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Choppy ABC HD only in shows - not commercials?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   jsgiv

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 04:00 PM

Hi,

Wondered if anyone is experiencing the same issue I'm having...

Basically in the Atlanta area - during the ABC Prime Time Shows (WSB-TV) (i.e. Desperate Housewives, Lost, Brothers & Sisters, etc.) - the shows appear "choppy" - sort of like in slow-motion - or, if you're so inclined, like a new video game that pushes the limit on your 3-year old PC with an older technology Video Card in it..

The sound is choppy at times as well.

What's even stranger is that the HD commercials during the breaks on the same channel, and during the same program, do NOT exhibit the issue - they appear bright and clear and smooth - no sound issues at all.

I'd wager to guess that it's an issue with the compression of the shows, etc. - but I'm not sure...

Other channels, (FOX, NBC, CBS, etc.) are all crystal clear - with the minor exception of Hell's Kitchen being occasionally choppy - but not near as much as ABC.

One other thing to note - I don't regularly watch it - but we checked the "Live" Dancing with the Stars - and it appeared to be normal as well - issue only appears to be with ABC recorded shows....

Any Ideas? I'm on the latest CE - however, I did revert back to the NR one week to see if it corrected the problem - no dice...

Edit: I have an HR20-700 - Latest CE

Thanks,

-jsg

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#2 OFFLINE   JDubbs413

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 06:00 PM

There are many possibilities. But it sounds like it is a station issue for your local ABC affiliate.

If your DVR was faulty than you would see a lot of recording issues on all channels and not just their's. I guess I just don't see it being an HR20 problem.
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#3 OFFLINE   babryan

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:15 PM

The same thing is happening to me in Atlanta. I have two boxes, on HR20-700 and a HR21-100 and both units have choppy feeds of prime time HD shows. On the HR20-700 I can tune OTA 2-1 and it is not choppy. This is very aggravating.

#4 OFFLINE   BearGator56

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:20 PM

Same thing here (ATL station in Newnan, GA). ABC is unwatchable. Audio is only coming through in Pro Logic, too. I was going nuts, thinking I was going to be the only one, and I found this thread right off.

Now...what can we do?

#5 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:24 PM

First off you should go to AVS and find the Atlanta HD locals forum and find out if the problem is with your ABC station. See the links in my sig.

I can just about guarantee it's a problem with your ABC affiliate since that is the only station you're having problems with. I have similar issues with my local CBS and it is most definitely a problem with the local station (and has been for years, long before DirecTV every had any HD).

#6 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:28 PM

First off you should go to AVS and find the Atlanta HD locals forum and find out if the problem is with your ABC station. See the links in my sig.

I can just about guarantee it's a problem with your ABC affiliate since that is the only station you're having problems with. I have similar issues with my local CBS and it is most definitely a problem with the local station (and has been for years, long before DirecTV every had any HD).


And indeed this is the case. A quick look at the last few pages of the Atlanta HD OTA thread will show that the ABC station is a common problem. Also a quick google search shows an entire thread at Satguys about the same problem with your ABC station...on Dish. So it's not DirecTV at all, people OTA and with Dish see the same problems.

So contact your station and complain is the only thing you can do.

#7 OFFLINE   retromzc

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:13 AM

We had the same problem on our ABC station in Chicago for several weeks. Live programs and commercials were fine, but any program that was "film" based had the video stutter. The Chicago station solved the problem by changing a few settings on their new encoder which solved the problem.
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#8 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 01:22 PM

This happened several months ago in Baltimore as well. Very odd. Slight jumpiness on HD ABC programming only (not on commercials even if in HD or network SD or local programming). It showed up only on DirecTV satellite HD. Not on OTA or cable.

It went away on its own, so they fixed something. Must've been some incompatibility through the system.
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#9 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 01:34 PM

There was a problem with one of our HD locals that was only seen on DirecTV after they launched. DirecTV upgraded the encoders on their end at the local receive site and that fixed the problem. But it was a problem at the start, not something that started later.

If the problem really is just on DirecTV then the problem typically is either the local station signal going out (say they have a fiber feed), DirecTV's receive equipment (OTA antenna, fiber), DirecTV encoders, or the DirecTV uplink to the mothership. Working with the local station is the only way to get anything done though.

If the problem is not just on DirecTV then it's definately the local station's problem (as appears to be in this case).

#10 OFFLINE   Greg Alsobrook

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 02:00 PM

or, if you're so inclined, like a new video game that pushes the limit on your 3-year old PC with an older technology Video Card in it..


:lol: ... I like your analogy!!
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#11 OFFLINE   jsgiv

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 08:52 PM

There was a problem with one of our HD locals that was only seen on DirecTV after they launched. DirecTV upgraded the encoders on their end at the local receive site and that fixed the problem. But it was a problem at the start, not something that started later.

If the problem really is just on DirecTV then the problem typically is either the local station signal going out (say they have a fiber feed), DirecTV's receive equipment (OTA antenna, fiber), DirecTV encoders, or the DirecTV uplink to the mothership. Working with the local station is the only way to get anything done though.

If the problem is not just on DirecTV then it's definately the local station's problem (as appears to be in this case).


What's really strange about this whole scenario is that it's started to happen only in the past few weeks. Earlier this year and late last year ABC channels looked fine.

I don't mind sending an email, etc. to the local affiliate - but I'd like to have something more concrete other than "your signal appears to suck only on your shows - but the commercials look great - can you fix it?" ..

Do you have the links to the forums you mentioned earlier? or the keywords you searched on? At least I can point them to those forums to possibly give them additional detail to lookup...

Everything points to it being with the local affiliate - or with something with how the feed for the show is transmitted, considering the commercials look brilliant...

I'd be happy if the shows looked like the new ATT commercial pimping the phones for Mother's day right now.. :)

-jsg

#12 OFFLINE   jsgiv

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 08:58 PM

:lol: ... I like your analogy!!


yeah - it reminds me of running Quake 3 the first time on my older Pentium II machine at the time - you could actually see the screen draw in..

Not to say that this feed is *that* bad - but it still looks absolutely horrible to me (almost like a constant stutter frame, and it's noticeable enough to my wife for her to ask "What's wrong with the TV?" - and if she notices it - then I know it's not good to watch...

Just for kicks - we watched a little of Dancing with the Stars again - and again it was crystal clear - not a glitch at all - so obviously it's something with how the primetime pre-recorded shows are sent/encoded/broadcast ...

-jsg

#13 OFFLINE   jacksonm30354

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:01 PM

I saw this issue Sunday with Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters. Boston Legal seems to be just fine tonight though. Maybe it's fixed.

#14 OFFLINE   BearGator56

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:26 PM

I sent e-mails to both DirecTV and the station yesterday. Maybe it woke someone up? lol Boston Legal looked OK tonight. Well, except for the idiot cameraman that doesn't know how to smoothly zoom in.

#15 OFFLINE   babryan

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 11:59 AM

And indeed this is the case. A quick look at the last few pages of the Atlanta HD OTA thread will show that the ABC station is a common problem. Also a quick google search shows an entire thread at Satguys about the same problem with your ABC station...on Dish. So it's not DirecTV at all, people OTA and with Dish see the same problems.

So contact your station and complain is the only thing you can do.


I'm sure that there are references to similar problems on other threads, but as I indicated in the post above, I have switched from Sat signal to the Local HD OTA on a HR20-700 and the OTA feed was not experiencing the jerking video. I believe this problem lies with DTV somewhere. Funny thing is that the jerking doesn't occur on all HD programs.

#16 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 12:22 PM

I'm sure that there are references to similar problems on other threads, but as I indicated in the post above, I have switched from Sat signal to the Local HD OTA on a HR20-700 and the OTA feed was not experiencing the jerking video. I believe this problem lies with DTV somewhere. Funny thing is that the jerking doesn't occur on all HD programs.


That may be for you but according to many other people in your area it's a general problem with the station. Nothing to do with DirecTV.

#17 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 12:24 PM

Do you have the links to the forums you mentioned earlier? or the keywords you searched on? At least I can point them to those forums to possibly give them additional detail to lookup...


As I mentioned above, look at the links in my signature to the AVS HD Locals forum. Click the link for the US Index and click Atlanta OTA thread (Atlanta also has other threads specific for cable and sat). There were many complaints about your ABC.

#18 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 03:42 PM

I get that chop only on ABC, and I strictly am using OTA...My parents get their HD locals from D* in the Cleveland area, and it does exactly the same little chop/stutter on panning type moves....so I truly dont beleive its a D* issue at all, but an ABC issue. 2 different affiliates, 2 different reception methods, 2 different HDTV's...

#19 OFFLINE   jsgiv

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:24 PM

I get that chop only on ABC, and I strictly am using OTA...My parents get their HD locals from D* in the Cleveland area, and it does exactly the same little chop/stutter on panning type moves....so I truly dont beleive its a D* issue at all, but an ABC issue. 2 different affiliates, 2 different reception methods, 2 different HDTV's...



Personally - I think it has to do with the way the show was encoded and distributed to the affiliates.

Update - this past week on Desperate Housewives - the stutter was gone almost completely - however, now the sound is "choppy" somewhat intermittently.
Reminds me of that weirdo guy on MTV years ago (Dear God I'm getting old) where the sound will be fine until a certain word and all of a sudden it'd sound like a mechanical robot was trying to speak the word. This also happens on the WSB-TV news broadcasts (local and GMA). Again - HD commercials and Dancing with the Stars - CRYSTAL CLEAR with no issues.

Looks like they've fixed one issue and brought in another...

Someone else mentioned the bad Quality Control of this particular station - I'm beginning to see why and agree. Picture looks great - but when you put it into motion and attach words and sound - it goes downhill drastically. Considering the fact that this channel is viewed by many as the "top station" in the market - I find it rather unsettling, especially considering the fact that I receive a better signal from WXIA, WGCL, CNN, and even the Science and Discovery channels for that matter.

Luckily for me - I don't watch that many shows on ABC anyway - and if they keep this up - I won't be watching the ones I'm currently watching as well..

#20 OFFLINE   Fish Man

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:50 PM

When WGNO, the New Orleans ABC affiliate, first started running on a transmitter they "borrowed" from the ION affiliate because Katrina destroyed theirs, the problem, exactly as the OP described it (I like the graphics card analogy), was fairly common.

It was the same OTA or via DirecTV. (DirecTV picks up this affiliate via OTA antenna.)

After they'd been on ION's transmitter for awhile, the problem went away.

Then, they brought "their own" (actually, temporarily a transmitter shared between them and the CW affiliate, that they also own) HD transmitter on line, and the problem came back again!

Thankfully, after their new transmitter had been on line a few days, it was fixed once again.

This pattern suggests to me that the effect is caused by a problem in the STL (Studio to Transmitter Link). When they switched to a new transmitter (once right after Katrina and once again recently) the problem popped up. Probably something not quite right in the setup of the STL. A few days of tweaking, and they were able to fix it.

Perhaps the OP's ABC affiliate needs to ask WGNO how they addressed this problem. ;)




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