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Will Vista Media Center TV work after Analog Shutoff?

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
I am watching ATSC only. I am wondering if I need to do anything since there seems to be problems during the 2/17 event when some stations shut off their analog channels. In addition, some channels will be moving their digital channels and I wonder if I need to do a rescan.
post #2 of 49
All analog OTA tv stations will cease to exist after 6/12 as far as I know. I heard some TV stations will also switch to VHF after the switch over, so it probably will not hurt to do a rescan. In my area Comcast has also ceased all digital broadcasts. I get 8 channels via QAM even though I'm not a cable subscribers
post #3 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

I am watching ATSC only. I am wondering if I need to do anything since there seems to be problems during the 2/17 event when some stations shut off their analog channels. In addition, some channels will be moving their digital channels and I wonder if I need to do a rescan.

If you're watching ATSC only, the only implication for you will be to rescan your channels since some stations might move from the UHF band to the upper VHF band. I was looking at VMC the other day and had a new 'Service Alert' tab on my TV + Movies tab. It has 6 pages of info that might be important to review, but I'd just take a deep breath, wake up on Saturday morning (since some stations aren't flipping the switch until evening) and then rescan. You might want to double check on Antennaweb.org and make sure you have a good updated list of channels, frequencies, and transmitter direction and distance from your location.
post #4 of 49
Dont bother rescanning it wont do anything. The way VMC is setup it gets the information about all your ATSC channels off the web with your guide updates. So if an ATSC channel changes their physical channel (some will stat transmitting on their old analog channel), you will just have to do a guide update and hope for the best. If Microsoft does not update the physical channel number on their servers then you will be in a world of hurt because all the rescanning in the world wont help you. There is a way to force VMC to look at a different physical channel but it involves editing some XML files. If you need to know which ones ask.
post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by abr27440 View Post

Dont bother rescanning it wont do anything. The way VMC is setup it gets the information about all your ATSC channels off the web with your guide updates. So if an ATSC channel changes their physical channel (some will stat transmitting on their old analog channel), you will just have to do a guide update and hope for the best.

I don't think that's quite true. The guide data if anything will be the same, but the channel mapping will change which requires you to rescan your channels. For example (not sure if these are the real numbers, but it doesn't really matter...) in the DC area Channel 7.1 might actually be broadcasting its ATSC signal on UHF channel 34 today, after tomorrow, I think they're going to be broadcasting again on channel 7 in the VHF range. The tuner will map the appropriate channel name and number to the real channel that is being broadcast via PSIP, so getting a guide update doesn't change a thing since the guide is based on PSIP value. The tuner needs to know what the change is as well, and that necessitates a channel scan.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong...and I apologize in advance if I am
post #6 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by herr_howard View Post

I don't think that's quite true. The guide data if anything will be the same, but the channel mapping will change which requires you to rescan your channels. For example (not sure if these are the real numbers, but it doesn't really matter...) in the DC area Channel 7.1 might actually be broadcasting its ATSC signal on UHF channel 34 today, after tomorrow, I think they're going to be broadcasting again on channel 7 in the VHF range. The tuner will map the appropriate channel name and number to the real channel that is being broadcast via PSIP, so getting a guide update doesn't change a thing since the guide is based on PSIP value. The tuner needs to know what the change is as well, and that necessitates a channel scan.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong...and I apologize in advance if I am

Thats how almost everything else works, not VMC. VMC will only look for channels specified by the guide data it receives, in those specifications are both the virtual and physical channel. If the physical channel is specified wrong in the data VMC gets you just wont get the channel, unless you go and edit some XML files to override the guide data. I had to do this myself back in November when my PBS channel did an early digital transition and went back to their old analog channel for ATSC broadcasts. Microsoft never (hopefully they eventually did) updated the physical channel number so I had to look up how to override it.
post #7 of 49
Well, the DTV switch has flipped, and like herr_howard thought DC area channel 7.1 has relocated, and is lost on my htpc. I did a rescan, and loaded the updated guide - I have all the listings of 7.1, but tunnng to it says no signal. It came in 5 bars yesterday, 1 bar - no signal today. I can tune it on my tv after the the tv was rescanned. CBS is the same, no go with VMC.

So, am I waiting for Microsoft to fix the guide data, or do I need to delete something in the PC to clear out what it thought the lost channels are now?

Have run through the tv setup every way I can think of - even changing zip code to a MD, DC and VA suburb.

So, how would I find what frequency 7.1 is broadcasting now, and what xml file would I need to change to fix this?
post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbdman View Post

Well, the DTV switch has flipped, and like herr_howard thought DC area channel 7.1 has relocated, and is lost on my htpc. I did a rescan, and loaded the updated guide - I have all the listings of 7.1, but tunnng to it says no signal. It came in 5 bars yesterday, 1 bar - no signal today. I can tune it on my tv after the the tv was rescanned. CBS is the same, no go with VMC.

So, am I waiting for Microsoft to fix the guide data, or do I need to delete something in the PC to clear out what it thought the lost channels are now?

Have run through the tv setup every way I can think of - even changing zip code to a MD, DC and VA suburb.

So, how would I find what frequency 7.1 is broadcasting now, and what xml file would I need to change to fix this?

I'm in the same boat as you....until they fix the physical channel mappings on 7 and 9.....
post #9 of 49
You can find the physical channels that are being used here http://tvfool.com/.

I will check when I get home, but at the moment I dont remember the file that needs to be edited. Who knows M$ might get their act together by tonight.
post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by abr27440 View Post

You can find the physical channels that are being used here http://tvfool.com/.

I will check when I get home, but at the moment I dont remember the file that needs to be edited. Who knows M$ might get their act together by tonight.

I know what the physical channels are, but with the Vista TVpack update, I have no clue how to force it to look at the new mappings. The RTM media center can be changed by editing atscchannels.xml in (C:\\ProgramData\\Microsoft\\eHome\\EPG\\prefs). This apparently does not work with the TVpack media center.
post #11 of 49
Check out this link to see what TV Fool says about the greater Leesburg VA area.

Also, for those having problems picking up channels 7 and 9, do you have antennas that are both VHF/UHF or do you have UHF only antennas? Before you get hot, it's not a challenge to intelligence or anything, it's just in my career of troubleshooting other technical things it's sometimes best to eliminate the obvious things.
post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by herr_howard View Post

Check out this link to see what TV Fool says about the greater Leesburg VA area.

Also, for those having problems picking up channels 7 and 9, do you have antennas that are both VHF/UHF or do you have UHF only antennas? Before you get hot, it's not a challenge to intelligence or anything, it's just in my career of troubleshooting other technical things it's sometimes best to eliminate the obvious things.

I've figured out that because the VMC TVpack guide hasn't updated to the new channel mappings, that I cannot tune into 7 or 9. I've attempted to google for a manual workaround to changing the channel, but it seems very complicated to manipulate the TVpack EPG. The other tv with a converter box seems to be related to the antenna it is using, making it very hard to get a vhf signal.
post #13 of 49
So, I found the physical channel that 7.1 moved to, and edited atscchannels.xml and channged it from 39 (before analog shutoff) to 7 (after shutoff). I'm not using the TVpack - plain Vista Media Center, and have a UHF/VHF antenna - like I said, receiving it fine on the TV tuner and a converter box, but not the htpc tv adapter. Still no go for recording.
post #14 of 49
Actually you dont want to edit the atscchannels.xml file as it is updated every time the guide is. What you want to do is edit the atscprefs.xml file, it should look something like this






where major is the virtual channel number
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by abr27440 View Post

Actually you dont want to edit the atscchannels.xml file as it is updated every time the guide is. What you want to do is edit the atscprefs.xml file, it should look something like this






where major is the virtual channel number

I just came up with the same solution before I saw this. I did it a bit different, since I didn't have (or know about) the atscprefs file to begin with. I deleted the channels that didn't show up in the atschannels.xml file (in C:\\Users\\All Users\\Microsoft\\eHome\\EPG\\prefs) making a backup first, then I went to settings, tv, guide, Add Missing Channels and added 7.1 with the assigned frequency of 7, and voila the channel now comes in!
And VMC created the atscprefs.xml file with the correct entry.
post #16 of 49
Yep thanks to microsoft getting info from guide instead of doing an actual scan I too am without NBC and CBS now. And I don't want to edit files.....god damn mediacenter. I don't know how you people use that crap. No wonder I've used it less and less. And refused to use it at all until vista lack of drivers forced me to...stupid ATI wonder tuner.
post #17 of 49
LA area reporting. Can't pickup CBS, ABC, KCAL, Fox, KCOP, KCET now. Still get NBC and whatever channel 5 is.

Have set up VMC TV signal and Guide numerous times. I started yesterday evening and gave them the benefit of the doubt since stations could be moving around until midnight. This morning is worse yet!

My LG TV picks up all channels as it should this morning after rescan (a deleting the zillion) useless channels. According to TGB, all EPG data are updated.

How can this be a problem? The stations didn't just arbitrarily pick frequencies yesterday. I'm sure all channel assignments have been finalized for months if not years. Come on M$.

Can anyone tell me the channel numbers to put in the .XML file? Or where to find them?

Thanks.

BTW, I'm only using OTA ATSC. I have DirecTV for "cable channels".
post #18 of 49
The answer is no. It does not.

I've even deleted the .XML files mentioned above and re-setup the TV signals and guide. It just keeps coming up with the same thing. I only get one channel I care about. Some are weak signal strength now. They were solid. Some are full strength but no reception!

Could it be the Hauppauge 1600 tuners?
Have the stations moved the transmitters geograpically?
Or is the EPG guide data just AFU for Los Angeles?

I sure would appreciate someone else in the area confirming this behavior or even reporting good OTA reception of network channels. Losing WAF fast.
post #19 of 49
My Digital Transition fix was simple for my HDHomeRun and VMC.

1. Rescan with HDHomeRun Setup (See results in attached pictures). This picks up the channel changes.

WARNING- If you have some exotic tuner setup, the following step may break it. I have a HDHomeRun hooked up to an antenna and two Hauppauge PVR-150 tuners hooked up to analog cable and I had no problems.

2. Set up TV signal in VMC: "Tasks > Settings > TV > Set Up TV Signal" then follow instructions to "Configure my TV signal automatically". I believe this forces VMC to read the updated HDHomeRun channel information from the new scan. There could be other methods to do this, but it worked for me.

3. Check your guide data in VMC: "Tasks > Settings > TV > Guide > Edit Channels". I had to delete the channels I didn't want that were added during the VMC automatic setup.

4. Check that you have a listing assigned to all your channels: "Tasks > Settings > TV > Guide > Add Listings to Channels". Each channel should have the listing name in Parentheses like (WJLADT) next to the channel name. The VMC setup did this automatically for me. I'm using my Digital Cable listings to get the digital over-the-air and analog cable listings.

After these steps, VMC was receiving the changed 7-1, 7-2, 7-3, 9-2, and 9-2 channels (Washington, DC) with the appropriate guide data.

Tim
LL
LL
post #20 of 49
Philly reporting, I lost abc, cbs. I didnt hear they were switching number, i hope they didnt screw up signal which make me get a new antenna....
post #21 of 49
Here is Raleigh Area (Wake Forest) I have lost almost all of my stations. Only Fox and a couple of other (CW) comes in. Tuner strength signal shows them all as low.

Edit: You know what? I think I am ready for a Dish Network DVR and a PS3 this is ********. When will it ever end?
post #22 of 49
@terryj47

I am in the same boat as you. i live in santa monica 90405 and was getting all major channels HDTV thru my vista mce before the switch. Now I am missing cbs, abc, kcet and a few others. I think this has something to do with either the config of MCE or the stations doing something funky with the signal. According to antennaweb, all of the stations are coming from the same direction and same distance. Why would i be able to get KNBC and KLCS (58.1, other PBS station) full strength and not get ABC, CBS and KCET.

THis makes no sense. I have 2 hauppage tuners...

This has to be an easy fix..
post #23 of 49
I lost all the major networks on my VMC via OTA. Checked my channels with a STB and they were there. Checked here and TGB. TGB pointed me to this:

http://thegreenbutton.com/blogs/pnea...12/202708.aspx

Played with it a while and now have my channels back on the media center.

Thought this might help some of you.
post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by combres View Post

@terryj47

I am in the same boat as you. i live in santa monica 90405 and was getting all major channels HDTV thru my vista mce before the switch. Now I am missing cbs, abc, kcet and a few others. I think this has something to do with either the config of MCE or the stations doing something funky with the signal. According to antennaweb, all of the stations are coming from the same direction and same distance. Why would i be able to get KNBC and KLCS (58.1, other PBS station) full strength and not get ABC, CBS and KCET.

THis makes no sense. I have 2 hauppage tuners...

This has to be an easy fix..

Thanks for the report. I'm going to install the Hauppauge software on one of my bare bones dedicated VMC systems. Nothing to lose other than a couple of hours to reinstall if I gronk MC. If the "missing channels" come in then we know it's MC and it will probably get fixed -- eventually. Installing a trial of Beyond or Sage is also a possibility. Stay tuned ... pardon the PUN.

Edit: WinTV doesn't appear to support ATSC (?). I installed it. Could not config. the tuners. Could not scan either. I DID stop all the MC services before the WinTV install. Can anyone confirm?
post #25 of 49
Beyond TV receives even fewer channels the VMC. I'm thinking that the Hauppauge 1600's may be the culprits. Anyone comment?
post #26 of 49
I'm running VMC + TV Pack 2008.

I've pulled all MS updates and I've run the TV Setup wizard and downloaded a fresh guide. It looks like Microsoft is still pushing bad physical channel info for CBS2 and ABC7.

Since I'm running TV Pack, I don't think I've got the ATSCchannels.xml file talked about in so many of the workarounds. And the "edit channel" feature only seems to manipulate the alias, not the actual physical channel.

I'm sort of inclined to let Microsoft work it out and just wait for a proper update to avoid corrupting the EPG database any more than VMC has done itself, but out of curiousity can anybody tell me how to change the physical channels in VMC+TV Pack? I believe I need to go from physical channel 3 to 12 for CBS and 62 to 7 for ABC.

Oh, and I know it's a VMC problem because I can view the channels just fine in the HDHomeRun utility.
post #27 of 49
Until Microsoft updates the correct channel lineup change, here's the simplest fix;

1. Write down the channels you aren't getting that you were before the shutoff.

2. Go to http://tvfool.com/ and put in your zip at the ">> Click HERE <<" link.

3. Note your missing channels and their new "real" channel number in the table. If your channel went form above 13 (UHF) to 13 or below (VHF) - you'll need an antenna that has VHF, too.

4. Delete the file C:\\program data\\Microsoft\\eHome\\EPG\\prefs\\atscchannels.xml . You'll get this back every time you download an updated guide.

5. Add the missing channels - goto; settings, tv, guide, "Add Missing Channels" and add digital number missing like "7.1" with the assigned frequency of number found in step 2 above like "7". Repeat as necessary.

6. Now you should have all your missing channels - to get back the channels you weren't missing - rescan - goto; settings, tv, guide, "get latest Guide Listing"

And all should be back to normal. I'm sure at some point soon, Microsoft will correct the guide download. Thanks to abr27440, herr_howard and compuguy1088 for the help!
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbdman View Post

Until Microsoft updates the correct channel lineup change, here's the simplest fix;

1. Write down the channels you aren't getting that you were before the shutoff.

2. Go to http://tvfool.com/ and put in your zip at the ">> Click HERE <<" link.

3. Note your missing channels and their new "real" channel number in the table. If your channel went form above 13 (UHF) to 13 or below (VHF) - you'll need an antenna that has VHF, too.

4. Delete the file C:\\program data\\Microsoft\\eHome\\EPG\\prefs\\atscchannels.xml . You'll get this back every time you download an updated guide.

5. Add the missing channels - goto; settings, tv, guide, "Add Missing Channels" and add digital number missing like "7.1" with the assigned frequency of number found in step 2 above like "7". Repeat as necessary.

6. Now you should have all your missing channels - to get back the channels you weren't missing - rescan - goto; settings, tv, guide, "get latest Guide Listing"

And all should be back to normal. I'm sure at some point soon, Microsoft will correct the guide download. Thanks to abr27440, herr_howard and compuguy1088 for the help!

Thank you sbdman.

This is good info. It actually works. I have added a few of the "missing channels" back to one of our four VMC PCs. This proves it is a VMC issue and not the tuners or antenna. Since recording is light for the summer, I'll probably just finish this one system immediately and hope the guide data gets fixed soon. If not, I know what to do thanks to you! Thanks again.

Terry
post #29 of 49
Any advice on this file. There are already some issues before the switchover. My systems sometimes want to record reruns, etc when set for first run only. If

I delete this file, will I start fresh?

Or will I break VMC.

Any other XML files that should just be deleted?

Thanks.
post #30 of 49
@sbdman

Thanks for the nice writeup, this worked perfectly..

makes sense that they would put the original analog channels the same channel as the digital on the switchover..
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