Need help troubleshooting ABC signal issues

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by JerryMeeker, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Mar 3, 2020 #1 of 14
    JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    I am having serious picture breakup issues on recorded ABC national programming. Over the last two days, for example, the breakup (pixelation) issues on American Idol, the Rookie, and the Good Doctor were bad, with issues occurring about once a minute.

    The issues are only occurring on ABC, not on any other channels. I have seen it on national programming, but have not looked at local programming to see if the issues occur there also.

    I am reasonably confident that I don’t have equipment issues. Signal strength on 99s TPN is 100%. I have a spare LNB, and swapping it out had no effect on the issue. Since the issue is limited to ABC, I am more inclined to think it is the ABC feed.

    Question: Is the ABC signal that I am receiving coming from the local ABC affiliate, or am I receiving a signal from a national ABC feed? If the latter, then I would think others would be seeing the same issues that I am seeing. If the former, then I would need to hear from other DTV customers here in the Austin TX area.

    Any other suggestions on how to isolate the cause of my picture quality issues?
     
  2. Mar 3, 2020 #2 of 14
    makaiguy

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    FWIW - the reception of my local Augusta GA ABC affiliate has been doing this for quite a few months. When we had a channel dispute a while ago, I received an LCC to receive locals over-the-air, and it does it there too, both on the main channel and on sub-channels not carried by Directv. Some days it's great, some days it sucks. Makes me wonder if Directv is receiving its feed over the air instead of direct fiber. We get our FCC repack in about 2 weeks for this station. I'm anxious to see if things improve.
     
  3. Mar 3, 2020 #3 of 14
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Directv picks up many of their locals OTA, some are direct fiber but exactly what they get (i.e. raw feeds from the station before it is further compressed to fit into the 19.2 Mbps ATSC bandwidth, or basically a copy of what the station is sending out OTA) isn't the same from place to place.

    Even when Directv is getting a fiber feed from your local station, if they are getting a feed of what the station is sending out OTA then any issues you see OTA would be replicated with what Directv gets. The only way Directv having a fiber feed would solve issues you see OTA was if whatever caused the issue was being introduced in a stage after they've split a copy off to send to Directv.
     
  4. Mar 3, 2020 #4 of 14
    JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    Assuming that either DTV or ABC were interested in delivering a quality video signal to their customers, I haven’t heard any suggestions with respect to whom I would contact to try and get this issue resolved. The local ABC affiliate?
     
  5. Mar 3, 2020 #5 of 14
    compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    Yes Most Likely
     
  6. Mar 4, 2020 #6 of 14
    makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

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    In my case, I may as well wait until the repack on Mar 13.
     
  7. Mar 4, 2020 #7 of 14
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    If you are within your area's repack window there is probably some testing and adjustments going on. It is a time where stations are more likely to interfere with each other as they install and test new equipment or run from less powerful backup equipment while their main equipment is replaced.
     
  8. Mar 4, 2020 #8 of 14
    JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    Sorry, what does a “repack” mean?
     
  9. Mar 4, 2020 #9 of 14
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Taking the channel spectrum used for over the air television and moving channels around to make them fit in a smaller part of the bandwidth.
    This frees up the upper portion of the spectrum used for TV so it can be used for wireless services.

    Broadcast TV Transition: What to Watch For
    Transition Schedule
     
  10. JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    Thank you for the explanation of repack.

    I have an update. This evening, I recorded the ABC show Stumptown three times—once on my HR54, once on my HR24, and a third time on the AM21 OTA tuner connected to the HR24. While watching the program on the HR54, I had frequent picture breakups, so I noted the spot in the program where several breakups occurred. Later in the evening, I played the recordings from the HR24, and forwarded to the same spots. The breakups were present on the DTV signal, but NOT on the OTA signal.

    Does this result provide any further clues to root cause? For example, would the repack affect the OTA signal as well? Or would this new information suggest an issue in the feed between the local ABC affiliate and DTV that I should report?
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Your reception of the signal may be better than DIRECTV's. Unlikely (their local receive centers are generally located in a good place for reception in most markets and are professionally maintained). But there could be something interfering with their reception or their backhaul from the site to their uplink center.

    (The Local Receive facility for Austin Texas is at 909 Colorado St.)

    https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/contact_us/local_receive_facilities
     
  12. JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    Interesting, thanks. So, if I understand correctly, the way DTV gets the local channel is OTA, and not through a hard connection, like fiber?

    I am definitely much closer to the Austin broadcast TV antenna farm, which is ~2-3 miles from my home. I have an outside OTA antenna mounted on top of my chimney with a direct line-of-sight to the towers. My signal is definitely strong.

    Here is an example of the picture breakup issues I am seeing on ABC only:

    DTV.JPG
     
  13. makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

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    Depends on the area. Some one way, some another.
     
  14. JerryMeeker

    JerryMeeker Legend

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    I have been watching my recorded ABC programs closely this week, and the picture breakup issues that I reported earlier seem to have cleared up. I took no specific action, so either the issue was weather-related, or perhaps something in the signal delivery path was changed. Regardless, it is much more enjoyable to be watching a stable signal now.
     

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