receivers that work with OTA ATSC program guide (1 Viewer)

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jgabriels

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2009
35
0
columbia, mo
I have a TR-40 (paid for by uncle sam) that can pick up
about 10 ATSC channels several of which are HD and also
includes a decent OTA program guide. I am wanting to
upgrade to a PVR that also does FTA.
From reading the forums it seems that only the HD receivers
allow me to do this, but I still have a bunch of questions.

How is the OTA ATSC channel guide transmitted?

All the HD FTA receivers talk about a EPG, does the
OTA ATSC channel guide propagate to this?

Are there any HD receivers that support blind scans?

What about software solutions, does mythtv or anything
else work well with FTA? It seems most people on this
forum use multiple slaved set top boxes instead of a
PC based solution, is there a reason why?

My dream system would be:
2 ATSC tuners
2 DVB-S2 tuners
blind scan with motor control
channel guide for at least the ATSC channels (i know alot of FTA
channels don't have guides, but I know my ATSC channels do)
PVR with support for watching/recording from at least 2 of the tuners at once.

Is there anything on the market that gets close to this?
I'm assuming for the 4 tuners I would have to go to a PC solution,
are there any software based solutions that compare to the
set-top boxes? What about the captiveworks or dreambox devices,
I would assume being linux based the hardware would be easier to upgrade,
anyone have any experience with them?
 
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jgabriels

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2009
35
0
columbia, mo
I decided to look it up and I didn't realize it but the ATSC standard REQUIRES
that broadcasters broadcast a program guide:

A link from the official dtv2009 sites shows:
>
>The Joint Industry Comments stated that the requirement that broadcasters >transmit program content information is included in the FCC’s adoption of the >ATSC A/65 standard regarding transmission of Program System Information >Protocol (PSIP), including program content details in digital television broadcast >signals. They felt that this requirement “is premised on the FCC’s conviction that >a mechanism for locating digital channel and program content, including multicast >channels, is an integral feature of the digital television experience.
>

So it is definitely there, not for sure what it takes for a receiver to support it
though wikipedia has an article describing PSIP.
 

jgabriels

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2009
35
0
columbia, mo
Pansat 9200

Unfortunately to my knowledge, that one doesn't have PVR.

Are there any solutions that have blindscan/ATSC/PVR or do I
just need to get a coolsat 5000 and/or merq II on ebay for $50
to do the blindscanning for me and give up on having everything
in one device.

I can obviously put ATSC/PVR on a linux box, is there any
good blindscan software for linux? Does blindscan work at
all for a pc card solution, from reading the forums, it looks like
there is a good possibility that neither of the linux based
set-top boxes (captiveworks 4000/dreambox 8000) support blindscan
either. To me this indicates that blindscan doesn't work
under linux????
 

jgabriels

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2009
35
0
columbia, mo
Well, your topic specifies OTA ATSC EPG.
And to that, I'll say no.

Here's a similar question I asked a while back.
The results were not encouraging.


Thanks, I searched the forums, but never found that thread:

For the Pansat 9200 HD:
EPG is not working on any ATSC channels in my area. At least not for the Pansat?
The Coolsat 8000 originally did provide OTA guide info....but they forgot to put satellite software in the box :eek:

the software that gave both seemed to disable the OTA guide :(

It looks like my best bet will probably be a software based solution,
but so far my research hasn't showed promising results on that front
either. I also think I might buy a cheap Visionsat IV-200 or coolsat 5000/6000
on ebay to have blindscan, etc... for the FTA stuff.
 

jgabriels

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2009
35
0
columbia, mo
well, in furthering my research, I found some info on captiveworks's site about the cw3000hd which might apply to the cw4000hd as well, if anyone is interested:

erikthered Jan 4th 2009
I have also been waiting for improvements to the ATSC OTA EPG. There are only a couple of channels where it works. Most of them don't have anything. On the 4 channels being broadcast by the PBS station, the program information is "off" by two channels. By "off", I mean that channel 10.1 EPG shows the programming for 10.3. It would be really nice to have correct EPG.
 

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
Just to add to all of the above:
The OTA ATSC IET (EPG) data is definately there. You can see it if you run TSREADER with a PC based ATSC receiver card. It is in a slightly different format than the DVB data, which is probably why the FTA receivers have a hard time with it.
My TV receive my local OTA EPG data fine.
I have a Coolsat 8100. It comes up with an empty EPG.
I have a Diamond 9000HD. It comes up with an empty EPG.
I have an Air2PC PCI ATSC card that I run with TSREADER.
TSREADER has an EPG function, and it works quite well on the OTA ATSC data. If I tune in a channel and I access the EPG, I just click the program I want to record, and it schedules the recording. The only problem I have had with it is that TSREADER cannot be running when the time for the recording comes, or else it will bomb, so I have to be careful to turn off TSREADER. I think this is because the version of TSREADER I use will only allow one instance of TSREADER to run at the same time. I think that the PRO version allows multiple instances, but I'm not positive, plus the Pro version is pretty expensive.
TSREADER also allows manual EPG programming in cases where the EPG doesn't populate, such as on most sat signals, and occasionally the local channels mess up the EPG data.

Anyway, I'd guess that the reason that the STBs don't do the ATSC EPG is because the people writing the software for the receivers just aren't interested in it, and are only interested in it working with DN. It should be a simple software issue, but it's unlikely that we'll see it fixed.
 

thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
0
Dish makes a DTVPal DVR which does a 7-day OTA EPG using TVGOS data. It records in HD to a 500 GB hard drive. There are issues with the unit however - people are experiencing reboots and freezes. My first unit got sent back under warranty. Also it is OTA only, no satellite capability.
 

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
B.J.-
Does TSReader give you the EPG PID?

Yes, but it seems to be in a different format, a bit more confusing. Ie my local NBC station has 2 channels, a HD channel and a SD weather channel. There are 4 PIDs devoted to listing the programs on these 2 channels, and 4 PIDs devoted to the program descriptions. Ie 7424,5,6,7 have the program names in the EITs (event information tables, which are normally associated with the EPG info), and 7680,1,2,3 have the program descriptions in ETTs (not sure what this stands for).
I'm not sure why, but there seems to be duplication of info in these PIDs, seems like they could have been able to use half as many PIDs as they did.

Compare the above to a DN EIT, which has the EIT on PID# 18, and ALL of the data for ALL of the channels is on this one EIT PID.

So it seems like the ATSC EPG data is a bit more complicated than that for the DVB style sat channels, so I'm guessing that the programmers just didn't want to try to figure it out. Can't be TOO hard though, since TSREADER does it for both FTA and OTA.

EDIT: On looking closer at the EIT/ETT data, I THINK I understand why they use 4 different PIDs. It looks to me like it must be that the more current info, ie for what is currently showing, seems to be on EIT-0 (ie 7424), while info that is more into the future is on the other 3. I assume that this must allow them to first grab the current and maybe an hour or two into the future off just 2 EITs, then once that has been parsed, the receivers can go on to collect a full EPG further into the future. Basically, TSREADER parses this info and puts it in chronological order, but also lists which EIT PID the data for each program comes from, and I noticed that the further I got into the future, the EIT number, ie 0,1,2,3 got bigger.
 
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B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
I'm just wondering if changing one the PIDs will yield a guide.

I don't think the user has any control over what PID the receiver uses for the EPG. The people writing the firmware might be able to do this, but it doesn't seem like the ATSC data is in the same format as the DVB data, at least with respect to the DN data (which is the only sat signal that I could think of that had an EPG).

For example if I record one of the ATSC EIT PIDs, and look at it with a binary editor, the data is in relatively small packets (hundreds of bytes or less each), and the info is all in plain ascii text, ie easy to extract. On the other hand, if I capture the DN EIT PID, it is in HUGE packets hundreds of KBs. (perhaps I shouldn't have used the word packets, but what I'm referring to is that the payloads of the ATSC data is in small groups with FF separators, while the DN data seems to go on forever without separators.
However even more different is the fact that it seems like the DN data isn't in plain text. It isn't encrypted, but it might be compressed or something, but in any event it doesn't show up as text in the display of my binary editor. TSREADER reads it fine though, so it must be in some easily decoded format.

Anyway, it's not as simple as just changing the PID#18 to PID#6424 or whatever.
 
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