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· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I often read here statements like:
Oh, the problems are with your locals - well that happens a lot...

The implication is that expectations for local feeds should be lowered.

I've read posts about Local Receive Facilities (LRFs). They make it sound like D* just puts a receiver somewhere in range of the OTA signals, captures them, and sends them to some D* center where they are beamed up to the sats and back down to us. I presume these LRF's are unmanned facilities (picturing Maytag repairman at desk in LRF :)).

Why are problems happening? Are there new technologies that D* is pursuing to improve things?

dd
 

· Hall Of Fame
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dduitsman said:
I've read posts about Local Receive Facilities (LRFs). They make it sound like D* just puts a receiver somewhere in range of the OTA signals, captures them, and sends them to some D* center where they are beamed up to the sats and back down to us.
Yeah, that's pretty much what an LRF is.
 

· Geek til I die
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Directv provides the best signal they can receive...there are many factors involved, starting with the govt's selection of a digital system prone to multipath, stations stupidly choosing to use impulse noise and atmospheric noise succeptable channels (2-6) and multiple transmitter locations making single antenna reception difficult.
I have personally spent over $300 on OTA antennas and amps, and can STILL not get a 100% break-up free picture from all my locals, and I'm in a grade A reception zone.

Directv COULD use fiber links to all the affiliates, instead of receive sites, but I doubt many would want to pay the additional subscription fees that would cause. I'd say D* is doing pretty good, given the system the government chose to foist upon us all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Davenlr said:
...Directv COULD use fiber links to all the affiliates, instead of receive sites, but I doubt many would want to pay the additional subscription fees that would cause. I'd say D* is doing pretty good, given the system the government chose to foist upon us all.
If most issues are OTA reception - fiber would be great.

How does the LRF get the signal to the D* center? Sat Uplink?

If the cost of that uplink gets low enough - might D* be able to put some equipment at the local station and get a direct feed?

dd
 

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davring said:
Ii is my understanding that LRF feeds are sent to uplink centers via fiber and/or microwave.
I'm not aware of any LRFs that use microwave to send feeds to the uplink center, but I guess they could use it for the few LRFs that would be within LOS of an uplink center. Most do use fiber, though.
 

· Impossible Dreamer
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bonscott87 said:
No issues with my HD locals that aren't also present OTA or with the source signal. Thus DirecTV can't do anything to "improve" my HD LIL feeds. Can't get any better then what the source provides.
Unfortunately that's not true here. There have been a number of times (including this weekend) when one of our HD locals is unavailable (with a DirecTV "dont call us, we know" slide up) but is fine OTA. Also, our CBS local is still regularly plagued with A/V glitches that aren't seen or heard OTA, due to MPEG4 encoding issues.

Don't want to overstate the problems; they are much more rare than in the early days of HD LIL. But they are annoying, are not in the corresponding OTA broadcasts, and it would be great if they were fixed for good.
 

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bwaldron said:
Unfortunately that's not true here. There have been a number of times (including this weekend) when one of our HD locals is unavailable (with a DirecTV "dont call us, we know" slide up) but is fine OTA. Also, our CBS local is still regularly plagued with A/V glitches that aren't seen or heard OTA, due to MPEG4 encoding issues.

Don't want to overstate the problems; they are much more rare than in the early days of HD LIL. But they are annoying, are not in the corresponding OTA broadcasts, and it would be great if they were fixed for good.
+1 I'm with 'ya.

Pittsburgh LIL is hit and miss. For whatever reason primetime shows in the Fall are the most telling (probably because that is all I watch from my locals other than major events). Looking forward to a better year this than last in hope that some improvement were made. Otherwise my post count will increase on the "reporting issues with locals" section.

I don't think DBStalk put that section up just to take up space. I'm sure DirecTV keeps their eye on it too. That is all good.
 

· Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07
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Grentz said:
It varies very much so area to area though. My locals have been just fine for years, never honestly had an issue. Other areas I know have frequent issues.

So it is kind of a DMA by DMA issue or non-issue.
Very true. When my HD locals first launched about 2 years ago there were lots of problems with them. We got our local stations to go to their contacts at DirecTV (the only way to get anything done, we can complain until we're blue in the face) and DirecTV replaced the encoders at the local receive facility and they've been fine ever since.

Having said all that, have those of you noticed the new subforum created a week or so ago just for HD locals? It's purpose is to specifically report problems with your HD locals to DirecTV. There is a thread for every DMA it looks like. So I would highly suggest you post there as the creation of this forum indicates to me that DirecTV is monitoring it for problems.
 

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I think in many cases Directv's only way to know is through customer input, but most gets lost in translation so to speak and never makes it to the right place.

As Scott said, people with problems should check out the new subforum:
http://www.dbstalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=154
 

· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
bonscott87 said:
When my HD locals first launched about 2 years ago there were lots of problems with them. We got our local stations to go to their contacts at DirecTV ... and DirecTV replaced the encoders at the local receive facility and they've been fine ever since.
bonscott87,

Its information like that I was hoping to glean from this thread.

My DMA (132 - Rockford Il) is one of the many that will be rolling out during the rest of this year.

I hoped to hear hear that the new HD LRF's the new DMA's would be getting were somehow better. Perhaps they are.

Your advice to get the local stations involved and to post in the new forum will both be helpful if I need to report problems and get results.

Thanks,
dd
 

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I think D* could do better than the OTA equivalents. No reason D* couldn't locate an H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10) encoder at the station and send out the signal over the internet or a leased line to D*. This signal wouldn't be subject to the heavier blocking of MPEG-2 and wouldn't have to share bandwidth with the -2 and -3 subchannels. It also would eliminate recompression at D*, as the box at the station could be instructed to select the right amount of bandwidth to start with.

Then the D* HD LIL could actually be better than the equivalent ATSC OTA.

On another note, I had ATSC OTA in the earlyish days. Stations would cut out, their encoding equipment would screw up. One station had audio burps every 5m30s (IIRC) for a year, they admitted it was on their end and didn't fix it. When Sutro tower was repainted, they turned off all the ATSC transmitters on it for two weeks. They said no one was watching them anyway, and they weren't that far off. Stations clearly weren't monitoring their own ATSC transmissions, at least the audio, as the audio and video would be almost a second out of sync for an entire evening. The local NBC station would commonly forget to "flip the switch" to HD after a commercial or at the start of an HD program and entire programs or a section between commercials would be sent in upconverted SD instead of HD by mistake.
 
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