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DirecTiVo Local Channels

I'm trying to figure out how to get local channels (or at least ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX - the network stations) here on my DirecTiVo in Erie, PA. I've asked a question at the TiVo Community forums, but if anyone has any advice, feel free to post a comment here on my blog as well, eh? Thanks!

P.S. Solved.

8 Responses to "DirecTiVo Local Channels"

  1. Did you get a programming package with local channels included? I was looking at them tonight actually and noticed that Total Choice and Total Choice Plus can be ordered with or without locals....

  2. Nevermind, I just read your forum post.

  3. Background for the uninitiated...

    FCC and possibly contract law protects local affiliates rights to broadcast network content. That is, one can't get a direct feed from NBC East for example, legally, as it takes away ad dollars for the local used car ads, unless you just can't get that network via broadcast at all.

    For Years, DirectTV meant watching your local channels outside of the dish, via cable or antenna, due to this restriction, although you could watch a higher resolution Network feed, without promos for the local news, if the local guys didn't have that monopoly.

    The fix, still in progress, is for the locals to send their signals to the DSS birds. Of course that means hundreds of extra channels of bandwidth, an extra satellite or so.

    Eric's workaround may be to pretend he never moved (if he had local channels on direct TV before), or to somehow find a zipcode that presently has local feeds (or cannot pick up any broadcast affiliates, although this is not going to mesh with his billing.

    That is, he has to somehow fudge it, cheat it, to pick up another areas local feeds, or instead of them, the network feeds, unless new loopholes have opened. One imagined loophole -if a broadcaster that DID reach your market had DSS feeds, you could watch those, although you might be physically closer to another broadcast market.

    My answer at the time? Stop watching Network and Local TV. Never missed it. At that time, the only network show I watched was Seinfeld I could tape off the air in another room. I don't have Tivo in every room either... most people don't have more than one DSS receiver going, as typically, the dish can't send multiple channels to the set top boxes.. it tunes and picks up bandwidth of a single channel at the dish, so you would need a 'pick up' for each set or channel, if one room was watching another channel via small dish.

    If it weren't for weather and traffic, local media, TV and Radio may have died a few years back.

  4. Can't speak to how one "moves" to a zip with locals. But I do want to note that you can indeed have multiple DirecTivos in one house. The tuning isn't done at the dish -- the entire spectrum is sent to the set top. The only control the set top has over the dish is whether it receives horizontal or vertical polarity.

    The solution is a switch (not a splitter) that sits between your DTV receivers and the dish. I have a 4x2 that takes the two cables from the dish and allows you to connect up to 4 set tops. Because the DirecTivos have dual tuners (record one channel while watching another!) each one takes two of these outputs from the switch. There are 8x2 switches out there, and probably others, too.

    Bottom line is that you can indeed have multiple independent set tops in your house.

  5. If you're willing to drop $1K or so, another option would be to go HD. Unlike the regular DirecTiVo, the HD one can record OTA channels (digital only). WJET, WFXP, WICU and WQLN all have digital OTA channels.

  6. Tivo is just now starting to sell at the price point I think it should have been selling all along, but that is partially because of the upcoming bloom in HDTV and digital broadcasting, planned to officially occur in 2006. That is, the NTSC version may have a limited shelf life now, although there will probably be a box to place between cable/airwaves and your older crummier NTSC TV rather than forcing the populace to all buy new HD ready sets.

    Similar ease of use was once available for VCRs via a small set top box that would control VCRs via a Tivo like menu, this menu being sent over pager frequencies. It was very elegant. That is why the people at VCR+/GoldStar/TV Guide bought it out and killed it. Hard to sell TV Guides with arcane VCR+ codes when there is a better solution in the market place.

  7. You're about to get married, and live in a house with a woman and a young child. Why are you thinking about TV? Do you know how little time you will have to even watch the shows you record?

  8. The end answer: all I have to do is "move" my service to Ohio and I pick up their locals. That's fine. So, as far as DirecTV is concerned, I live in Ohio.

    I'm going to get married in six months to a year, yep. The thing with the TiVo is that it lets me record things so that I can watch in the downtime I'll have. It should work out pretty well. I barely watch four hours of TV per week, and almost none during the summer.