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The Magic 8 Ball Speaks Out On TVGOS & DTV!

post #1 of 194
Thread Starter 
Per a number of requests, the mystical M8B peers into the future where mere mortals fear to tread.


A solution is currently in the final stages of testing that will assure existing TVGOS analog dependent devices (for example the Sony DHG-HDD250/500) future compatibility with TVGOS & Digital TV. Digital dependent TVGOS devices, like the Dish Network DTVPal Plus are already functioning correctly in the field.

The data will come from local CBS DTV stations across the country, will cover all stations in a local TV market, and will be delivered in such a way as to have zero impact on video quality.

Definitions:
Analog dependent devices are previously available TVGOS units with both digital and analog tuners.
Digital dependent devices are new TVGOS units with only digital tuners.
post #2 of 194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

(from another topic).....and the Sony turns out to be useless as a time shifter.....

Not so fast. The Sony's will be fine after 2/17/09, at least as good as they ever were.
post #3 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Not so fast. The Sony's will be fine after 2/17/09, at least as good as they ever were.


Not that I disagree with your assertion that Sony units will be as good as ever; I'm just hoping you're right - though, even if they pick up the digital TVGOS station without any trouble, I'm still not clear what happens if you - for some reason, or by mistake - reset TVGOS on your unit, therefore causing the firmware to revert to the factory version, which apparently doesn't work with digital TVGOS..
post #4 of 194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by avnstf View Post

I'm still not clear what happens if you - for some reason, or by mistake - reset TVGOS on your unit, therefore causing the firmware to revert to the factory version, which apparently doesn't work with digital TVGOS..

It won't matter.
post #5 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Not so fast. The Sony's will be fine after 2/17/09, at least as good as they ever were.


May be a bit off topic but how about a few more details. TVGOS says to buy a DTVPal to make your analog device work. Does the Sony already have a digital tuner and this is just a firmware upgrade to decode TVGOS data?
post #6 of 194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillN937 View Post

Does the Sony already have a digital tuner

Yes.
Quote:


...and this is just a firmware upgrade to decode TVGOS data?

Not at liberty to discuss, other than to say the Sony will soon be fine.
post #7 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Yes. Not at liberty to discuss, other than to say the Sony will soon be fine.

Then if that really turns out to be true, I won't even need a DTVPal DVR.
post #8 of 194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Then if that really turns out to be true...

Quote:
Originally Posted by avnstf View Post

Not that I disagree with your assertion that Sony units will be as good as ever...

It's not an assertion of any kind. The M8B made a statement of fact.
post #9 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

It's not an assertion of any kind. The M8B made a statement of fact.

Could you ask the M8B a few questions about the stock market???
post #10 of 194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Could you ask the M8B a few questions about the stock market???

Unfortunately, the stock market is beyond even the M8B's powers.
post #11 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Could you ask the M8B a few questions about the stock market???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Unfortunately, the stock market is beyond even the M8B's powers.

Magic 8 Ball: Stock Market Edition has this to report:

Outlook Not Good...
post #12 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

It won't matter.

Ken,

Will this fix work on a clean out of box unit after February or is it dependent on bootstraping a unit currently running?

Rick
post #13 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Definitions:
Analog dependent devices are previously available TVGOS units with both digital and analog tuners.
Digital dependent devices are new TVGOS units with only digital tuners.

I have a Sony DVR which only has an analog tuner - specifically model RDR-HX715. Does this (change) allow this unit to continue to receive TVGuide data OTA? If not, what if I connect a dedicated ATSC tuner or converter to the DVR? (which is what I've done already).
post #14 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by CA_Guy View Post

I have a Sony DVR which only has an analog tuner - specifically model RDR-HX715. Does this (change) allow this unit to continue to receive TVGuide data OTA? If not, what if I connect a dedicated ATSC tuner or converter to the DVR? (which is what I've done already).

The DTVPal is supposed to be the only external ATSC tuner that will convert the digital data to analog. Supposedly the OTA host stations haven't "turned that on" yet.
post #15 of 194
If I had a device that did analog TVGOS - I could test that function of the DTVPAL , since I KNOW my CBS is sending the digital TVGOS (email exchanged with chief engineer).
post #16 of 194
Nah, it's not working anywhere for anyone (including me) where they're supposedly already sending the "normal" data digitally. As far as this "special" data that only the priviledged Pal is supposed to use (which I find hard to believe they'd even do such a thing just for the Pal), I don't think it's "been said" that will start until at least February.

(You can see how much faith I have in the whole thing. I won't ever believe it until I actually see it happening for myself.)
post #17 of 194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrach View Post

Ken,

Will this fix work on a clean out of box unit after February or is it dependent on bootstraping a unit currently running?

Rick

New units will be digital dependent, so they should be fine. Older analog dependent units are what the fix is needed for (see the definitions in the first post).
post #18 of 194
post #19 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrach View Post

Ken,

Will this fix work on a clean out of box unit after February or is it dependent on bootstraping a unit currently running?

Rick



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

New units will be digital dependent, so they should be fine. Older analog dependent units are what the fix is needed for (see the definitions in the first post).

I'm not sure, but this is what I think rcrach may have been asking:

Will a new "old stock" unit (or one that has spent 6 months in the closet) work with the upcoming fix, if you don't open the box (or take it out of the closet) until after Feb 19th?

Or will it need to update itself somehow (to be able to accept the new digital fix) while the analog signal is still available?
post #20 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

I'm not sure, but this is what I think rcrach may have been asking:

Will a new "old stock" unit (or one that has spent 6 months in the closet) work with the upcoming fix, if you don't open the box (or take it out of the closet) until after Feb 19th?

Or will it need to update itself somehow (to be able to accept the new digital fix) while the analog signal is still available?

That's exactly what I meant, or to put it another way, does the dhg-hddXXX need to be at or above a certain TVGOS version revision to accept the fix?
post #21 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisS5 View Post

Does this change anything?

http://tvdecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2...ds-a-buyer/?hp

As I understand it, TV Guide Network is a different part of the TV Guide organization and Macrovision intends to keep the TVGOS part.
post #22 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

...The data will come from local CBS DTV stations across the country...

All CBS DTV stations?
post #23 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

All CBS DTV stations?

At least 90% coverage...
post #24 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

All CBS DTV stations?

At least the CBS owned and operated. Some affiliates may need to be coaxed.
post #25 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

At least the CBS owned and operated. Some affiliates may need to be coaxed.

Two small town CBS affiliates OTA here, one owned by Nexstar and the other owned by Local TV.
post #26 of 194
I can receive three CBS affiliates (all non o&o): Greenville SC, Columbia SC and Charlotte NC. I can tell the Columbia station is sending digital TVGOS, via the Sony's "hidden" TVGOS test function. The problem with actually using it is that I usually watch Greenville and Charlotte stations, so I'd have to rotate the antenna every night. If/when either the Greenville or Charlotte CBS stations joins the party, I'll be happier.

I wish Macrovision had arranged for South Carolina ETV (the state PBS network) to carry digital TVGOS, because they've done a pretty good job with the analog version, and I have good reception from four different transmitters.
post #27 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

I can tell the Columbia station is sending digital TVGOS, via the Sony's "hidden" TVGOS test function.

The TVGOS in my new Sony occasionally shows the guide. Other times it shows "Pending" on all channels. I suspect it's getting the data at times from Tulsa or Joplin, MO, since I can get some of those stations every now and then.

How do I access the hidden TVGOS test function?
Does the tes show what channel the data is coming from?
post #28 of 194
Hello,

First of all, many thanks to Ken_H, DrDon, Rammitinski, Trip and other moderators and frequent contributors to the forum. I've learned much from what you've all you've taken the time to offer, and appreciate it very much. Unfortunately, things are still not all that clear-cut with the TVGOS issue.

New forum member here, one with somewhat simple and old-fashioned needs and equipment compared with most of you, but one whose entertainment is dependent upon the some of the newer technologies discussed, nevertheless.

In particular, I'm a Detroit area Comcast cable subscriber who has been successfully enjoying TVGOS on my Panasonic DMR-EH75V for the past several years. TVGOS ceased functioning in the past week or so, and my fears were that it was in some way connected to the upcoming transition to DTV. Scouring the net and this forum for several hours has led me to believe the following:

1) WTVS -- Detroit's PBS station -- was my TVGOS analog host. This was apparent all along, as my TVGOS device tuned to it for EPG information when turned off.

2) Comcast had been passing this signal along to enable my TVGOS device to function properly.

3) At some point in the very recent past, WTVS stopped passing the analog TVGOS signal. Whether this is by design or the result of equipment failure, is uncertain. (at least, to me...)

and/or

4) Comcast has either stopped passing the TVGOS signal or it is now unavailable to them.

and/or

5) WWJ, CBS 62.1 is now providing a digital version of the TVGOS signal

or

WWJ, CBS 62.1 has made provisions to provide the TVGOS signal, but is currently not including actual TVGOS data in the stream

and/or

6) Comcast may or may not be passing this along to subscribers

and

7) the net result is empty EPG listings and continuous searching for a host channel on my TVGOS device

which

8) requires an analog TVGOS signal to propagate the listings.

There is a lot of additional, sometimes conflicting, information about the DTV Pal CECB and its ability (or not) to tune the digital TVGOS signal and (or not) to convert it to analog to pass along to analog-dependent devices. I've tried a couple of configurations in an attempt to fool my Panasonic into thinking it's getting an analog TVGOS signal from the TV Pal, to no avail. I'm open to experimentation, but each attempt at locating a host and downloading the EPG requires 24 - 48 hours during which I have to explain to my wife that she can watch TV, but the channel will be changing continuously. That doesn't fly very well around here.

I've learned about the various firmware versions and how to determine what my device uses via "magic" numbers that display TVGOS diagnostic screens. I've learned how to reset to factory defaults and how to force a Host station.

And after all of this, I still can't record a program on my DVD recorder anymore.

Ken H seems to have privileged information, yet is bound by a non-disclosure agreement and can only placate us with a 'It will all be better soon' general statement. I understand and respect this, but, with all the hullabaloo and warnings to the general public about the transition, you would think that somewhere along the chain, those responsible for generating, integrating and propagating the TVGOS signal would have the courtesy to let us know when it's going to 'break' and an estimate of how long it will be before we again have a working solution.

We seem to be a neglected part of the transition and I don't appreciate being left in the dark by the manufacturers, television stations, cable companies and, ultimately, Macrovision/Gemstar. (or whoever the current owner of TVGOS is...) Sure it's a "free" service -- what do we expect? Well, one of the reasons I selected the Panasonic was for the TVGOS service and its TIVO-like programmability. Assuming that this was provided by Panasonic under license, then I've paid for the service by my selection of their product.

Ken H -- there's one thing that's omitted from your definitions in the thread-opener, and it's the scenario that fits my situation:

Devices that were previously available with only analog tuner.

I've visited the Macrovision TVGOS page that permits you to determine whether your device should work and my situation meets the listed criteria. I've sent a message to them, as suggested, but have not received a reply.

I apologize for the length of this message and that it probably sounds like a rant to most of you. But the fun factor's not particularly high right now....
post #29 of 194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrillow View Post

Ken H -- there's one thing that's omitted from your definitions in the thread-opener, and it's the scenario that fits my situation:

Devices that were previously available with only analog tuner.

As others have already noted in this topic, because analog stations are going off the air, TVGOS devices with only analog tuners will no longer work as in the past. This should be pretty obvious.

As I understand it from others who have posted here, the DTVPal Plus, which uses TVGOS and has a DTV tuner, is supposed to be the solution for these devices. I haven't given any thought to how that would work, and if it would be an acceptable workaround for most end users.

I agree that the lack of information on this subject is less than desirable. That's why I asked my sources. My guess is that there are still a number of issues still being looked at, as the digital transition approaches. I can only suggest being patient, for now.
post #30 of 194
For information on using the EH75V strictly with manual timers, consult the DVD Recorders forum. There are one or two threads there devoted to the subject (might mention the EH55V in the thread title, which is basically the same). They can help you more with issues like the channels constantly changing due to the unit searching for the TVGOS signal when using an external tuner, etc.

That's really all you can do in the meantime, until when or if they ever get this thing sorted out.

As far as the Pal, nobody has gotten that to work yet, and others have also tried just about everything imaginable, so I don't think you can depend on that yet. The "word" is that they're not sending some kind of "special" data that's meant just for the Pal yet.

(Also, there is a lot of information in the Sony DVR thread in the HDTV Recorders forum about the intermittetent guide listing problems as of late.)
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