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...)
4) Comcast has either stopped passing the TVGOS signal or it is now unavailable to them.
5) WWJ, CBS 62.1 is now providing a digital version of the TVGOS signal
WWJ, CBS 62.1 has made provisions
to provide the TVGOS signal, but is currently not including actual TVGOS data in the stream
6) Comcast may or may not be passing this along to subscribers
7) the net result is empty EPG listings and continuous searching for a host channel on my TVGOS device
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....