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Local Channels Issue, Techs, VOS help please


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21 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Tech_1438

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:44 PM

Fort Wayne, IN DMA, former 72.5 locals market transitioned to mpeg4 locals in November, 2009. We have been having issues with freeze frame & pixellization on the local NBC and FOX affiliates off and on for nearly 8 months now. WISE-DT, channel 33 NBC , and WISE-DT2, channel 34 FOX, are both owned and operated by Granite Broadcasting. The situation, which needs the detailed explanation below, pops up every couple of months, generates a lot of unnecessary service calls, and upset customers. The Sunday night NBC football games were unwatchable more often than watchable this year. All of our local channels went out last Sunday 1/22, the same time as Pittsburgh, DC, Buffalo, and a handful of others went out. When our local channels returned in the evening, the FF/PIX on 33/34 (which had previously been fixed) returned, and is the worst it has ever been. Attached is a capture of the issue.

Here is where it gets flaky.

The issue only affects H24, H25, HR24, THR22, and HR34 model IRDs, and has been 100% verified. Every listed model IRD experiences the exact same issue at the exact same time across the entire DMA. All earlier model IRDs are unaffected, and has been verified across multiple installs, including SWM and legacy. And it gets even flakier. When experiencing the issue on one of the listed DVR models, if you record/pause/rewind, the video will play flawlessly, but the audio is garbled in each of the spots where the video froze during live/non-buffered viewing.

I am curious if any other DMAs have experienced similar issues. It frustrates me that the issue has not been permanently resolved after more than eight months. The Super Bowl is fast approaching, and I don’t see a resolution in sight, nor the urgency to get the issue resolved.

Why is the issue model-specific? Chipset differences between older/newer IRDs? Why the DVR anomaly where audio/video glitches are reversed on live/buffered viewing?

Any comments, suggestions, solutions, or even condolences are welcome.

*edit unable to add video capture due to size limitation

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#2 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:38 PM

There's a specific thread for help requests of VOS.
"Laxguy" means a guy who loves lacrosse.

#3 OFFLINE   litzdog911

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:39 PM

It's a problem with your local HD channels. See also the Ft. Wayne HD Locals thread here ....
http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=145593

And there are several posts about it in the DirecTV Support Forum. It's most likely not your equipment.
HD DVRs: HR34-700; HR24-500; (2) HR20-700 + WD eSATA 1TB drive/Antec MX1 case; HR21-700; HR21-200 w/AM21
Receivers: H25-500 HD Receiver; H21-100 HD Receiver
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#4 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:42 PM

What I find bizarre is that you say it happens on the THR22 and not the HR22. Same hardware, different software.

#5 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:18 PM

The issue only affects H24, H25, HR24, THR22, and HR34 model IRDs, and has been 100% verified. Every listed model IRD experiences the exact same issue at the exact same time across the entire DMA.

More information is really needed.
As posted above, the THR22 is a HR22-100, so:
If it was a software issue on the H24, H25, HR24, & HR34, it wouldn't be on the THR22.
If it was a hardware issue, then the THR22 shares it with many earlier models.
If it only affects "the DMA", then the common point is the uplink transcoding, which is synced/tied to the Dolby signal, and does cause issues like this, when the MPEG-2 is transcoded to MPEG-4.

I've asked someone to look into this and see if they have anything about this.

Edited by veryoldschool, 29 January 2012 - 04:26 PM.

A.K.A VOS

#6 OFFLINE   Tech_1438

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:53 PM

It's a problem with your local HD channels. See also the Ft. Wayne HD Locals thread here ....
http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=145593

And there are several posts about it in the DirecTV Support Forum. It's most likely not your equipment.


Definately not my equipment, 100% sure of that.

The problem noted in the thread you referenced was posted by me.

I may or may not be the lead DST for the Fort Wayne DMA.

Can you direct me to the posts you mention on the DirecTV support forum, I don't see any posts regarding the Ft Wayne DMA.

Thanks In Advance.

#7 ONLINE   texasbrit

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 09:22 PM

I have posted a few times about this on the DirecTV forum.
As you say, last week all the Ft Wayne locals were out for a while. Now a couple of them are showing big problems. It's clearly a station-related issue and it might not be a coincidence the two stations are coming from the same tower and presumably transmitting equipment building. Nothing you or anyone on this forum can do about this. Call DirecTV and report it, call the stations and report it.

#8 OFFLINE   Tech_1438

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 09:37 PM

More information is really needed.
As posted above, the THR22 is a HR22-100, so:
If it was a software issue on the H24, H25, HR24, & HR34, it wouldn't be on the THR22.
If it was a hardware issue, then the THR22 shares it with many earlier models.
If it only affects "the DMA", then the common point is the uplink transcoding, which is synced/tied to the Dolby signal, and does cause issues like this, when the MPEG-2 is transcoded to MPEG-4.

I've asked someone to look into this and see if they have anything about this.


I would be happy to provide any information you desire either in private or open forum. I really appreciate you taking the time to look into this.

I will backtrack a little on the THR22 reference, afaik we only have 1 active THR22 in the DMA. I only had about 20 minutes of working with it and did not have the time/equipment to do the side by side comparison that I have done with every other model IRD. I will say with certainty, that within that 20 minutes, the THR22 was FFing just like an HR24 would on the local NBC broadcast.

I believe all signs are pointing to a transcoding issue. What I don't understand is why it would be model-specific.

The issue was crazy this afternoon during bull riding and figure skating. Tonight, during the Pro Bowl, the issue is popping up mainly during commercial breaks, and only occasionally during the actual game.

Thanks again for any info, suggestions, etc.

#9 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:02 PM

I would be happy to provide any information you desire either in private or open forum. I really appreciate you taking the time to look into this.

I will backtrack a little on the THR22 reference, afaik we only have 1 active THR22 in the DMA. I only had about 20 minutes of working with it and did not have the time/equipment to do the side by side comparison that I have done with every other model IRD. I will say with certainty, that within that 20 minutes, the THR22 was FFing just like an HR24 would on the local NBC broadcast.

I believe all signs are pointing to a transcoding issue. What I don't understand is why it would be model-specific.

The issue was crazy this afternoon during bull riding and figure skating. Tonight, during the Pro Bowl, the issue is popping up mainly during commercial breaks, and only occasionally during the actual game.

Thanks again for any info, suggestions, etc.

I'm hoping to hear something back in a day or so about the uplink center status.
"Normally" this should affect all MPEG-4 receivers, so even those with the H20/HR20 would see the same problem.
There are some chip differences in the 24/25 models, but these are between the different manufactures, so you'd need to check the "dash" number to get to the level of details. They're -100, -200, -500, & -700.
A.K.A VOS

#10 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:44 AM

FPRs, fill them out and submit them. Lots of them. Eventually they will send someone out to look at the uplink.
Have an Error or Diagnostic code? Find out what it means and how to fix it here: Click Me
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#11 OFFLINE   ndole

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:05 AM

FPRs, fill them out and submit them. Lots of them. Eventually they will send someone out to look at the uplink.


Sometimes over an over again :lol:

Traverse City/Cadillac MI DMA has had similar problems with their MPEG4 locals on and off for the last few years. I've been to the uplink center myself, and while there's nothing more I could do but verify the reception monitoring installation, I can see that there are a LOT of possible points of failure. The amount of equiptment down there is astounding.
"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."

#12 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:44 AM

Guys, so I'm understanding this thread correctly. When you refer to the "uplink center" do you mean the "Local Receive Facility" (LRF)?

If so its a little confusing since many LRFs do not use satellite uplinks for back-hauling a market's locals to the various broadcast centers.

#13 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:52 AM

Guys, so I'm understanding this thread correctly. When you refer to the "uplink center" do you mean the "Local Receive Facility" (LRF)?

If so its a little confusing since many LRFs do not use satellite uplinks for back-hauling a market's locals to the various broadcast centers.

I'm using "uplink center" for where the MPEG-4 encoders are, for a given DMA.
A.K.A VOS

#14 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:31 AM

I'm using "uplink center" for where the MPEG-4 encoders are, for a given DMA.


OK, so even though these are likely "transcoders," by your definition it would be at the LRF in for example the New Orleans market with its use of what may be MPEG-2 to 4 transcoders such as the "ViBE" model ones shown is these pictures of the DIRECTV LRF for the New Orleans local market?

http://www.spectra-o...eceivelook.html

#15 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:19 AM

OK, so even though these are likely "transcoders," by your definition it would be at the LRF in for example the New Orleans market with its use of what may be MPEG-2 to 4 transcoders such as the "ViBE" model ones shown is these pictures of the DIRECTV LRF for the New Orleans local market?

http://www.spectra-o...eceivelook.html


I'm not sure that link represents the current hardware. DirecTV contacted with Harmonic for encoders.
I don't know if this is the model, but would be looking for their logo:
http://www.harmonici...duct.cfm?ID=427
A.K.A VOS

#16 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:57 PM

I'm not sure that link represents the current hardware. DirecTV contacted with Harmonic for encoders.
I don't know if this is the model, but would be looking for their logo:
http://www.harmonici...duct.cfm?ID=427


Yes, but regardless of the exact manufacturer used, if MPEG-2 to 4 transcoders are employed at the LRF prior to back-hauling by fiber, satellite, or whatever, then that would be classified as the "uplink center" point you defined earlier?

That is wherever the MPEG-4 coding is done even if not at an actual satellite broadcast uplink center?

#17 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:05 PM

Yes, but regardless of the exact manufacturer used, if MPEG-2 to 4 transcoders are employed at the LRF prior to back-hauling by fiber, satellite, or whatever, then that would be classified as the "uplink center" point you defined earlier?

That is wherever the MPEG-4 coding is done even if not at an actual satellite broadcast uplink center?

yes
A.K.A VOS

#18 OFFLINE   Tech_1438

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 06:55 PM

I'm hoping to hear something back in a day or so about the uplink center status.
"Normally" this should affect all MPEG-4 receivers, so even those with the H20/HR20 would see the same problem.
There are some chip differences in the 24/25 models, but these are between the different manufactures, so you'd need to check the "dash" number to get to the level of details. They're -100, -200, -500, & -700.


I obtained the THR22-100 for further testing, and I was wrong. The THR22-100 is not affected by the issue.

Testing during the early evening news on WISE 33; THR22-100, HR20-700, HR20-100, H21-100 were not affected. H24-200, H25-500 and HR24-500 all froze at the same time.

These are the model numbers of the IRDs that I have personally verified the issue on over the last week.

H24-200
H25-500
HR24-100
HR24-500

These are the model numbers of the IRDs that I personally verified the issue does not exist today.

R22-100
H20-100
H21-100
H23-600
HR20-100
HR20-700
HR23-700
THR22-100

The issue was probably 5 times more prevalent during the local news vs. the national news.

#19 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:56 PM

I obtained the THR22-100 for further testing, and I was wrong. The THR22-100 is not affected by the issue.

Testing during the early evening news on WISE 33; THR22-100, HR20-700, HR20-100, H21-100 were not affected. H24-200, H25-500 and HR24-500 all froze at the same time.

These are the model numbers of the IRDs that I have personally verified the issue on over the last week.

H24-200
H25-500
HR24-100
HR24-500

These are the model numbers of the IRDs that I personally verified the issue does not exist today.

R22-100
H20-100
H21-100
H23-600
HR20-100
HR20-700
HR23-700
THR22-100

The issue was probably 5 times more prevalent during the local news vs. the national news.

This rules out the encoders at the uplink center.
So the older chipsets don't have the problem, while the newer ones do, and there are at least two different chipsets here too.
I guess the next question might be what version of software?
057B has become what you can now get by forcing a download, where 059C is still in a staggered rollout.
A.K.A VOS

#20 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:29 AM

This rules out the encoders at the uplink center.
So the older chipsets don't have the problem, while the newer ones do, and there are at least two different chipsets here too.
I guess the next question might be what version of software?
057B has become what you can now get by forcing a download, where 059C is still in a staggered rollout.


It could be resolved with the fix for the SD buffer as well.




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