TV Programming info from antenna + converter box

I recently dropped costly cable TV service and made the switch to an antenna with a digital converter box. I am very pleased with the results (we get about 20 channels, about a dozen of which I actually use). I have a Zenith DTT901 DTV converter box. I am curious about the programming information that I can access from the converter box. I hit the Guide button on the remote and it shows me what is playing, and what show is on next. I didn't expect to have this kind of information without cable TV. The Retro TV Network (which comes in coupled with our local ABC affiliate (i.e. the ABC station is 2-1, Retro is 2-2)) has no programming info. It always just says "Retro". And within the last week or so, the programming info for our local PBS station always just says "DTV Program". I suppose I could just call the stations and ask them, but I figured I'd pose this to the group and see what you folks are finding.
Also, the time zone is weird on certain channels. I am in Eastern, but some of the channels are off by an hour.
Thanks....
Mike
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If I understand you correctly, you are asking why some stations provide programming information, and some don't. It's at the station's discretion.There is no law saying that the station has to provide programming information, so some choose not to.
I imagine that there is probably a cost associated with owning and maintaining the programming information system. PBS stations are always crying about being broke, so I'd have to say that it's a budgetary decision on their part. "Retro TV" sounds like a low-budget outfit, so I'd have to say that it was also a budgetary decision to not provide programming information on their part.
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On Jan 7, 10:14 am, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Yes, I didn't really state my question clearly. I was, indeed, asking about the availability of programming info from certain stations.
About the PBS station programming info, it just recently stopped working on the main PBS channel (which comes in on 8-1), but an additional channel they have is called PBS-Knowledge which is more documentary driven and quite good (comes in on 8-3) DOES still have its programming info. Maybe I'll call and enquire.
Mike
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On Wed, 7 Jan 2009 07:14:16 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Retro tv is not capable of saying what will be on. They only know what *was* on.
And they have iiuc a free web channel, although I couldn't get the page to work, maybe for the reason in the first paragraph.
If you want to know what's on tv, buy TV guide, or use tvguide.com or zap2it.com . Don't use washingtonpost.com/tv, which is ok but uses zap2it with more space given to ads and less space given to the tv schedule. When I used it once, it took over my original zap2it link, and the only way I could make it release it was to delete all the coookies from washingtonpost AND from zap2it, and start again.
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Don't know specifically what box you have, but there are two ways of getting cable/sat type guide data over the air...
The ATSC (Digital TV) specification makes provisions for each station to broadcast program information. Many newer TVs and converter boxes will display this information if you press the appropriate button on the remote. Around here, the availability and quality of that data has been somewhat sporadic.
There is an older system called TV Guide On Screeen (TVGOS) that was designed for analog TV. That system uses data transmitted over the blanking interval on one channel (usually the PBS affiliate) to transmit guide data for all channels in the area. Certain TV models could decode that data and display it along with thumbnail ads in a grid format. TVGOS is supposedly migrating over to digital channels, with the data mostly being sent over the local CBS affiliate.
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you can also get a digital video recorder for over the air digital tv.
set it to record the news each nite, arrive 10 minutes late and skip thru the commercials
much like a VCR only no tapes to mess with, just pick the show you want to watch from the guide:)
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If TVGOS is the guide that appears on a single channel and provides a scrolling grid with no user control, then I'd almost rather do without.
I'm used to the on-screen guide provided by TW Digital Cable which allows me to pick the time and channel I want to see info about, even days ahead, all the while still watching the channel I started at. I can search by date, time, theme, title, etc. and never miss a minute of a show or game.
I was at my Mom's house in MA over the holidays and had to put up with the single-channel scrolling grid. To even find out what channel ESPN was on (never mind what show was on at what time) I had to leave the bowl game I was watching and sit there reading the scrolling grid until ESPN came around. I missed the winning touchdown drive of the game trying to find out what other bowl games were on that day.
Heck, after a while, I got so frustrated I turned off the TV and started talking to my Mom. ;-)
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No! It looks similar to the scrolling guide channels, but is fully interactive up/down through the channels and left/right to look ahead. Just like the Dish/Direc/Tivo guides.
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And it's available on every channel so you can continue to watch/ listen to your program?
With TWC, the interactive guide takes up the bottom half of the screen, some more detail about the program selected in the guide is shown in the upper left quarter, and the program you are watching is in the upper right quarter.
You can even change the channel that is showing in the upper right, but you are limited to up-down sequentially or swapping between the previously viewed channel and the current one while the guide is on the screen. In other words, no direct access by pressing 0510 to go to that channel. Pressing 0510 will take the *guide* to the program info for 0510 instead.
Any guide that prevents the viewer from watching a program while using the guide is limited in its features, at least in my opinion.
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http://www.dtvpal.com /
has pricing for several converter boxes. I have considered getting a hard drive one.
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Yes. When the TVGOS guide screen is up, the majority of the screen is the traditional grid guide. There's a menu bar across the top of the screen and three small windows along the left side of the guide screen. The top window continues to show the currently tuned channel and audio for that channel. The middle and lower windows have still adverts.
Not bad for a "free" service. The TV set firmware just needs to support grabbing the guide data when the set isn't in use.
Details here: http://www.macrovision.com/products/ce_manufacturers/ipg_ce/tv_guide_on_screen.htm
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OK, then I'll let it continue to exist. ;-)
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