OTA channel guide problem

Peter Parker

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15 SD channels on each broadcast tower? :eeek

In the Washington D.C. market, we used to have MHz Networks which specialized in foreign language channels, all of which were SD IIRC. They had 6 channels on their very local (2mi away from me) broadcast tower in Merrifield, VA, and another 6 channels broadcast from a tower southwest of Dale City (name escapes me but it started with "Gold"). They all appeared as subchannels of 30. The MHz Network has subsequently given up both stations in favor of streaming only. :(
Goldvin, VA. By the way we live amazingly close to one another.
 
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tpribors

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Update since my last reply. First, contacts via private channel and the forum from Dish have ceased. Second, nothing has changed.

8-2 which used to be MeTV and is now Rewind has programming information for Rewind. MeTV which moved to 21-1 has no programming information other than 1 hour "MeTV" blocks.

The claim was that Dish only provided OTA programming information for major networks. Obviously the presence of Rewind indicates otherwise AND the absence of programming for the OTA NBC affiliate (3-1 on the OTA) is also just 1 hour NBC3 blocks.

The OTA guide is pretty worthless. It's difficult to sign up for the OTA local channels with no satellite locals when the programming info isn't capable of setting up recordings.
 
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mwdxer1

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Update since my last reply. First, contacts via private channel and the forum from Dish have ceased. Second, nothing has changed.

8-2 which used to be MeTV and is now Rewind has programming information for Rewind. MeTV which moved to 21-1 has no programming information other than 1 hour "MeTV" blocks.

The claim was that Dish only provided OTA programming information for major networks. Obviously the presence of Rewind indicates otherwise AND the absence of programming for the OTA NBC affiliate (3-1 on the OTA) is also just 1 hour NBC3 blocks.

The OTA guide is pretty worthless. It's difficult to sign up for the OTA local channels with no satellite locals when the programming info isn't capable of setting up recordings.
On the vip211k, I can always record a "generic" program on the timer, so even if no program is listed on X Channel, I just set it up from the like 8-9 PM, click in the channel, like 2.2, 6.2, etc, and set it for daily, weekly or whatever. It is clunky to use, but it works. There are several on line guides that are accurate.
Here even the regular ABC/NBC/CBS/PBS/CW/FOX channels aren't right in most cases. I get a guide, but it can be for another channel.
 
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TheKrell

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Goldvin, VA. By the way we live amazingly close to one another.
Ah yes, that was it. But I spell it "Goldvein". ;) I see that it has a Gold Mining Camp Museum which I will have to visit some time. Do you happen to know if it's still open?

And navychop is also living nearby. Several of us live in the general area.
 
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pattykay

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The claim was that Dish only provided OTA programming information for major networks. Obviously the presence of Rewind indicates otherwise AND the absence of programming for the OTA NBC affiliate (3-1 on the OTA) is also just 1 hour NBC3 blocks.
No, the claim was that Dish is only interested in updating the OTA programming information for major networks going forward. Early on (when Dish first started providing OTA guide info) Dish would carry the OTA guide for every channel that Dish also carried via satellite, plus OTA guide info for every subchannel of those local stations, whether or not those subchannels were carried as part of the local package. As OTA stations kept launching more and more subchannels, at some point Dish stopped adding new subchannels to the OTA guide database, but continued providing the OTA guide for existing subchannels that already had info in the Dish guide. It was easier for Dish to do nothing (and simply let the existing subchannel guide data go on autopilot) rather than actively go through their guide database to remove all subchannel guide data.

So, your former MeTV (now Rewind) subchannel must have been one of those that got grandfathered into the database. As long as...
  • Dish's guide data provider continues to update the info for that station,
  • The station does not change anything on their end to break the link between their TSID and the TSID that Dish's guide database is looking for, and
  • Dish does not remove that guide data stream from their uplink
...then that subchannel will continue to have guide info, regardless of the programming it actually carries.

The problem with the NBC station's guide info is that something in the process of providing that data got broken. That is the type of problem that Dish is supposedly interested in fixing, although they are doing a very slow job of addressing the issue. Not only do we no longer have any transparency from Dish in this thread, but we also no longer have any uplink reports. Without those uplink reports, we can't even see any progress that Dish may have made in fixing OTA guide issues in other markets. So, if Dish has not actually fixed anything in our own market, it would appear to us that Dish is doing absolutely nothing regarding this issue. Meanwhile, they may in fact have actually updated many stations across the country that simply aren't being reported here in this thread.

The OTA guide is pretty worthless. It's difficult to sign up for the OTA local channels with no satellite locals when the programming info isn't capable of setting up recordings.
On the vip211k, I can always record a "generic" program on the timer, so even if no program is listed on X Channel, I just set it up from the like 8-9 PM, click in the channel, like 2.2, 6.2, etc, and set it for daily, weekly or whatever. It is clunky to use, but it works. There are several on line guides that are accurate.
Yes, but the idea is that we shouldn't have to look up the guide info elsewhere, and then micromanage our timers like that. We should be able to simply set a name-based timer for the program we want to record, and let that timer find the program whenever it airs. With "generic" program info, there is no way that such a name-based search will work. If there were an app for one of those online guides integrated into the Dish receiver, and you could actually use that app to set and update the timers (you enter the name of the program, and then the app sets the manual timers automatically) then that would be different. It would still be clunkier than setting the timers directly from the guide, but at least it would be a solution.

Before you say, "But how would they do that on ViP receivers?" remember that the ViP receivers actually did used to have a TV Guide app way back when, until that app was removed.
 
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Jim5506

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From my casual observation, I can see why they would be slow to update minor sub-channels guide data. Stations are moving channels around willy-nilly sometimes leaving them on a particular sub-channel for only a few weeks. Sub-channels come and go very quickly. It is a loosing battle.
 
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pattykay

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From my casual observation, I can see why they would be slow to update minor sub-channels guide data. Stations are moving channels around willy-nilly sometimes leaving them on a particular sub-channel for only a few weeks. Sub-channels come and go very quickly. It is a loosing battle.
If you are talking about the affiliation of each subchannel, that may very well be the case. If you are talking about whether or not a particular channel number exists, that is a slightly different matter. Most stations that have decided to carry at least a particular number of subchannels will number those channels consecutively. For example, if a station is going to have at least four subchannels, they will be numbered x-01, x-02, x-03, x-04, etc. Temporary gaps in the numbering may be created if a subchannel loses an affiliation suddenly and the station doesn't replace the programming right away. Usually those gaps will be filled eventually.

In either case though, that is up to the guide data provider (the company Dish receives the guide data from) to keep track of what is on each subchannel, and provide the correct data accordingly. This is really no more challenging then when a network changes its schedule suddenly, and the guide data provider has to update the guide for every station affiliated with that network. No action on Dish's part is necessary. Dish simply needs to keep broadcasting the updated guide data stream for each station. When Dish does need to take action is when the link to map that guide data to the proper channel gets broken. So, Dish needs to fix that link, so that the receiver will actually display the guide data that Dish is already broadcasting.

In any event, tpribors's complaint was not only about some "minor subchannel's guide data" but also about the guide data for the OTA NBC affiliate:
...AND the absence of programming for the OTA NBC affiliate (3-1 on the OTA) is also just 1 hour NBC3 blocks.

The OTA guide is pretty worthless. It's difficult to sign up for the OTA local channels with no satellite locals when the programming info isn't capable of setting up recordings.
Again, this is the kind of issue that Dish should be willing to fix. However, we have no updates on Dish's actual progress in fixing any of these OTA guide data issues across the country. Major networks don't tend to switch affiliation nearly as often as Jim5506 seems to be suggesting above. So, fixing those issues is a reasonable expectation, especially since a representative from Dish specifically said that they are interested in reporting major network OTA guide issues in order to get them fixed.
 
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Ray_Clum

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They should be able to program the guide off data in the OTA data stream. If my TV can pull the info when it is directly connected to the antenna, Dish should be able to do so…
 
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pattykay

pattykay

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They should be able to program the guide off data in the OTA data stream. If my TV can pull the info when it is directly connected to the antenna, Dish should be able to do so…
Perhaps Dish has an exclusive contract with whatever company is providing them with the guide data. Allowing the via OTA guide data to be viewed on the Dish receiver would violate that exclusive contract.
 
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Jim5506

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There is also the assumption that stations maintain that OTA program guide which is not necessarily the case.
 
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sam_gordon

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They should be able to program the guide off data in the OTA data stream. If my TV can pull the info when it is directly connected to the antenna, Dish should be able to do so…
I've been suggesting that on this site for years. People don't like to hear it. My favorite excuses I've read when I point that out...
"It would cost too much to develop the software" (but the $150 TV you can buy has no problem doing it)
"TV Stations only put up a couple hours of info" (so they'd rather have NO data than limited data)

pattykay's excuse of an "exclusive contract" is at least original. I would think Dish would have an argument that if their provider doesn't give the information, then it doesn't void the contract to pull it from PSIP. AND, negotiate better terms.
 
pattykay

pattykay

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@pattykay's excuse of an "exclusive contract" is at least original. I would think Dish would have an argument that if their provider doesn't give the information, then it doesn't void the contract to pull it from PSIP. AND, negotiate better terms.
It is not entirely my idea. It has been suggested before that Dish's guide data contract only covers guide data for channels that Dish actually carries. That is why originally, whenever local channels would get pulled from the satellite due to retransmission consent disputes, the OTA versions would also lose the guide info.

When Dish changed that policy, and started uplinking separate guide data streams for the OTA versions of channels that may soon be in dispute, it was suggested that Dish had to renegotiate with their guide data provider (Tribune at the time) to be allowed to do that.

In any event, it is up to Dish to negotiate which channels that they actually want the guide data for. I am sure whatever guide data provider they use would be happy to deliver guide data for more channels (for a price). So, the fact that the provider "doesn't give the information" doesn't void the contract, since the provider is delivering exactly what Dish asked them to do. I would imagine an exclusive contract for the guide data would protect the guide data provider. This ensures that the provider gets paid for every channel that has guide data on Dish, rather than have Dish cherry-pick and look for a cheaper guide data source for some channels.

In the alternative, the guide data provider may already be sending Dish a complete file that includes all of the guide data for every OTA channel that exists. However, there is only so much room on the satellites. Therefore, it is up to Dish to cherry-pick which OTA channels they actually want to provide guide data for. Again, it is not the guide data provider's fault that the OTA guide data is missing, since they are delivering it to Dish, but Dish chose not to broadcast it. So once again, the contract would not be voided in this case.
 
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rvvaquero

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They should be able to program the guide off data in the OTA data stream. If my TV can pull the info when it is directly connected to the antenna, Dish should be able to do so…

I've been suggesting that on this site for years. People don't like to hear it.

I'm one of those who is affected by incorrect data for OTA stations. For example, my local Fox channel changed from 4.1 to 6.3 a couple of years ago, and DISH is still listing the data on 4.1, which is now Dabl. So, I would love to see DISH do something about this mess.

However, I'm not sure that DISH is allowed to use the data stream that you guys are suggesting. Perhaps it is not permissible to resell the data. It's also possible that the stations would require DISH to pay for it, which would just add cost to the service to duplicate something they are already paying for. I'm just saying that it may not be as simple as writing a program to capture the data and display it in the guide.
 
MikeD-C05

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I've posted this before . But I have Sling tv, the sister company of DISH. I use their Air tv anywhere dvr and it has 4 ota tuners. I get complete guide information for all my locals and sub channels with out problems using a simple ota antenna . Why can't DISH just use Air tv for their ota channels or use their guide even? Why should a cheaper priced service get better guide information than DISH's Flagship satellite service? Isn't satellite supposed to offer the viewer a better service? IF so it makes NO sense why DISH couldn't work out something about this situation.
 
pattykay

pattykay

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Why should a cheaper priced service get better guide information than DISH's Flagship satellite service?
Because Dish is actively trying to push as many customers as possible over to Sling. Note that the Dish receivers also do not support 4 OTA tuners either. Hoppers support a maximum of two OTA tuners.

Once enough subscribers switch over that Dish can justify shutting down the satellite service, that saves Dish the expense of maintaining all of those expensive satellites, not to mention coming up with new satellite receiver hardware.
 
MikeD-C05

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Because Dish is actively trying to push as many customers as possible over to Sling. Note that the Dish receivers also do not support 4 OTA tuners either. Hoppers support a maximum of two OTA tuners.

Once enough subscribers switch over that Dish can justify shutting down the satellite service, that saves Dish the expense of maintaining all of those expensive satellites, not to mention coming up with new satellite receiver hardware.
I'm sure that is DISH's intention ,but they have a lot invested in all those satellites. It would explain why they aren't interested in giving their DISH customers full guide information for ota channels. So I wonder if they will go after Directv so they can merge and get all their subs to keep the satellite business afloat for a few years longer.
 
mwdxer1

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No, the claim was that Dish is only interested in updating the OTA programming information for major networks going forward. Early on (when Dish first started providing OTA guide info) Dish would carry the OTA guide for every channel that Dish also carried via satellite, plus OTA guide info for every subchannel of those local stations, whether or not those subchannels were carried as part of the local package. As OTA stations kept launching more and more subchannels, at some point Dish stopped adding new subchannels to the OTA guide database, but continued providing the OTA guide for existing subchannels that already had info in the Dish guide. It was easier for Dish to do nothing (and simply let the existing subchannel guide data go on autopilot) rather than actively go through their guide database to remove all subchannel guide data.

So, your former MeTV (now Rewind) subchannel must have been one of those that got grandfathered into the database. As long as...
  • Dish's guide data provider continues to update the info for that station,
  • The station does not change anything on their end to break the link between their TSID and the TSID that Dish's guide database is looking for, and
  • Dish does not remove that guide data stream from their uplink
...then that subchannel will continue to have guide info, regardless of the programming it actually carries.

The problem with the NBC station's guide info is that something in the process of providing that data got broken. That is the type of problem that Dish is supposedly interested in fixing, although they are doing a very slow job of addressing the issue. Not only do we no longer have any transparency from Dish in this thread, but we also no longer have any uplink reports. Without those uplink reports, we can't even see any progress that Dish may have made in fixing OTA guide issues in other markets. So, if Dish has not actually fixed anything in our own market, it would appear to us that Dish is doing absolutely nothing regarding this issue. Meanwhile, they may in fact have actually updated many stations across the country that simply aren't being reported here in this thread.



Yes, but the idea is that we shouldn't have to look up the guide info elsewhere, and then micromanage our timers like that. We should be able to simply set a name-based timer for the program we want to record, and let that timer find the program whenever it airs. With "generic" program info, there is no way that such a name-based search will work. If there were an app for one of those online guides integrated into the Dish receiver, and you could actually use that app to set and update the timers (you enter the name of the program, and then the app sets the manual timers automatically) then that would be different. It would still be clunkier than setting the timers directly from the guide, but at least it would be a solution.

Before you say, "But how would they do that on ViP receivers?" remember that the ViP receivers actually did used to have a TV Guide app way back when, until that app was removed.
Finding a good OTA guide is not easy. I thought I had one with the Amazon Re-Cast, but they are discontinuing that, so what will happen to the guide. In the beginning it had everything, now there are no new updates for new channels added. Dish's OTA guide is worse than the rest. According to Portland TV stations, their OTA guides go out at least 2 weeks. I checked Tablo and they the guide via TV Guide. well, I clicked on a guide forTV Guide Astoria OR (My DMA), there we have 35 OTA choices, 5 translators & one Class A station. The info I got was "no guide for my area. Titan has all the correct listings, but I have not found one OTA type guide that was that good for a DVR.
 
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sam_gordon

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However, I'm not sure that DISH is allowed to use the data stream that you guys are suggesting. Perhaps it is not permissible to resell the data. It's also possible that the stations would require DISH to pay for it, which would just add cost to the service to duplicate something they are already paying for. I'm just saying that it may not be as simple as writing a program to capture the data and display it in the guide.
Again, the $150 TV you get from Wal*Mart can decode the data stream. That TV manufacturer isn't paying anyone to display the data... it's included in the OTA signal. Dish wouldn't need to pay for it (at least not to the broadcasters). They would just need to write the code for it in their receivers. I'm assuming (and I think it's a safe assumption) the code shouldn't take much to write, as, as I said, it's found in every TV out there.
 
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MikeD-C05

MikeD-C05

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Again, the $150 TV you get from Wal*Mart can decode the data stream. That TV manufacturer isn't paying anyone to display the data... it's included in the OTA signal. Dish wouldn't need to pay for it (at least not to the broadcasters). They would just need to write the code for it in their receivers. I'm assuming (and I think it's a safe assumption) the code shouldn't take much to write, as, as I said, it's found in every TV out there.
Yes, if DISH wanted to they could change the software so it works with PSIP data for ota channels and you could select either DISH sat guide or PSIP. That way you will at least know what is on the sub channels not listed and of course for all the big 4 networks that are still listed on the wrong channels.
 

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