Gemstar-TV Guide: Our Data is Good


Last month, I lamented that my Comcast DVR was dumb because it repeatedly recorded the same episodes of shows that I liked. Comcast said the problem had to do with the show programming data it receives from Gemstar-TV Guide. So I spoke with Steve Shannon, executive vice-president and general manager of product development at Gemstar-TV Guide, and asked him about how his company’s data stacked up against the competition from Tribune, which TiVo uses.

“I beg to differ on the quality,” Shannon said. “Compare the data. TV Guide has enormous access, more than anyone. Bad data may have been an issue four to five years ago, but it’s good quality now.” As we talked a bit further about the recording issues, Shannon did concede that there was “room for improvement” in the way the interactive programming guide works now.

I just got a review unit from TiVo that I’ll be hooking up this weekend so we can pit it vs. Comcast in a DVR battle royale.



I too have a panasonic dvd recorder DMR-EH75V with hard drive and I lost my listings in early January. I still am not able to get them. I called Panasonic and was told my cable box was not compatible even though it had been working. I now have a new cable box and have reset it just about every day and I am still not getting anything. It just tells me it is in progress.

Ellen Dokus

I have a panasonic dvd recorder with hard drive and I recently lost my listings wed after 10 pm 2/25/09 it says no listings I reset the unit now there is no data on screen why did listings disappear I have bright house cable it is compatible for the digital transition my dvd recorder is panasonic dr eh50 I bought it in 2006 is it compatible

Dave Zatz

Sounds like you may want to research a more modern HD TiVo with CableCARD support. FYI If you’re not comfortable manually preparing a larger internal TiVo hard drive, quite a few companies such as DVRUpgrade and Weaknees will sell you one. FYI 2 Those newer TiVo models (Series 3 and HD) support external SATA drives for additional storage.

Rich Henry

I have used both the Comcast DVR and Tivo for years now. I am dissapointed with the Comcast DVR’s controls and slow response time compared to Tivo. Tivo’s biggest problem is storage limitations. I am a giant TV viewer and find that I cannot watch some of these programs fast enough before they get deleted. If I edit the Tivo to save these videos then it gets full and wont record newer programs. The ability to add external storage outside of dumping these large files into my own computer would be great. I think the whole DVR solution is still pretty limited. I also find that the Tivo I bought a year ago will not work with my Hi-def Comcast receiver. Limited plugs in the back prevent me from accessing the necessary audio inputs for my TV and comcast receiver. I went to Comcast and explained my problem but they do not have a receiver that will accomodate a high def to the tv and still have audio plugs for the Tivo. Tivo therefore cannot record the audio from higher channels on Comcast such as the BBC, speed or any HBO, Encore etc. channels.

Dave Zatz

Comcast blames Gemstar-TV Guide and they blame Comcast. That’s not a nice way to treat your partners/customers. ;) These services provide different tiers of data subscriptions and it’s up to the DVR software to interpret what it’s being fed. So both are ultimately responsible.

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