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Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by ChicagoJerry, Mar 29, 2007.
Does anyone have an update on whether DTV plans on ever fixing the problem with WBBM in Chicago?
Will they fix it? Probably.
Is it a priority? Probably not.
I would like to have it as well but there are a few million others that wouldn't know the difference and have higher priority Issues.
Whats the problem with it?
If this is the channel that is VHF channel 2, it may very well be a hardware issue, meaning there will be no software update that can fix it.
I can get WBBM 2-1 which is broadcasted on digital channel 3, with my H10-250, but not with the HR20. I know that if D* waits long enough that the problem will be solved in 2009 when WBBM digital will broadcast over channel 11. But I hope they fix the HR20 to receive the lower VHF channels.
I don't know... maybe it is me.. and my setup.
But the MPEG-4 SAT version of CBS Chicago, is amazing.
Considering that I could barely get it with my HR10-250 via OTA (I used the NY feed), I don't have the OTA to compare it to.
IIRC: WBBM doesn't use any of their sub-channels..
But as for the HR20; There is still no update on the issue.
I'm confused. Why can't a simple answer be provided regarding a long standing problem like this? If there really is a VHF Low (Ch 2/3) problem with the HR20, (and it appears there is), shouldn't we be able to get a straight answer:
1. Is it a hardware problem? (easy to duplicate in the lab)
2. What steps are they taking to resolve it?
It's not like you can sell a TV Tuner that outright won't work on two or three channels. This isn't an intermittent...they don't work, and never have. Dumb question: how could ANY HR20 go out the door without verifying that the OTA tuner at least "worked" on all channels? I'm not talking about being "picky" in how they work, I'm talking about not working at all, with no chance of working (as shipped) for Ch 2/3? Admittedly, this is crying over spilled milk, so I'll leave this question stand as a rhetorical indictment.
Back to "where we are now". Ch 2/3 don't work, and have never worked. It's been months and months. Why no answer? I'd be satisfied with:
1. Yes, it is a hardware problem.
2. We are evaluating how to address it and plan on letting you know what we are intending to do about it by ___/___/___ (date certain.) REST ASSURED, WE WILL GET THIS WORKING OR WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A UNIT (similar features) THAT WILL.
Anything short of the latter assurance is unacceptable.
Many, many people have the following (or similar) OTA issues:
I still have missing channels, mis-mapped channels, guide data from 23-1 showing up for 56-2 (which I get a 771 error on), and 23-1 not in guide.
It has been MONTHS. These second issues aren't rocket science, and the lack of progress is worrisome. (not tragic for me, but a VERY bad sign, especially when many of our locals are going to change channel assignments when the all digital date comes). If they can't manage this, how are they ever going to deal with the tremendous number of changes that will happen then?
D* is the one that decided to use the Tribune data service. If it's messed up, then D* needs to do the leg work to make it right, not tell me to chase down every station to make sure they are reporting the correct info. Once D* has a report from a user that the Channels are not working or not in guide, or whatever in terms of being mismapped etc., it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to follow up. Quite frankly, after all this time, the "we're working on it", isn't working for me any longer.
This is what I want to hear:
YOUR PROBLEMS WILL BE RESOLVED BY ___/___/___ (date certain). IF WE ARE UNABLE TO RESOLVE THEM, REST ASSURED WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A UNIT/SERVICE THAT WILL.
The lack of "real" progress and no explanation/accountability with regard to both of these issues is both troubling and frustrating. (and I don't even need ch 2/3, and my missing channels are not all that important, content wise). The lack of resolution of these problems and the lack of communications with respect to them is symptomatic of larger issues, that we will all be faced with sooner or later.
Don't get me wrong...I REALLY like my HR20, and have been a D* customer for a LONG time. I'm pleased with the CE program and D* service in general. I'm not pleased when obvious, replicable problems are neither addressed nor accounted for after months and months and months of the problem.
1) Yes there is a problem (obviously)
2) PACE and DirecTV are still investigating WHAT exactly is the problem... Is it the physical tuners; Is it how the tuners get the data to the system; Is it the software controlling the tuners
3) Thus when they do issolate the core issue... can it be fixed via software
And at this point, they are still in phases of #2... and investigating #3
But as with a lot of "issues"... until you know the real problem... You can't put a "date" on it when it will be fixed, or determined that it can't be fixed.
As for mis-mapped channels... No idea... I turn the lists over to directv..
Maybe after the next release, I wlll re-open a thread to get the "latest"
Earl, none of my comments are about you or what you have done (example: turning over lists). My issue is "nothing happening", which you are not responsible for.
W/R to #2 above, PACE and D* have had months to investigate this. It isn't that hard....an RF source (TV Signal) and digital storage scope is all that is required to trace it out, to eliminate the "tuner" issue. After that, as you noted, how the data from the tuner is handled AFTER it is confirmed that the output of the TUNER is correct, is another problem.
Even informally, if someone from D* could simply state:
1. The data coming out of the tuner is fine. (this would take about 10 mins to verify...it ain't rocket science) (or it isn't fine so the tuner module has to be investigated)
2. We are looking downstream and expect some progress within _____.
This isn't your problem. This is a "responsiveness" and "communication" issue that has little or nothing to do with you. A simple, germane, (and coherent) response from D* would go a long way to helping us understand how this many months could go by with no "apparent" progress whatsoever w/r to an easily replicated tuner issue (Ch 2/3).
The Guide issue is similar, but more complicated. It remains, however, D*'s responsibility to get someone on the stick AND STAY ON IT, until each individual complaint is resolved. The time for broad data collection is over on this issue. What is needed now is individual response and subsequent fixes...start to finish on a given channel, for a given complaint.
Well if they ever ship a HR20-100 to a market with channel 2/3 and it works on those channels we'll know whats going on..
We all get our ideas from our experiences.
Mine on this is: there is a hardware/layout [PCB] problem. I "feel" this because the problem is with the very low end of the frequency band, where the wavelength is the longest. While all of the chips could be "working", a poor RF layout could be just what is happening. CAD designers are just that, & not RF engineers.
If I'm anywhere close, D* is having a "hard time" with PACE & the "bean counters" to "bite the bullet", since it could require every HR20-700 to be replaced.
OTA wasn't activated in the initial release of the HR-20, so it [the VHF problem] has "blindsided" them. This isn't to make any excuse for D*/PACE or to say this is "normal". This is just what "my gut" is telling me about the problem. I've just stepped in so much "do do" and so now know how many types smell.
FWIW, my two cents....
Interesting thought, and my gut feeling on this as well. Whenever I see a problem that only shows up within a particular frequency range my first thought is an RF interference or loss problem. Interesting to note that the HR20-100 has a different layout for the connections on the back panel.... Hmmm....
I also agree that this smells of them knowing that something serious is the source of the issue, and they are trying to decide what to do vs. what they will be forced to do. I've been at companies where we have had to make these types of calls on software products, and those are ugly enough (I spent 6 weeks on the road patching customer systems on one occasion with my company eating the cost).
I can not imagine any engineer taking more than a week to ID the source of such a specific problem so my gut is saying they know the source, have no idea if it can be fixed with software, and are debating the cost of replacing units for people and how to identify what people should get replacements.
D* has always said that there is no problem with the OTA tuners in the HR02-700, It is with your antenna, etc. I do not know if I am the only one that has called D* and complained or what. I told was told by customer retension when we lookup the problem that there was not alot of people complaining about WBBM. If this is the case, so they are not in a hurry to fix something that is not a real problem to them.
Everyone that has this problem should contact D* and report it, otherwise nothing will be done! Not by e-mail by phone!
And you expected the CSR to tell you something different?
But hey... it's your dime if you want to call
I can assure you: The technical people and those involved with the HR20 understand that there is "some" issue with the WBBM in Chicago... or they wouldn't be doing what they are doing to try an identify it and if it can be fixed or not via Software.
While this "might" help, remember they [the CSRs] are just the "front line troops", used to buffer you from those that "know" and are "looking at the numbers" and the costs. This isn't anything they would "want to" make a snap decision on. They may be still trying to get PACE to cover the expense.
Not to be an instigator of anything, but this could be one of the times that letters to "the office of the president" would be the effective actions.
Just to keep this on track: the problem is not AFAIK limited to WBBM in Chicago. It affects at least Ch 2 and 3 (RF Frequency), no matter where they are in the country. If this is not right, please someone correct me, as my other observations are then pure rubbish, and I'd just as soon not spread misinformation.
From reading the posts on this issue over the months, I was just sure that others who were trying to receive channels 2 and 3 (actual RF frequency assignment VHF-LO, not remapped channel numbers) had no success, period.
It would be bizzare, to say the least for someone to have designed/implemented a tuner/layout that would fail to operate at VHF-Low. I suppose it could be an internal spur...but again...this could be discovered in a matter of minutes, not months.
I know it sounds crazy, but one would think before the first HR20 was sent out the door to a "normal" customer, that someone would have verified that the tuners actually worked on all assigned channels (done with a signal generator, and takes about 15 minutes). I'm not saying they should check every HR20...that's silly. They should have checked ONE. (or for better QC, perhaps a random sample).
I'm not asserting that they should have checked all HR20s. I'm suggesting that someone, somewhere (Pace or D*), should have verified that the basic tuner function worked in the form/layout that was going out the door. This couldn't possibly have been done on a tuner that never has worked on VHF-Lo.
Again, if my facts are wrong, I'll get out the crow fork (and happily at that...because if it does work on VHF-Lo 2/3 sometimes, somewhere, then the problem is much more difficult to isolate.)
Your right... it is not "Just" WBBM in Chicago
I know Las Vegas has a channel that is RF3... and I think there is one other that has been reported here, but I can't recall it just right now.
Has anyone check to see how many Digital OTA's there are that use frequency 2 and 3 ?
I am not blaming the CSR's, they try to help, but they are not informed about any details in regards to the problems with receivers. I just think they should not always say "It is not D* problem, the problem is on your side. There is nothing wrong, we can not help you!" Instead of transferring to someone that can post your problems on their computers. I always thank the CSR if they help even a little bit. If D* is working on it fine, if not just would like to know. Like I said before in 2009 WBBM is going to broadcast on digital channel 11 when everything is in digital. So I know anything broadcasted on the lower VHF channels across the country will be on a higher VHF or UHF channel. So D* is the only one with this problem I guess.
Are you saying that after the "all digital" switchover in 200x, that there will be no digital assignments in the country on VHF-Lo? If that's what you meant, I don't think you have that quite right. It would be wonderful, if true, but I haven't seen anything that says VHF-Lo is not going to be used for digital television channels.
Where did you get this information, or did I misunderstand what you said?
I can concur that from my observations it is not just a Chicago thing. It is a systemic problem with VHF-LO OTA reception. I'll be happy to take that back is someone else knows it to be otherwise.
In terms of the problem source my personal theory is that the designers at D* did not have time to fully test OTA prior to releasing the unit to manufacture. You have to figure the design was completed at least 3-6 months prior to the unit's release to allow the manufacturer to order parts, setup assembly and produce an initial order.
I have been following this since our install in September, and do not believe that D* did much, if any, testing of the OTA hardware prior to launch. It might have been a logical assumption on their part that this was just simple OTA and there's no way it wouldn't work. With the amount of RF running around these days this can be a difficult design problem, and something that definitely could have cropped up due to a slip-up somewhere.
I would be curious to see the inside of an HR20-100 to see if D* made any significant internal layout changes. If they did, this could indeed by an incurable hardware issue for them with the existing HR20-700 model. Based on the people being sent "new" versus "used" hardware these days I almost wonder if they are beginning to clear the channel of the 700 unit.
I hope we can find out some official details on the differences between the two units soon. It might shed some light on this and other persistent issues that exist today (I find the reports of a bottom mounted fan and temps of slight over 100 with the HR20-100 interesting).
I still agree with VOS that this whole thing sounds like they are debating how to deal with the problem, not what the problem is. I do still think there is a chance they are looking to provide a software fix, but my guess is that they are trying a software fix for a hardware problem (ala Hubble).