Question about Panasonic DMR-EH50 DVD Recorder
I have a Panasonic DMR-EH50 digital video recorder, fed by an (analog) cable TV (via coax cable - no cable TV "set-top" box). Source is Comcast Cable, in Seattle, WA.
For a couple of years, all was well. Then, back in November, suddenly the TV Guide program listings stopped appearing (these program listings are a feature of the DVR, and make recording convenient; the data is piggybacked on a local channel, or so I've been told).
At first, I thought this was one of the occasional reset annoyances (every few months, I'd turn on the DVR, to see the "setup" screen, and I'd have to go through some of the setup again - a pain in the ****, but not a showstopper; I was always able to make things start working again). This time, I tried switching zip codes, leaving it all off for 48 hours, etc., to no avail. I resigned myself to calling Panasonic Support. Sigh.
I called and spoke with a support person there, and explained what had happened. She immediately told me that it was because of the upcoming digital TV switchover. Hmmmm. I told her I was skeptical. She insisted, and told me to sign up for the government coupons, go buy a DTV converter box, and run the incoming signal through that. I protested that we had cable TV, and that my local cable TV supplier was running ads (incessantly) blithely saying that their subscribers would not have to do anything, they were all set for the upcoming DTV conversion. She said, no, that the TV Guide listings were carried on a channel that I was receiving (yes, that was what I had heard - on my local PBS channel), but that (as she put it) "the part of the signal with the TV Guide data was already being fed in digital format", and that in order for my DVR to display the TV Guide data, I would need a DTV converter box. I told the Panasonic support woman that as I understood it, the cable signal was already converted to analog, so whatever was coming over that coax cable was nothing but analog -- and that this was in November 2008, and the digital switchover wasn't going to happen until February 2009. I confessed I was skeptical and asked if she was sure. She sighed and said she answered this same question hundreds of times every day, and yes she was sure. She said to go online and get the government coupon, then go buy a DTV converter, and all would be restored. OK, I said (still skeptical).
I went online and ordered the coupons. According to the coupon website, I wouldn't get my coupons for another month. OK, I grumbled, I'll be patient (this was before they just ran out of them).
A few days later, I came across an online forum with some details on how to do a deeper reset of this unit (hold down the power button, wait, repeat). I figured I might as well give that a try, since my coupons wouldn't be coming for a few more weeks.
I went through the reset procedure, and let the DVR off for 24 hours. Next time I turned it on....to my surprise, the TVGuide listings were there! Well, they were there but only extended out for about 3 days. No problem, I thought, it just needs more time to download the listings for the rest of the week, right? I turned the DVR and left it off overnight. Next day, I looked and the listings had not changed - I only had about 2 days of program listings, nothing past that. I left it off again, but no more listings downloaded. OK, I figured I'd try the deep reset again and just let it sit for a few days and download more. But no dice: after a deep reset and 2 days inactive, there were no TVGuide listings at all. I've tried it a couple more times since, and still receive nothing. Hmmm.
I'm still able to watch TV with the signal coming in via cable TV through the DVR and then into the TV. I can even record on the DVR -- the TV signal is still there and still good -- I just get no TV Guide programming info.
I checked with the Macrovision website (they supply the TV Guide programming feed), and they claim that the TV Guide signal should be live and available in my area (based on my zip code and cable TV provider).
OK, so my coupons arrived. I went to a local big-box electronics store and picked up a basic digital TV converter box (a Channel Master D2A). I tried running the cable TV coax cable feed into that (then into the DVR, then into the TV). Nothing - not even a basic TV signal (the DT box appears to be expecting a signal from an antenna). I returned the ChannelMaster converter box.
OK, so here are my questions....
1. Was the Panasonic technician telling me the truth? That is, that in order to get the TV Guide feed in the DVR, and do I really need a DTV converter box? This still sounds like she was blowing smoke, but I'm willing to give it another try (although it would be with a different converter box).
1A. If so, how should the hookup go? I have a coax cable coming in from the wall. We have never had a cable TV "set-top box" (and don't want one). Should it go like this:
coax cable -> DTV converter box -> coax cable -> Panasonic DVR -> component video plugs -> TV set.
2. If a DTV converter box *is* needed, can anyone recommend a good model (or if not a specific model, exactly what I should look for in the box)?
Sheesh, this stuff should not be such a PITA to get right...
Thanks for any guidance.
There is no data feed in Seattle. There is no solution until June.
I just got off the phone with a woman at KCTS (Channel 9-PBS Affiliate). KCTS had the contract with Macrovision. They lost it to KIRO (Channel 7) with the digital transition. As the digital transition did not occur, KIRO's contract did not kick in, but KCTS's stopped.
No one in Seattle has picked this up.
I called KIRO's consumer line to report a problem with the service. You might want to as well to lobby them to do something before June (when, the woman at KCTS believes, the transition will occur and KIRO's contract will kick in and we'll get our guide back).
Best of luck.
Posted on Mar 20, 2009
I think I may have the "answer".
I am in Atlanta and have a Panasonic DVR that was working fine and sometime during the past month or so we lost the channel listings. I've tried many resets as well with negative results.
I called Comcast tonight. The agent helping me took a long time to research the issue and gave me this answer (which sounds reasonable). By the way, this is for the Atlanta area and may not be applicable to other areas of the country.
Due to delays in the conversion to broadcast digital and the fact that Comcast is experiencing bandwidth issues, they have digitized the "channel listing" signal. By mid-June Comcast's signal will be all digital and you won't be able to watch a TV connected directly to Comcast cable - regardless of whether it has digital or analog tuner (or both). This is contrary to what I'd heard before.
After mid-June, you'll either need to use a cable box OR what she called a "Digital Transmitter Adapter" (let's call it a DTA). Prior to being converted to "full" digital, you'll get notification from Comcast. She said I'd be able to get 2 DTAs at no charge (I currently have one Comcast HD DVR box). Additional DTAs would be $1.99 a month. DTAs will only provide access to the "basic" cable channels, but the good news is that the Panasonic DVR should be able to obtain its channel lineup through this DTA box.
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Posted on Apr 08, 2009
It seems to me that the information was contained in the TVGUIDE Channel. This was channel 30 in San Francisco. What would be great and possible solution workaround. Perhaps there is a way at least to use an sd card or cd/dvd disk to get the tv guide information on the internet and then once a week manually put the information into the DVR . I bet if someone could talk to one of the upper level geeks they could find a way to make it work.
Posted on Mar 20, 2009
I'm having the same problem with my Panasonic DMR-EH75V (DVRwith DVD Player/Recorder and Video), starting in April or March 2009.
I can still record manually, and if I go online to TVGuide.com I can plan ahead, butthat's a hassle. I have Comcast in Houston, TX. I thought about calling them but have never had any good experienceswith their customer service – I just end up wasting an hour (or more) of mylife that I'll never get back. Fromother people’s descriptions the cable company was no use anyway.
Seems like it must have something to do with either the digital conversion orwith some change in how the TVGuide listings are transmitted. Digitalconversion shouldn't affect cable users, and I've had no problems being able tosee the channels I'm paying for.
Even if the digital conversion is responsible for this, someonesaid they tried a digital-to-analog converter with no luck. Has anyone else tried this?
Here are the trends I see from all the comments:
- For most people the problem started around March 2009 (this CAN'T be acoincidence)
- It's happening with several of the Panasonic DVR models,so it's not model-specific.
- It doesn't seem specific to one cable provider since I see comments from bothComcast and Time Warner users.
- I don’t see any comments from Satellite TV users, so itmight be specific to Cable users.
- It sounds like neither Panasonic nor the cable providers knowor care what's going on, so we’re basically on our own here
Some questions, if anyone can answer:
- Have you tried hooking up a digital-to-analog converter,and if so what happened?
- Are people with cable boxes also having this problem, oris it just people with direct cable connections to the DVR (and DVR connected toTV) ?
- Are there any Satellite users with this problem?
- Do you know anyone w/ a Panasonic DVR who is NOT havingthis problem, and if so what’s different between your set-up and theirs?
The whole reason I decided to get the Panasonic DVR insteadof something like TiVo was that you don't have to pay a subscription to get TVlistings. With TiVo if you don't pay the subscription fee then the TiVomachine you've bought is essentially useless – you can’t even record manually. And I lovethe DVD burner feature on the Panasonic since I can record a whole season ofsomething and share it w/ friends and family. TiVo does make a DVR with DVD burner, but again you still pay monthlysubscription fees.
For now I cannot recommend that anyone buy a Panasonic DVR unless this problemgets fixed. You'd think Panasonic would care about the negative effectthis might have on sales. I'm not surprised that Comcast doesn't care,since they'd love for you to just use their DVR service instead. (NOTE: I've also heard that some cable companies canblock transmission of the TV Guide information, in an effort to get you tosubscribe to their DVR services.)
Posted on Nov 30, 2009
My TV Guide On Screen (TVGOS) has not worked since June of 2009 it is almost November 2009 I have called Panasonic, Rovi, Comcast. Each points their finger at the other, and nothing gets fixed. If you have the same problems PLEASE contact Michale Finney of ABC news.com 7 on your side. If he hears from enough people He will get the transmissions fixed. copy and paste the URL below to reach him.
Posted on Oct 29, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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