Originally Posted by jstefans
When I originally hooked up my DVR the listings started to come up within 24 hours and for the first few days worked great. Then, since in Champaign many of the digital stations don't show up in the channel listing, I did some remapping of my analog stations to the digital station and my listings stopped updating. Thankfully, this thread helped me to figure out what a host station was and I was able to determine mine so I'm very greatful for this forum. I just wonder why this isn't spelled out somewhere: "Your host station is xxx....don't turn off your analog host station, and more than that don't even remap it to the digital version of your analog station". Why the secrets?
The host channel is shown in one of the 753... menus. My experience is that (at least once the host channel is determined), the analog host channel can be disabled in both the Sony and TVGOS lineups and everything will update ok. There are many reports to the contrary so it may be different for you, I just know that I've had the host channel completely disabled for 3 weeks now and I get listings every day. I have got the latest Sony (.13) and TVGOS (08.06.30) firmware/software so earlier versions may be different.
Now to my questions:
1) Does my local host station send out the listings for every channel in your zip code-determined list (regardless of whether I have the channel turned on or not)? More explicitly, is my zip code-determined list tied directly to my host station's list broadcast? There are PBS stations in nearby cities that I could map to my local digital PBS station so I don't have to remap the host PBS analog. Otherwise, as others have found out I can only use the full capabilities of the recording scheduler on my analog PBS station.
Apparently the actual listings include everything (both OTA and cable) which is available in the reception area of the host station. It then has channel mappings that are tied to the zip code and OTA/cable lineup selected. There is no 2-way communication - everything is transmitted and the Sony/TVGOS picks the things it needs.
2) As I mentioned earlier, I've remapped all the local analogs (except the PBS) to their digital counterpart. How does one attempt to see if any stations have been since added to the channel listings? It seems like the large list is fixed after I typed in my zip code and it was originally brought up. (For what it's worth, my list had the title "Champaign 75" but it brought in 360 choices which included lots of cable channels. Why would it bring in cable channels if I said I didn't have cable in the previous step....but that's beside the point.) Will this 360 channel list grow on it's own or do I have to go through the original setup and "re-choose" my zip code to bring in the list again to see if any channels were added? For one, we get a neat little station called America One and I'd like to know if and when the listing is ever added to the list so I can turn it on.
I believe that new things will be added to the list automatically but you may have to go through and fix channel mappings. That said, you DO have to update the Sony lineup by doing an Auto-add or entirely new Autoscan. You really have to do an Autoscan since the Auto-add will not update new subchannels and these can screw up recording if they're not on the Sony lineup. It happened to me - it started recording the SD sub channel instead of the HD and recorded the blank new subchannel for the SD one.
Doing a full Autoscan is not as bad as it seems. It retains basically all of your information. The only exception is that if any particular channel is off the air or has gotten bad data in it's virtual channel listings, then the previously good data will be lost from your Sony (but NOT TVGOS) lineup. The TVGOS listings will not be lost but they may not be useable if the Sony can't find the proper channel and subchannel to tune to. It will come back once the problem is fixed and a new Autoscan is done (and sometimes you can temporarily map the listing to a physical channel).
3) Does anyone know how long the listings take to fill up during the once-a-day programmed time? Has anyone had success with changing the download time start right away: aka your listing didn't populate last night, you change a few things, and force it to start downloading right away (as long as I'm willing to turn the DVR off)? This is why I'd like to have an idea of how long the listings take to download (maybe in units of channel-days/hour). Finally, I've heard of people turning on their DVR to "check the progress" of listing downloads. Have people found that the listings will always continue downloading right where it left off when the DVR is turned off? This is one way I could "time" how long my list takes to download but this sort of goes back to question 1 (are all listings broadcast regardless if I have the station turned on or not).
The Main listings take 3 hours and there are also 1 hour and 1/2 hour updates. You need one of each every day. They are each repeated several times so it's not usually a problem to get them each day. It may take a long time to find the host channel but once that's done just about any six hour period is more than enough to get the listings.
The listings are sent in a one-way stream so if they're interrupted it will have to start all over again on the next download. I don't know if just turning the unit on will interrupt but it certainly will if the channel is changed (and just navigating the listings will do this unless the thumbnail is locked).
4) I realize no one knows exactly what's going to happen when the analog hosts all switch to the digital station in a few years, but is there a realistic chance that when all this goes down that Sony will say "sorry, that model was discontined long ago and we're not updating your dvr" thus leaving us up a creek without a paddle? Or will they have to do "something"?
It's quite possible that we'll all be screwed in 2009. There is one report that the .13 firmware may be ready for the digital switch over and one person claimed to have actually gotten TVGOS from a digital host channel. There are a couple more reports quoting Sony people that say the opposite. We will probably know well before 2009 since TVGOS is starting to roll out the digital support now.
5) Overall, I've really enjoyed the Sony. I don't mind the learning curve for the
Sony being steeper than that for TIVO. I'm a tinkerer anyway so learning curves are a welcomed challenge. So far, I've read about the 1234, 9012, and 753159852 hidden diagnostics screens. Are there any others?
9012 and 753... are the important ones. 9012 can be somewhat destructive if you don't know what you're doing. Other 4 digit ones can be VERY destructive.
753.. just displays information but there are many, many very confusing screens.