HD Locals: Springfield-Holyoke, MA

Discussion in 'HD Locals' started by Doug Brott, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. svtc

    svtc Cool Member

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    Oct 7, 2008
    I think the best angle we have is pushing for fox 61 in HD, it doesnt seem like FOX 6 is going to have their act together anytime soon.
     
  2. whereami

    whereami AllStar

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    Mar 13, 2008
    So I just rec'd the follow-up email (with ref#) to my email that I had sent to Ellen. So, I called that number and spoke to the rep. I guess this office is corporate Directv. I think she said "office to the president," or something like that. All we did was pretty much go over the info I had sent Ellen. She said there's a programming office that she's going to pass this along to and that I should expect a call back from her on Tuesday/Wednesday hopefully. Again, this programming office is more on the corporate level, not the CSR level.
     
  3. shovelhd

    shovelhd AllStar

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    Dec 11, 2006
    I also got a callback today from the Advocacy Office? I think she called it. The rep was very nice but fairly clueless. I had to explain the situation to her over and over again. She escalated the call several times with no new info. She finally agreed to send an inquiry to the Broadcast Engineering? department to get further information. I'll take that for now.

    BTW this is what I described the situation in my email:

    Fox 6 is shown in the guide as HD, but there is no HD programming available
    at any time. Selecting an HD show brings up SD content.
    CBS 3 is the local CBS affiliate but the HD content is coming from WFSB in
    Hartford.
    ABC 40 has intermittent choppy video and audio sync issues. It comes and
    goes, but it is present the majority of the time. It makes the show
    unwatchable.
    NBC 22 has been the most stable but it occasionally will act the same as ABC
    40.

    When she went into the "call tech support" deal I asked her how tech support could change what station I was receiving. Dead air, as expected. She took the model number and firmware levels of my HD receivers. No issue with that.

    A return callback was promised next week.

    Meanwhile, I received my AM-21 tuner and hooked it up. No signal strength on any of the stations. I have tried a number of high quality ATSC tuners in the past with similar results. I'll try and aim the antenna this weekend and recite some mumbo jumbo to the OTA gods.
     
  4. Dhouse900

    Dhouse900 Cool Member

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    Jan 12, 2008
    I wouldn't complain about cbs hd coming from WFSB hartford... WSHM like FOX6 does not have an OTA HD signal... so if they swap to WSHM we will now have CBS and FOX showing HD but are not
     
  5. gilly46

    gilly46 New Member

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    Jan 19, 2009
    First, to correct the "chop" on 40 (ABC), 22(NBC) HD from DIRECTV, or for any other DIRECTV channel that does this, just double click the "Pause" button on your DIRCTV HD-DVR remote and that will fix the chop and lack of sync.

    Second, it is a relief to hear that I am not the only one in Wetern Mass who has had massive problems with FOX6 HD (doesn't exist, even though DIRECTV says it does!!) and with FOX6 management (you know they own channel 40 as wel). I called FOX6 on 11/08 and was told they knew of the HD problems and were "working on it" with DIRECTV--no solution 2 months later!! Does anyone know the "latest" on the plan to get a VIEWABLE HD signal from FOX6, since DIRECTV seems unable to switch us to 61 HD?
     
  6. shovelhd

    shovelhd AllStar

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    Dec 11, 2006
    I ordered an AM-21 to try and get around the lack of Fox HD. I had to replace the antenna and feed line in the attic, but now I get a serviceable signal from WTIC. Like the skip back trick, it's a workaround. D* needs to fix the root cause.
     
  7. whereami

    whereami AllStar

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    Mar 13, 2008
    Spoke to the "advocacy office," this morning. She did say that a number of customers in western Mass have been calling in about this, so good job to everyone for staying on top of them.

    First, regarding ABC and NBC, I had to tell her that I haven't been experiencing the choppiness issues. Have any of you?

    Regarding FOX - Directv programmers have confirmed that their system tables need to be updated to properly reflect these kinds of issues, where SD content is being broadcast on the HD equipment. This coincides with what the station manager at FOX6 said. Given that, I asked for my waiver to be reinstated, which was taken away from me due to Directv's system reflecting inaccurate info. She has to call me back on that one. It sounded like the FOX61 thing wasn't going to happen though. I'll try and get more details.

    CBS - yeah, I say we leave it alone as well. It's the sister station to WFSB, and a low-powered station, so perhaps that's how we get WFSB HD. Though it was odd for that one week when it went back to WSHM. It's actually been the one true HD affiliate that's been consistent in terms of quality.
     
  8. EAJack

    EAJack New Member

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    Jan 20, 2009
    I'm new here, but I've been following this thread.

    I just got off the phone with the engineer over at WGGB (ABC40/FOX6). I was caught off-guard and wasn't able to take notes of anything he told me. I honestly wasn't expecting a return call, since I've been trying to reach the engineer for a couple months with no call-backs.

    Anyway, he confirmed that Charter and Comcast are receiving their HD feed of FOX6 from a fiber line. D gets their FOX6 signal OTA. WGGB does not broadcast FOX6 in HD OTA. So the issue is not with D. Well, at least it's not like D is getting an HD feed and screwing it up somehow. What they are doing is getting an SD feed and screwing it up by tying to upconvert it, or at least passing it off as an HD channel. I think that's why it looks bad.

    I was told that they are in the process of installing new hardware which will allow them to broadcast both ABC40 and FOX6 in HD OTA. He expects this to be online by the end of the week! However, he commented that he has no idea how long it will take D to start providing the corrected HD signal to us. This is exciting news, but I'm taking it with a grain of salt. I won't believe it until I see it.

    I also asked about the voice sync on ABC40, and he said that they had an equipment problem that caused a voice sync issue. But that was an isolated case, and the problems we've been having since October is a D problem. So basically, we need to keep hammering on D to escalate these issues and rectify them.

    Now I'm going to play devil's advocate... I'm in IT, and I know how hard it can be to roll out new tech. And in the case of the broadcasters, they've been jerked around by the FCC and government for years with the delayed DTV rollout (and cut-off of analog transmitters) and constantly changing standards. When WGGB was owned by Sinclair, they purchased a DTV transmitter 4-5 years ago. They had to spend heaps of money to buy another DTV transmitter because the technology and standards changed since then. So nothing is simple, and broadcasters struggle to keep on top of this rollover and getting their DTV signals out OTA and to the various cable and dish providers.

    What D's problems are? I don't know. But while we as consumers may feel this is unacceptable, and that the broadcasters and cable/dish providers should be more capable and on the ball, we also have to understand that nothing is perfect. The good news is... the wrinkles will eventually be ironed out, and we'll all enjoy our high-quality HDTV. Until the next new tech comes down the line.

    And no... I don't work for any of the involved parties.
     
  9. whereami

    whereami AllStar

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    Mar 13, 2008
    Okay, so that makes more sense as well. I just got the call back again from Directv, basically saying that they cannot reinstate my waiver for the FOXEHD feed. Their distant-network services group said this, even though their programming department confirmed that their system tables need to be updated to reflect the cases like this with FOX6, where Directv is getting their SD OTA signal and putting it on their HD platform. I guess they originally thought the OTA signal would eventually be in HD, and thus why Directv system reflects it as HD. It's partially true, just not on Directv's side. In the end, my waiver was still revoked because of their system tables not reflecting the actual truth.

    The rep asked if this FOX station broadcasts OTA in HD. I wasn't 100% sure, and that's what I told her. She did say they were working on it though, and thus could coincide with the new equipment they are installing for OTA signal. I will certainly relay this info too. I'm not sure who from Directv will be making the system tweaks, but that's up to them and FOX6. Hopefully the ball won't be dropped.

    Have any of you been experiencing the video/audio issues with ABC and NBC though?
     
  10. sssnnnlll

    sssnnnlll Cool Member

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    Dec 18, 2008
    The video jumpiness and audio sync on 40 and 22 had been much better for the past couple of weeks, although I noticed late last night and early this morning that there were audio sync issues. Hopefully, this was isolated and not a return to the issues we've had in the past. I'm not home now, so not sure if it's still off.

    Also Fox6 is not broadcast OTA in HD at this point (and they never have). John Gormally (the owner) told me a couple months ago that the cable companies are receiving Fox6 via a direct cable feed and that feed is in HD, but they had not yet implemented a solution to provide an HD signal OTA (which is what DTV would pick up). At that time, he expected to have HD OTA capability by the end of 2008 which obviously didn't happen. Based on EAJack's message - maybe that is near. Gormally told me he thought we would be OK with DTV once Fox6 can broadcast in HD OTA.
     
  11. whereami

    whereami AllStar

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    Mar 13, 2008
    Guess all we can do is sit back and see then. There's still a major disconnect with the CSR's at Directv and this particular department. This department has access to more resources obviously, but it still doesn't make much sense that we, the consumers, have to go through the wringer to get answers. If they all had access to the same info and were upfront about it, a lot of this could have been alleviated. But wait, she offered me a whopping $50 credit for my time. Gee, that's a mere fraction of minimum wage for the amount of time I've spent with these folks.

    I'm really curious to find out when this new hardware at FOX6 is actually in place and operational. If anyone finds out, please post.
     
  12. facscc

    facscc New Member

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    Jan 8, 2009
    I had the choppy signal and sync problem last night and this morning on NBC (22). On the DVR I can do the pause twice fix, but on the non-DVR box I have to put up with it or watch another channel.
     
  13. EAJack

    EAJack New Member

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    Jan 20, 2009
    When I tested my locals last night, my findings were:

    3 HD - Video was excellent. Sound was 1-3 seconds out of sync.
    3 SD - Typical SD fare. Didn't see an ID bug or station ID to confirm if SD and HD are from Springfield and Hartford respectively.

    6 HD - SD feed, as we are all aware.

    22 HD - Sound and video seemed to be in-sync. Non-HD program on, so unable to assess video quality.
    22 SD - Typical SD fare.

    40 HD - Sound and video seemed to be in-sync. Non-HD program on, so unable to assess video quality.
    40 SD - Typical SD fare.

    57 HD - Sound and video seemed to be in-sync. Non-HD program on, so unable to assess video quality.
    57 SD - Typical SD fare.

    61 SD - Typical SD fare.

    So basically, when I get HD, I never seem to have problems with the video. CBS3, ABC40 and NBC22 have intermittent sound-sync issues.

    I first noticed the sound sync issues in the middle of December. However, my mother-in-law said she had the same problems on her local channels, and she has basic (non-HD) Charter in Chicopee.
     
  14. facscc

    facscc New Member

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    Jan 8, 2009
    I had Charter before switching to DTV, and I saw the sync problem on 22 every once in a while. It was no where near as often or as far off as it is now with D*.

    Does anyone think this problem will go away when the big switch happens on Feb. 17th?
     
  15. whereami

    whereami AllStar

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    Mar 13, 2008
    We can only hope. When I spoke to Halstead Communications, our regional office, they said there were software related issues. All of these issues, actually, they informed Directv's FOM about, but it sounded like he wasn't doing his job too well, not returning phone calls or emails, etc.

    If you happen to notice the studder/lag, write down the channel, time and show it was occurring on. When I was going through all this, that was a common question. The other thing is still to keep on top of Directv. I may have hit the end of my rope currently, though I'll certainly leave the door open. Again, I'm really curious to see if FOX6/ABC40 get that equipment working. If we can confirm it's been done, and we verify we're still not getting FOX6 in HD, we can info Directv again.
     
  16. svtc

    svtc Cool Member

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    Oct 7, 2008
    I approached it a different way this time. If D* is picking up FOX 6 OTA, and they arent broadcasting OTA in HD and that is the reason, rather than even mention D* to Gormally, I asked when they would broadcast HD OTA. here was his response today:

    "We will begin broadcasting FOX HD over the air this week."

    short and sweet. Now we just need to hope D* picks up this HD OTA and we get that...
     
  17. sssnnnlll

    sssnnnlll Cool Member

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    Dec 18, 2008
    Looks like FOX6 OTA started broadcasting in HD today. The DTV channel is still not in HD and it's actually worse right now since it's sticking a small picture in the middle. I set my receiver to Native and it's just coming in at 480i, so definitely not HD.

    The customer advocacy group is supposed to call me momentarily. I'll give an update after the call (assuming they do call).
     
  18. sssnnnlll

    sssnnnlll Cool Member

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    Dec 18, 2008
    Got the call back from the customer advocacy group (Jennifer) and we went through the various items. She is going to let the engineering group know about the latest Fox issue. I'd encourage everyone else to call as well if they don't get it resolved and start broadcasting in HD. The customer advocacy number is 800-577-4388. Believe it or not a real person answered too rather than an automated system.
     
  19. sssnnnlll

    sssnnnlll Cool Member

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    Dec 18, 2008
    DTV started picking up Fox6 in HD over night. When set to native, it is now showing 720p. We'll see what happens when there is HD content, but looks promising. Now I see that as of right now 22HD is back to unwatchable, but hopefully that is a temporary problem.
     
  20. facscc

    facscc New Member

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    Jan 8, 2009
    Yeah, I'm in the same boat with 22 / NBC. Almost non watchable. Very choppy and no sound sync at all.

    Fox 6 does show as being 720P so will wait for HD content to come on.
     

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