Motorola VOOM STB Program Channel Paradigm Issues (1 Viewer)

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bradley

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 9, 2004
223
0
General Technical Bulletin 02/01/05 For Motorola VOOM STBs

This problem requires a software fix.

As of 02/01/05 @ 19:42 I am still operating under SWv 7.33. It is hoped SWv 7.34 is intended to address the issue. I am not targeted at this time.

Recent FCC mandates effective 02/01/05 have required OTA stations to change program channel paradigms. This will impact your Motorola VOOM receiver as it did mine.

As program channel paradigms are changed by stations the STBs are unable to recognize or deal with new instructions so they simply state there is no usable signal.

For days I have been unable to receive the ABC affiliate in my area. I spoke with an engineer and when informed of the problem he returned the program channel paradigms back to the original schemes. This is a temporary fix and must be addressed by VOOM.

If for some reason you do experience a channel loss for an extended period time check to see if you have SWv 7.34. If you do have SWv 7.34 and continue to experience channel loss call VOOM support and explain what is happening.

Then call the station(s) and ask for engineering. Inquire if they are operating at full or reduced power. If the station is running at full power ask if the have modified the program channel paradigm as directed by the FCC. If the answer is yes ask if they will temporary return to the standard codes until your STB operator can update tuner software.

This will in no way impair the stations operation, at this time, to change channel paradigm operation back to the old scheme. However, a software fix must be in place ASAP to meet FCC guidelines.

This problem is not limited to Motorola VOOM STB. It also impacts certain Samsung STBs as well.

I have notified VOOM call center as to the problem. As to whether it is addressed by SWv 7.34, we’ll simply have to wait and see.
 
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T2k

The Raw Nerve
Supporting Founder
Jun 5, 2004
1,856
0
Park Slope, NYC
Bah... my 3rd STB simply doesn't have certain channels whereas the other two STBs are fine, except the first doesn't have the same OTAs than the 2nd and 3rd....

Voom is UNABLE to fix it since last SUMMER! Those missing channels came back (OTA was never the same on all of them) when a pro CSR fix them over the phone - since then they've already gone and CSRs just keep sending the installers...
 

DarrellP

I Think, therefore, I am.
Supporting Founder
Nov 6, 2003
4,298
0
Salem, OR
In Portland, all the channels switched to the new system and I had no problems, just had to rescan and all was well. We had a head's up from a station engineer who is very active at AVSForums and he told us the date and timeframe this was going to occur, so the Moto box does work with this on 7.33.
 

bradley

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 9, 2004
223
0
SWv 7.33 vs 7.34

Perhaps it is relative to the program channel paradigms utilized and the ecription scheme the station hardware utilizes.

When the engineer returned the setting to the original specifications I gainned the channel back.

Interesting development.

Thank you.
 

bradley

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 9, 2004
223
0
Yes... Process of isolation...

Scan OTA: 10.1 (95/100), 10.2 (96/100)
Tune: No reception
Soft Boot: No reception
Hard Boot: Reception, leave channel and return no reception
Asked VOOM for a hit: 3 hits, no impact
Scan OT: 10.1 (94/100), 10.2 (95/100)
Tune: No reception
Soft Boot: No reception
Hard Boot: Reception, leave channel and return no reception

Contacted station engineering, they confirmed modification program channel paradigm, returned to prior standards setting, reception restored on 10.x.
 

bryan27

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 5, 2004
622
0
Walsingham, ON
I hope this doesn't make my Zenith OTA STB obsolete. There is one channel on there now that I always received. Now it scans in, but says no signal. It is fine on my VOOM STB.
 

Lobstah

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 6, 2004
444
0
I'll check my VOOM ota in a minute...but I wonder if this has any impact on sets with internal tuners, and if not, why not?

Lob
 

bradley

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 9, 2004
223
0
The problem, as it pertains to Motorola STBs and some others, is how the software was originally written for the tuner.

When SW was written for the STBs there was an understood program channel paradigm established by the FCC. Some manufactures assumed these values would never, ever change. So, when they wrote SW for the STB, some of the manufactures utilized software and wrote it in such a manner the STB doesn’t really deal with the information as it should; making it adaptable while having the ability to deal with new values.

Instead they took a short cut.

Program channel paradigms provide a key, in a sense, so the broadcast digital streams within the signal can be identified, much like DBS streams.

So, for example, station KXYZ broadcast a program with one video stream and three audio streams. Each audio stream is unique; 1.) English, 2.) Spanish, 3). Descriptive Services. The program channel paradigm facilitates how the station would like this information to be presented to the end viewer, i.e.: 10.1 video + English, video + Spanish, 10.3 video + descriptive services.

But when the FCC decided there were issues with Euro Sat standards and other issues that could present the potential for clashes, the FCC, in their infinite wisdom, decided to change the entire values of the schemes. If the software for STBs were written right in the first place, this wouldn’t be an issue. But, alas, there are some of us who look for the easy way out. These are known as “schmucks.” They are the ones who make life difficult by not doing what they should have done in the first place.

Anyway, Software for satellite STBs is simply downloadable over the system. Of course someone has to write the fix… As for standalone units that are designed only to capture OTA signals... you are going to have to contact the manufacturer or talk to where you purchased it and raise hell.

To reiterate here, most tuner software was written correctly in the first place. You probably will not see a problem, BUT you may not know for while or so because some of the stations do not have the ability to change program channel paradigms because it is hardwired into their encryption equipment, and they may not want to deal with the added expense at this time. Others have discovered users such those with the Motorola STBs and Samsung do not have the ability to deal with change; they have decided to operate the stations with old standards.

Either way, manufactures that chose to take the short cut will be require by the FCC to facilitate a software fix. Whether that takes form as a new STB, or a simple fix that has to be completed in a repair environment, in home, or mailed to somewhere, who knows?

All I can stay, if it were done the right way in the first place this wouldn't have become an issue and we wouldn't have ever been aware of the issue in the first place.

I hope this has been helpful. Good luck.

Postscript: Internal tuners will be subjected to the same challenges. Bank on the fact the manufacturer did it right in the first place. But, if you experience problems or are simply curious, be proactive and demand the manufacturer investigate and provide you with the results you seek.
 
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Ilya

XXI Century Explorer
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 16, 2004
22,367
7,165
NE OH
bradley, keep in mind that for most of the channels (for those that are included in the OTA map, now Super-DMA map), VOOM does not rely on PSIP data that you are talking about. Even channel call letters are not taken from the PSIP stream, but are rather provided by VOOM through the OTA map. So, even if VOOM STB is somehow affected by the 02/01/05 PSIP change, the problem would be limited to channels outside your DMA, the way I understand it.

In any case, I have forwarded your post to VOOM engineers. I'll let you know if I hear back from them on this subject.
 

branchbouncer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Apr 5, 2004
1,205
4
Massanutten,VA
Why don't you watch the tv instead of worring about the next fix,sounds like "Panic in Needle Park"(movie may be older than most of the people here).The PC was the big thing 5 years ago now it's a 500.00 item from Dell or the bargian basement-HDTV will be the same thing in 10 years,everyone has it and it's history.VOOM will die as has been stated and from the ashes will come forth a new agenda for other providers.

By the way we are running Voom,D* side by side and the really is no difference in the services one is good on one show while the other is not then it does a Kerry flip flop ,they do have the content/channels(VOOM) but are not able to apply them properly and chained with the poor installs and lack of self installs-- ie,equipment in the store to take home with your new HDTV was thier collapse.It was a good dream though.Charles Dolan tried,maybe something good will come of all this.
 

DarrellP

I Think, therefore, I am.
Supporting Founder
Nov 6, 2003
4,298
0
Salem, OR
Ilya said:
VOOM does not rely on PSIP data that you are talking about.
Ilya, are you positive on this? The reason I ask is because during a scan, it pulls up the station ID as soon as it identifies the channel and they have the same exact name as my other OTA tuner. Also, with the last software, it would not add a scanned channel if the PSIP was not up to what Voom was looking for, so I find your statement hard to believe, it has to have a way to identify the channel to match it up with the Voom guide. :confused:
 

Ilya

XXI Century Explorer
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 16, 2004
22,367
7,165
NE OH
DarrellP, I am not 100% positive, but the above is my current understanding of how it works.
At some point I had to do a factory reset and lost my OTA map completely. Before the OTA map had a chance to load, I did a channel scan and most of my local channel names came out differently from what I usually see. Correct names, but written differently. Once the OTA map loaded, the names changed. From this experiment, I conclude that channel names I see in the PG are not the same as sent via PSIP.
 

Scotty

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 13, 2004
154
0
I'm a professional computer programmer. I find that the behavior you are theorizing about from programmers, taking shortcuts instead of programming in adaptability, and expandability, is typical of the people I work with. It is brought on by schedulre pressures, varying degrees of skill among programmers, downright laziness, and the inability to take pain now, for future gain. Oh, and M$ is also to blame for teaching us to accept mediocrity in our computer software. Go Apple! Go Mac! Go iPod! (sorry, shameless plugs :no)

bradley said:
The problem, as it pertains to Motorola STBs and some others, is how the software was originally written for the tuner.

When SW was written for the STBs there was an understood program channel paradigm established by the FCC. Some manufactures assumed these values would never, ever change. So, when they wrote SW for the STB, some of the manufactures utilized software and wrote it in such a manner the STB doesn’t really deal with the information as it should; making it adaptable while having the ability to deal with new values.

Instead they took a short cut.

Program channel paradigms provide a key, in a sense, so the broadcast digital streams within the signal can be identified, much like DBS streams.

So, for example, station KXYZ broadcast a program with one video stream and three audio streams. Each audio stream is unique; 1.) English, 2.) Spanish, 3). Descriptive Services. The program channel paradigm facilitates how the station would like this information to be presented to the end viewer, i.e.: 10.1 video + English, video + Spanish, 10.3 video + descriptive services.

But when the FCC decided there were issues with Euro Sat standards and other issues that could present the potential for clashes, the FCC, in their infinite wisdom, decided to change the entire values of the schemes. If the software for STBs were written right in the first place, this wouldn’t be an issue. But, alas, there are some of us who look for the easy way out. These are known as “schmucks.” They are the ones who make life difficult by not doing what they should have done in the first place.

Anyway, Software for satellite STBs is simply downloadable over the system. Of course someone has to write the fix… As for standalone units that are designed only to capture OTA signals... you are going to have to contact the manufacturer or talk to where you purchased it and raise hell.

To reiterate here, most tuner software was written correctly in the first place. You probably will not see a problem, BUT you may not know for while or so because some of the stations do not have the ability to change program channel paradigms because it is hardwired into their encryption equipment, and they may not want to deal with the added expense at this time. Others have discovered users such those with the Motorola STBs and Samsung do not have the ability to deal with change; they have decided to operate the stations with old standards.

Either way, manufactures that chose to take the short cut will be require by the FCC to facilitate a software fix. Whether that takes form as a new STB, or a simple fix that has to be completed in a repair environment, in home, or mailed to somewhere, who knows?

All I can stay, if it were done the right way in the first place this wouldn't have become an issue and we wouldn't have ever been aware of the issue in the first place.

I hope this has been helpful. Good luck.

Postscript: Internal tuners will be subjected to the same challenges. Bank on the fact the manufacturer did it right in the first place. But, if you experience problems or are simply curious, be proactive and demand the manufacturer investigate and provide you with the results you seek.
 
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