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Pioneer Disappearing EPG - Page 6

post #151 of 859
Sorry, I meant to include this in the last message. The new thread is:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=625388
post #152 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by treedmack View Post

When your unit (pioneer 533/633H) comes out of the box it must have stored in its memory a prescribed list of pairs of zip/postal codes and host channels.

It seems to me that I read a post at some point that said the postal code / zip code is needed to tell the unit which of the several possible cable lineups / channel lineups you can use. Take KCTS as an example - it's available over the air in Seattle, Bellingham, Victoria, and other areas, and also via several cable providers with different channel lineups. The guide data carried over KCTS (if indeed it is carried on that channel) could include information that indicates which postal codes a particular channel's data is valid for.

If this is true, then the recorder doesn't need a built-in zipcode-to-host table. Indeed, this would be much superior because in all of Canada and the US these pairings could change fairly frequently.
post #153 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

Do they make a different DVR for Canada so you can fit 6 alpha-numeric digits in the 5-digit (and only 5!) zip code field in TVG SETUP???????????????

Not sure if they're any different, you must choose USA or Canada upon Initial setup, from there you enter the respective codes...............
post #154 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post

It seems to me that I read a post at some point that said the postal code / zip code is needed to tell the unit which of the several possible cable lineups / channel lineups you can use. Take KCTS as an example - it's available over the air in Seattle, Bellingham, Victoria, and other areas, and also via several cable providers with different channel lineups. The guide data carried over KCTS (if indeed it is carried on that channel) could include information that indicates which postal codes a particular channel's data is valid for.

If this is true, then the recorder doesn't need a built-in zipcode-to-host table. Indeed, this would be much superior because in all of Canada and the US these pairings could change fairly frequently.

Hi Sean. You raise an interesting point. Constantly changing station lineups of local cable companies mean that a built-in zipcode-to-host table would not work well. It would not work well for my suggestion of specifying a host. However, it would be equally true that it would not work well for your suggestion of identifying the local master PBS station that would have up-to-date host channel information.

Somehow, with no other information, the zip/postal code connects the unit up with a host that provides the TVGOS information. Perhaps the zip/postal code provides the first guess of the host (or local PBS station). If this is accurate then listings come quickly as some people have posted. If this guess is inaccurate then perhaps the unit has the ability to scan for a host (or local PBS station) and this takes much longer. Once it finds the first station broadcasting it locks in - no matter how poor the signal. This presumably can be fiddled by moving a better PBS station up to the first guess location. I'm just guessing now.

Don't forget, Gemstar provides people with alternate zip/postal codes which sets them onto the right host so there must be some type of built-in zipcode-to-host table. Geez! Somebody set this all up. You'd think there'd be a web site somewhere that would outline all this stuff without us having to reverse engineer its operation!
post #155 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

Do they make a different DVR for Canada so you can fit 6 alpha-numeric digits in the 5-digit (and only 5!) zip code field in TVG SETUP???????????????

No. They are the same. I tried a Seattle zip after a hard reset today. It's when you specify that you are in the USA that it offers the 5 digit zip on the next screen. If you specify Canada it offers the 6 digit (letter-number alternating) postal code on the next screen. Give it a try on your next hard reset (you know there'll be another reset in your future).
post #156 of 859
Has anyone been able to verify that cable Internet poses a problem to TVGOS?

I found this:
http://www.dvdrecorderworld.com/forum/about223.html

My TVGOS worked for almost two months and I have cable Internet but perhaps there were some changes that lead to my current problems.
post #157 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by treedmack View Post

Has anyone been able to verify that cable Internet poses a problem to TVGOS?

I found this:
http://www.dvdrecorderworld.com/forum/about223.html

My TVGOS worked for almost two months and I have cable Internet but perhaps there were some changes that lead to my current problems.

I have both TVGOS and cable high-speed internet, and the TVGOS works perfectly on my Panasonic E-500 and E-65 DVD recorders. No problems here.
post #158 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by treedmack View Post

Has anyone been able to verify that cable Internet poses a problem to TVGOS?

I found this:
http://www.dvdrecorderworld.com/forum/about223.html

My TVGOS worked for almost two months and I have cable Internet but perhaps there were some changes that lead to my current problems.

I have Comcast High Speed Internet and asside from the slight hickup I described in an earlier post, it works ok for me. I have Comcast Cable in the Hartford Connecticut area and I use Public Channel 12.

I think the main issue with the TVGOS that no one seems to want to address is the fact that IT IS A FREE SERVICE. If anyone thinks for a second that a free service that relies on local (not for profit) PBS stations to distribute the content is going to be as sophisticated and stable as TIVO or Microsoft then their their smoking crack.

My take on it is that "it is what it is" and once I setup my recording schedule then it isn't that important anyways. Besides the timed recording feature works just fine also.
post #159 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post

I think the main issue with the TVGOS that no one seems to want to address is the fact that IT IS A FREE SERVICE. If anyone thinks for a second that a free service that relies on local (not for profit) PBS stations to distribute the content is going to be as sophisticated and stable as TIVO or Microsoft then their their smoking crack.

I agree with you that as a free service, one should not complain if it does not work as smoothly as a fee-for-service product. But I think you are missing the point that many disgruntled (especially Pioneer) users complain of. That is the fact that it is difficult, on some recorders, to disable the TVGOS EPG. Free is nice, but free, not working, and difficult to bypass, is not.

I happen to really like the TVGOS EPG and it works almost flawlessly on my Panasonic E-500 and E-65 DVD recorders. BTW, I get the TVGOS EPG over a commercial network station, KYW (CBS) in the Philly area.

Here's a link to a site that discribes the process involved in distributing the TVGOS EPG data: http://www.dvdplusrw.org/Article.asp...&sid=-1&aid=79
post #160 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

I agree with you that as a free service, one should not complain if it does not work as smoothly as a fee-for-service product. But I think you are missing the point that many disgruntled (especially Pioneer) users complain of. That is the fact that it is difficult, on some recorders, to disable the TVGOS EPG. Free is nice, but free, not working, and difficult to bypass, is not.

I happen to really like the TVGOS EPG and it works almost flawlessly on my Panasonic E-500 and E-65 DVD recorders. BTW, I get the TVGOS EPG over a commercial network station, KYW (CBS) in the Philly area.

Here's a link to a site that discribes the process involved in distributing the TVGOS EPG data: http://www.dvdplusrw.org/Article.asp...&sid=-1&aid=79

Point taken. I believe I read somewhere that if you reset the machine and redo the initial setup process and when it prompts you for zip code to just cancel out and the TVGOS will be disabled.
post #161 of 859
I have tried every possible connection strategy to get my TVGOS to load without success. I have the Pio 533 and comcast digital in central NJ. My most recent attempt is to split the cable input with one going to the Cable box and the other to the DVR. Has anyone had sussess with similar setup. If so what has worked?

Thanks
Lou
post #162 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou1492 View Post

I have tried every possible connection strategy to get my TVGOS to load without success. I have the Pio 533 and comcast digital in central NJ. My most recent attempt is to split the cable input with one going to the Cable box and the other to the DVR. Has anyone had sussess with similar setup. If so what has worked?

Thanks
Lou

That is exactly how mine is setup and the TVGOS seems to be working pretty good for now. I would definitely suggest to anyone having problems to first try connecting the cable directly to the unit thus bypassing any cable box or satalite tuner. If you can get it to update when the cable is directly hooked up to the unit then you can start adding in other devices.
post #163 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou1492 View Post

I have tried every possible connection strategy to get my TVGOS to load without success. I have the Pio 533 and comcast digital in central NJ. My most recent attempt is to split the cable input with one going to the Cable box and the other to the DVR. Has anyone had sussess with similar setup. If so what has worked?

Thanks
Lou

Same here, that is how I have my system set up. The disadvantage is that the EPG will not contain any of the digital channels, just the analog ones. The digital channels are recorded with a manual timer setting.
post #164 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by treedmack View Post

Has anyone been able to verify that cable Internet poses a problem to TVGOS?

I have digital service and cable Internet via Shaw in Vancouver Canada. My TVGOS has worked, intermittently, ever since I installed my Pioneer 533 and 633. I had no problems getting TVGOS data, but from time to time the recorders do not display the listings. The recorder is getting the data because a TVGOS search shows all of the information for shows, but when you try to view the listings screen you get "Listings not available because of a setup change".
post #165 of 859
I am now 3+ weeks without EPG. My clock occasionally switches to UTC (GMT). Earlier this evening it was displaying UTC. Now it's displaying local time. Does that mean it's getting some data? Everything else about EPG is gone. The DVR has been turned off from last Wednesday evening until this eveing, with a full reset a couple days before that. Pioneer still has not responded to my Support email followup to the open case I have. It's going to the repair shop, even though I believe the problem is likely Comcast, if something positive doesn't happen this week.
post #166 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

I agree with you that as a free service, one should not complain if it does not work as smoothly as a fee-for-service product. But I think you are missing the point that many disgruntled (especially Pioneer) users complain of. That is the fact that it is difficult, on some recorders, to disable the TVGOS EPG. Free is nice, but free, not working, and difficult to bypass, is not.

I happen to really like the TVGOS EPG and it works almost flawlessly on my Panasonic E-500 and E-65 DVD recorders. BTW, I get the TVGOS EPG over a commercial network station, KYW (CBS) in the Philly area.

Here's a link to a site that discribes the process involved in distributing the TVGOS EPG data: http://www.dvdplusrw.org/Article.asp...&sid=-1&aid=79

For the sake of full disclosure, last night I checked the host channel I receive the TVGOS EPG on, and it has changed from channel 2 (the cable channel I receive KYW, the CBS station in Philly) to channel 4 (the cable channel I receive WPVI, the ABC station in Philly). This happened on both my Panasonic E-500 and E-65 recorders.

So it seems that the host channel for EPG download can change. Why it would change, I don't know. Perhaps the search for a new host channel is performed when the old host channel fails for some reason. Or, perhaps the search is done each time the EPG is downloaded, and a host channel is chosen that has a stable EPG signal. Regardless, it is nice to know that the TVGOS program is robust enough to search for an available host channel to find the EPG data.

For the second time, my TVGOS host channel is a commercial station and not a public PBS station. This is more evidence that the TVGOS host channel does not have to be a PBS station. I think that it is fruitless to search from PBS station to PBS station for the EPG data if you are having problems receiving EPG information. It appears that the TVGOS program (at least on Panasonic recorders) is fully capable of finding an adequate source of EPG data, if it exists, without human input, as well it should.
post #167 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

For the sake of full disclosure, last night I checked the host channel I receive the TVGOS EPG on, and it has changed from channel 2 (the cable channel I receive KYW, the CBS station in Philly) to channel 4 (the cable channel I receive WPVI, the ABC station in Philly). This happened on both my Panasonic E-500 and E-65 recorders.

So it seems that the host channel for EPG download can change. Why it would change, I don't know. Perhaps the search for a new host channel is performed when the old host channel fails for some reason. Or, perhaps the search is done each time the EPG is downloaded, and a host channel is chosen that has a stable EPG signal. Regardless, it is nice to know that the TVGOS program is robust enough to search for an available host channel to find the EPG data.

For the second time, my TVGOS host channel is a commercial station and not a public PBS station. This is more evidence that the TVGOS host channel does not have to be a PBS station. I think that it is fruitless to search from PBS station to PBS station for the EPG data if you are having problems receiving EPG information. It appears that the TVGOS program (at least on Panasonic recorders) is fully capable of finding an adequate source of EPG data, if it exists, without human input, as well it should.

The host channel indicated in the settings is always the channel that the unit is currently tuned to. You must have the recorder tuned to the channel you wish to download the TVGOS data from prior to turning off the unit. I've never seen an example of having the recorder tuned to one channel and having the Host Channel indicate a different channel. For example I use PBS Channel 12 to download my TVGOS. When I checked it yesterday morning I noticed that no additional days had been downloaded over night. Then I noticed that the channel was tuned to CBS 3. Then I remembered that I had a scheduled recording on that channel the night before. The recorder always remains tuned to the last station that it recorded from. So if I tune to channel 12 and turn off the unit then an hour later it turns on to record a scheduled show on channel 3, when the recording is complete the unit will shut off but remain on channel 3. I then have to remember to turn the unit on, change the channel to 12 and then turn it off.

Now as previously stated, I do have the cable directly connected to the recorder so I'm not sure about the effect of having a cable or satalite box added to the mix.

And...just to clearify, when I say "turn off" I mean standby mode. I figured everyone knows that but just wanted to make sure.
post #168 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

I did a "Host-channel test" at rgazzara's suggestion and noted the channel it was tuned to before going to the code screens: Channel 33.

My VBI Chan showed as 33, my Host Chan showed as 10 (PBS).

For what it's worth, the "VBI Channel" is the channel that TVGOS was currently checking while searching for EPG data. "Host channel" is the most recent channel where TVGOS successfully completed an EPG download.
post #169 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by sderby View Post

For what it's worth, the "VBI Channel" is the channel that TVGOS was currently checking while searching for EPG data. "Host channel" is the most recent channel where TVGOS successfully completed an EPG download.

Actually, I believe that "VBI channel" is the channel that the recorder is currently tuned to.
post #170 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post

The host channel indicated in the settings is always the channel that the unit is currently tuned to. You must have the recorder tuned to the channel you wish to download the TVGOS data from prior to turning off the unit. I've never seen an example of having the recorder tuned to one channel and having the Host Channel indicate a different channel.

That is not true at all!!! The "host channel" is the channel that the TVGOS last used to download the EPG data. The "VBI channel" is the channel that the recorder is currently tuned to.

You do not have to have the recorder tuned to the host channel before turning it off. It does not matter at all which channel the recorder is tuned to before you turn it off. For one simple reason, you do not know which channel the EPG is going to be downloaded from. I have had the host channel change from 2 to 4 without any input from me. I have the recorder tuned to a great variety of channels before turning it off, and I have not had anything more than a minor temporary disruption in TVGOS information since August.

When I check the TVGOS dubug screen, I get a different channel for the host channel than the channel the recorder is currently tuned to, unless, of course, they are one and the same.
post #171 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

Actually, I believe that "VBI channel" is the channel that the recorder is currently tuned to.

That's what I just said. It's the channel that TVGOS is currently checking for EPG data. In order to check it for EPG data, it has to tune to that channel. The way TVGOS finds a channel with EPG data is it steps through every channel it has access to and searches for the data in the VBI. If it finds an EPG data stream, it stops looking. If it doesn't, it tunes the next channel.
post #172 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by sderby View Post

The way TVGOS finds a channel with EPG data is it steps through every channel it has access to and searches for the data in the VBI. If it finds an EPG data stream, it stops looking. If it doesn't, it tunes the next channel.

Hi sderby.

Could you say where you got this information about the way TVGOS "steps" through the channels?
post #173 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by treedmack View Post

Hi sderby.

Could you say where you got this information about the way TVGOS "steps" through the channels?

It's been discussed quite a bit in a few other threads here on avsforum. In addition, you can actually watch the process on TVGOS-capable devices that tune cable boxes through an IR blaster. When the TVGOS is searching for EPG data, you can watch it flipping through the channels (at about 1 channel ever 2 seconds) on the cable box's display (and/or through a secondary video output hooked up to the box). It begins at channel 2. If the search is interrupted by, for example, turning on the device, it resumes where it left off when the device goes back into standby.
post #174 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by sderby View Post

That's what I just said. It's the channel that TVGOS is currently checking for EPG data. In order to check it for EPG data, it has to tune to that channel. The way TVGOS finds a channel with EPG data is it steps through every channel it has access to and searches for the data in the VBI. If it finds an EPG data stream, it stops looking. If it doesn't, it tunes the next channel.

I see what you are saying now. Yes, the VBI channel (which is the channel that the recorder is currently tuned to) would be the channel that the TVGOS would be checking for EPG data if it were in download mode. When it is on, however, it is not in EPG download mode. The EPG is downloaded only when the recorder if off/standby.
post #175 of 859
Yet another data point. It is 6:40pm. I set it to tape a show at 7pm. Everything looks good. At 7:10 I notice it isn't recording. I check and I have the black "rebuilding info" screen. I check the schedule and it has the name of the show I'm taping but ?? for the time/date. I proceed to tape the show manually.

Don't know if my EPG is back or not. But for some reason it lost info between 6:40 and 7 (on a tuesday)

Brian
Edit: I'm getting everything over the air. I made no setup changes recently.
post #176 of 859
You should be aware that it is possible for the guide on the Pioneers to loose data in such a way that shows scheduled via the guide will not record. See this post for details.

For critical shows that you absolutely must record, it's safer to schedule them manually (by pressing the "Timer Rec" button on the remote).
post #177 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

That is not true at all!!! The "host channel" is the channel that the TVGOS last used to download the EPG data. The "VBI channel" is the channel that the recorder is currently tuned to.

You do not have to have the recorder tuned to the host channel before turning it off. It does not matter at all which channel the recorder is tuned to before you turn it off. For one simple reason, you do not know which channel the EPG is going to be downloaded from. I have had the host channel change from 2 to 4 without any input from me. I have the recorder tuned to a great variety of channels before turning it off, and I have not had anything more than a minor temporary disruption in TVGOS information since August.

When I check the TVGOS dubug screen, I get a different channel for the host channel than the channel the recorder is currently tuned to, unless, of course, they are one and the same.

OK...upon additional review of my settings, it looks like the VBI channel is set to whatever I have tuned but the Host Channel is always tuned to Channel 7 which is my local PBS station. Now channel 12 is the other PBS station I have which has a stronger signal and also carries the time signal. I'd like to have the unit use this channel as the host channel but I can't seem to make that happen. Even if I turn Channel 7 off in the channel display setting it still uses it. Is there any way to change this?
post #178 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post

OK...upon additional review of my settings, it looks like the VBI channel is set to whatever I have tuned but the Host Channel is always tuned to Channel 7 which is my local PBS station. Now channel 12 is the other PBS station I have which has a stronger signal and also carries the time signal. I'd like to have the unit use this channel as the host channel but I can't seem to make that happen. Even if I turn Channel 7 off in the channel display setting it still uses it. Is there any way to change this?

The only thing I could suggest is to move channel 12 to the top of your TVGOS listing. But I have a feeling that won't work because I think TVGOS goes down the channel list in numeric order, so 7 comes before 12.

Why is channel 7 not sufficient? Are you receiving TV OTA?
post #179 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

The only thing I could suggest is to move channel 12 to the top of your TVGOS listing. But I have a feeling that won't work because I think TVGOS goes down the channel list in numeric order, so 7 comes before 12.

Why is channel 7 not sufficient? Are you receiving TV OTA?

Yes I am receiving updates but its taking a long time for all 8 days to come in. Much longer then when I initially setup the unit. Since channel 12 has a much stronger signal (better picture) and also provides the auto clock adjust feed then I'd like to try to set it as the host channel to see if the TVGOS listings download faster.
post #180 of 859
Thread Starter 
I heard back from Pioneer Customer Service regarding the EPG problem with the Pioneer 531/533/633 models.

It is a problem with the TVGOS software. TVGOS is aware of the problem, but has no timeline for a fix.

The only workaround appears to be a reset of either the unit or the TVGOS system. According to Pioneer, this will get the EPG working for "awhile".

My experience has been consistent in that the EPG loads successfully after a reset and continues to update successfully until all 8 days are loaded.

It then disappears, sometimes coming back, sometimes not.

I don't think any of the tricks or techniques described here is going to fix the EPG in these units.

We have a catch 22 situation with all this. Pioneer shrugs it's shoulders and blames the problem on TVGOS. TVGOS, doesn't accept calls from other than cable companies and manufacturers, and has no other available support tools.

From what I've been able to read by searching for TVGOS, the problems with their system are very common and are not resolved quickly, if ever. From what I've read, TVGOS takes the same approach Pioneer has taken by blaming problems on cable providers, tv stations, etc.

If you have one of these units and can return it, that is probably the best course of action. Going with a digital cable guide provided by either a sat or cable provider and a DVR will probably be the most reliable method of using an EPG and recording. A non hard drive DVD recorder can be used, if needed, as a stop gap.

Ultimately, one of the HD DVD formats will offer recorders at a reasonable price. With between 30-50 gigs per disc, an HD DVD will make a hard drive less important anyway.

It is too bad that Pioneer let these products out into the marketplace with this fatal flaw. I have always been pleased with Pioneer products, but this experience has shown me that their upfront QC is weak for their software and that they ar not effective in resolving product related products.

It is telling that many of the forums here at AVS have an official Pioneer support thread and that there is no Pioneer rep willing to step into this forum, where problems ranging from the EPG to noisy hard drives are posted almost daily.
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