Originally Posted by jplamarc
I have read this whole thread and it has helped me quite a bit to figure things out, but some of my experience is not quite in line with some of what I've read.
First of all I use my 250 with OTA only. Actually I got the out of my Satellite receiver hooked to the cable input and got mine setup as both OTA and Cable so that I can use it to record some things that I can only get with my Dish even if it looks like crap.
My issues have been with getting the listings and quality of signal. At my location I have a directional antenna and PBS is at 182 deg and Fox at 227. The others are close to 200 deg. I cannot set my antenna to get a good signal for both PBS and FOX. I need to sacrifice one or the other. Before I got my 250 I found a way to set it so that I could get FOX and PBS actually worked fine in HD, but the analogue looked like crap. I did not care then.
When I hooked up my 250 initially, I could not get the clock or the listings after 4 days. I tried a lot of things like changing the Zip, which first got me a clock on the front display but it was the wrong time. A few hours later the clock actually got set properly. But still, no listings. I read that some people were getting their listings from PBS even if it was fuzzy. Well, that's not my case. I eventually realigned my antenna to get a good signal for PBS, and within a few hours had the first set of listings for my guide.
After this I read about the 9012 menu and learned how to monitor the VBI packets on the different channels to see which ones were carrying the signals. Well, with this I found that ABC and FOX were also carrying the signals as well as PBS. I tried to force my 250 to get the feeds from one of those channels with no success. I tried removing my analogue PBS channel from the listings and from the lineup. The 753159852 menu still showed my PBS channel as the host and the listings were still coming in fine. One thing of interest is that the OTA lineup showed 0x0D (Not sure of the format, I'm not in front of my set) which would seem like it would translate to 13 which is my Fox channel. Does anyone know what the Host and the OTA lineup entries mean individually in the 753159852 menu? So I tried to reposition my antenna to get Fox and got a weaker signal on PBS. When using menu 9012 to monitor VBI packets on PBS after the change, I could now see that the packets were about 50% error. I left it as is hoping it would pick up the feed from ABC or FOX. No way, the next morning I was missing the next day's listings. I did a TV-Guide factory reset and left the antenna as is. I was able to get the clock set quickly, but the listings would not show up.
This morning I went back in the attic and repositioned my antenna to get a good PBS analogue signal and I would bet that when I get back from work, my listings will be there.
So, after all this said, it seems that the fact that the VBI packets are coming in on a station doesn't mean the system will use them or can use that channel as host. Also my experience is that you need a clean signal on whatever channel gives you the TVGOS feed or it does not work. From what I read, it seems that almost everyone is getting their signals OTA off PBS.
I'll let you guys know tonight if my listings indeed come in now that I've repositioned my antenna. So my solution is that I need to get a better antenna or a rotor.
Besides that I'm happy with this box. I think most people are having problems with CCs. When I bought mine online from BestBuy, there was a warning in BOLD that indicated this only worked with OTA. I'm guessing Sony pulled it because there are too many issues with CableCards and the unit is just too sensitive and will only work well under conditions that too few people can provide. Most of all if this thing was better documented it would save all of us from needing to trial and error every thing. Thanks to this forum, we can at least share our experiences.