVGOS, after which users of such devices can use the TV Guide data to select a program for viewing or recording, which is then accomplished by the devices controlling the DTVPal to select which digital station it is tuned to...

as to "programming" the DTVPal, do you mean programming the DTVPal's timers? by selecting from the DTVPal EPG? that seems to be what the reviews have said, but this can't be done (nor many of the ordinary functions) if the DTVPal is set up to serve a TVGOS device...then THAT is the control...

at least that is how I read what I've seen

like Rammi, I hope to have checked this out myself by next week sometime (maybe even sooner for Rammi!)

finally, I think some PSIP data goes out further than 24 hours, and when there are millions of people out there actually USING the data, and asking their broadcasters for it, I think things will improve quickly
post #27 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by avnstf View Post

the manual pages about the TVGOS feature seems clear that the DTVPAL supplies the TVGOS data to analog devices that use TVGOS, after which users of such devices can use the TV Guide data to select a program for viewing or recording, which is then accomplished by the devices controlling the DTVPal to select which digital station it is tuned to...

I guess those of us with the Sony HD DVRs are out of luck then. We don't want to use the DTVpal as a tuner but simply as a means of converting the complete digital TVGOS signal to a complete analog TVGOS signal for use with the Sony's tuner. The Sony already has a digital tuner but uses the analog TVGOS signal. It sounds like the DTVpal simply takes the complete digital TVGOS signal and creates a very limited set of listings from it based only on what the DTVpal tuner receives or perhaps the local OTA channels for a general broadcast area and passes those through. I thought it would convert the whole digital TVGOS signal.
post #28 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWinbrook46636 View Post

I guess those of us with the Sony HD DVRs are out of luck then. We don't want to use the DTVpal as a tuner but simply as a means of converting the complete digital TVGOS signal to a complete analog TVGOS signal for use with the Sony's tuner. The Sony already has a digital tuner but uses the analog TVGOS signal. It sounds like the DTVpal simply takes the complete digital TVGOS signal and creates a very limited set of listings from it based only on what the DTVpal tuner receives or perhaps the local OTA channels for a general broadcast area and passes those through. I thought it would convert the whole digital TVGOS signal.

It depends on what TVGOS data the DTVPal passes to the unit it is serving. From what I gather, it is likely that the Dony 250/500 WILL be able to get its TVGOS data directly from the CBS digital station that is broadcasting it, once the PBS analog station is no longer doing so. A couple of people frequenting the thread on these devices seem to have demonstrated this, which makes me hopeful, because I have one of them.

The LG3410a is an intermediate case, with a digital tuner, high-def display and recording, but able to get the TVGOS data only from an analog station. It may be that the DTVPal supplies TVGOS data only of the kind you describe, but I suspect, instead, that Gemstar will broadcast a complete set of data as it does now, supplying the correct array of program data for each zip code, but that added to this will be the mocked up set with the fake zip code for the metropolitan area, consisting of program data for the broadcast channels, but with made up channel numbers that the analog devices can recognize. If this slightly enlarged TVGOS data set is sent to the TVGOS device, it simply picks out the limited data set needed for using the broadcast channels that the DTVPal will convert for its use.

But this, as you indicate, isn't the data that either the Sony or the LG needs. They need the ordinary data set associated with their real zip codes, and they don't need the DTVPAL to tune to the station the TVGOS device is being used for viewing or recording. So if the DTVPal searches out and finds the digital channel that is carrying the TVGOS data, and provides the full data ass part of a recognizable channel or output, that - along with the digital channels coming from the antenna - is what these devices need to function. I hope that in fact THAT is what the DTVPal is designed to provide, and that the ordinary sets of program data will be what are useful for digital devices, but that pure analog devices will select, instead, the data for the fake zip code, with the fake channel numbers, with which these devices can control the DTVPal as a tuner.

The digital TVGOS devices will then use the ordinary program data, using them directly for viewing or recording program that are selected via the TV Guide and receive by their own tuners, just as now. (This contrasts with how the analog TVGOS devices would operate from the made-up program guide, which would feedback instructions to the DTVPal to tune the channel on which the selected program will appear, and to convert the signal to analog form for use of the analog device.
post #29 of 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWinbrook46636 View Post

It sounds like the DTVpal simply takes the complete digital TVGOS signal and creates a very limited set of listings from it based only on what the DTVpal tuner receives or perhaps the local OTA channels for a general broadcast area and passes those through. I thought it would convert the whole digital TVGOS signal.

From what I have been reading here, it seems to me that the DTVpal takes the digital EPG data contained in many (some?) ATSC channel signals, and instead of using that digital EPG data to create its own on-screen guide (which some CECB's do), it translates it into analog TVGOS data and sends it out with the analog TV/video signal.

Basically, DTVpal doesn't need to find, or use, an ATSC station transmitting real digital TVGOS data.

Though, that does raise an interesting question. If by chance there is actually a local ATSC station which is transmitting digital TVGOS data, what does DTVpal do? Does it continue to create it own analog TVGOS data, or does it "convert" the digital TVGOS data into analog TVGOS data?

BTW, if DTVpal was simply converting real digital TVGOS data into analog TVGOS data, then you would still be using your real zip code. That's because the real TVGOS data would still be based off your real zip code. Instead, if DTVpal was simply converting ATSC EPG data into analog TVGOS data, then DTVpal would need to make up a fake zip code to include with that data, and you would need to use one of those fake zip codes (page 28 in its manual).
post #30 of 822
Thread Starter 
I'm sure when the switch over takes place a national standard will be set. what about other boxes that don't give you the choice which the dtvpal does but disables many of it's features as shown in the you tube videos. I have the cm-7000 which also does 7 days ahead and test it but CBS is 17 minutes fast on the clock while all other stations are right on.
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