Program Information using antenna

FRITZ

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
In 2007 I purchased a VIZIO VX421L and am very happy with it. We use antenna only and the VX421L has the guide feature that gives us programming info. In 2012 I purchased a VIZIO E320VT for the bedroom but the "guide" feature does not work. I phoned VIZIO and they said that even though the guide button is on the remote, that the feature is not included. This makes it difficult to determine program information. Is there a way to make that feature work on the E320VT?
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#2
No, they did away with it to save money. I guess they figure that if the Nielsen data about 90% of people having pay-TV is true that they can get away with it.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#4
That's hard info to come by. TV manufacturers don't list it in their specs. And reviewers don't mention it either.

If you can find a TV store that has some of their TV sets hooked to an antenna, you could go there and try them out. But there's not too many stores with antennas on their sets, they generally hook one Blu-Ray to a bunch of TV sets so they all have 1080p input.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#7
Jim,

The guide that FRITZ is talking about uses PSIP not TVGOS. There haven't been many TVGOS supported devices for years, so the fact that they are killing it isn't a big surprise. But, PSIP is certainly still here, but it's simply cheaper to make a TV that doesn't use it, and the cable crowd don't know the difference.

Dan
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
Jim,

The guide that FRITZ is talking about uses PSIP not TVGOS. There haven't been many TVGOS supported devices for years, so the fact that they are killing it isn't a big surprise. But, PSIP is certainly still here, but it's simply cheaper to make a TV that doesn't use it, and the cable crowd don't know the difference.
Too bad a lot of channels don't use their PSIP, or under-use it. Some channels populate their guide out several days and include program details (PBS stations usually do it best), but most only go out about 12 hours with no description. The worst stations are the minor players, like LP stations. You're lucky if they display the station name / network, let alone program info.

Funny thing is, most cheap converter boxes have a better program guide than even the most expensive TV sets. (That's why my DTVpal converter is hooked up to my 52" HDTV!) Now, if $50 converter boxes can have a guide, then why not a $1000+ HDTV? It would only add about a dollar or two to the price of a new TV.

A couple work-arounds for no program guide:

  1. Connect a converter box with a decent program guide to your composite input, like I have.
  2. TitanTV. This requires internet access, and it's not terribly convenient unless you have a computer connected to your TV. I use a cheap Android tablet with one tab on the browser always set on TitanTV. Titan TV has an android app, but it sucks - I prefer the browser version. I keep it next to the couch and use it in the same way people used to use the old paper TV Guide. Don't forget to get an account so you can customize your channel line-up!
  3. Another one that requires internet, and a Roku box. Add the "What's On?" channel https://owner.roku.com/Add/WHATSONCHANNEL and set up your local stations. It's only going to give you whats on now, but its a pretty complete channel selection.
  4. Subscribe to TV Guide (1-year auto-renewal) [Print + Kindle] for $5 a year. Yes, TV guide is still around. Very old-school!

If anyone has any other work-arounds or suggestions for the lack of PSIP or the death of TVGOS, please post.
 
#9
Too bad a lot of channels don't use their PSIP, or under-use it.
At least 95% of my stations have PSIP program info for three hours into the future. (Don't know about anything further out.) And 98% have at least the station call letters. With my antenna indoors, I don't have enough pull to worry about the LPs.

Funny thing is, most cheap converter boxes have a better program guide than even the most expensive TV sets.
My old Insignia converter box puts up a much nicer GOS (not TVGOS) than my TV. I'm surprised to learn there are TVs that display no PSIP data at all. I just assumed if my cheap, old Durabrand did it, they all would.

(That's why my DTVpal converter is hooked up to my 52" HDTV!) Now, if $50 converter boxes can have a guide, then why not a $1000+ HDTV? It would only add about a dollar or two to the price of a new TV.
Correctamundo! And theoretically, every TV could put up quite a nice, extensive, interactive TV guide. You just need a program to monitor all the stations when TV is off, then put it together. You could also have a button that says "update GOS," which would stop broadcasting the current channel for maybe 5 seconds while it gathers the PSIP stuff (assuming they don't want to throw in a second tuner to do the job). Memory is cheap. The processor is already there. Programming would be a straighforward, one time job.

TitanTV. This requires internet access, and it's not terribly convenient unless you have a computer connected to your TV.
It's convenient for me, cause if I'm watching TV I'm always on the computer. Guess you're right, though. Not too convenient for most families.

I think I saw the TVGOS lineup once or twice on TWC CATV. Had no use for it. Haven't seen it once since I pulled the plug, so the TVGOS announcement has no effect on me. Seems like somebody will pick it up, if the market is there.

Rick
 
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