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Loss of Local OTA Channel

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by bobemac, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. bobemac

    bobemac Mentor

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    Nov 6, 2007
    KENS Channel 5-1 has been coming in with a strong signal OTA for
    over three years on both my Tivo 10-250, and my D HR 21-700 AM 21.
    Two weeks ago I completely lost my 5.1 channel.
    It seems they are ahead of the curve for the February 2009 conversion.
    They are sending a Multiplexed signal which combines all three of their stations.

    San Antonio KENS is transmitting 5-1, 41-1, and 41-2 on the same signal.
    My AM 21 can bring in a great picture on both 41 channels, but it is completely unable to recognize 5-1.

    Channel 5-1 is the CBS affiliate, and the other two are national Hispanic
    programming.
    I tried four hard reboots, and OTA station resets, but 5-1 is not available.

    A signal strength test on all three channels gives me a 97 for all three.

    According to the engineers at the station, this signal multiplexing
    is cutting edge technology.

    Has anyone experienced this issue.

    I'm dedicated to OTA reception, because of picture quality, and programming
    variety.
     
  2. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    Tried it with any other ATSC tuner ?
     
  3. bobemac

    bobemac Mentor

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    Nov 6, 2007
    Reception was great on the 10-250 OTA, and the HR21-700/AM21,
    until 5.1 signal was multiplexed by KENS.

    I won't purchase multiple tuners to chase an OTA signal that was easily available
    prior to their modification.
     
  4. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    Well then -I'd suggest a note / email / call to station engineering is in order
     
  5. bobemac

    bobemac Mentor

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    Nov 6, 2007
    I've already tried that.
    The engineers at KENS 5-1 don't know anything about D's AM 21,
    they are clueless.
    I've also emailed D, and they directed me to the forums which have nada.
     
  6. Kansas Zephyr

    Kansas Zephyr Hall Of Fame

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    Jun 29, 2007
    If you have ATSC tuners in your TVs, hook the antenna there to see what's "in the air". The D* boxes use a database, if there is an error, the OTA signals will not appear. Since the HDTV's tuner actually scans all RF channels, looking for whatever is out there, you can see if there is a PSIP issue with KENS.
     
  7. Tower Guy

    Tower Guy Godfather

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    Jul 27, 2005
    It's possible that the HD encoder at KENS is configured for 1440X1080 instead of 1920X1080. Not all sets can decode 1440 horizontal pixels.

    1440 pixels is a valid MPEG2 format, but not a legit over the air ATSC sample rate.
     
  8. arxaw

    arxaw Icon

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    Jul 13, 2003
    Most likely a database error with the D* guide the AM21 uses.

    Our local abc affiliate's tower fell down last winter. They are temporarily broadcasting on a subchannel of the local MyNetwork channel. Mynetwork remaps to 42-1 & abc remaps to 7-1. Both on the same physical channel. Some DirecTV boxes couldn't see 7-1 until the database was corrected.

    Good luck getting in touch with someone who has a clue and cares about getting the problem fixed. It's not easy.
     
  9. bobemac

    bobemac Mentor

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    Nov 6, 2007
    I got it fixed, and it was a mapping problem.

    A big surprise; the AM 21 provided by D is a dumb device, unlike my old
    TIVO 10-250, and the D HR20XX, the AM 21 cannot scan for the OTA channels!!

    This means, whenever a station changes it's signal the D AM 21 will lose that OTA channel.

    Zap2it from the Tribune Co provides a mapping service to D. This allows
    the dumb AM 21 to "find" the new channel locations. After emails to D and, Zap2it, and more phone calls, the problem was fixed.

    I'm betting that next February, all of us who use OTA will be having multiple
    issues.
    Thanks D for setting us up for the dumb AM 21.
     
  10. arxaw

    arxaw Icon

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    Jul 13, 2003
    HR2x DVRs get all their guide info from D*. The AM21 would not be able to integrate locals into the D* guide with PSIP data, which often is only provided by the stations for a day or two, and sometimes only a few hours into the future, if that. Also, the PSIP clocks are seldom accurate and vary quite a bit from station to station.

    It would be hard to set future recordings using PSIP. So it's necessary that the AM21 get its guide data from D* instead of PSIP.

    TMS must be better at fixing the errors than in the past. Do you have a current email or contact at TMS, for others who may have the same problem with local channels?
     
  11. bobemac

    bobemac Mentor

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    Nov 6, 2007
    You must differentiate between the HR20, which can scan for OTA channels,
    and the HR21, which has no OTA scan capability, but must rely on the dumb D adaptation for OTA, the AM 21.
    My emails were sent to Chase Carey and the link on the Zap2it site.
     
  12. arxaw

    arxaw Icon

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    Jul 13, 2003
    The HR20 DVR cannot scan for OTA channels.
     
  13. ziggy29

    ziggy29 Icon

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    Nov 18, 2004
    San Antonio DMA
    The HR20 uses the same dumb method for OTA -- it's just built-in.

    IMO, the OTA implementation D* uses in the HR2x/AM21 is seriously flawed. Lack of ability to scan for all available OTA signals is a pretty bad deficiency.
     
  14. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    ziggy - scanning was an original feature in the product manual!
     
  15. bobemac

    bobemac Mentor

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    Nov 6, 2007
    How about my old TIVO 10-250, does it scan for OTA channels?
     

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