Brrrrriiiiip, what and where

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by veryoldschool, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Jul 9, 2009 #1 of 253

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    This can be very annoying while you're trying to watch a program. They can vary from every once and awhile to being every few seconds during a show.

    Thanks to BattleScott here is a sample:

    And to Ken S :

    What is happening is the DirecTV MPEG-4 encoder is "dumping" and having to reset as it is transcoding the MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 at the uplink center.

    This seems to happen to HD locals more than national channels.
    If your locals are doing this, you can tune into the OTA feed and sometimes see it there too, but other times not see it. This doesn't mean the station isn't the cause/source. Their feed may have corrupted bits that don't affect the playback of the MPEG-2 stream, but these cause the MPEG-4 encoder to reset.
    Sometimes it is the DirecTV encoder, which I've seen when several local stations are all doing this at the same time.

    So this is the "what and where" but what can you do about it?

    If it's with a local station, I found the best [quickest] thing to do is to call/email the station engineering about it. If they're responsive [some are and some haven't been], they will look into their end and work with the Network Broadcast Center at DirecTV.

    If they're not responsive or this is with a national channel, then you will need to contact DirecTV, but you can't get directly to the broadcast center.
    This means the CSR can "log a report" which will get the the center, but these don't seem to be acted on until there are many reports [which I really can't blame them with all the channels they're working with]. If they "can see it at the time" then they'll work on it, but since this problem comes and goes, they can monitor the feed and not see it [since it isn't happening at the time].

    The next step I took was to email and explain the problem I was having and the steps I'd done. I would recommend not emailing first, but calling and having it get logged a few times. Let their system try to resolve it, before escalating it to this level.

    It took me a few email replies and phone calls, but I did have someone interested in resolving "my problem". One of the first steps was to have a service call to make sure there wasn't anything in my system that might be causing it. There wasn't and I knew it, but they needed to start somewhere and know it wasn't on my end. They asked me to have some recordings so I could show them exactly what it was when the came. They looked all over my system, watched the recordings and then called the broadcast center. The engineer had them hand the phone to me and explained what the problem was.

    "The problem" wasn't fixed overnight, but my locals have been much improved and between a few emails to station and the broadcast center engineers, have seen the improvements from both the stations and at the DirecTV uplink.
  2. Jul 9, 2009 #2 of 253
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Thanks, VOS!

    Folks, let's keep this thread free of commentary and limit it if possible to comments about specific instances and solutions.
  3. Jul 9, 2009 #3 of 253

    sum_random_dork Icon

    Aug 21, 2008
    As others have written on the closed thread, I too have had major issues with KTVU. I sent an email off to them hoping to get the issue resolved soon. Would hate to have the All Star game on and have to deal with this issue. The 10 O'Clock news has been all but unwatchable the last 2 nights. Not only with the Birrrppp but also audio totally out of sync with the video. Hopefully with so many complaints it will get fixed.
  4. Jul 9, 2009 #4 of 253
    Charles Munroe

    Charles Munroe Cool Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    When WGCL in Atlanta Georgia switches from Local to Network programming, the sound and picture breaks up for 10 to 30 seconds. There are sometimes minor loss of audio during a network program from 1/8 to 1/4 seconds at random intervals. I am now recording most of my CBS programs OTA. The OTA recordings appear normal.
  5. Jul 9, 2009 #5 of 253

    rook Cool Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    Wow - this seems to happen on any show on ABC (in Baltimore) Always about 3 minutes before the end of a show. It also happens on other channels, and seems to happen near the end of the show.

    I was wondering if it was my DVR, the network, the upload or what. I have noticed this happens with live, buffered and recorded shows, - and that it occurs often near the ends of shows, mostly on my locals (All HD)
  6. Jul 9, 2009 #6 of 253

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Not surprised....WGCL struggled with their HD broadcasts for years, and only since 2007 had people in place who actually knew what they were doing.

    In any case, perhaps give them a call to let them know (engineering dept.) - they actually welcome the feedback these days. :)
  7. Jul 9, 2009 #7 of 253

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    I can't stress enough to contact your local stations. 9 times out of 10 this will get the problem fixed, whatever it is.

    First step: Go to AVS to the HD locals forum and find the one for your area. Read and post there to see if this is a general problem or just to DirecTV.

    Some examples from me:

    1) Back before the Brrrrrrrrrp thing soon after our HD locals launched there were many problems with them with drop outs and so forth, very similar to the Brrrrrrrp. We have an active group on AVS and there were many complaints. We emailed the local engineers some of who post on AVS as well. Eventually the problem was found about a month later with the DirecTV encoders at the local receive/uplink facility. About a month after that DirecTV came in and upgraded/replaced the equipment and the problem has never come back.

    2) Local ABC station was having all kinds of problems all of sudden (was not only on DirecTV but OTA and cable). Got the local engineer looking into it and they couldn't find what was wrong. But they kept at it and 2 weeks later it ended up being a bad cable at their control center.

    3) Our local CBS has been bad for a long time with dropout and so forth. Happens OTA. Still happens even 6 years later and even though the engineer is a good guy his hands are tied by station management and he can't get in the proper equipment to fix the problem. So when newbies come along and complain about the problem we explain that it's the station, not the provider that has the problem.

    Just a couple examples of what you can get done if you get involved with your local AVS group and with your local engineers. The key thing to remember is you can complain to DirecTV until you're blue in the face before you get much traction. But your local station engineers have a direct line to DirecTV engineering group to look into problems with their feeds and they have a vested interest to get their feed fixed since it now is the same feed that provides their SD locals as well.
  8. Jul 9, 2009 #8 of 253
    Ken S

    Ken S RIP

    Feb 12, 2007
    Not sure why this thread was hidden in this area...doesn't seem like a place for trouble reports. Maybe some feel it's better out of the way.

    Anyway the problem continues on MLB Network and Food TV. Also heard a couple on Discovery (but not many). I watched MLB Network for over a week on Comcast while away recently and there wasn't a single issue.
  9. Jul 10, 2009 #9 of 253

    Barmat Godfather

    Aug 26, 2006
    This is the reply to my email to KTVU.

    Thanks for emailing us. We are in almost constant contact with DirecTV as we try to solve this issue.
    I appreciate your patience and we will continue to work hard to get this fixed.

  10. Jul 10, 2009 #10 of 253

    oenophile Godfather

    Dec 1, 2006
    Thanks for emailing them. What's the email address for them? I will send one too. This is ridic.
  11. Jul 10, 2009 #11 of 253

    gp4rts Mentor

    Aug 18, 2006
    I also e-mailed KTVU and got the same reply. I'm not sure if there is any connection, but "So You Think You Can Dance" had no problems tonight.
  12. Jul 10, 2009 #12 of 253

    gilviv Godfather

    Sep 18, 2007
    Miami, FL. USA
    I have to say, for the most part, the LOCALS down here in S. Fla. have been very stable with respect to the Brriiippps. Again, recently most are occuring with NATIONALs, far and few, but still there. DisneyHD(all), Golf channel HD, Discovery HD, NickelodenHD just to name a few.
  13. Jul 10, 2009 #13 of 253

    rebkell Godfather

    Sep 9, 2006
    Been watching CNBC lately and it does it several times a day and the stuttering ticker happens every hour or so during the day. Noticed it on Burn Notice and various Syfy broadcasts. It's there on most of the nationals I watch, it's not running wild, but it occurs quite often still.
  14. Jul 10, 2009 #14 of 253

    sum_random_dork Icon

    Aug 21, 2008
    I too had emailed KTVU, the same response back as others stated. But, things did seem a lot better last night you could actually watch the news (sorry don't watch so you think you can dance.......The Freak was pithcing for the Giants!) Hopefully things will continue to improve and the problem will be fixed.
  15. Jul 10, 2009 #15 of 253

    bjdotson Legend

    Feb 20, 2007
    OP stated: "What is happening is the DirecTV MPEG-4 encoder is "dumping" and having to reset as it is transcoding the MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 at the uplink center."

    I infer from this that eventually this will go away on it's own as soon as everybody is using MPEG-4 (hence, no need for transcoding).

    Is this correct?
  16. Jul 10, 2009 #16 of 253

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    MPEG-4 isn't going to become the standard encoding, so we'll have MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 transcoding around for a long time. Some national [HBO/Starz/SHO/etc.] providers may move to MPEG-4, but all local HD will be MPEG-2 as this is part of the ATSC standards and every TV maker would need to add the MPEG-4 decoder before any change.
  17. Jul 13, 2009 #17 of 253

    bobcamp1 Icon

    Nov 8, 2007
    Why do people think this is a local station problem?

    Formula 1 on FOX is consistently unwatchable when they are going over the rankings before and after the race. (On an H20). There is a moving diagonal red and white background pattern that it just can't deal with. The OTA into my RCA DTT901 was perfect. So was my neighbor's TWC signal (he had recorded on his DVR). My other neighbor who also has D* has the same problem in that same spot with his HR21.

    So I did contact my FOX affiliate. My local station says it's a D* problem that they are attempting to assist with. He says D* is extremely sensitive to errors in the MPEG2 stream. They recommended hooking an antenna directly to the TV (LOL, to an NTSC TV?) for now, or if it continues to be a problem to switch to OTA or TWC permanently.

    I agree with him. I have unfortunately been in this situation in D*'s shoes before. If no one else has a compatibility problem but you, it's your problem even if it's unfair. And don't expect the other guy to jump through hoops to fix it, either. Eventually, they grow weary, stop helping, and tell you to "fix" your product. (Which I eventually did).

    It's also not passing the wife test, either. If that were to ever happen during the race, she'd make us jump to Verizon FIOS so fast it would make your head spin.
  18. Jul 13, 2009 #18 of 253

    bjdotson Legend

    Feb 20, 2007
    My wife is getting this on HGTV(HD) which is one of her favorite channels. She is not happy. My sister gets dish and I've seen similar things happening to her HD channels. It would seem to be an industry problem.
  19. Jul 13, 2009 #19 of 253

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    I don't think it's totally the local station's "problem" in all cases of course. But it *is* their signal, even if DirecTV is the only one borking it up. What I and others have been saying is contacting your local station about it is the best way to get the problem resolved as your call to DirecTV about it will certainly get lost in the system most times. Definately call and complain, but get your local station involved as they have much higher contacts at DirecTV then you do. :)

    Note the bolded sentence above. He says "D* is extremely sensitive to errors in the MPEG2 stream." I can read that to mean that there *is* a problem with the local station's signal. There are MPEG2 errors in it. DirecTV happens to have equipment that is more sensitive to it. So either the local station need to correct the errors they are putting in their signal or see if DirecTV can somehow tweak their encoders to handle the errors better (if possible). DirecTV is using all new encoders so it just might want a cleaner stream.

    In my market I'd say 98% of the time it actually *is* the local stations problem and it's seen not only on DirecTV but also OTA and cable.
  20. Jul 13, 2009 #20 of 253

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    First, my local FOX didn't have this problem. There were some glitches in the race, but I'd bet these were in the feed from Germany.

    I don't "think" it's a local station problem, I "know" most [not all] are a local station problem because the station engineer has told me so. [Actually more than one station's engineer has.]

    I've been working on this in my area since last Sept. I can't go into everything here [as some of what has been given to me wasn't for public posting], but I have heard "stories", not quite believed them, then heard from "the other end" who support the stories.
    If the MPEG-2 feed is corrupted, then the MPEG-4 encoders have to reset.
    I've also seen where the encoders need to have a "hard reset" done as they were the problem. You will see the screen "don't call us..." as they do this.
    DirecTV has hired people from the encoder maker(s) to try to reduce/improve this problem.

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