Here's where the "I got a Panasonic and the TVGOS works great" fellow demonstrates some renewed sympathy for the beleaguered Pioneer DVD recorder users who are constantly frustrated with the TVGOS EPG.
In order to fully understand the problems faced by others in getting their EPG to work, I disconnected my Panasonic E-65 from the direct RF cable input (which was allowing excellent EPG downloads) and connected it to my Comcast digital STB. I performed a hard reset to erase all the TVGOS info stored on the recorder. I connected it according to Panasonic's directions, including hooking up the G-link. All went as planned. The STB (a General Instruments) was recognized by the recorder, and the channels were changed properly when commanded by the recorder.
As told by many, right after turning off the recorder, the STB immediately began tuning through all the channels, I'd say at about 1 channel per minute. I did not watch this for long, but I assume that it cycled through all the channels. Meanwhile the 12:00 AM was flashing the whole time. Now when I had it hooked up to direct RF input, the clock was reset within 5 min. Not with the STB connection, it took several hours for the clock to be set.
After 24 hours, I checked the TVGOS and got the dreaded "no listings" message, and there were no channels displayed. After 48 hours, I got the message, that more than 1 channel lineup had been found for my zipcode. THis was excellent news because the same thing happened with the direct RF input. I chose the correct lineup expecting to see some listings. But, the channel lineup was there, but the dreaded "no listings" display was still there. Thinking that downloading the initial EPG settings might take longer through the STB, I let it go for another 24 hours.
After 72 hours, there were still no listings. Curious, I used the TVGOS debug screens to see what was going on. As expected, there was a host channel, but the identity of the channel surprised me. Most of you know that I have stated that my host channel is not a PBS station. Instead I have 2 commercial stations (ABC and CBS) that serve as my host channels. Well, I was surprised to see "61" as my host channel. The Panasonics list the host channel in hexadecimal, so 61 translates to channel 97!!! I tuned to channel 97 and it is a mirror of channel 12, which is the PBS station in Philly!!! My guess is that this might be a "special" channel just for TVGOS. I cannot for the life of me figure out why ABC and CBS are the host channels for analog input, but PBS is the host channel for STB input. Perhaps PBS is active on the analog input, but the TVGOS stops at the ABC or CBS stations (numerically lower than PBS) because it finds a good EPG signal, and never gets to the PBS station. But on the STB input, the situation might be different.
To make a long story a little shorter, after 96 hours the listings never downloaded. The time was set properly, the channels were all displayed, but there were no listings!
Since I know the TVGOS EPG works over analog cable input (in fact the TVGOS EPG in my E-500 was working perfectly over this same time period), I have come to the conclusion that, in my case at least, the TVGOS EPG does not work over digital cable using a STB. My assumption being that the signal either is incomplete, corrupted, or just plain unreliable over the STB. I will never ever again try to get the EPG to download via a STB. The RF input works almost perfectly, but I have to schedule my digital channels manually -- a small price to pay.
So I have renewed sympathy for the Pioneer users who can't get a decent EPG download. My only suggestion is to try a direct RF input if the STB input doesn't work. If the RF input doesn't work, give it up.