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Nix the box users going to FiOS?

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dojo
Copper Contributor
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Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-13-2009

Nix the box users going to FiOS?

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First let me say I think it is great that Verizon provides this forum.  It indicates that they actually care about their customers.

 

I am well aware that not many consumers are aware that the “cable” service providers are required by law to support cable cards.  The biggest user of cable cards are Tivo users, but many TVs are exceedingly smart and are supposed to be able to provide you all of the one way services of the box without the box.  That is, you don’t need the box if you don’t use “on demand” services. 

 

In my opinion, the on demand services are not worth the added cost, let alone the added box and added electricity needed to power it.  The added services seem cool to some, which is fine, but some of us want to choose our content and a smart TV enables this.  That is, you can block infomercial channels from your menu and you can place the channels in your order of interest.  You can’t do this with a box, and you pay extra for not having the choice. And then there are the DVR users who want to use one with their desired features, Tivo users for example.

 

What I hope to get with this posting is not complaints about the box.  It has it’s enthusiast and in some ways it is a useful and fine product.  And while a forum like this typically gets horror stories about difficulties when you go outside the box the service provider prefers you stay in, I would like to see people comment on things working out well.  Let’s be honest here, many of the complains are technical problems at the user end (but not all).

 

Let me be completely honest here – we are in the process of switching over to FiOS because Cox purposely stopped supporting the cable card.  Our TV builds a menu from the signal sent by TV Guide which until recently the cable card passed.  They disabled this in the office making the cable card fail, a cable card that had performed fine for over a year.  I am expecting that Verizon will not block this functionality, but I do not know this yet.  And like the Tivo, not only does the signal have to be present and decodable by the card, the card needs to “watch” the TV Guide channels (and PBS) in the background while we watch what we want.  That is, the smart TV (and Tivos) “watch” multiple channels at the same time.  That FiOS has ceased to block this capability seems likely from the forum content and the dates of comments.  But I don’t see positive comments confirming this. 

 

So if you use a cable card and it works please provide some positive feedback.  I certainly will if things work as I am very unhappy with Cox for purposefully breaking the system.  I am hopeful that all the functionality that we previously had with Cox will be there plus the addition HD channels and internet bandwidth at less cost.  And the icing on this cake (“on demand” services) doesn’t get in the way of consumer choice for content.

 
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KenAF
Silver Contributor IV
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Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: Nix the box users going to FiOS?

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@dojo wrote:

Let me be completely honest here – we are in the process of switching over to FiOS because Cox purposely stopped supporting the cable card.  Our TV builds a menu from the signal sent by TV Guide which until recently the cable card passed.  They disabled this in the office making the cable card fail, a cable card that had performed fine for over a year.


Note the CableCard has nothing specifically to do with TVGuide.

 

Until recently, TVGOS information was distributed on an analog PBS feed.  With the transition to digital, PBS no longer provides an analog feed with that information in many markets.

 

In most markets, CBS is now responsible for the TVGOS information.  CBS distributes this information with their digital broadcast -- you can see a list of markets where it is available right here.  In some markets, TVGOS information is currently dead, either temporarily or permanently.

 

In order to support TVGOS from digital broadcasts, you need v8.01.65 or later of TVGuide software on your TV.  If you don't know how to check your version, this thread on the AVS Forum for instructions.  If you don't have that software on your TV, and your analog broadcasters already shutoff their signals, then you may be S-O-L.  If you don't have that software on your TV, but your PBS is still on the air with their analog broadcast, then you may be able to [temporarily] mount an off-air antenna to download this version.

 

Do not confuse TVGuide or TVGOS with TiVo.  Every TiVo downloads 14-days of guide data through a nightly service connection to their Internet servers, using your choice of ethernet, wireless ethernet, or a phone line.  TiVos do not download information from CBS (formerly PBS) like TVGuide devices.  TiVo views any loss of guide data as unacceptable, so not surprisingly, they consider TVGuide's delivery method to be inadequate.

Message Edited by KenAF on 03-13-2009 09:22 PM
If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
dojo
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Registered: ‎03-13-2009

Re: Nix the box users going to FiOS?

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Wow, thanks Ken.  Great info.  This explains a mystery and will help a great deal with the FiOS installation.

 

In my case - Mitsubishi in the DC area, I think I am good to go without the off air solution.  Currently I am running off the raw Cox feed while I await FiOS - that is I am running right now without a card.  The very smart TV found one too many CBS digital channels and comes up on this station in it's out of the box configuration.  That is, my TV has the version 9 of the software and will read a digital version of the data.  So, I'll enable the guide on the TV and see if it builds the menu off the raw feed.

 

The only flaw in what you have suggested is that the Cox Cable card does in fact block that the mystery channel.  I am hopeful that it will work on raw feed from Cox and that Verizon won't go out of it's way to block any block a boardcast signal.  Thanks again.

 

I'll post a result of this test in case any other Mitsubishi users in the area are also dealing with this issue.

Teasip
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Registered: ‎01-03-2009

Re: Nix the box users going to FiOS?

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Disregard
Message Edited by Teasip on 03-14-2009 08:07 AM
dojo
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Registered: ‎03-13-2009

Re: Nix the box users going to FiOS?

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My test is in progress but will take awhile to complete because of a bug (undocumented feature?) in the TVGOS system.  The bug (?) is that there is some sort of huge time delay in getting the prompt for lineup choose which leads to another question that Ken might know the answer to.  Let me expand on what I am doing so the question can be framed correctly.

 

With my TV (Mitsibushi LT) you need to do the following steps:

 

Scan the channels with input set to ANT1-Cable.  If you go with the air setting, you will see the stations flash by yet the tv will only acknowedgle 5 analog channels.  With ANT1-Cable it registers all of the channels including those that are encrypted.  Not that you can see them, but you can see that most of the expanded service is digital subchannels on a hand ful of the basic channels.

 

Next find the PBS station and set the clock.  Again there is a time delay before the TV's computer really gets it.  And I mean it will take several hours before the guide shows the time.

 

Here comes an aside question.  At this point without the TVGuide enabled, the channel selection menu shows CBS in a very strange way.  In my local market it is channel 9.  The channel selection menu shows two 9-1 channels and two 9-2 channels.  (????) The first is unlabled and shows the current program.  The second shows the call sign and if tuned atually shows the channel - in high def.  If the fist is tuned it indicates SD and then informs you it is off the air.  From the links provided by ken, the SD channels are most likely the TVGOS info.

 

Now to the question and the really long time delay in the set up.  When the TV Guide is enabled it brings up it's last channel lineup.  From experience I know that tomorrow when I go to edit the channels it will finally offer me a choice of lineups.  In the list will be Cox and FiOS and off the air for my area.  I already know that the Cox lineup will not work.  For example it will say CBS is located at 709 and 9 which is not true for the raw feed.  I have no data for FiOS at this time, but it will be easy to determine as one TV will just see the raw feed while another will go through a box.  So I will know right away if the FiOS lineup is differnt on the two.  The remaining question is can I get it to work with the Cox raw feed and my guess is no.  I think that none of the lineup choices will match resulting the call signs being mapped to nonexesitent channels.

 

I will also most likely eventually try the FiOS lineup with the hope that on installation day the TV Guide comes up immediately after installing the card.  But if not, the real test for satisfactory installation is if the FiOS line up is available as this site indicates.  That is, I won't know for several days if the guide builds correctly, but I will know right away if I can go to the channels from the guide.  If the guide does not work, I'll end up using the scanned results which shows current programing anyway.

 

KenAF
Silver Contributor IV
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Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: Nix the box users going to FiOS?

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@dojo wrote:

 

Next find the PBS station and set the clock.  Again there is a time delay before the TV's computer really gets it.  And I mean it will take several hours before the guide shows the time.


Remember, CBS is now responsible for TVGOS.  That includes the clock.

 

 


@dojo wrote:
The second shows the call sign and if tuned atually shows the channel - in high def.  If the fist is tuned it indicates SD and then informs you it is off the air.  From the links provided by ken, the SD channels are most likely the TVGOS info.

TVGOS is on the CBS HD feed.  It's on the same feed that is broadcast over the airwaves.  It's the same feed you get with an antenna.

 

Some cable providers (Comcast in many areas) are using special equipment to copy the TVGOS data from the CBS HD feed to another analog channel, but most are not doing that yet.

If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
dojo
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Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-13-2009

Re: Nix the box users going to FiOS?

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Patience is a virtue: 48 hours later the TVGOS (TV Guide On Screen) menu is up and running the FiOS lineup.  Of course the channel map is all wrong because it is running off of the Cox raw cable.  So for now I just key in the channels like 4-1 (nbc), 9-1(cbs), 7-1)abc) and 71(cnn).  Now suffering from anticipation of seeing those 60+ movie channels.

 

On the down side, the TVGOS FiOS lineup is missing maybe twenty channels.  The same thing happened with the Cox lineup.  There is a work around: use the excess channels to create listings.  When the excess channel call sign matches up to a missing channel but comes from a differnt market it is only local variant of the schedule that is in error.  About half of the listing are local access channels showing things like city council meetings where a schedule is problematic anyway.  For these I use a "game" or "music" channel as a play holder which has no schewdule anyway.  But the one that is annoying is Palladia.  Palladia typically shows concerts in HD and is often the best thing on in my opinion.  And I may need to turn some of the SD into HD channels because the SD call sign is the only way to link it to the right schedule. But why would I watch in SD when HD is available.

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