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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been discussing my local channels lately (Albany, GA DMA) and it made me curious as to where mine were being sent to.

A local engineer I've been talking to thought they were sent via fiber straight to Castle Rock, but my understanding is that they are first sent to a REGIONAL uplink center, and then on to Castle Rock. I did a search on DirecTV.com as well as Google, but couldn't find a list anywhere.



On a positive note, using Google, I found DirecTV's Los Angeles Broadcast Center and DirecTV HQ on Foursquare where there was some pretty awesome pictures. That Kristina lady looks like a younger version of my Mom.

~Alan
 

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There are several of regional uplink centers around the country. Virginia and Minnesota are two that I know of. I'm pretty sure Tucson, AZ has one also. Of course there are the major ones in Marina Del Rey, CA and Castle Rock, CO as well.

Of course on the LRF side, there are many many many more. Though the way I understand it, not all local channels from a DMA necessarily go through that particular LRF...I could be wrong on that, but that's my understanding.

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/contact_us/local_receive_facilities
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Satelliteracer said:
There are several of regional uplink centers around the country. Virginia and Minnesota are two that I know of. I'm pretty sure Tucson, AZ has one also. Of course there are the major ones in Marina Del Rey, CA and Castle Rock, CO as well.

Of course on the LRF side, there are many many many more. Though the way I understand it, not all local channels from a DMA necessarily go through that particular LRF...I could be wrong on that, but that's my understanding.

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/contact_us/local_receive_facilities
Yes, I found references to Virginia and Minnesota here on DBSTalk in an old SkyReport story prior to the launching of D7s.

I just haven't found any info as to which one my locals might be sent to, unless they truly are being sent straight to Castle Rock, CO...

~Alan
 

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There are four regional aggregation centers, Northwest (Seattle, WA); Central (Castle Rock, CO); Southeast (Atlanta, GA); and Northeast (New York, NY) for LiLs mentioned as up-linking to the Ka-band payload on D8 @101W in the FCC filing data here (see "Exhibit D");

http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws...&acct=857096&id_form_num=15&filing_key=-70444

So if not by direct fiber to Castle Rock, perhaps your goes through the "Southeast" aggregation center in Atlanta? :)

There are other aggregation centers mentioned for "Boise, ID." and "Los Angeles" for up-linking to the Ka-Band payload on D9S in the FCC filing data here ("Exhibit E");

http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws...&acct=857096&id_form_num=12&filing_key=-97726

The Spaceways also have Ka B-Band payloads on a CONUS beam through "Potter Horn" antenna retrofits for local back-hauling. But there are no specified local aggregation centers mentioned in their FCC filing Narratives for what specific links between them they provide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
HoTat2 said:
There are four regional aggregation centers, Northwest (Seattle, WA); Central (Castle Rock, CO); Southeast (Atlanta, GA); and Northeast (New York, NY) for LiLs mentioned as up-linking to the Ka-band payload on D8 @101W in the FCC filing data here (see "Exhibit D");

http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws...&acct=857096&id_form_num=15&filing_key=-70444

So if not by direct fiber to Castle Rock, perhaps your goes through the "Southeast" aggregation center in Atlanta? :)

There are other aggregation centers mentioned for "Boise, ID." and "Los Angeles" for up-linking to the Ka-Band payload on D9S in the FCC filing data here ("Exhibit E");

http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws...&acct=857096&id_form_num=12&filing_key=-97726

The Spaceways also have Ka B-Band payloads on a CONUS beam through "Potter Horn" antenna retrofits for local back-hauling. But there are no specified local aggregation centers mentioned in their FCC filing Narratives for what specific links between them they provide.
Thanks for the info (and to Satelliteracer whom I forgot to thank earlier).

Hmm... I was thinking there was one in Atlanta, and I assumed that's where mine was going through... but I'm trying to make sense of something and... I just don't know.

Dish Network has a list of their regional uplink centers on their website. It's a shame DirecTV doesn't...

~Alan
 

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Alan Gordon said:
Dish Network has a list of their regional uplink centers on their website. It's a shame DirecTV doesn't...
The DBS filings are detailed enough that the "feeder links" section will tell the reader which uplinks connect with which downlinks. DISH also numbers their transponders based on uplink center, so it isn't hard to figure out what is transmitted from where (on spot beams). One would need the feeder links section of the FCC/ITU filing for the satellite in question to figure out where their local's uplink center is (or the same information from another source).

It may be the closest uplink center, it may not. It all depends on how the satellite is arranged.
 

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Alan:

Two different paths.
All LIL's go thru Castle Rock for processing but UPLINK to the satellites thru 6 antenna's to reuse the KA bandwidth. Spotbeams back to home dish thru info in gct thread.

The process is outline here:
http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=195415

There is a specific 1 : 1 correlation between uplink and spotbeam for each transponder. This is exact and outlined in exhibit 43 of LOA.

I believe the 9M antenna's from the 6 diverse uplinks can be resolved by the SAT receive antenna without interference. Talk about pinpoint.

Now what you are asking has to do with the 2nd path. Local broadcasts are collected in LRF's as outlined by Satelliteracer. They may be collected by direct fiber from local station or thru OTA antenna at LRF. What i'm not certain is path from LRF to Castle Rock. Majority seem to be fiber. I doubt at this point many if any are sent via Satellite to Castle Rock. This would be a separate non DTH satellite path like old C band transmission. Info at some sites suggest encoding to MPEG4 may be at LRF. Once at Castle Rock processed for authorization and then redistributed to UPLINKS to get to Local Markets.
Great info about New Orleans LRF here:

http://www.spectra-one.com/localreceivelook/localreceivelook.html

As an aside I've been to an installer seminar at LABC as part of my DirecTV hobby. Full tour of entire facility and process for CONUS SD and HD was viewed hands on, literally. Best day ever for my DirecTV experience!!
There are several banks of entire walls of video monitors of EVERY CONUS channel being uplinked with someone monitoring the process 24/7/365. I supect this is exactly the same process at Castle Rock. ALL 2814 LIL channels under one roof, with 2814 monitors on display!!! Absolutely AWESOME!!!

Doctor j
 

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doctor j said:
I supect this is exactly the same process at Castle Rock. ALL 2814 LIL channels under one roof, with 2814 monitors on display!!! Absolutely AWESOME!!!
I would imagine they probably swap through several channels in 5 second intervals on 1 monitor, with a choice to keep it on one feed longer if they notice something wrong....
 

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With 900 or so CONUS Channels (SD and HD) and upgrading to ADD D-12 at the time i was there, all channels live at all times. Not too much to image the process as the same for LIL. 15 to 20 ft high Banks of small (say 5 in.) monitors. A central command station with elevated view of 6 or more banks around it.

Doctor j
 
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"doctor j" said:
With 900 or so CONUS Channels (SD and HD) and upgrading to ADD D-12 at the time i was there, all channels live at all times. Not too much to image the process as the same for LIL. 15 to 20 ft high Banks of small (say 5 in.) monitors. A central command station with elevated view of 6 or more banks around it.

Doctor j
In a book from 1995 called Miniature satellite dishes the new digital television 2nd edition. It described Directv system showing pictures of all the tvs. This was before local channels of course. They also said that they have two of everything for every channel as backup. So do you know if they are still using two encoders for every channel. This would add cost to every new channel added that we don't think of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
doctor j said:
Now what you are asking has to do with the 2nd path. Local broadcasts are collected in LRF's as outlined by Satelliteracer. They may be collected by direct fiber from local station or thru OTA antenna at LRF. What i'm not certain is path from LRF to Castle Rock. Majority seem to be fiber. I doubt at this point many if any are sent via Satellite to Castle Rock. This would be a separate non DTH satellite path like old C band transmission. Info at some sites suggest encoding to MPEG4 may be at LRF. Once at Castle Rock processed for authorization and then redistributed to UPLINKS to get to Local Markets.
Great info about New Orleans LRF here:

http://www.spectra-one.com/localreceivelook/localreceivelook.html
DirecTV's LRF in my market is at the local NBC/ABC studios. I suspect they probably have a direct link to the NBC HD and ABC SD (they do not currently carry ABC in HD) ATSC feeds . As for PBS? Well, I doubt DirecTV would waste multiple encoders for each market in Georgia when the channel is the same statewide, nor do I see any reason why they would receive PBS here as it was available in other larger markets prior to me receiving it here. WFXL (FOX) is most likely picked up via an antenna, though not necessarily as their studio is only a few blocks away from the LRF. WSST (IND) is likely received via antenna. I don't know the distances a microwaved feed can carry, but I'm guessing that WSWG (CBS) and WSWG-DT3 (The CW) is almost certainly received via fiber as their broadcast signal does not reach the City of Albany.

Dish Network on the other hand has their LRF at Albany Towers. They receive the channels via off-air antenna except for WALB's ABC HD feed which is beamed via microwave, and I'm assuming WSWG (CBS) since it does not offer signal coverage to the City of Albany.

Admittedly, I don't really have a good understanding of how microwave beaming works, so you'll forgive any potentially embarrassing statements.

The local engineer I was speaking to thought that DirecTV was sending the local feeds via fiber straight to Colorado. If that's the case, he probably thought I was stupid to imply otherwise (I had already made one comment that I later read was untrue in a post from Stuart Sweet), but several threads I had read on several forums implied that DirecTV sent the feeds from the LRF's to regional uplink centers and then on to Castle Rock, CO. I'd love to know if mine are sent to Atlanta, straight to Castle Rock, or somewhere else, but it doesn't really matter I guess.

:sure:

doctor j said:
As an aside I've been to an installer seminar at LABC as part of my DirecTV hobby. Full tour of entire facility and process for CONUS SD and HD was viewed hands on, literally. Best day ever for my DirecTV experience!!
There are several banks of entire walls of video monitors of EVERY CONUS channel being uplinked with someone monitoring the process 24/7/365. I supect this is exactly the same process at Castle Rock. ALL 2814 LIL channels under one roof, with 2814 monitors on display!!! Absolutely AWESOME!!!
Not as impressive after reading that, but:


LABC

~Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Christopher Gould said:
In a book from 1995 called Miniature satellite dishes the new digital television 2nd edition. It described Directv system showing pictures of all the tvs. This was before local channels of course. They also said that they have two of everything for every channel as backup. So do you know if they are still using two encoders for every channel. This would add cost to every new channel added that we don't think of.
The link doctor j provided above seemed to indicate no for the local channels. It did seemed to imply they might keep a couple of backups on hand though.

It might still be possible for the national channels though. That would add even more additional costs associated with launching more HD channels. :eek2:

~Alan
 

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Alan Gordon said:
DirecTV's LRF in my market is at the local NBC/ABC studios. I suspect they probably have a direct link to the NBC HD and ABC SD (they do not currently carry ABC in HD) ATSC feeds . As for PBS? Well, I doubt DirecTV would waste multiple encoders for each market in Georgia when the channel is the same statewide, nor do I see any reason why they would receive PBS here as it was available in other larger markets prior to me receiving it here. WFXL (FOX) is most likely picked up via an antenna, though not necessarily as their studio is only a few blocks away from the LRF. WSST (IND) is likely received via antenna. I don't know the distances a microwaved feed can carry, but I'm guessing that WSWG (CBS) and WSWG-DT3 (The CW) is almost certainly received via fiber as their broadcast signal does not reach the City of Albany.

Dish Network on the other hand has their LRF at Albany Towers. They receive the channels via off-air antenna except for WALB's ABC HD feed which is beamed via microwave, and I'm assuming WSWG (CBS) since it does not offer signal coverage to the City of Albany.

Admittedly, I don't really have a good understanding of how microwave beaming works, so you'll forgive any potentially embarrassing statements.

The local engineer I was speaking to thought that DirecTV was sending the local feeds via fiber straight to Colorado. If that's the case, he probably thought I was stupid to imply otherwise (I had already made one comment that I later read was untrue in a post from Stuart Sweet), but several threads I had read on several forums implied that DirecTV sent the feeds from the LRF's to regional uplink centers and then on to Castle Rock, CO.

:sure:

Not as impressive after reading that, but:


LABC

~Alan
Yep, That's one of about 6 rooms around the cental command. The floor level has a lot of other equipment that the do the mix channels, Sunday ticket and other sports shows. All in all pretty impressive. Besides the thousands of sq ft server rooms that does the authorization etc, and miles of network cableing to tie it all together.
The back lot has 6 Nine Meter dishes, 6 Seven or Eight meter dishes, a 50 foot Toroidal antenna to receive every C band , KU band cable channel feed you can imagine, and 9 or more smaller dishes of various functions.

Doctor j
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LI-SVT said:
Cool stuff. I found my uplink center. For the NY, NY locals its in New Jersey. I am looking at the pictures of the building in Google. Lots of big dishes:)
How did you find this information out?!

doctor j said:
Yep, That's one of about 6 rooms around the cental command. The floor level has a lot of other equipment that the do the mix channels, Sunday ticket and other sports shows. All in all pretty impressive. Besides the thousands of sq ft server rooms that does the authorization etc, and miles of network cableing to tie it all together.
The back lot has 6 Nine Meter dishes, 6 Seven or Eight meter dishes, a 50 foot Toroidal antenna to receive every C band , KU band cable channel feed you can imagine, and 9 or more smaller dishes of various functions.
I forgot to include the picture of the exterior:


LABC

Tech wise, it seems very cool. The HQ in El Segundo is a cooler looking place (IMHO) though... :)

~Alan
 

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Google Map Pix of LABC
 

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doctor j said:
Google Map Pix of LABC
Funny how that one still says "News Corp". :D
 

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Alan Gordon said:
WOW!! You can tell that's in a big city...

My home and work place are all blurry when I zoom in that close... LOL!!

~Alan
Yeah but you live where they still run moonshine. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
maartena said:
Yeah but you live where they still run moonshine. :D
That's not really a positive when you don't drink... ;)

... but I digress.

I'm not sure the information I'm looking for is out there, and I'm not sure the reason I was wondering even matters, but certainly some interesting things stated here and linked to here, so it was definitely worth asking. :)

~Alan
 
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