Audio dropouts/pixelation watching ABC HD feed (1 Viewer)

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breevesdc

Member
Nov 8, 2005
10
0
Washington, DC
I have been having non-stop problems watching hi-def programs on ABC for the past 4 days. About every 2-4 minutes on average the audio will dropout and the screen will pixelate.

It started Sunday with "Desperate Housewives", continued with "Greys Anatomy", "Monday Night Football" on Monday and "Lost" tonight. :eek: Anyone else having problems? I'm trying to determine whether my HR10-250 is failing or the ABC feed is bad.

I am watching on WJLA in Washington, DC if that matters. Thanks.

*** edit ***
I recorded "CSI: NY" on CBS to see if it is consistent across channels and it is not. Not a single glitch in over 15 minutes of playback. I guess it is not my HR10-250. Can anyone else in the DC area report back on whether they are having glitches when recording the HD feed from WJLA? Thanks.
*** end edit ***

Brian
 
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DanWard

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Feb 3, 2005
30
0
Annapolis, MD
I'm having this problem too with the WJLA OTA broadcast -- I was just posting on the DC AVS thread -- I'd post the link, but I don't have enought posts yet!

It is very annoying, and one person over there suggested it might be a PSIP proble (beyond my skill set) Problem was evident (and annoying) through LOST, and is continuing through Invasion -- I note that I'm NOT getting dropouts during the (SD) commercials. Very odd . . . Any thoughts?
 

breevesdc

Member
Nov 8, 2005
10
0
Washington, DC
OK. Thanks for the post. Glad to get an answer from another WJLA viewer. This means that the problem is most definitely a WJLA problem (not an ABC problem) since no one else is reporting glitches. I think we need to complain to the station directly.

The main phone number is 703-236-9552. If you live in the DC area and are having this problem, please call them to complain. The recording I just got said their business hours are M-F 8am-8pm. Hopefully, this will get resolved by the next MNF game.

Brian
 

breevesdc

Member
Nov 8, 2005
10
0
Washington, DC
I called them today and got some guy's voicemail. I left him a message. I'm sure that if enough people call him and report the problem, they will bump it up in priority.

Brian
 

breevesdc

Member
Nov 8, 2005
10
0
Washington, DC
This problem seemed to go away temporarily for me and it started back again about two weeks ago. I noticed it during several playoff games broadcast on ABC, during Desperate Housewives and on Lost. It is a problem that I do not seem to have on any of my other local channels.

I called WJLA today and was transferred to their engineering department. They actually were very helpful. In fact, when I told the guy that I had been communicating with other people on an internet forum, he asked me if it was AVSForum and said that he and several other station engineers actively participate in and monitor those sites (which was refreshing to hear).

Anyway, the guy told me that they are definitely not having problems. He said that UHF is spotty and susceptible to this kind of stuff. He told me that my antenna orientation is most likely the culprit. He also suggested that the reason I may be having trouble now (when I wasn't before) is because in the fall the trees lose their leaves and it can affect the signal you are getting (because UHF is susceptible to being bounced all over the place). I didn't totally understand all of this. But I am passing it on because this is what he told me.

He told me that it is not uncommon for you to be able to receive one station perfectly and another station might have dropouts (without an antenna adjustment) when they are being transmitted from the exact same tower. He said that both WJLA and WUSA are being broadcast from the tower just behind the Fox building on Wisconsin Ave and Harrison. He did say that they went to "full power" in June and it could be that I am actually getting too strong of a signal. I live about 15 blocks from that tower, so I suppose that is possible.

What to do? Not totally sure. I could invest in a rotator. But that won't help much since the antenna can't automatically rotate based on when recordings are scheduled to record. And it won't solve the problem if you are recording two HD locals at once.

Right now, I get all local channels with no problems except for WJLA. When I get home, I'm going to check my signal strength for WJLA to see if perhaps I can get rid of my dropouts without losing the other channels by slightly adjusting my antenna on the roof. I'll let you know what I find out.

Brian

PS- One last thing, he did say that the UHF band is susceptible to this problem. And because of this, they are going to switch their HD signal back to channel 7 (7.1, 7.2, etc.) when the analog signals are dropped in 2009.

PPS- As much as it would piss me off to have to do this, I am actually considering just getting the HD package from DirecTV since they added HD locals in Washington, DC last month. That would resolve everything.
 
Last edited:

flipper2001

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 19, 2004
106
0
South Florida
ABC Issues in Miami

I have noticed problems exactly what you guys been saying with WPLG ABC Miami, FL. I dont watch THAT many shows on ABC but never have the problem with CBS/NBC/FOX HD's. But for what seems like a year, there have been sound and video problems (other times its good), signal comes in at 80-90 which should be fine for OTA HD. But during lost last night there was no hiccups, but during the wildcard game a week ago and for the bcs games it was nearly unwatchable. Ive left messages for affiliate but they dont answer phone nor return any calls.
 

breevesdc

Member
Nov 8, 2005
10
0
Washington, DC
I checked my signal levels and I couldn't find any channel under 70. My ABC channel was 92. So, I don't understand how the problem could be my antenna orientation. I tried resetting my TiVo. Kind of annoyed because I didn't realize that this would reset my "Channels You Receive" settings. I had to redo all of those.

I recorded "The Crumbs" last night (which is broadcast in HD). I watched it for about 5 mins with no dropouts. But I haven't been able to watch the whole thing yet to see if the problem is gone. I will watch it tonight and also try to record a few more shows over the weekend and report back.

Brian
 
Last edited:

oldguy1

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 19, 2005
49
0
breevesdc said:
This problem seemed to go away temporarily for me and it started back again about two weeks ago. I noticed it during several playoff games broadcast on ABC, during Desperate Housewives and on Lost. It is a problem that I do not seem to have on any of my other local channels.
I called WJLA today and was transferred to their engineering department. They actually were very helpful. In fact, when I told the guy that I had been communicating with other people on an internet forum, he asked me if it was AVSForum and said that he and several other station engineers actively participate in and monitor those sites (which was refreshing to hear).
Anyway, the guy told me that they are definitely not having problems. He said that UHF is spotty and susceptible to this kind of stuff. He told me that my antenna orientation is most likely the culprit. He also suggested that the reason I may be having trouble now (when I wasn't before) is because in the fall the trees lose their leaves and it can affect the signal you are getting (because UHF is susceptible to being bounced all over the place). I didn't totally understand all of this. But I am passing it on because this is what he told me.
He told me that it is not uncommon for you to be able to receive one station perfectly and another station might have dropouts (without an antenna adjustment) when they are being transmitted from the exact same tower. He said that both WJLA and WUSA are being broadcast from the tower just behind the Fox building on Wisconsin Ave and Harrison. He did say that they went to "full power" in June and it could be that I am actually getting too strong of a signal. I live about 15 blocks from that tower, so I suppose that is possible.
What to do? Not totally sure. I could invest in a rotator. But that won't help much since the antenna can't automatically rotate based on when recordings are scheduled to record. And it won't solve the problem if you are recording two HD locals at once.
Right now, I get all local channels with no problems except for WJLA. When I get home, I'm going to check my signal strength for WJLA to see if perhaps I can get rid of my dropouts without losing the other channels by slightly adjusting my antenna on the roof. I'll let you know what I find out.
Brian
PS- One last thing, he did say that the UHF band is susceptible to this problem. And because of this, they are going to switch their HD signal back to channel 7 (7.1, 7.2, etc.) when the analog signals are dropped in 2009.
PPS- As much as it would piss me off to have to do this, I am actually considering just getting the HD package from DirecTV since they added HD locals in Washington, DC last month. That would resolve everything.

It is an odd coincedence that I am having the same problems with the ABC channel (WSYX DT6) in Columbus, Ohio. Also, here I understand that the FOX affiliate broadcasts from the same tower since they are both owned by Sinclair. No problems with FOX.

I found I can work around the problem by 1) tuning to the problem channel, 2) going to "check OTA signal", 3) exit from checking signal strength on problem channel (with it still selected) by pressing "Live TV) button (this leaves both tuners set to the same (problem) channel, 4) then pressing live tv button to toggle between tuners. One should have a stable picture. Works for me.

I am beginning to wonder if this could be related to some glitch in the PSIP which contains (I understand) tuning info for DTV channels. Maybe just enough of a frequency offset to cause problems.

The RCA DCT200 (and one Samsung D* stb) had some problems with bad PSIP info causing audio loss on (mostly WB ) some channels. That was nationwide.
 

breevesdc

Member
Nov 8, 2005
10
0
Washington, DC
I had several problems over the weekend watching shows that had been recorded from WJLA. Realizing that the Super Bowl is in 2 weeks and getting desperate, I decided to do some more digging and found this thread at AVS Forum (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=6979435#post6979435).


Based on posts from several other WJLA viewers, it appears that there is definitely some sort of problem with their feed. Although some people have zero problems and others have lots of problems (like me). There is a guy there that is part of the WJLA engineering department (the director) and he said he is going to "get to the bottom of this". Hopefully, it will get resolved in the next week or so. But if not, I'll be disappointed to have to watch the SB in standard def in 2 weeks. Because the hi-def feed I am currently getting is unwatchable.

BTW... the problems with Desperate Housewives last night were (apparently) unrelated to this issue. They had a major problem for about 20 minutes last night which all HD viewers experienced which was resolved. But it does not fix the issue others have reported here over the past several weeks.

Brian
 
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oldguy1

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 19, 2005
49
0
oldguy1 said:
It is an odd coincedence that I am having the same problems with the ABC channel (WSYX DT6) in Columbus, Ohio. Also, here I understand that the FOX affiliate broadcasts from the same tower since they are both owned by Sinclair. No problems with FOX.
I found I can work around the problem by 1) tuning to the problem channel, 2) going to "check OTA signal", 3) exit from checking signal strength on problem channel (with it still selected) by pressing "Live TV) button (this leaves both tuners set to the same (problem) channel, 4) then pressing live tv button to toggle between tuners. One should have a stable picture. Works for me.
I am beginning to wonder if this could be related to some glitch in the PSIP which contains (I understand) tuning info for DTV channels. Maybe just enough of a frequency offset to cause problems.
The RCA DCT200 (and one Samsung D* stb) had some problems with bad PSIP info causing audio loss on (mostly WB ) some channels. That was nationwide.
An update: my Columbus ABC problem turned out to be a bad receiver. All is well after installing a new one.
 
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