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TV Guide On Screen problems (COMCAST, bay area)

 

New member
Username: Davygrvy

Richmond, CA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-05
Looks like Comcast changed their lineup codes again. Comcast refuses to give me the TVGOS code as it is something the "manufacturer of my DVR is responsible for", while the TVGOS setup screen says "contact your cable provider for your proper lineup code".

Isn't this just the classic NMP?
 

dobnh
Unregistered guest
I'm in NH Seacost area. My TV, Samsung LNR-408D also has this Gemstar "TV Guide On Screen" that does not work on the Comcast cable. I've been trying to figure out for sometime what is going on, but yet just got to the point when I'm pretty sure that something is wrong with delivering of the data over the Comcast cable. The feature works fine OTA. Unlike you I do not have any setup for the feature, so the only solution for me is to keep calling Samsung hoping that they wouldn't like that Gemstar sold them something useless, and apply pressure that hopefully reach Comcast. As far as I know Comcast uses Gemstar's iGuide. BTW, if I understand correctly the iGuide utilizes 2 way communication channel which means (theoretically) that statistical data can be collected. Maybe that's one of the reasons why there seem to be resistance. Another reason might be that a Cable Card that provides better picture quality combined with this type of guide eliminates the need for cable box except as a mean of getting PPV (which seem to be a big chunk of their income). These are just elaborations, but I guess whatever the reasons are, a presence of an alternative to Comcast capable of taking over all the services without too much troubles would definetely improve the end user situation.
 

dopbnh
Unregistered guest
Just talked to lev.2 tech support at Samsung. They said that Gemstar is experiencing problems delivering guide data through cable networks all over US (not just Comcast). No problem with OTA and Sattelite though. They are aware of the problem and working on the solution. I did not get a firm answer to the question "when ?", but "two weeks" term was mentioned.
 

New member
Username: Davygrvy

Richmond, CA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-05
Well, there's always hand editing the lineup list for me.. no fun, but doable.. That reset messed it up and I haven't fixed the outer channels yet.

Just as long as I can still record "Monster Garage" off DISC-HD I'm happy ;) Especially the one coming on 8-22-05! The "Sour Kraut" drag bug.

Sorry for the OT..
 

Anonymous
 
Checked the Gemstar On-Screen guide again a few days back. It's been 4 weeks since I talked to Samsung rep about this guide not working on my TV and the 2 weeks fix time period had been mentioned. It still doesn't work with my Comcast cable. I should have bought just a huge flat panel monitor. That's what I end up using my feature loaded TV 90% of time anyway (only for over than x2 times of the price of the same size monitor) :-(((
 

New member
Username: Malu

Annapolis, MD USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-05
I am in a similar predicament as you all. I just bought a Dell 2005FPW widescreen monitor. I have a VPR Matrix computer, 2.2 GHZ. I bought and installed an ATI HDTV tuner card. The VGA worked fine and even the DVI is passible on some stations. I could not get the Gemstar TV Guide Plus to work. I called ATI. They gave me this:http://apps.ati.com/guideplus/guideplus.html. It is a form to be filled out concerning the problem. It even asks about you internet provider. I submitted it 2 weeks ago and have not received a reply of any kind.

I have since replaced my video card with an ATI Radeon 700X. The picture is smoother, but the Gemstar guide still will not load. I thought I had a compatability issue. I continue to get an error message which reads: Failed to connect to the server. Please check the internet connection and try to download. Maybe I should return the products and try Pinnacle. I really want to would like to get the full benefit from my ATI TV tuner card. Any advice out there?
 

FWIW
Unregistered guest
If GEMSTAR is passing the correct signal then your cable company is simply relaying that stream through their system. They do not strip it out of the analog stream. If you have a cable card however and are in an area that is launching a digital simulcast you will see some issues. If your card is set to digital simulcast then there will obvioulsy be no analog signal to stream the data on.
GEMSTAR should hopefully be looking into an alternative relay as OTA's will start to migrate to digital as well per the various FCC mandates.

If you do have a cablecard you may remove it and hook your cable up straight to see if the guide starts to load.
Again, Comcast passes this signal passively. On other boards I have also read that one issue was at the point of origin. The GEMSTAR CP at the station was locked and needed to be rebooted.
 

PhilipsHDRW720_User
Unregistered guest
I bought a Philips HDRW 720/17 at Costco on 10/7/05 for $199.99. Similar to all of your stories, the TV Guide On Screen does not work even after waiting the 24+ hours. I called Philips and they suggest I perform a firmware upgrade. I downloaded the new firmware file and burned it to a CD-R, but the Philips unit would not read the CD-R. Philips is mailing me a CD with the firmware.

My cable carrier is Astound Broadband in Walnut Creek, California (SF Bay Area). I am getting close to returning this unit and getting one with the free basic Tivo.

Thanks for all of your posts.
 

Schooled by Comcast
Unregistered guest
Recent info acquired from Comcast Rep. It appears that Comcast is slicing and dicing the lineup which interferes with the required information for the TV Guide functionality to operate. The required carrier signal is offered only in the Digital Classic and above packages. This means that customers who subscribe to Basic or Standard (extended) level do not receive the required signal. Also, to compound the issue the TV Guide functionality requires two way communications. This means that a customer can not use a Cablecard. The customer must rent the Cable box. Now if this is not enough of a twist, if a person uses the Cable Box and subscribes to Basic or Standard levels and Digital Classic (at a minimum to get the carrier signal only (not the full $52 package)) the box must be connected to the TV using the composite video interface. The signal information does not appear to be passed through a component or HDMI interface. (The previous inteface information is provided by Sharp, see Aquos user manual). If the interface connection to the TV from the Cable box is made using the Composite interface the customer will not obtain High Def TV images. This is a catch 22. The customer purchases an HD TV with TV Guide and must give up one or the other of these features to use the product. This information was discovered after multiple cable techs spent numerous hours at my home at a cost of over $216. I provide my lesson learned only to educate the consumer so that you nay ask the correct questions of your cable provider and TV vendor / manufacturer. If anyone can over more insight to this issue please do so. My cable provider insists that it should work and wishes to send yet another tech to my home on my dollar. I think I shall cut my loses at this time.
 

Comcast - TV Guide
Unregistered guest
I have an HDRW 720/17 connected to an LCD Panasonic flatscreen via component cables, and a Comcast cable box with the basic digital package. TV Guide has been trying to load the channel data for over 40 hours now. All I get is a message that says, "TV Guide has failed to load data. Please check if your cables are connected properly."
 

TV Guide problem
Unregistered guest
Same problem. A HDRW 720/17 with standard cable, no box, and s-video connection to TV. I spent 2 hrs on the phone with Phillips and they don't know what the problem is. I had to read them a bunch of diagnostic codes and they are suppose to call me back next week. They hinted that they think it is a Comcast problem, but wouldn't say for sure.
 

Bob in NJ
Unregistered guest
I have a LG 42PX5D Plasma HDTV. I am using a cablecard on COMCAST in Northern New Jersey. I have not been able to get the TV Guide to download. LG says call the cable company. Comcast says call Gemstar TV Guide. The Gemstar TV Guide site has no way to contact them. I called LG; and, they would not give me a direct contact number or email address for Gemstar TV Guide. Then LG called back and said it was a problem between Comcast and Gemstar TV Guide, which they are trying to work out. I called Comcast Cable; and, they have no idea what I was talking about. And, I cannot get a contact number to Gemstar TV Guide.
Anyone having a similar TV Guide problem with a cablecard on Comcast Cable in Northern New Jersey?
 

Bob in NJ
Unregistered guest
I have a LG 42PX5D Plasma HDTV. I am using a cablecard on Comcast Cable in Northern New Jersey. I have not been able to get the TV Guide to download. LG says call the cable company. Comcast says call Gemstar TV Guide. The Gemstar TV Guide site has no way to contact them. I called LG; and, they would not give me a direct contact number or email address for Gemstar TV Guide. Then LG called back and said it was a problem between Comcast and Gemstar TV Guide, which they are trying to work out. I called Comcast Cable; and, they have no idea what I was talking about. And, I cannot get a contact number to Gemstar TV Guide.
Anyone having a similar TV Guide problem with a cablecard on Comcast Cable in Northern New Jersey?
 

Anonymous
 
I have Motorola Dual DVR and had it installed by my cable service. When I changed the channel to my HDTV cannels the picture was not full size on my TV (Sony 36 Trinitron Wega HDTV Ready) It showed black areas all around the program. I asked the ever so smart cable guys if this was normal and they said yes. Well I called one of our local TV stations and asked it this was true and they said no not at all and I have to change the setup for screen display. I haven't got a clue how to do this. Does anyone out there know how to change the setup so the picture will fit the screen like the non HDTV stations are? I called the cable provider and they said it would e a service call fee if the came out... Sounds like a rip off to me. PLEASE HELP !
 

TVGuide Problem 1/06
Unregistered guest
Re: TV Guide OnScreen Problem --
For the past year (until this week--1/26/06) I have been merrily getting the TV Guide On Screen downloads onto my Panasonic DVR 85 via my Scientific Atlanta HDTV cable box & Comcast Cable service with no problems. Loved the Panasonic DVR with TV Guide downloads so much I helped my brother in Denver get the newer Panasonic DVR-50. Since then, we both have had nothing but problems with the TV Guide download.
Several Panasonic support techs have told me that the problem is nationwide (just hit my area of Florida this week), and due to a contract dispute between TV Guide/Gemstar (who believes we should be able to get the EPG--electronic programming guide-- signals for free) and Comcast Cable (who thinks somebody should pay extra for it and is therefore blocking the TV Guide EPG signals from being downloaded to our units).
The Comcast reps & techs in Denver & Florida seem to know nothing about any contract dispute. Comcast even sent a supervisor to my brother's house in Denver twice at no charge to try to resolve the problem. He got the TV Guide to download to my brother's Panasonic DVR 50 by running the cable feed from the wall into the INput on a 2-way coax cable splitter. Then he ran one cable from the splitter directly to the DVR - thus bypassing the Motorola cable box. He ran another cable from the splitter to the Cable Box and from there to the TV's Antenna A coax Input. (In the DVR's Setup routine, he selected yes to Cable Service and no to the Cable Box options. The DVR was kept off for 24 hours--an absolute must for the initial download, I've found from prior experience with my Panasonic DVR even when all is otherwise working fine.) Since I had also hooked up my brother's DVR with Audio-Video (red-white-yellow) RCA-jack cables running between the DVR's INput 3 and the TV (a quite old but still very good Sony Trinitron), he is able to view the higher end digital channels thru his DVR, and therefore to record them manually. He will probably only be able to get and use the DVR's TV Guide for time-recording the basic cable channels (1 thru 70-something), and I imagine will have to have the DVR on and the Cable Box set to the digital (70s+) station he wants to record in order to record those channels on the DVR. And I'm not sure whether the DVR's manual recording mode will be able to function or not with the higher end channels--at least to turn on the unit to begin recording at the appointed time even if he has to manually change the channel to the one he wants to record on the cable box. In my experience, if you can view it thru the DVR, you can record it onto the DVR--even if only by using the good old red REC button on the DVR's remote control.
At my end in Florida, I tried the same bypass-the-cable box hookup configuration, but just left the DVR off overnight. That might be why the TV Guide download didn't work... I'll be good this time and leave it off for the full 24 hrs.
Meantime, I got a call back from a Comcast tech supervisor in my area who told me that Comcast is making changes in their equipment to accommodate more hi-tech stuff (such as further types of 2-way communications between user and Comcast). He supposed that might be causing the problem I've just begun experiencing.
The short of it is that I don't know--but sure would like to know--where the root of the problem truly lies, and whether it will, indeed, be fixed. I doubt that TV Guide would be changing its signals knowingly to something we can't receive, so my money is on the problem's arising at the Comcast end somehow--whether deliberate on their part or not. But millions of us have these DVRs now, and judging from the other posts us Panasonic owners aren't the only ones with the problem. So I hope Comcast gets together with TV Guide/Gemstar and resolves this!
Otherwise I'll employ my own 2 "fixes" for the problem: calling my congressional reps to support the proposed cable channel choice bill whereby we could select which channels or services we receive--and only have to pay for those, and when it arrives in my area next year I'll look into the Verizon service that will offer me TV thru my telephone lines and say goodbye to Comcast.
P.S. Comcast just told me today that they've now contracted with Panasonic to begin making Comcast's cable boxes. Is this mere irony -- or does it represent real hope for a future resolution to this problem?
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-06
Re: TV Guide Onscreen Problem!
Just for the record, I have tried repeatedly, without success to utilize the Tv Guide system with my Pio Elite 1130, CableCard on Comcast, Maryland.

No error messages, but no listings either. I have other issues with Comcast (e.g., Comcast tech couldn't find the SPDIF Digital out on their own cable box)and wouldn't even think about bringing this to their attention.

I hope a solution is found SOON!

liy
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 2
Registered: Feb-06
Update - Cablecard & Comcast

It appears, after leaving the Receiver off overnight tuned to Channel 28, that I am slowly beginning the download process.

When turning the TV on this morning, a TV guide message displayed asking me to choose a Cable system - also the listings screen appeared, albeit unpopulated with any data - and several of the channels had logos.

So, we'll wait and see.

(BTW, I tuned my Cablecard to Channel 28, only because in reading the Pio Manual, it appears that TV guide in testing a Cable Box for use, tunes the box to Channel 28).

LIY
 

Cinders
Unregistered guest
I have Comcast Cable TV (basic & extended service ONLY.) I do not have digital service or a cable BOX on my TV. I can barely afford the $45.00 a month charge we already HAVE with Comcast now!

Anyway, I USED to be able to get Gemstar Guide Plus+ to easily work with my 60" GE TV with Comcast cable channels. I bought my TV in March 2002. I've had Cable TV since 1995 which soon might change now!

For about the last YEAR we have tried desparately to get Guide Plus + to work. I contacted Comcast -they refused to help. All they would offer is that I BUY additional Digital TV service with them to get on screen details of channels etc. I was LIVID! IT HAD ALWAYS WORKED BEFORE!

HOWEVER, this MORNING I receive a HUGE message this time saying the following message - (see image of message here):
http://img434.imageshack.us/my.php?image=comcast0061ud.jpg

If you are unable to read the above image taken with our camera , this is what it says:

"Dear Guide Plus+ Customer,

We are sorry that your television is not able to receive data to update your Guide Plus+ television listings. One likely reason is that your cable company has blocked information contained in the television signal. We believe that this action by your cable company is unlawful.

Please contact your cable company to ask them not to interfere with the free data contained in the over-the-air broadcast signal which supports your Guide Plus+ feature. You may also wish to voice your complaint to your city officials, and the Federal Communications Commission by calling 1-888-237-3387.

If you are dissatisfied with the action of your cable operator and would like to consider alternative programming services, please call toll free at 1-877-FOR-GUIDE."

If I do not get help or answers THIS TIME, I plan to complain to Portland, Oregon City Officials, the FCC, and the Better Business Bureau. I am fed up with the monoply!

This has gone just to FAR how Comcast is FORCING people to go to DIGITAL Service! And yes,I am fully that BUSH signed into law just this week that ALL analog broadcast will be cutoff by the year 2009. But that is in the year 2009!
 

New member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-06
I bought a LG 50 inch plasma tv with a built-in DVR. This unit features an on screen tv guide.However, I am unable to download any information or channel listings despite the fact I have run the set-up several times and waioted for 15 nights. I have Comcast cable. I called the LG people and they say that Gemstar is having problem in Los Angeles area. I have no independent way of confirming this. Any one has any ideas?.
 

J. Godfrey
Unregistered guest
This is funny, more than coincidence. I have the same LG 50 inch with DVR and TV guide, and of course Comcast Cable. It has been working up until just a few days ago. Now although I show my channel line up, most (approx. 98%) of the guide shows "No Title" in the program info boxes. I have attempted to reset my settings info to force a new download to no avail. After reading all the above I'm starting to get a little upset. Hope to find a solutiuon soon as my wife is already more upset than I.
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 3
Registered: Feb-06
No luck here in Maryland either! Left the receiver of my Pio 1130 off for 4 days after attempting to force a reset. Absolutely nothing.

Thinking that the problem might be with Gemstar, but I certainly wouldn't rule Comcast out as the culprit.

Any help, tips, or comments greatly appreciated. Very frustrated right now.

LIY
 

J. Godfrey
Unregistered guest
I spent most of Thursday - Saturday attempting to resolve the issue of the missing channel list info.
I had tested a theory that if you delete (turn off) the station that sidebands the Guide data from your channel list you may stop receiving updates. After all, my list worked almost a full week.......after I had deleted some analog PBS and Univision stations, all old UHF stuff.
Well what do you know, after programming my TV to ignore that I have cable, (only antenna), and re-detecting all available channels, my channel list appeared and was populated with 4-5 future days' listings. This, after the set being off for only approximately 5 hours the night before. Hurrah!
OK then, now I was on to ascertain what station carries the Gemstar stuff in Los Angeles, so I could delete all the fluff and keep "the one". I started calling the parties involved and an amusing display of deflection and misinformation ensued.
Comcast Cable insisted that I could not receive any TV Guide Interactive, (I said On Screen), without a cable box instead of my TV's cable card. I had to speak to three levels of reps., waiting almost four hours for the last to call me back. They finally understood that the problem is with "TV Guide on Screen"...not "Interactive". I had to explain this to each rep. multiple times. Comcast then pointed their finger at the manufacturer of my set (LG) and also Gemstar for more info., seeing that they have no idea what channel is used to supply the guide data. Comcast also suggested that I dump my cable card (Motorola) in favor of a cable box, as then I would have access to Pay-Per-View features as well. They said "It's only a few extra dollars a month for a digital box with a built in DVR."
Well on to Gemstar, no wait, Gemstar's web site has contact info for all of their products except for TV Guide on Screen. I read "Contact the manufacturer of your TV set or DVR". OK then, on to L.G.
The L.G. tech was quick to answer the phone, but had no real facts to supply. She had heard that possibly Kayset in L.A., (I think she was making reference to one of our our local PBS stations KCET TV), was having trouble delivering the TV Guide data. What do you know, that was one of the analog stations that I had deleted. She was unsure of the real story or station, but assured me that she would play the game of telephone tag with Gemstar when they opened on Monday.
When Comcast last called me back, I told their tech that I had called already called L.G. He informed me that I "Shouldn't hold my breath" waiting for them to call me back. He seemed surprised when I let him know that they answered the phone and attempted to help after waiting only 30 seconds or so, and that only he made me wait for almost 4 hours. Glad that I didn't hold my breath with him, or I would be dead. He did ask, however, that if and when I find a solution, could I call him back and let him know, as there is at least another customer in the L.A. area with the same problem. Could that other customer perhaps be S. Ramanathan? I'll tell you this, if I do find a solution I will post it here first. My possible fix (adding back deleted channel) is still a theory, more to come.
Now for some after editorial entertainment.

A Story: Receiving a free cake from the store.

Cast of Characters;
TV Guide on Screen - "The Free Cake"
Gemstar - "The Baker"
Local TV Station - "The Supplier"
Comcast Cable - "The Delivery Agent"
L.G. - "The Store"

The story so far:
I was to received a package containing a free cake from the store.
What I got was an empty plate. It was time to investigate.
The baker made himself unavailable, there was a note on his door to call the store.
The store didn't know anything for certain, but they suspected that supplier was the culprit, but insisted only the baker knew for sure. The store apologized and said they would call the baker.
The supplier was fairly anonymous so I couldn't ask them anything.
The delivery agent didn't understand what package I was having a problem with, confusing it with another. When they finally understood the problem they said they knew the Baker and the Store and that they were idiots for giving away a cake in the first place. After all, they supply their own cake with a special interactive Pay-Per-View icing that they find very sweet. They said they only deliver a package, not knowing what is in the package, where the package comes from, or even if there is package at all. The deliver agent wants me to find who supplied the package, and why the cake was missing from it, and to please let them know soon, as others on their delivery route are asking about their missing cakes too.
 

New member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 2
Registered: Feb-06
My problem still continues. Mr. Godfrey, you seem to have gotten further along than I was able to. My TV shows all the cable channels when I connect my cable to the cable input. I did not bother adding a cable card. When I connect the coaxial cable from the wall to the antenna terminal on the TV, only 11 channels are detected. Do you think I should put a cable card in and then use the antenna input?. I don't want to get a DVR box from Comcast because it will add to the clutter and expense. Thanks for your research.
 

New member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 3
Registered: Feb-06
Here is the latest from LG on this issue:

Dear Sivam, Thank you for inquiring of LG Electronics. The TV Guide service has been experiencing difficulties in the Los Angeles area. This is concerning the newer version of the Guide signal which allows the reception of HD and digital channels, as well as the standard ones. Once this issue is resolved, the Guide information should begin downloading overnight.
 

DSathe
Unregistered guest
Good in a bad way to hear more people are having trouble in the Los Angeles Comcast cable area. I have been experiencing the same outage since late January. Same story of being bounced back and forth from Comcast (DTV card can't get TV guide "Amazing since I have had BOTH supposedly unavailable TV guides since purchasing LG TV in early November")
I will be looking forward to any resolution and if mine comes first, I will let you know what fixed it.
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-06
Further update on my problems with Comcast/Gemstar in the Balto. metro area.

Spoke with Pioneer customer service. The tech gave me a reset code for TV Guide on the Pioneer, but suggested to me that it would not help as TV Guide was having problems all over the country and are working on a "software fix."

Will try the reset just for the heck of it.

Not very encouraging!

LIY
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 5
Registered: Feb-06
Well, it appears as though the CableCard is the problem. Got the bright idea of using the Antenna B input on the Pioneer media receiver - split the cable into Antenna B and set-up TV guide, this time telling it to use Ant B.

Sure enought, this morning, TV Guide was populated with info for all channels that I could receive on Ant B (essentially Cable 2 thru 99). (FWIW, using the TV Guide info menus, I determined that the Guide info is carried on our local PBS affiliate, Channel 22).

That's a real bummer if the technology can't work thru the CableCard!

Will keep posting to let you know what if any progress is made in this area!!!

LIY
 

J. Godfrey
Unregistered guest
For anyone who has not seen the following forum please use this link: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,14685765?hilite=tvgos
There is very good information on how to verify your TVGOS local provider station etc. More importantly there is a phone number for Gemstar Technical Support. I have not spoken with them directly yet, but at least their phone system allows you to request a call back. I hope that when they contact me they can be of some help.
Anyone being told by LG that a fix is forthcoming should not get his or her hopes up. LG support staff have remained professional and helpful but obviously do not have a complete understanding of the TVGOS system, or their how their own products use such. LG did confirm, (from reading aloud their own internal emails), that Gemstar was having trouble in the Los Angeles area with the local PBS station transmitting the TVGOS data. There was an abnormally high rate of data error. This resulted in Gemstar replacing part of the TVGOS hardware locally at the broadcaster. LG confirmed that this was done in early February and should no longer be an issue. With my own testing, using an antenna, I can confirm that the guide data is being downloaded properly, (when not connected to cable), and that the list is displayed properly.
I have read some of the previous posts and there may be something to be had from the use of the antenna input on the TV to work around the problem. I cannot say for certain that the presumption of the cable card causing loss of TVGOS data is correct, at least with LG sets. The problem could still be Comcast. I have both a standard TV antenna and Cable connected to my set simultaneously. When I disconnect the cable coax during the evenings and daytime when the set is not in use, and leave the antenna connected, the guide is updated properly. If the cable is left connected the infamous "No Title" and "No Listing" texts populate the info fields. I have tried the use of a Comcast Cable receiver in place of the cable card, and the same phenomena is observed. This causes me to speculate that the Comcast feed, and not the cable card is still part of the problem. Comcast has told me that a certain number of local analog channels are provided on the cable "unscrambled" and can be used for a regular (non cable) TV. I have not received a list, nor tested the connection on an analog TV to produce a list of what stations are provided by Comcast in Los Angeles that do not require a decoder, or that one of them is KCET, so connecting your cable directly to the antenna input may or may not work in place of a regular antenna. The TVGOS data is "piggy backed" on KCET's UHF analog, or one of their multiple D-TV signals, but I cannot ascertain which is used. Luckily my antenna is a combination unit capable of receiving VHF, UHF and D-TV signals. I have also noticed that the guide data appears to be updated sequentially, in leap frog fashion. If I forget to disconnect the cable for a day, there will appear a one-day hole in my TVGOS listing with the "No Title/Listing" showing for an approx. 24-hour period. If Comcast is receiving KCET's analog broadcast signal and then "scrambling" it prior to distribution, this could explain the loss or corruption of the TVGOS data. Also if the data stream is being broadcast via a D-TV signal not provided by Comcast this could also be the problem. Even if the signal for picture and sound are forwarded on to the subscriber there still is no guarantee that Comcast is no filtering or stripping away the additional TVGOS data signal. As Comcast does not wish to address any of this any further, it is all speculation as to their involvement in contributing to the problem. It is now up to LG and Gemstar to get some answers to these issues.
Let us also not discount the cable card made by Motorola as a potential player here.

Here is a list of questions that could be answered by LG:
1.) The provider of TVGOS data in Los Angeles is KCET TV (PBS).
2.) The TVGOS data is transmitted 4 times each day -- 2x night, 2x day.
3.) LG TV with DVR equipment need not be turned off to receive TVGOS data, but must be turned off so the buffered data will be used to update the guide.
4.) LG sets automatically sense which of the Cable/Antenna inputs has the best signal, if both are connected at the same time, and uses the stronger input as the source of the TVGOS data. Needless to say the cable should win every time.

Here is the list of the questions that could not be answered by LG:
1.) Is the TVGOS data broadcast by KCET riding the analog or one of their digital signals?
2.) Is the TVGOS list provided 4x daily the same data transmission (redundancy) or are there 4 separate (different) sets of updates?
3.) Is the TVGOS list transmitted in its entirety or leap frogged in smaller packets?

It seems the more answers I receive, the more questions I have.
Let us hope that LG and Gemstar continue to be helpful, and identify where the cause of this problem really rests.
It will be of great benefit if Gemstar contacts me directly, as they should have the answers that LG does not. I hope they contact me before I wear out the threads on the coax.

For now, I'm still riding the merry-go-round.
 

Jumpcut
Unregistered guest
It's not working again on Adelphia Cable in Los Angeles. Previously it was out for 2.5 months beginning last November. Then, on Feb. 9, everything magicallly came back and it had been working perfectly ever since. Now, it won't update the listings again. :-(
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 6
Registered: Feb-06
Partial success here with Comcast - Baltimore County, CableCard, Pio 1130! It appears to me that some change must have been effected here in Maryland, perhaps some type of truce between Comcast and Gemstar, as the "TV Guide" logo now appears on the Comcast digital menues - and, the TVGOS host channel, 123, is now broadcasting MPT, our local PBS outlet (which had not been the case two weeks ago).

Now, under listings, I do have a few bits of program info - shall see what happens over the next few days, keeping my fingers crossed.

LIY
 

gskarp
Unregistered guest
I had the same experience here in Los Angeles as Jumpcut. It is almost worse that we got it back for the last couple of weeks, only to have it yanked out from under us again!
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 7
Registered: Feb-06
Still problems here in MD with Comcast thru the CableCard. After receiving some listings for some channels, I don't appear to be getting any further data!

Get the feeling, that at least with a CableCard, the TV Guide system is "not ready for primetime"!

LIY
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 8
Registered: Feb-06
Okay, after following a suggestion contained in one of the posts to this excellent forum "http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/printthread.php?t=510125&page=3&pp=30" , I now have a substantial majority of my listings.

Essentially, I determined that the VBI channel was Channel 22 WMPT, here in MD - and I remapped Channel 22 to Channel 123 (the host channel as found in the TVGOS service menu).

This appears to have done the trick. I say appears, as I have thought on several occasions that I had the problem licked, only to find that all listings were lost the next day.

Again, we shall see.

Of course, I heartily recommend that anyone else in my boat give this a try to see what happens.

LIY
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 9
Registered: Feb-06
By way of further clarification - the "host" channel must appear in the TVGOS channel line up. By editing a PBS channel that is active and that does appear in the line up (i.e., directing it to tune to the identified "host" channel), the problem appears to be solved.

LIY
 

New member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-06
LIY:
How do you get to the TVGOS service memu?. Is it on the TVGOS screen? My problem still persists.
 

New member
Username: Liy

Post Number: 10
Registered: Feb-06
Dear Mr.Ramanathan:

For detailed instructions on how to access the TVGOS service menu, you can visit this post which was referenced above: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark%2C14685765?hilite=tvgos

For an extremely detailed analysis of the issues concerning TVGOS, I would go here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=510125&page=43&pp=30


Good luck!

LIY
 

J. Godfrey
Unregistered guest
I am rather disappointed, as I never received a call back from Gemstar. I cannot confirm that the cable card is causing the "No Listing/ No Title" snafu. I can definitely say that disconnecting the cable coax every night, and during the day when possible, while keeping the antenna connection to accept the PBS feed, has been a definite workaround for the problem. The TVGOS information has been updating, as it should be. I even noticed a few new channel logos for some of the cable provided stations have popped up in the last couple of days. After re-ordering my channel line up (again) I am reticent to do any more testing to truly isolate the cable card as the culprit. If anyone hears for certain that Gemstar and Comcast in L.A. finally get their digital broadcast "stuff" together please post.
Mr. Ramanathan, if I were you, I would make a trip to the local electronics store and purchase and connect an inexpensive VHF/UHF antenna to your TV. Run the TVGOS setup menu to program for "Cable on Cable" and "Antenna on Antenna". I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that the temporary fix will work for you as well.
It may seem silly that one must use a five dollar fix to get a five thousand dollar TV to work correctly, but that, for now, is all I can rely on.
All of this would appear in a better light for Gemstar/ TVGOS if they would at least provide a direct contact email, or post a FAQ/ update list for known TVGOS problems on their web site. It would be the responsible thing to do.

For now I'm still wearing out the threads.
 

New member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 5
Registered: Feb-06
Dear Mr Godfrey: Thanks for your help. I will pick up an VHF/UHF antenna from Radio Shack today.
Gemstar never called me back either. LG people don't have a clue as to what is going on. All tech support at LG is provided by Customer Service reps and not by qualified techs. I often have the feeling I know more about this tv than their so-called tech support people do.
Had I known about this problem, I would never have purchased this model. The DVR is basically useless the TVGOS is functionsl.

Thanks again,
 

New member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 6
Registered: Feb-06
Dear Mr. Young. Thanks for your help and suggestions. The two URLs you have providd were very helpful. The host channel ID is blank in the TVGOS service menu. It looks like KCET Public Televison is not broadcasting the TVGOS signal. We just have to wait and see or start a law suit.
 

J. Rothman
Unregistered guest
I, too, have been having problems recveiving TVGOS with a Comcast CableCARD in the Los Angeles area. In mid-January, the listings that regularly downloaded without incident suddenly disappeared. Believing this to be a problem with my television, I contacted the manufacturer, Sharp, who called the television in for service. They updated the television and TVGOS to the latest software/firmware. This did nothing to fix the problem. Based on this and Mr. Godfrey's excellent posts (including his success with OTA downloads), I'd concur with Mr. Godfrey's assessment that the Comcast feed is the problem. Out ouf curiosity, though, what version of firmware are people's Motorola CableCARDs? Mine is 4.05. On other boards people have reported various problems with this revision that seem to be cleared up with the newer 4.21 firmware build.
 

New member
Username: J_godfrey

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-06
Mr. Rothman, where did you see the information for new cable card firmware posted? My Motorola cable card was installed less than one month ago and is at the 4.05 revision. I will contact Comcast to learn what hoops I must now dive through to get an update. Everything has been cruising along fine with the antenna trick until today. I forgot to disconnect the cable last evening, and this morning the TVGOS listing is missing completely. There is a message displayed reporting that "Updated information will be available within 24 hours. The guide is rebuilding your channel list based on your setup change." I do not yet know what this means, as I made no changes to my setup. I will have to wait and see if this is a good, or a bad thing. I hope that whatever is occurring will not cause my channel list to go back to the default order. The prospect of customizing the list yet again has definitely caused my day to begin with a sour feeling. I must agree with Mr. Ramanathan that if I knew then what I know now, I would never have purchased a television with integrated DVR, unless some other program guide drove it. I hear from friends that TiVo actually works, although a subscription is required. Then again, I guess you get what you pay for.
 

New member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 7
Registered: Feb-06
It is beyond comprehension that the TV manufacturer (LG in this case) cannot put pressure on Gemstar to fix the TVGOS system. It appears to me that this problem is here to stay and there is no solution in sight. Those of us living in Los Angeles area may have to start a law suit against LG for false advertising about the TVGOS. That is the only way to make these people to live up to what they advertise. If any of you is interested, kindly post your intention in this forum and we will further explore as to how to do this.
 

New member
Username: Tddtdd

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-06
My TV is a Sharp, not an LG, so I'd be useless in a lawsuit against them. It seems to me that there's plenty of blame to go around and I intend to speak to a friend of mine who is a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's office in L.A. to see who is the best candidate for a lawsuit. The TV manufacturer is not accurately representing the situation with the TVGOS. Gemstar is providing a defective product, and Comcast is obviously the source of the problem since OTA downloads work fine.
 

New member
Username: S_nagale

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-06
Recently bought a Toshiba 56hm195 tv. Live in Chicago area. Here's the response from comcast.

Dear Mr. nagale,

Thank you for choosing Comcast. With the cable card the tv guide
channels do not display.

Sincerely,

Sarah
Comcast Customer Care Specialist

Seems to me that comcast is very well aware of the problem almost to the point were they discourage cable card use so they can push their cable box. Furthermore, Gemstar is making it seem that their technology is 'seamless'. Which of course it is not. Unfortunately, a class action lawsuit is the only alternative when corporate giants falsely advertise their products. The built in tv guide was the main reason I bought this tv. Also, the toshiba 160hd4 dvr is pretty much worthless if you can't program it to record a show. Without the tv guide, you can only record shows that are currently showing. Using the cable box from the cable company in addition to the toshiba dvr would not enable HD recording. It seems that we have all been greatly misled.
 

New member
Username: Dsathe

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-06
After complaining and threatening to disconnect my cable and go with sattelite, my TVGOS came back for exactly one day then went away again. I did nothing other than shut my tv off overnight. I think comcast is behind the problem and knows a fix but refuses to implement.
 

New member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 9
Registered: Feb-06
DeAnne: I am attaching an email from LG Electronics (TV manufacturer) about the problem with TVGOS. They claim that Gemstar is having difficulties in uploading thir signal via Public TV (KCET in LA). Switching to dish TV will not solve the issue because all their transmission is digital.

email from LG electronics:

Dear Sivam, Thank you for inquiring of LG Electronics. We regret that the Los Angeles area is still experiencing difficulties with the new Version 8 of the TV Guide signal. There seems to have been a number of areas which have had difficulty with this new version of the signal. TV Guide is still working on correcting this issue in each of the areas that are known to have this problem. They are making progress in this situation, however, their updates and necessary corrections have not reached the Los Angeles area yet. Please be patient as they work on this resolution. Thank you again for contacting LG Electronics. Neil E-mail Administrator Customer Interactive Center LGEAI
 

New member
Username: Dsathe

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-06
Dear Sivam,
Funny you should contact me today. I was about to contact you when your e-mail came in. I was reading in the forums recommended by Larry Young above and way back in the early days of the problem someone reported having fixed the problem by connecting an antenna. I hooked a good quality, powered antenna to the antenna port on my LG TV and left the digital cable plugged into the card port. Low and behold after a day, I have my guide back. Not a happy answer but it will do until they get the problem fixed. I am in Lomita in the Cox cable area and this really worked. Hope it works for you too. I hope it stays fixed but this seems to follow your answer of a poor signal as well.
Regards,
DeeAnne
 

New member
Username: Noogadan

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-06
Well, after trying everything else to get an answer to problems with the On Screen Guide built in to my Phillips HDRW 720/17 DVR (including spending a chunk of my life on hold with Comcast), I finally tried the internet search and found all of you here with the same problems I have: greedy cable companies who have found a way to squeeze us some more.
I'm in Chattanooga, TN and was receiving the tv guide downloads just fine until a few weeks ago, then poof, no guide. It's the same story, each company says ask someone else when I call.
Comcast shook up their channel lineup and started
pushing their DVRs and digital services. When asked why they are blocking or filtering the signal they say it's my equipment. I do have a OTA PBS station close by and think they might carry the signal. I'm going to give the antenna fix (thanks, BTW) a try, see what happens. If it works I may build a
type of reverse splitter (signal combination box, actually) equipped with one-way diodes to keep the signals from feeding back into each other and see if I can leave it attached all the time. Take that, Comcast!
 

New member
Username: Comcast_tech

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-06
I truly am a Technician for Comcast based in Oregon. I have spent the last two weeks working with a Family with a Sharp TV with the TV Guide Plus feature. I have been working with Managment and our Headend techs to resolve the issue of the guide not updating and listing programs. I have not charged this person anything and have over ten hours spent on it thus far. And yes, they do have a cable card installed.

KOAC( in Oregon, basically OPB ), is actually the company that transmits the TV Guide info. We, Comcast, does not "Turn off or block" this information in anyway. If we recieve the information from KOAC, it is sent out through our entire system.

There has been some issues with us now using our Digital simulcast, but we are working on it here. Like I said, I have over ten hours so far, not along with all the other headend techs and managers, and this is all for one TV in our system. We are not required under any law or regulation to transmit this data, which is mentioned in TV's owners manual, but if we recieve it from KOAC, we do send it to our customers.

I am sorry for people being charged to work on it at theirs homes, for my local shop isn't charging a dime to help our customer.

And as for switching everyone to a digital box, I find this rather puzzling. One reson we removed pay channels from the analog lineup, was due to vandals breaking into our pedestals( which we have to replace which gets expensive ) and stealing the positive traps for those pay channels. The last weekend before we stopped using positive traps, we had 60 blocks vandelized. And nowadays TV's with tuners can get more and more digital channels. Only purchase what you want, not what any sales associate tries to sell you. Check all your options before buying.

Hopefully the broadcast for TV Guide information will be worked out and this problem is gone. I will post again once I find out the cause for the problem here.

thanks
 

New member
Username: Cablegirl2

Post Number: 3
Registered: Apr-06
John Doe, in my market the only resolve at this point for this problem is that customers who want an on screen menu guide with hdtv's need the hd/dvr box. Then they have the Comcast guide. The cable card does not provide it because it's a digital enhancement. That's what the call center reps are told to tell customers because that is the only thing we can do at this point. Hence the push for customers to get the box, so they can get the full service they expect from such equipment.
 

New member
Username: Comcast_tech

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-06
Cablegirl2,

I will be trying this Monday 4/10/06, is to go into the channel setup and turn channel 10(Oregon's OPB that broadcasts the Guide Plus info)off on cable, and then turn on the over air. Hopefully this will stop the cable card from looking at channel 10 as a digital channel and looking back at the analog channel. I will post again next week to let you know what I find.

I am not trying to push a box at this point. Hopefully I will get a handle on this so the customers won't have to get what they don't want. Thanks.
 

New member
Username: Comcast_tech

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-06
Well Here is the fix for the TV Guide plus, with a cable card and Digital Comcast service.

Bring up the guide, scroll to setup, Highlight "Change Channel Display", hit enter. This will bring up a list of channels. Scroll down to find KOAC(ours happens to be channel 10 KOPB) in the lineup list, hit enter. A menu will appear on the bottom left of the screen. Scroll down to "Tune Channel" and change it to your analog duplicate channel. Ours read 10, I changed it to 75(our analog duplicate channel) and then go to done. Then your TV guide should look at the analog channel you enter and it should download the TV Guide Plus information. Hope this helps!
 

New member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 10
Registered: Feb-06
Dear John DOe: Thanks for your help. I assume that I should have an OTA antenna connected to the OTA connector on my TV. I have two antenna connectors at the back of my TV: 1) cable connector, 2) antenna connector. I live in an apartment building in LA and I have tried several OTA antennas and the reception with the OTA antennas is terrible.
 

New member
Username: J_godfrey

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-06
Mr. Ramanthan,
Sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time receiving OTA broadcast at your location.
Unfortunately the fix suggested by John Doe (thank you for you effort) will only help with a Sharp brand TV using Comcast in his region of Oregon.
Please remember that substituting the analog PBS station (KCET 28 in Los Angeles) for the digital counterpart in the Comcast lineup will require an antenna connected to the coaxial connector marked "Antenna" on your LG set.
The suggested solution would work as well as adding the complete local OTA broadcast lineup including KCET, so it is redundant locating and modifying the Comcast provided channel. Another benefit that you will receive is the reception of all the local OTA analog and digital stations, many of which are not provided by Comcast.
Remember, with an LG set, you will have to disconnect the cable from the connector labeled "Cable" every time the set is turned off in order to receive the TVGOS data. This is because the set automatically detects the strongest input source (Cable or Antenna) and attempts to receive the TVGOS data from it regardless of whether the data is present or not. The cable connection should always win. This was explained by LG to me, and was one of the few things they were totally confident about. I have tested the theory of leaving the cable connected as well as the antenna, and it does not work with our set - the listings go blank after a few days. I got lazy a time or two and did not pull the cable at night and wound up with a one-two day "No Listing/ No Title" hole in the guide. I have finally installed a simple A/B switch with no "B" input on the cable line as to make cutting the Comcast signal a push button operation.
The antenna option, as far as I can see, is your only hope of making the guide work with your LG set.
Years ago, when I switched from cable to Satellite service (I'm beginning to wonder why I switched back), I pulled the old ugly mast mounted antenna from atop my dwelling and replaced it with a sleek indoor amplified antenna to continue receiving the local stations that cost extra from Dish. It was not inexpensive or small, but it worked. It still works. You may need to experiment with an amplified antenna in your apartment. Remember, you only need to get good reception on PBS KCET 28 for this to work. The other stations, if you can grab them, are only a bonus.

By the way, my cable card crashed, losing a few of the stations that are included in my lineup. When the service tech showed up with another card (still the older 4.05 firmware) and I asked him about a newer 4.21 card, and the problems we are all having, his eyes glazed over. He said there wasn't anything he knew about or could fix on that service call, and immediately headed for the door. I think I may have scared him a bit.
Again, Jon Doe should be commended for not running away from the problem.
 

New member
Username: Timmytimmy

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-06
Imagine this, I lost channel info just last weekend, 5/7/06. I can receive channel listings but cannot receive info for the displayed channels. I have tried all the "fixes" listed to no avail.

I'm in northwest suburban Chicago, use Comcast expanded basic - no digital - with my feed coming out of Mt. Prospect, Illinois.

Anyone else with this problem in the area? Of course, Comcast knows nothing about GuidePlus - so they say - nor any problems associated with such, imagine that
 

New member
Username: Tv_chair

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-06
Retransmission of the Gemstar data is a problem all over the country and is a headache for the cable companies. There are many places along the retransmission path that it can break down, but the most prevalent is with the cable company itself. The data is transmitted in the vertical blanking interval (the black bar you see when the vertical hold is misadjusted) and is often stripped off by the cable company for several reasons. The best way to handle this is by going to your local cable commission, every city has one, and make a big stink. The cable company wants to maintain a clean record when it comes to complaints so they will work with the cable commission in order to preserve its franchise to operate.
This is a technical issue that DOES HAVE A SOLUTION. It just takes some effort to motivate the local officials and the cable company. I know because I am the chairman of our local cable commission and we worked through the problem here. Of course it helps when the chairman is a TVGOS user.
 

New member
Username: Todddlh

Duluth, MN USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-06
Ramanathan,

Just bought a 42" LG HDTV from Best Buy in Duluth, Minnesota with TV Guide and I haven't been this frustrated since my divorce 6 years ago. The primary feature for purchasing this unit was the on-screen programming with built-in DVR. After many conversations with someone at LG, diagnostic tests, resets, etc., the on-screen programming still does not work. It puzzles me why any TV manufacturer would partner up with a vendor (TV Guide/Gemstar) whose product is ineffective. I strongly feel I purchased a product with features that don't work and feel that the value of the television is quite impaired. In summary, I paid for something that I didn't get. I was better off with my 1990 rear projection, regular cable TV. At least I knew which shows were on and at what time.

I would be interested in exploring the option of a class-action lawsuit against LG and Gemstar, with possible subrogation of the retailer. If there are enough frustrated people out there, and I've read a lot of these messages, I don't think there'd be a problem getting it certified.

What do you think?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ramanathans

Post Number: 11
Registered: Feb-06
Mr Fedora: My TVGOS never worked and I have a 50" LG Plasma TV with A DVR. Without the TVGOS the DVR is useless. As you may know from reading the respones in the forum, the Cable company may be at fault here. As Mr Copp's posting indicates, the problem may be related to the cable provider sripping the verical band from their broadcast. The vertical band is supposed to contain the TVGOS data. I wrote to the LA ethical commission about this to no avail.
There are three parties here that try to blame eaach other: the cable company, LG and the Gemstar people.

I am interested starting some sort of legal action.However, I don't know how to go about doing this. If you know the procedure involved, I will gladly help and support this endeavour.

Thanks for your input and good luck!
 

New member
Username: Todddlh

Duluth, MN USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-06
Mr. Ramanathan:

I have initiated contact with an attorney by the name of J.D. Feriancek of
Thibodeau, Johnson and Feriancek, P.A. in Duluth, Minnesota who is interested in
the case. I need to get him copies of various information (i.e. warranties,
etc.) as well as correspondence with LG. Mr. Feriancek's telephone number is
218-722-0073.

He is interested, at this point, to learn more. His firm successfully brought a
class action lawsuit against an electrical firm, I want to say Emerson, who
installed in-slab electrical heating in homes that turned out to be defective.

I strongly believe that we were sold television units that were defective as TV
Guide/Gemstar's technology does not work. One of the predominant features that
sold me on the LG model that I bought was the built-in DVR with TV Guide
on-screen programming. It does NOT work. The TV Guide popped up for one day,
on Friday, June 30th, but disappeared on Saturday morning.


If you'd like, I'd encourage you to contact Mr. Feriancek, or at the very least,
forward him copies of any correspondence that you may have had with LG. It is
unfortunate that it has to come to this but when consumers don't receive what
was sold to them, apparently this is the route to go.

Todd Fedora
todddlh@charter.net

c: jdf@trialgroupnorth.com (J.D. Feriancek)
 

New member
Username: Noogadan

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-06
Update on my TVGOS:
I posted a few months back about losing my TVGOS info . I still don't know exactly what the problem was but I didn't give up and finally got it back on July 1st. I scoured the internet, read (and tried) every possible fix and cure, tried the OTA antenna, nothing worked.
The problems everyone else described seemed to be traveling in a wave across the country with my area being about 4 months behind the first detailed outages of TVGOS I read about, so every week I'd do a complete reset of my Philips hdrw 720/17 DVR all the way back to factory condition, reset the zip and let the unit search for the TVGOS info. Then on the 1st, after my weekly unit reset I only had a few channels show up on my tuner listing. This was encourging since two of the channels were the PBS channels that supposedly carried the TVGOS info in Chattanooga. Even better, these PBS stations showed up on same channels they were broadcast on over the air (i.e. one pbs station is channel 12 on cable but the OTA analog channel is 45).
I reloaded my zip code and was asked to pick a lineup of channels from three possibilities!
The guide started loading and I had 2-3 days worth of listings in around 4 hours. Note: I did not reload the firmware upgrade from Philips, it was after loading it the first time in March that I lost the guide. I'll only load it if I have problems with the dvd reader and then as a very last resort.
Based on my observations over the last three months, I believe that the data was either getting scrambled by the switch-over to digital broadcasting that pbs was in the middle of here or that Gemstar was in the process of revising their signals to work with digital broadcasts and they finally fixed it. The new guide data has been enhanced somewhat with more program info than before and there's a few features that work differently than before.
I won't celebrate to much too soon until I know the guide is back for good, but I'm happy for now.
Many thanks to everyone here who kept up the research and posted a lot of usable info.
If only the manufacturers would show as much intrest in keeping their consumers informed and would support their equipment as well....
 

New member
Username: Jagnerc

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jul-06
after a month of communicating back and forth with gemstar and thompson electronics, i'm still not getting any channel listings in my guide plus. yesterday, gemstar called me back stating that they're working on it and that the md/dc area is having the same problem i have: we get the channel listings, but no channel information. i've tried resetting and turning the host channel (pbs = 22) but to no success. i asked gemstar for an alternative zip code to use but he said it'd take him a while to get back with me on that one. any suggestions? i live in washington, dc. with comcast as my cable provider.
 

New member
Username: Eric_in_nj

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-06
For a couple months now, I'm unable to get my TV Guide working on my Sony DVR using Comcast Digital cable. Same has happened to my parents Sony DVR. Same has happened to another family member's Sony DVR.

Initial call the Comcast revealed that they were working on some sort of outage. Subsequent calls to Comcast we've gotten no where, only the typical "it has nothing to do with Comcast" replies.

Going to be calling Sony tomorrow...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Magredc5

Southern New Hampshire

Post Number: 18
Registered: Jan-06
FYI - I notice about a week ago that Comcast (New Hampshire) has remapped the analog PBS channel that the guide data is sent on. It used to be Channel 99 and now it's 98. I had to go into the TVGOS channel editor and remap the PBS channel number to 98. If TVGOS does not have the analog PBS channel mapped properly it will have trouble.

If you're not even getting the channel map, try rerunning the setup with a different zip code (more common in your area).
 

New member
Username: Ggbal

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-06
I am in bay area as well. I am using Panasonic SC-HT1500. Since last week, I noticed TVGOS stopped downloading the program list. Any one has the same problem?
 

New member
Username: Pzakel

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-06
I am in the San Francisco Bay Area (Fremont) and also stopped getting program guide information about a week ago on my Panasonic DVR. I work with someone else who lives in San Jose and his Panasonic also stopped getting the guide information. He also has a Sony DVR with GEMSTAR and he says that one is getting some information. Both of us have COMCAST cable.
 

New member
Username: Pzakel

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-06
As MagredC5 posted on 20 October, the fix is to rerun setup with a different zip code. I just did that last night and this morning I got the "you have three different channel lineups to pick from" dialog and after setting that I have programming info again!
 

New member
Username: Ggbal

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-06
I did that as well the day before yesterday, but that didn't work. I have the channel lineups screen as well, just have no programming info. Let me try that again today.
 

New member
Username: Pzakel

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-06
Ggbal, make sure you turn the unit off after selecting the channel line-up and leave off for at least 24 hours before checking it again. The units typically only receive information while they are turned off.
 

New member
Username: San_carlos_jeff

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-06
I'm also in the SF Bay Area (San Carlos)and lost my TVGOS on December 5th. It sounds like this is happening all over so I contacted Comcast to see what's up. All they would say is "We don't support on air TV guide, please contact the manufacturer of your unit if you have a problem." They wouldn't confirm or deny that they changed something last week. I'm going to try the zipcode thing this evening but don't have much hope.

I did call Panasonic today and told them what is happening. They said to wait another week and if the signal doesn't come back then to call them back and they will notify the TVGOS escalation team. I figure this is worth a shot. If Panasonic is going to lose sales in the SFBA they have an incentive to lean on Comcast. They probably have a much better shot at getting results than someone like me. If anyone else want to call Panasonic (the more the better) the number is 800-211-7262. I had to wade through a lot of menus but getting to a live person only took about 5 minutes.
 

New member
Username: San_carlos_jeff

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-06
One other thing I forgot to mention. When talking to Panasonic their reprasentative asked for my zipcode and said she would email it to the TVGOS team. I'm assuming that the more zipcodes they get the greater their urgency will be.
 

New member
Username: Eric_in_nj

Post Number: 2
Registered: Oct-06
For those with units with antenna outputs... try hooking up an antenna to your unit. I was able to receive the OTA TV Guide schedule for my Sony DVR. Not sure if the schedule is the same as the online version, but my DVD is at least working now. Give it a show.
 

New member
Username: Ggbal

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-06
Having waited 48 hours, it seems that changing zip code did not work for me. I will call that 800 number tomorrow. Sigh!
 

New member
Username: Plugger

Minneapolis, Mn USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-07
This might be a little pre-mature (no verification yet), but it's a good start for anyone still reading this thread and having issues.

The following link:
http://www.spiffspace.com/sonydvr.html#Section218

is for a sony hd-drv. If you read through it, you find out how to get into the back menu of the TVGOS. Though it's for the sony, it works on my
LG 42LB1DRA. From my understanding it works with any remote that has a TVGuide Button for the TVGOS system.

There you can find if the correct hostchannel is selected for your zip code.

The link also contains the Zip codes you should use in your area - if you're lucky enough to be in a larger metro area.

One thing I also found (It's a long read) is how to manually set the hostchannel.

I recommend you read the whole thing. One of items mention is not to disable the host channel. I say read the whole thing, because disabled the host channel in exchange for the digital version.
The broadcasts for TVGOS are only on the analog version of the hostchannel.

Happy reading and hopefully this helps solve some of the issues. I'll post again when I know the final results.
 

New member
Username: Lostirishman

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-07
I have an LG 50 with buit in dvr and tv guid that was sparatic a few moths ago to "no data availabe" two weeks ago. I live in the Pittsburgh are and had a comcast rep in my home yesterday. After an hour he got a call on his nextel to go out to his truck.

When he came back inside he was pissed. He said his boss downtown asked him to go outside so he could talk to him about the tv guide problem where I could not overhear the conversation.

He promptly relayed the details of his conversation. He told me that comcast was changing channels and that they had reassigned the frequency (not a channel) that transmitts the tv guide data. He said that this is definately a COMCAST caused problem and that a guy with the last name of Star high up in comcast made the call to reassign the freq. He suspects that it's a ploy to force all of us HD/DVR/TV guide non set top box users to use comcast revenue generating products.

Now I'm pissed. My only other provider of service in this area is Adelphia which was recently purchased by comcast. Has anyone tried the antenna idea in the Pittsburgh area??
 

New member
Username: Kitt1982

Revere, MA USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-07
I am from Revere, MA I have the same problem I have a Panasonic DMR-EH75V the TVGOS can not retrieve the data from Comcast. I called Panasonic twice they gave me two different answers first it is fine wait couple more days. Then some liberal nonsense that the government changed it from analog to digital. I have a hd box with hdmi and etc. it is a Motorola DCH3200. But the eh75v can control the cable box. But in the process of downloading the data it was not working. It was changing the channels by itself and getting no data. Panasonic said set it on antenna for manual recording. I called Comcast they do not have any knowledge of how or want to fix it because it is not theirs their techs are very stupid and ridicules. They could come up with reasons why they can't help then how they can help fix the problem. They tried to offer me their own dvr the nerve of them. They cannot send some one to help me it is not their problem they said. Does any body have any advice?
 

New member
Username: Kitt1982

Revere, MA USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-07
"UPDATE" I called geek sqaud the said comcastb has to install special hardware for dvr installation. icannot do it myself, they said it had to be installed by professionals a doityourselfer cannot do it by himself i will contact Comcast i hope this works this time.
 

New member
Username: Kitt1982

Revere, MA USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: Aug-07
the comcast guy came could not fix or had no knowledge of how to fix the problem instead tryed to sell me their comcast dvr the nerve
 

New member
Username: Guyattech

Myrtle BEach, SC

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-08
my toshiba DVR Stopped downloading the guide. I reset it and now I dont even have channels. Called Toshiba they have a whole dept that does tv guide. Said my box was not getting the signal from gemstar. Said Gemstar had 26 host channels out all across the USA I am in SC A Time Warner Customer. they are suppose to be calling me back put it in as a trouble call to gemstar.
 

New member
Username: Guyattech

Myrtle BEach, SC

Post Number: 5
Registered: Feb-08
Also my neighbor got a message on his RCA TV With the guideplus that the local cable company was blocking it. Toshiba tells me they can not do that. Toshiba is stalling me until my DVR Goes out from under warranty is three weeks eventhough tye claim the box is working fine. I am suppose to eat $350.00 6 days and no call returned.
 

New member
Username: Eladio_oliveros

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-08
No more satellite threads or posts...?
 

Silver Member
Username: Guanajuatos_best

Post Number: 184
Registered: Jul-07
JAJAJA. U HAD TO REGISTER AGAIN
 

New member
Username: Lawjsp

Youngstown, Oh Mahoning

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-08
I've had problems with Gemstar since the beginning of February. I'm using it with an NVIDIA tv card in my computer. It is still down...so I don't think it's related to just a series of cable companies.
 

New member
Username: Rjrustigian

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-09
Recently my two Sony DVRs no longer update and load the TV Guide On Screen information. One is a DHG-HDD250 and the other is a DHG-HDD500. In addition to that, both DVRs either have the wrong time or no time displayed at all. One DVR is currently off by 5 or more hours and the other has no time of day displayed. My cable connection is with Comcast in central Connecticut. They insist that the problem is with my equipment. Since I do not have Comcast equipment, they want to charge me for a service call. That's why I'm wondering if anyone else knows if they have done something with this service recently. Up until about a week or two ago, TV Guide On Screen seemed fine on both DVRs. It seems unlikely that both recorders would become defective at the same time.
 

New member
Username: Bcbalkan

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-09
We have just recently experienced the same problem. We have Comcast from Branford, CT. We have a Toshiba DVR and on about March 11th or 12th suddenly the time for the TV Guide On Screen was off by about 15 minutes. When we went to fix the time the DVR indicated we needed to redo the setup (which would require it to rebuild the TV listings). Since that time we have never managed to get the TV listings.
 

New member
Username: Newmexican

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-09
We have comcast here in ABQ and have also lost all listings and have been trying to get them back forat least a couple of week. Something is up with Comcast, they are simply not sending out the TVGOS signal. From some of the reading that I have seen it was carried on analog and I think it has been dropped. All is see for every channel now is "Listing Pending". This pretty much makes my unit worthless to record on. Can we say "class action lawsuit"?
 

New member
Username: Bcbalkan

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-09
I found some other discussions. This one had a lot of good information. http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/panasonic-dvd-recorder-dmr-eh75v-tv-guide-listings -problem-235248/

And one other thread posted this link: http://www.macrovision.com/dtv/10053.htm?link_id=rightPromo

That one tells me that our cable company in CT "should" support this. I plan to do more research and then call them.
 

New member
Username: Rjrustigian

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-09
I called Comcast and they eluded to some "New Cable Card" that is comming out soon that would support some of the lost on-sereen guides that were lost after the change over. I asked specifically about Macrovision's TV Guoid On-Screen and they did'n know if it would support that. If this turns out to be the answer, that means if you don't already have a cable card in your DVR you're gonna have to get one. Great! Comcast gets to dig a bit deeper into my pocket if I want what I had before!
 

New member
Username: Mondoman

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-09
I've got Comcast in Seattle, and my TVGOS went out about the same time as CB's. For others with Panasonic DVRs, contact Panasonic customer service so they can escalate the issue with TV Guide On Screen.
 

New member
Username: Newmexican

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-09
Comcast wrote to me and said:

The TV Guide channel was removed on all Digital packages as it was an analog signal. We will not be able to turn on the TVGOS signal.
 

New member
Username: Newmexican

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-09
I talked with Comcast again and they informed me that the TV station that was carrying the TVGOS has gone digital, There is no way that I will get the ananlog signal that TVGOS relied-on unless there is some method for converting the digital TVGOS to analog for my DVR.

I have also talked with Panasonic and was told that they were fully aware of the problem and have contacted Gemstar to see what can be done but inferred that it was essentially too bad and really my problem anyway. Panasonic feels that they have no responsibility do anything.

My position is that Congress mandated the digital transition in 1996. Panasonic and all other TVGOS-using device manufacturers knew full-well when they marketed and sold us our units with the TVGOS that we would not be able to use them after the transition. I based my purchase of the Panasonic DMR-EH75 on this service and do not now have use of it.

I have reported Panasonic to the FCC and am in the process of attempting to get someone to file a class action lawsuit against Panasonic to either recover the value of my unit or have Panasonic responsible for providing a converter for the digital TVGOS signal so that I might use my DVR according to the way that I used to.

Let me know if anyone else is interested.
 

New member
Username: Bcbalkan

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-09
We contacted Toshiba and have been getting good customer service regarding this issue so far. They have a special "advanced services" group that is dealing specifically with this issue and they have given us a number to get in touch with them directly (minimal navigation through the menu prompts on the phone). The service reps are very knowledgable. They appear to be committed to help get this working for us. They have collected some technical info from our unit and are contacting TVGOS on our behalf.

We've had a couple of back and forth conversations (for each fix they try we need to wait for the overnight feed to see if it will work...) So far we haven't gotten it working, but I'm still optimistic.
 

New member
Username: Eric_in_nj

Post Number: 3
Registered: Oct-06
Viewer,
I'm interested.
 

New member
Username: Rjrustigian

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-09
Sony so far has no clue what to do. Has anyone else had luck with Sony and the TVGOS issue?

On a positive note, my local PBS station (Connecticut Public Television) has restored the TVGOS signal. Both my Sony DVRs now have the correct day & time. The TVGOS is also being updated. The trick was to put up an antenna and get the signal over the air. Comcast cable has yet to support the signal. CPTV said that they are providing the signal to Comcast and I should be getting it. When I called Comcast here in CT, they had no idea what I was talking about let alone know what TVGOS was. They said thet would call me back. Right!

I would be interested in legal action if I end up loosing the signal again in June.
 

New member
Username: Mondoman

Post Number: 2
Registered: Apr-09
I'm very disappointed by the loss of TVGOS on my Panasonic DVR, but I think lawsuits are the wrong way to go. A DVR is essentially a computer that you can't upgrade, and so should be considered disposable after a number of years. I got 3 years of good use w/TVGOS on mine, so I think I got my money's worth. My guess is that the hard drive inside is probably running on borrowed time at this point!
I'm now on the lookout for a decent HDTV tuner card/module in order to set up a proper home theater PC to replace my Panasonic.
 

New member
Username: Eric_in_nj

Post Number: 4
Registered: Oct-06
A,
Since when is 3 years of "good use" acceptable? It's not the equipment that is the issue here, IT'S THE SERVICE. And there was nothing in the material I bought with my Sony that says this device might be unusable in 1-2 years. When I paid for my Sony, I paid for the service that came with it even if it's "free", there is a value attached to it.
 

New member
Username: Mondoman

Post Number: 3
Registered: Apr-09
I can see your point, Eric. I just look at these devices as "computers", for which 3 years is an eternity in terms of technology advances/changes/obsolescence.

What I'm personally more annoyed about is the fact that my Sharp HDTV purchased a couple of years ago (which I look at as a "TV" and think should be usable for many years) doesn't have HDCP, and thus won't play back Bluray.

Faced with the choice of spending $100s/1000s to replace an otherwise perfectly good HDTV, or of spending $50 to buy Bluray-cracking software from Slysoft, I went the latter route and have been very happy with the results.
 

New member
Username: Bcbalkan

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-09
Our issue was resolved!!! We have TVGOS back. It took about 3 or 4 weeks to get it resolved once we first contacted Toshiba. We mainly dealt with Toshiba who fed troubleshooting info to TVGOS (Macrovision). I guess TVGOS has to deal with each cable company individually. At one point TVGOS called us asking if it's working (because Comcast said it was). I said "no" and they asked me to give them some internal data from the machine. As a side note, Comcast here in CT dropped the NYC pbs affiliate (channel 13) from our lineup about 2 weeks ago. (That really pisses me off. We can get it back if we upgrade to their digital package.) The technical info in our machine showed that channel 13 was still the one sending the data. When I told the TVGOS guy that we no longer have 13 - that seemed to be the issue. A couple of days later Toshiba called and said "it should be working". We had to redo the setup and the next day we had the TV listings again.

If your respective DVR manufacturers and cable companies aren't being responsive, maybe see if you can contact Macrovision.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Paneca05

Post Number: 82
Registered: Jan-08
hello gyus, i have the basic service of Comcast, i have heard that these receivers can be hacked to get more channels. If someone could tell me how to do it please and give the the instructions. Thanks guys.
 

New member
Username: Redheadfog

Washington

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-09
I have a Philips HDRW720 that stopped getting the TVGOS updates after switching to comcast digital. For the time being, I have an antenna hooked up to the ANT IN on the dvr, and the cable box goes to EXT-2 on the dvr.

Two or 3 days a week I change the setup menu to "no cable box" then change it back in the morning.

This will only work until June 12, when the PBS analog channel goes off. I assume I need a converter box for the antenna to keep getting the guide updates, and have emailed the PBS station to find out if they're still going to transmit the data after the digital switch. Haven't heard back yet.
 

New member
Username: Mdhdnut

Ellicott City, MD United States

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-09
I have the same concern. I was able to receive the TVGOS signal through my Comcast Digital cable box on channels 94 and 13 here in Maryland up until about a week ago. Up until then my cable box passed the analog signal of my local PBS station straight through, as Ch. 94, without digitizing it, and the TVGOS signal was preserved. Either the PBS station or Comcast dropped ch. 94 about a week ago. At about the same time, the TVGOS signal disappeared from Ch. 13 (a local commercial broadcast station) on the cable box.

My guess is that there is nothing our PBS stations can do about it once they go all digital next month because our DVRs expect TVGOS to be carried in an analog signal. I believe that at least two things would be necessary to retain the TVGOS capability: 1 the PBS station, or somebody, would have to send a digital version of TVGOS imbedded in its signal somehow, and 2 the converter box, whether it's for OTA or a cable box, would have to have been designed to reconstitute the analog TVGOS signal from the digital one. All this seems highly unlikely; however, one possibility occurs to me that perhaps TVGOS could negotiate with the cable companies to carry their signal on the analog portion of their cable (the cable that comes into your home contains both analog and digital channels, at least so far, and they don't necessarily have to go away in June); then the possibility would exist that you could put the cable through a splitter before it goes to the cable box and take one side of the split directly into your DVR.

Does this make sense to any of you?
 

New member
Username: Redheadfog

Washington

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-09
This website:
http://digitaltransition.macrovision.com/

tells you how to get TVGOS in your area. Assuming their information is correct, I need to call my cable co., since they are supposed to be providing the data.
 

New member
Username: Mdhdnut

Ellicott City, MD United States

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-09
I have an update: according to Macrovision, the purveyor of TVGOS, the service will continue to be available over Comcast in my area after the nationwide conversion to digital is completed, and presumably also after Comcast completes its own independent conversion to all-digital (currently both analog and digital signals are carried on the cable that comes into one's home--these channels include both local stations that will convert to digital on June 12 and satellite channels that are already digital but converted to analog on the analog portion of cable; but as soon as Comcast is able to get digital adapters out to all its customers--within weeks or a few months at most, it will discontinue all the analog channels).

The situation is one degree more complicated than I realized earlier: TVGOS is available to both analog-only and digital-capable devices. Those who have devices capable of receiving TVGOS's new digital signal should not have to do anything. Those of us with older devices that can receive TVGOS only as an analog signal face a different situation, and we may have to change cable boxes. Macrovision lists the model numbers of cable boxes through which customers should be able to pass TVGOS to an analog device (see http://www.macrovision.com/dtv/10065.htm?link_id=rightnav); e.g. for my system, a Scientific Atlanta 2000 or 3250HD. Under the new system the signal will be carried nationwide by CBS affiliates, at least about 90% of them--there's a better chance that the affiliate will carry the signal if it is CBS-owned.

At the present time, as I mentioned above, I am not receiving the TVGOS signal; this may be because I have a Scientific Atlanta 2100 rather than a Scientific Atlanta 2000; but as the boxes are rather similar to each other, there is also the possibility that Macrovision was using the model number 2000 as representative of the 2000-series, and that the current problem here is not the box but the fact that that either Comcast or the local CBS affiliate, or both, are in mid-transition. Although Comcast has agreed to replace my 2100 with a 2000 if I request it, I am holding off on that request until things settle down, namely until Comcast completes its complete conversion to digital in my immediate area, which, as I said before, should be within a few months at most.
 

New member
Username: Redheadfog

Washington

Post Number: 4
Registered: May-09
I emailed Philips about whether the TVGOS would still function on my 2004 era dvr. This was the response:

"I understand that you would like to know if TVGOS will still function after June 12, 2009.
No, the TV Guide On Screen will not function after the digital signal is in place."

Time to shop for a newer unit, I guess.
 

New member
Username: Mdhdnut

Ellicott City, MD United States

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-09
It's interesting that Philips and Macrovision disagree as to whether TVGOS will function on analog devices after June 12. I would not be averse to replacing my Pioneer DVR-633 if there were anything like it on the market. There are exceedingly few set-top DVR/DVD recorders on the market; in fact, I believe Philips may be the only manufacturer to offer one currently, and it may be the very last. Unlike my Pioneer, it is unable to change channels on a cable box anyway, so even if TVGOS worked on it, it would be of relatively little use. TiVo seems to have a lock on DVRs, but they have a monthly fee and do not burn DVDs.
 

New member
Username: Mdhdnut

Ellicott City, MD United States

Post Number: 4
Registered: May-09
Another thought and an update:

Unless someone has information to the contrary, I believe it to be the case that the FCC does not control cable systems' method of delivering signals and that thus they are under no Federal mandate to go all-digital. Most of what the cable companies deliver originates from satellite and is converted to whatever transmission format the cable company wishes. So far, Comcast sends many such channels in analog format in order to serve its basic-cable, cable-box-less, customers. This is about to change, as cable companies find it worth their while to provide cable boxes even to basic-tier customers so that they can convert to all-digital for the purpose of saving bandwidth (in order to provide more channels, both SD & HD). The point is that there is no reason cable companies could not continue to devote one analog channel to the transmission of TVGOS and clock signals.

Judging from appearances (picture quality), Comcast transmits our local CBS affiliate (ch. 13, WJZ, in Baltimore) both in analog and digital over the cable, with the cable box picking up the digital version. The cable box of course converts everything back to analog before feeding it to a TV or DVR (as ch 3 or 4 on the RF connection and as a standard video signal over RCA cables). My DVR receives TVGOS over ch 13 (my update as of this posting is that the TVGOS signal has re-appeared on this channel), and thus I conclude that Comcast is able to preserve the analog TVGOS signal even though ch 13 first undergoes a digital transformation before being converted back to analog again. If this is the case, there is no technical reason why, in a 3-way cooperation among your cable company, Macrovision, and your local CBS affiliate, your cable company could not continue to provide the TVGOS signal in analog form through appropriate cable boxes, as listed on Macrovision's website. Of course, the fact that they could technically and regulation-wise provide TVGOS, does not guarantee that they will. It will be interesting to see what happens after June 12, as well as the later, yet-to-be-determined date when Comcast itself goes all-digital.

BTW, the update is that TVGOS has returned for the time being on my local CBS & PBS affiliates as delivered by Comcast.
 

New member
Username: Newmexican

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-09
David,
Smoke more of whatever it is you are and you'll be seeing the TVGOS long after the switch. When you stop, Comcast will have sold you their DVR service and your TVGOS and you wil be SOL.
 

New member
Username: Mdhdnut

Ellicott City, MD United States

Post Number: 5
Registered: May-09
I don't mean to be overly optimistic, and I acknowledge the obstacles presented by the need for a 3-way coordination among cable companies, CBS affiliates, & Macrovision/TVGOS; but I refer the message board again to http://www.macrovision.com/dtv/10053.htm?link_id=rightPromo
TVGOS/Macrovision is obviously committed to continuing their service in both analog and digital modes after the digital conversion.

As to other solutions, TiVo, Comcast DVR, and the like, yes, they are in many ways superior to TVGOS; and in fact, I do rent Comcast's HD DVR; but, to repeat, these DVRs do not give one a way to save programs to DVD within the same unit. The DVR/DVD combination that Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, and others once produced was a great replacement for the VCR; and consumer-product journalists have shared my puzzlement as to why they did not catch on in the marketplace.

As an HD enthusiast; I would be happy to relegate all my old standard-definition technology to the past; but there is a problem: the content providers (studios, networks) impose copy protection that makes it pointless for any company to manufacture a set-top HD DVR that can burn programs to Blu-ray; so even I am willing to maintain standard-definition capability for the sake of being able to save programs that are worth keeping in SD rather than not at all; and the device that makes that most convenient for me, and evidently for several others on this message board, happens to depend rather heavily on TVGOS for programming.

I would also point out that some of these SD DVRs were sold as recently as 2 or 3 years ago; and that no warning was provided that the digital transition would render them obsolete. It's not as if I and others are trying to cling to 10-year-old relics of the past. These still-new SD DVRs should continue to be usable through their natural lives, even if they become secondary to newer technologies. Furthermore, HD content rapidly fills the hard drives of DVRs; so for those of us who record at a faster rate than we watch (saving programs for a "rainy day"), it is useful to reserve the HD DVR for HD material while using an SD DVR to record SD material, a lot more of which can be stored on the hard drive; and if the SD DVR also has DVD-burning capability, one can offload the hard drive as it becomes full. The point is that SD DVR/DVD combos serve a useful function (if entertainment and education can be considered useful) even in 2009 and beyond; so it is premature to relegate them to obsolescence.

Since TVGOS is committed to continuing their service, it would be nice if the TV stations and cable companies would oblige; and I think it is still worthwhile for those on this message board who are interested in keeping the service to continue to let their cable companies know that it is important to them. No one should give up because they mistakenly believe that the digital transition makes it infeasible to continue providing the service. The published statement by Macrovision/TVGOS affirms its feasibility in no uncertain terms.
 

New member
Username: Mdhdnut

Ellicott City, MD United States

Post Number: 6
Registered: May-09
The day after analog signals ceased OTA, TVGOS is still working here over Comcast Digital in Howard County, Maryland. The TVGOS signal may have ceased on Maryland Public Television but continues to be available on our CBS affiliate, channel 13.

The final test will come when Comcast drops its analog signal, for which there is not yet a date set in my immediate service area. It is encouraging, however, that the source (ch. 13), which is now all-digital, is still able to get a TVGOS signal through.

In my setup Comcast's cable comes into its cable box (Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2100) and emerges in two forms: an analog RF signal set to channel 3, and video & audio line signals, through S-Video & RCA jacks. These are both connected to the DVR that uses TVGOS. Earlier posts on this board indicate that TVGOS could be carried through either of these (although one post, either here or in a different forum, was convinced that the signal could not be carried through RF, that could not possibly be the case as a general rule, because that is the only way that many devices receive TVGOS, e.g. those who get it OTA).

It seems likely to me that Comcast is providing the TVGOS signal in one of two ways: 1 either they themselves are converting the digital TVGOS that the local CBS affiliate is transmitting and converting that to analog and attaching it to its analog version of ch. 13 (this is the path that will go away when Comcast converts to all-digital), or 2 the cable box itself is capable of converting the digital TVGOS signal to analog just as it converts the digital channels to NTSC (analog) for output to analog TVs, either as RF or as a line signal, or both.
 

New member
Username: Mdhdnut

Ellicott City, MD United States

Post Number: 7
Registered: May-09
TVGOS is available again on Comcast cable in Howard County, Maryland. A few days after the changeover to digital on broadcast TV back in June, the TVGOS signal that had survived the cut-over for a few days then disappeared. Here is the explanation: Our local (Baltimore) CBS affiliate (I'll call it ch. 13) had an equipment problem that took out their analog feed (which was being provided for the express purpose of retaining the TVGOS signal). As Comcast was using this feed to provide customers with the regular CBS programming content, they were forced to switch to ch. 13's digital feed when the analog feed failed. Although ch. 13 repaired their problem, Comcast did not bother to switch back to the analog feed, thus no TVGOS any more.
After about 3 months (possibly due to my prodding of Comcast & the parent company of TVGOS, and probably other complaints), Comcast finally restored TVGOS by assigning a new channel especially for the ch. 13 analog feed. That way, should it fail again, customers viewing ch. 13 would not be affected.
It remains to be seen how TVGOS might make good on their promise to retain the service for analog-only devices once the cable systems themselves go all-digital. One possibility, however, is that Comcast will simply convert all channels to digital except for one and leave the TVGOS channel alone.
 

New member
Username: Redheadfog

Washington

Post Number: 5
Registered: May-09
I can't explain it, but my TVGuide listings started updating again. I still have Comcast Digital. The time on the Philips DVR runs fast, so every couple weeks I tell it there's no cable box, plug the cable into the DVR and leave it overnight. This resets the time, and still has all the channels, so I can use it to record anything, but have no program info.

Yesterday when I reconnected the cable box, there was a bunch of program info and only 1 channel was turned off. (MSNBC. Comcast seems to hate them, but that's another topic.) So last night I did it again, to get more program info (1st update was only a few days worth) and this time it turned off every channel over 31, which is Comcast's basic service. Of course, program info for the higher number channels is now gone too.

Anyone else notice changes? This is Comcast in Vancouver, WA.
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