Audio pops on Fox Chicago DT - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 60 Old 03-12-2002, 07:39 AM
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Bob,

It's nice to see another person from the engineering staff at a TV station participating in the forums.

Now, about that true HD content ;) (Yeah, I know you have no control over that !)

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post #32 of 60 Old 03-12-2002, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, my audio pops are gone from what I can tell, but for some reason now my signal strength is low...fluctuates from 58-75, with a severely broken-up image. Signals from the other stations all appear normal, and my antenna doesnt appear to have moved from the winds this wknd.

Ack.

*update*
Seems ok now..steady 75%...maybe it was a weather problem..

Vizio M801D-A3

JimK

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post #33 of 60 Old 03-12-2002, 05:41 PM
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Mr. Olson, since I never heard the audio pops before I can't address that issue, but my Sony STR-DA55ES receiver that's connected to my Dish 6000 STB with 8VSB module still shows that WFLD-DT is only a Dolby PCM signal, not a Dolby Digitial 2.0. All other Chicago DT stations show either DD2.0 or DD5.1 and I have no problems with any of the Dolby Digitial channels that Dish has, only WFLD-DT. Many months ago the receiver showed a DD2.0 signal but hasn't ever since your digital station had a problem and was down for a day or two.
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post #34 of 60 Old 03-12-2002, 06:14 PM
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Just forgot to mention that the audio pops only occur while WFLD-DT is carrying FOX programs. Local commercials and local programming has never been affected.....BTW my signal meter is also showing a significant drop in signal strength today. No breakups or glitches but only in the mid 70's.....usually it's in the upper 80's.

R. B.
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post #35 of 60 Old 03-13-2002, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rad
Mr. Olson, since I never heard the audio pops before I can't address that issue, but my Sony STR-DA55ES receiver that's connected to my Dish 6000 STB with 8VSB module still shows that WFLD-DT is only a Dolby PCM signal, not a Dolby Digitial 2.0. All other Chicago DT stations show either DD2.0 or DD5.1 and I have no problems with any of the Dolby Digitial channels that Dish has, only WFLD-DT. Many months ago the receiver showed a DD2.0 signal but hasn't ever since your digital station had a problem and was down for a day or two.

Rad,
Thanks for the feedback.

Can't explain it. Per one of my prior posts, the settings on the encoder are set to Dolby AC3. On my Harris demod (Samsung guts), I can choose to output either AC3 or PCM from the demod. It is a menu option. But then if you had this capability, all the other stations you tune in would indicate PCM also, and that is not the case you're reporting.

Will put this into the unexplained for now. Maybe it will be a clue to the audio pops, which others have indicated have cleared up considerably. We didn't do anything to cause the audio pops to clear up, so I expect them to come back.

Can you give me a more exact date that "many months ago...down for a day or two" occurred? We sometimes go off the air at night when the Sears antennas are going to be worked on, and sometimes this is done over multiple nights, but usually only between 1AM-5AM.

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post #36 of 60 Old 03-13-2002, 06:20 PM
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Bob, sorry I can't remember the exact date(s), but I think it was a week or two, just before the Superbowl, and I was remembering that I was starting to worry that we wouldn't have the 480P broadcast. It was during normal day/evening broadcast day, not during a maintence window time.

Also, if it matters, on tonights 7PM showing of the Simpsons the picture wasn't the normal 4:3 of the network feed, it looked more like a 3:3 picture, at least in the first part of the show, I tuned out because the picture was bugging me.

Just for grins, I deleteted 32-1 and readded it to the receiver to see if that would help, it didn't.

I know it's not much to go on but maybe it helps. Thanks - Rick
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post #37 of 60 Old 03-14-2002, 08:57 AM
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Hi Bob,

First of all, thanks for taking the time to provide us with first hand information here at AVS. We really do appreciate it.

I wanted to report that I also had the problem with the audio pops and they have been fixed by your changes to your encoder.

I also wanted to ask about audio sync. I typically notice that your audio is out of sync approximately 2-5 frames, and the audio seems to be ahead of the video. This would suggest to me that an audio delay is needed. The problem seems to be worse when the content is the upconverted NTSC program.

I will look when I get home tonight and provide some more specific feedback.

Before then, if you have noticed this, could you please comment on it?

I am using a Hughes E86 and a Sony 36 XBR-400.

Thanks again for your attention and participation.

Casey Mershon
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post #38 of 60 Old 03-14-2002, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rad
.....on tonights 7PM showing of the Simpsons the picture wasn't the normal 4:3 of the network feed.
Rad,

That picture size change was me experimenting. It was only for 4-5 minutes. I was trying to act on some information the network told me at one time regarding the 16:9 feed they send out. I was told to "just pass it through" the Faroudja upconverter. When I asked what zoom mode to put it in (4:3, 14:9, 16:9) I got an imprecise answer. I indicated to them I found that 16:9 seemed to look the best, and that is the way we have been operating since we were ordered to output the 480P format. I was trying the 4:3 mode, and it didn't work, did it.:D FYI, the network sends us a 16:9 480i signal. It is a separate digital satellite feed, not the same feed we use for the NTSC path.

We have inserted a considerable chunk of delay in the audio path of the DTV feed. We have noticed the delay time seems to change, some function of the encoding and decoding process. We try and get it right on, but then the next time it is checked it has changed. There is no precision "scope" we can use to set this with. I observe the picture on the Sony consumer TV or the Harris demod monitoring system and tweak the delay box until it looks good.
Another interesting note, ever get two different DTV systems side-by-side, or even the same manufacturer for that matter, and you will hear a very distinct echo in the sound from the delay difference coming out of the two systems. The picture cuts seem to happen the same on the two screens, it is just the audio that varies between receiver systems. We have been observing that peculiarity since day one.

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post #39 of 60 Old 03-14-2002, 12:58 PM
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Casey,

Thanks for the feedback.

I understand the pops disappeared a few days ago, as reported by others. We did not make any changes to the encoder until Monday afternoon about 4:30-5:00. So if the audio pops disappeared before Monday afternoon, it was nothing we did. The pops may reappear just as mysteriously as they disappeared.

See my comments to Rad about audio delay.

For all practical purposes, we upconvert NTSC all the time. The only difference is how we stretch it out. During all but primetime, we do a 14:9 stretch of the 4:3 signal. Because the primetime network separate feed for the DTV channel is 16:9, we found we have to change the Faroudja from 14:9 to 16:9 to get it to appear correctly. As I responded to Rad, I tried 4:3 in the Faroudja last night, and it came out looking 3:3. The 16:9 mode in the Faroudja has two methods of expanding the signal. 16:9 Zoom, where it zooms in clipping off part of the top and bottom of the original picture frame to the point it fills the screen left to right. The other mode is 16:9 Stretch, which we use, where it stretches the picture until it fills the screen left to right, without losing any of the top or bottom. This looks the best with the "anamorphic" NTSC source image we get. I see no loss of information in the frame this way, and people do not look out of proportion.

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post #40 of 60 Old 03-14-2002, 03:18 PM
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Bob, as long as we're talking about aspect ratios, can anything be done about the NASCAR races? I have my STB and monitor set to 'normal' setting, which means don't do anything with it, but the top graphics are cut off (aka, when they show the positions of the drivers all I see is the bottom part of the graphic that says what position it is, not the car # or driver. Any chance of just passing the 4:3 image and letting us decided on what mode we want to watch it in???

Thanks - Rick
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post #41 of 60 Old 03-14-2002, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rad
Bob, as long as we're talking about aspect ratios, can anything be done about the NASCAR races?
Yes, you are right, there is some loss of top & bottom information in 14:9 mode. In this mode there is some horizontal stretch plus some loss of top & bottom lines to create an image that fills the 14:9 area. It's a minimum of loss/distortion mode to adapt a 4:3 image to a 16:9 screen.

We went with 14:9 because of the complaints about "you're burning the center of my crt" with the 4:3 mode.

I'll discuss this issue with the GM and see if we can do something different. Perhaps create a custom mode for NASCAR because of the graphics at the top & bottom. The cars might become lower & longer.:)

I'm off Fri-Sat-Sun.

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post #42 of 60 Old 03-14-2002, 04:34 PM
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Bob, thanks for looking into this. If it helps, there's another thread that discussed this issue (sending OAR or changing it at the studio, in this case with WMAQ) and the majority said give is the OAR and let us control it on our sets, here's the link: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=wmaq

Thanks - Rick
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post #43 of 60 Old 03-20-2002, 05:04 PM
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To All,

We installed an external Dolby AC3 encoder between 4:45PM and 6:30PM.

If you heard audio interruptions during this time, that was why.

We are running on the external encoder.

I would appreciate any feedback on audio problems.

Bob Olsen
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post #44 of 60 Old 03-20-2002, 05:59 PM
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Bob, at 8PM tonight I see my receiver showing a Dolby Digital 2.0 signal, the external encoder looks appears to have corrected the problem. Thanks!

By the way, did you get a chance to ask your GM about changing the aspect ratio during NASCAR races so we can get all the graphics???
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post #45 of 60 Old 03-21-2002, 09:10 AM
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Bob -

I watched Titus last night.
Audio was pretty good, bet there is still an occasional pop
(or perhaps more accurately "snapping sound").
This was about every 2-3 minutes, and usually just one instance.
FYI
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post #46 of 60 Old 03-21-2002, 10:21 AM
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I'm a bit puzzled by RAD's comments about the aspect ratio on Nascar broadcasts. I had actually commented to someone a few weeks ago that it appeared the graphics were well arrranged for the 14:9 format. My RCA F38310 doesn't chop any of the scrolling graphics at the top, this has been the case all year.

Rad - could this just be a difference with your setup?

I remember last year (Pre-HD for me) being a bit PO'd that it seemed they were using too much of the top of the screen for graphics. Now I know why.
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post #47 of 60 Old 03-21-2002, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bardwell
I'm a bit puzzled by RAD's comments about the aspect ratio on Nascar broadcasts. I had actually commented to someone a few weeks ago that it appeared the graphics were well arrranged for the 14:9 format. My RCA F38310 doesn't chop any of the scrolling graphics at the top, this has been the case all year.

Rad - could this just be a difference with your setup?

I remember last year (Pre-HD for me) being a bit PO'd that it seemed they were using too much of the top of the screen for graphics. Now I know why.
I have nothing to compare it against but there's nothing I can change on my Mits to adjust this (at least in the user menu). It's close to showing it all but it chops off the very top line of the scrolling graphics.
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post #48 of 60 Old 03-21-2002, 02:21 PM
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Hi Bob,

Here is some additional information.

On Monday night I was watching 24 and made a point to look at the audio sync. It was pretty easy to do a comparison of the network feed vs. the local feed because of the switching for insertion of the primary election reports.

It seemed that the audio was about 2 frames out when watching the network feed. When you switched to the local feed with the election reports, the audio was an additonal 2 to 3 frames out.

I also noticed the 4-5 frame sync issue last night when watching Frasier at 11:00 PM.

Could you please comment on the audio sync issue?

Thanks.


Quote:
Originally posted by casenpt1
Hi Bob,


I also wanted to ask about audio sync. I typically notice that your audio is out of sync approximately 2-5 frames, and the audio seems to be ahead of the video. This would suggest to me that an audio delay is needed. The problem seems to be worse when the content is the upconverted NTSC program.

I will look when I get home tonight and provide some more specific feedback.

Before then, if you have noticed this, could you please comment on it?

I am using a Hughes E86 and a Sony 36 XBR-400.


Casey Mershon
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post #49 of 60 Old 03-22-2002, 07:31 AM
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Sorry to switch topics in this thread, but I've tried contacting WFLD directly and haven't heard back, so I'm hoping because they're monitoring this thread I'll get better results.

My RCA F38310 can pull OTA program guides for both analog & digital stations. I've noticed that this works with NBC, and after contacting WGN they made it work as well. Right now I only get the call letters for the digital station. It would be great to get current & future program name/descriptions. Can someone at WFLD look into this?

Thanks,
William
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post #50 of 60 Old 03-22-2002, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by casenpt1
Hi Bob,

Here is some additional information.

On Monday night I was watching 24 and made a point to look at the audio sync. It was pretty easy to do a comparison of the network feed vs. the local feed because of the switching for insertion of the primary election reports.

It seemed that the audio was about 2 frames out when watching the network feed. When you switched to the local feed with the election reports, the audio was an additonal 2 to 3 frames out.

I also noticed the 4-5 frame sync issue last night when watching Frasier at 11:00 PM.

Could you please comment on the audio sync issue?

Thanks.


Readjusted the audio sync after installing the external Dolby AC3 encoder on 3/20 (Wed about 6PM). Can not tell you what it might have been before that. There are issues in DTV with how the encoders and receivers handle the audio buffers both during encoding and compression and during the receiving and reconstruction of the signal. We have noticed it is not a static situation. We are finding it changes a lot. Perhaps with the external Dolby it may stay set correctly.
During election, when the squeezeback was done, there was an additional 1-2 frames of delay in the video path. Too complex to deal with for just one night. We would need an extra audio delay box in the path that we did not have available. Sorry. Since this was before the installation of the external Dolby encoder, the other 2-3 frames of delay might have been what crept into the system and needed to be re-tweaked out.

And they say digital is so stable and requires no adjusting:)

Bob

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post #51 of 60 Old 03-22-2002, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by wjens
Sorry to switch topics in this thread, but I've tried contacting WFLD directly and haven't heard back, so I'm hoping because they're monitoring this thread I'll get better results.

My RCA F38310 can pull OTA program guides for both analog & digital stations. I've noticed that this works with NBC, and after contacting WGN they made it work as well. Right now I only get the call letters for the digital station. It would be great to get current & future program name/descriptions. Can someone at WFLD look into this?

Thanks,
William
We could if we had someone to type in the information. Not a very friendly user interface, so I could not just assign a clerk to do it. We could buy a service that provides a downloadable file to ease the task, but the company does not want to spend the extra money at this time. The lease and utility costs at the Sears are astronomical to operate this transmitter that does not materially contribute to the bottom line. I tried to get it to happen but was met with resistance.

Bob

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post #52 of 60 Old 03-22-2002, 03:07 PM
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Bob,

Thanks very much for responding. Not only do I appreciate you taking time here to answer our questions, but also appreciate your professionalism in providing the best product that you can. Keep up the great work.

Casey

Casey Mershon
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post #53 of 60 Old 03-22-2002, 05:15 PM
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No audio problems to report at this time.

Kipp
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post #54 of 60 Old 03-22-2002, 06:52 PM
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Thank you so much Bob! I have had no audio problems while watching Fox-DT for some time now. After reading this thread, I realize why. When DT is the standard and your advertising $ comes from it, WFLD will be on top if they master the problems today instead of later on. Thank you for striving to be the best. BTW, I noticed the 14x9 stretch problems beginning with Bears games and now on NASCAR. Oh well, I just flip b/w analog and digital. Thanks again for the information.

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post #55 of 60 Old 03-28-2002, 01:39 PM
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I was getting audio pops pretty badly last night (3/27/02) during the 6:30 Seinfeld. They were so frequent (every 30 to 60 seconds) that I switched to PCM audio. I kept it there through the network shows, so I don't know if it was still doing it on them. Using a Zenith-1080 and a Denon 3801 with an optical connection.
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post #56 of 60 Old 03-28-2002, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Forceflow
...... BTW, I noticed the 14x9 stretch problems beginning with Bears games and now on NASCAR. Oh well, I just flip b/w analog and digital. Thanks again for the information.
Changed aspect to 4:3 at 5:55PM Wednesday 3/27/02. Primetime will be set to 16:9, but not all shows will come in a 16:9 format. Some will still be 4:3 on a 16:9 raster. You can tell by the FOX branding on the lower right. Is it over the black? Then it is a 4:3 active image on a 16:9 raster.

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post #57 of 60 Old 03-28-2002, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by thugnerd
I was getting audio pops pretty badly last night (3/27/02) during the 6:30 Seinfeld. They were so frequent (every 30 to 60 seconds) that I switched to PCM audio. I kept it there through the network shows, so I don't know if it was still doing it on them. Using a Zenith-1080 and a Denon 3801 with an optical connection.
Thanks for the info. It's appearing that the external audio encoder is doing something we can't explain yet. We noticed it about 8:05PM and "jogged" the encoder's settings and it cleared up.

I hate to admit this to everyone, and don't flame me about it, but we do not monitor the off-air DTV audio in Master Control, our only viewing position, full time. The DTV audio is about 3 seconds later than the NTSC audio, and it is very disconcerting to have both audios turned up full time. It is checked a couple times a day on a consumer Sony HDTV set. In fact, I have never heard the pops on the Sony set, so we might not have heard the problem. The monitoring system at the transmitter is more high-end, we own two of them. They are both at the transmitter for testing because we're trying to determine if there is a problem in the one system that normally was located at the station. We were hearing things in the one system but not in the other or the Sony TV. So which one is right?

The transmitter site is unmanned and operated by remote control, so an engineer only visits the site briefly once a day to check things. Our engineer was up there about 8PM and heard the problem and called down to the studio, where we then reset the encoder. It sounded like the audio was coming out in spurts with muted gaps to him.

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post #58 of 60 Old 04-07-2002, 07:10 PM
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Bob, just so you know I'm again receiving a PCM audio signal, not DD 2.0, is it time to bang the side of the encoder again??? Thanks - Rick
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post #59 of 60 Old 04-11-2002, 12:29 PM
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To All:

I am at the National Association of Broadcasters convention until 4/12. Yes, we are playing with our configuration some and have set it back to an older mode so we could log errors on a AC-3 analyzer that Dolby sent to us.

We're attempting to isolate the exact source of the errors, and will be changing the configuration of how we encode the audio to identify where the problem lies. Please bear with us, and let me know when it is bad, and if it is bad for one of you and good for the rest, that would be good info to have. If it is bad for all, please let me know and give me date and time.

Thanks for your assistance

Bob Olsen
WFLD-TV/DT & WPWR-TV/DT
Chicago, IL

My opinions are my own, and are not representative of any of my employers, their parent companies, or subsidiary companies.
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post #60 of 60 Old 04-11-2002, 07:24 PM
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Just a quick note to Bob O. I no longer watch wfld anymore since you now use black bars. Sorry. I refuse to ruin my RPTV.

You were much better off with 14:9 although a good compromise would be grey bars.

I suppose this issue will get bigger as more people purchase RPTV's which will not allow picture resizing of HD signals (pointless anyway on a 16:9 screen).

The Idiot
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