Unsubscribed Locals in EPG


SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Nov 28, 2003
I apologize if this subject has been discussed before but I was wondering why I do not get my unsubscribed locals in the EPG like I do for unsubscribed premium movie, foreign and distant nets. These channels appear in red in the guide but I the guide info for these channels is still available. Most of my locals are on a 110 spotbeam although I don't think think this makes any difference. I can't believe it is anything technical. DISH could put these in the EPG without much trouble. I am wondering if there is a legal/contractual restriction or some moronic marketing rationale.

I have a 811 and I am fortunate to get almost all my locals in HD so there is no reason why I would subscribe to my locals in SD. In marketing their HD receivers, DISH has always emphasised the HD OTA tuner. Since it is apparent that DISH won't be providing HD locals anytime soon why not provide the locals in the EPG. It would at least be a small bone to throw to us as we wait for DISH to add more HD programming.

I also thought I read somewhere on a 921 thread that DISH may add a feature to the 921 that would allow the mapping of local EPG info to local HD channels. This would allow DVR recording of locals using the EPG info. I was wondering if this feature would be possible for the 811 or would it require the extra memory space of a harddrive on a DVR. If it was possible for the 811 maybe we would see it 2005 in software version 270. We can only hope.
I have also wondered why they do not have locals in the EPG if you are able to subscribe to them. I think it has something to do with when they took the distant network channels off of the EPG so that a lot of people would not be questioning about them because of the waiver issues and that may have led to the locals also not showing up.
Just get a TiVo. I get all the locals in my TiVo EPG. I can also combine the locals cable companies EPG with Dish EPG into one EPG.
:D You're overlooking the most probable reason - money. :D

I'm sure E* pays somebody for the guide info. Maybe they pay flat rate, but maybe they pay per subscriber or per display. If so, they don't want to pay for your viewing of the guide unless you're paying them something.

It also takes some effort, however small, to set up the computers and send the activation signals (even to activate the red). If the locals were in an easy to see location (like HBO, for example), it might be worth the effort to turn the locals on to tease you. Since they're in the 7xxx and 8xxx range, maybe it's not worth the hassle. Even if they put the locals in the 1-99 range, folks may not see those unless they watch a lot of Bingo-TV. :eek:

And maybe the locals themselves have some ownership or licensing of their program info. E* might have to pay the locals not only for the broadcast of the programs, but for the display of the guide.

I'm NOT saying that I think any of this is good. It may not even be accurate. But, it's another piece in the conspiracy. ;)
It wouldn't be impossible to address your receiver and show those unsubscribed channels. I wonder if they just don't want to bother "flipping the switch". They don't want to show channels one cannot subscribe to, but on initial activation they should be able to decide if there are locals in your area and unhide those channels. And when locals are brought to an area, they could unhide the channels as well. It would just take the effort to tell the machines what to do.

The trick is that your EPG won't display any channel that your receiver isn't seeing. So if my locals become available where they are uplinked on 105, they can do all the unhiding they want to do --- I still won't see the new channels until I get a 105 dish. Unhiding the channels is of no benefit.

But for Dish500 and wing locals it makes perfect sense to advertise E*'s local offerings by showing them in red. I believe we will see more of this in the future, especially with new DHA subscribers getting locals whether they like it or not. (I suspect beginning in 2005 that will be expanded to other subscribers.)

Actually I know someone in my area that gets the locals but only has a Dish 500, no wing dish. Two of the local channels are on the wing and they show up in the EPG just like the others channels that are on the 110 spotbeam. They are not in red and you can get the program info from the EPG. If you select one of these channel you get a message that you need a second dish and to call Dish Network. I do not know if this is different for locals on 105 or 121 but it is kinda strange how this is setup.

I read again today in a 921 wishlist thread about the mapping of local EPG info to local HD channels. It would be great if this could be done for the 811 but with the current software problems, I am sure if it was possible, we wouldn't see it for a long time.
rocatman said:
Actually I know someone in my area that gets the locals but only has a Dish 500, no wing dish. Two of the local channels are on the wing and they show up in the EPG just like the others channels that are on the 110 spotbeam. They are not in red and you can get the program info from the EPG.
Interesting, other channels don't show unless you have the bird. Perhaps something special to make the FCC happy?

Just a theory here...

I also have a Dish500 and no wing sat dish. I see the channels on the wing sat in the guide but they are in blue, meaning if I had the dish I could see the channels. As it is there is a slate telling me that I can get the extra dish free of charge if I call in for it. The difference here is those are channels I have subscribed to. I asked the same question a few years ago just before Dish started rolling out locals all over the place and all they had were the distant nets. At that time if one didn't subscribe to the distant nets you could still see them listed in the guide in red just as you still can with the Superstations today. Here is where the theory starts. I suspect that when they started rolling out locals across the country that they intentionally blocked all those channels from appearing in red from the EPG just so that the average user wouldn't be put off paging through 800 or 900 red channels of locals when the guide was in "all channels" mode. Might be a bit confusing.
If your theory was was completely accurate then if someone subscribes to their locals, they should get the locals for everywhere else in red. Dish has the ability to provide you specific channels in the EPG depending on your location whether you subscribe to them or not. Besides locals, what about the regional sports networks. Unless you subscribe to the Sports Pak, none of those channels appear in your EPG. Dish knows where you live or at least where you're suppose to live and gives you an EPG accordingly. Justalurker is right, Dish could give you unsuscribed locals in your EPG if they wanted. Bradleys comment about money is more likely the reason but I wonder what it would cost Dish to provide this.

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