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Program Information Pet Peeve - Anyone Else?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Alan Gordon, Feb 19, 2013.

Pet Peeve, Or Couldn't Care Less?

  1. I HATE This!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. I LOVE This!

    13 vote(s)
    92.9%
  3. I Don't Care/Have Never Noticed!

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

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    Then, whomever is providing it should provide accurate data!
     
  2. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Runner is correct; the data flow is from the station or network to Tribune, then from them to DTV, and certainly not the other direction. And the networks and stations don't really provide the information, because they outsource that to 3rd-party companies that aggregate that info themselves. Those sort of services have proliferated since PSIP because stations don't want to hire somebody to do all that data input and management, something not required in analog days.

    And as I said earlier, the start times can be any time now, while they were customarily always "straight up". The reason is automation; if you have a bank of computers handling your P2Air, you no longer need the Master Control Op to handle the math, which was always much easier for the Op to do when they started from "straight up"; if a MCO got a show started earlier or later than that by mistake, they paid for that by having much more complicated math necessary to roll commercials when they needed to be; it added yet another conversion factor using "clock" math rather than decimal math.

    Of course, it's getting to where we don't need the MCO at all; all we need is power, a bank of computers, and air conditioning. You don't even need lights, monitors, switchers, or even office chairs, because there is no longer anyone to sit in them and watch the monitors while pushing the buttons.

    While as a Broadcast Engineer I am an automation system specialist now, I come from the days when there was no automation and the MCO had to fly by the seat of their pants, rolling each event manually 5-7 seconds ahead of when it was supposed to air. That is not as simple as it sounds when you are rolling 6 commercials back to back and each has a different length and some may have different pre-roll times. Instead of roll-take, roll-take, you could find yourself rolling event A, then rolling event B, then taking event A, then taking event B; not exactly intuitive, and a tricky skill to master.

    And in the days of videotape, the show would have a pre-made 2:02 black hole built in, so that the show could continue playing back (in black) in the background while you inserted 2 minutes of commercials to the air.

    The reason for that walk down memory lane was not to reminisce, it was to point out the difference. Now everything is file-based and controlled by computers. That means it is non-linear in the way a DVD is non-linear, and that you can program a spreadsheet list to run a playlist where any event can air at any time with nothing restricting it.

    The end result is that programs can start any time they want, and can be stretched to include or compressed to exclude as many commercials as they want, and the commercial breaks become elastic; adding a commercial at the last minute anywhere in any commercial break used to be prohibitive, but now all it takes is a couple of keystrokes.

    And that is what is at the root of the near chaos we are dealing with. FOX can (and will) start a program at 8:33:18 if it serves their purposes, but what does that mean for recording it? While they do customarily provide an offset (start time scheduled for 8:33, for instance) the granularity is only to the minute on most if not all DVRs.

    Thankfully, the smarter minds at DTV created smart padding, which mostly makes this not a problem. But it also depends on the info being close to being right in the first place; If NBC wants to start Deception at 8:59 but does not include that in the metadata, it defaults to 9:00, and you've missed the wrap-up that updates you on last week's show.

    So we have ways to deal with the chaos, but it all boils down to correct info and passing that info along all the way to the DVR. If the data is correct, no worries. But since there is a human factor in there, the data isn't always correct, or doesn't reach all the way to Tribune and to the DVR.
     
  3. Brandon Wedgeworth

    Brandon Wedgeworth Administrator Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    As had I, so I deleted them as well. It was the forst time I noticed shows lumped together like that in the guide though.

    Yep, and that's what I did with the HR21-100 that I bought. Working great so far with a 2TB WD Red drive.
     
  4. bananfish

    bananfish Mentor

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    Aug 13, 2007
    I've never understood why there isn't a feature to allow you to delete portions from the front and back of a recorded program. That would solve the OP's issue, by allowing him to lop off the first hour when he was done watching it. It can't be a terribly difficult thing to program and isn't inconsistent with their technology - after all, you can already specify to lop off or extend the ends of a program you haven't recorded yet, or do a manual recording of just segments of a program.

    This would be great for archiving material you might want to keep around - e.g., I went to the Masters golf tourney last year, and I was on camera around about the final putt by Bubba Watson - I'd love to have just a minute or two of that archived on my DVR, but I sure wasn't going to keep the whole 6 hour recording of that round. I'd also love to have just the last inning of the Buckner game in the 1986 playoffs. And certain SNL skits. Etc. etc.
     
  5. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Jackson
    Which is exactly what someone needs to do if they are constantly filling up the stock drive and never have any free space.
     
  6. Rtm

    Rtm Godfather

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    I believe this is a market by market problem. In my experience The Today Show on NBC records as 3 different recordings in the morning, yet in other markets it records as 1 recording both totaling 4 hours.
     
  7. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL DIRECTV A-Team

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    Today show would definitely be something that varies by market. Some markets don't show the last hour drunk fest, errr Hoda and Kathy Lee segment.
     
  8. trainman

    trainman Hall Of Fame

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    Sherman...
    I note that last night, NBC showed two episodes of "Parks and Recreation" in a one-hour block, with no closing credits at the end of the first episode or opening titles at the beginning of the second episode. Most sources did list it as a one-hour program, but DirecTV's listings had it as two separate episodes. I suspect DirecTV did some "massaging" of the data they got from Tribune.
     

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