Here is what I sent to the Station Manager and the Operations Manager:
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 10:33 AM
To: T. Stemmler; D. Kuehn
Subject: Digital Signal Problems
I am writing to report some signal problems with receiving your digital broadcast on channel 19.1 at my home in Bloomington, IL. I personally experienced these issues last night during Monday night football and it was very disruptive to the viewing experience. Additionally, others have reported similar issues have been taking place since Sunday (www.avsforum.com
has discussion thread dedicated to local reception of Digital and High Definition Signals in the Peoria-Bloomington DMA).
I experienced issues last night during MNF and wanted to be sure that is was not multipath or other issues with my antenna (I thought I had the antenna all sorted out but you never know) but after I saw that the issues were similar to what others described I thought that it might be a problem in the digital signal broadcasted or at your station.
The game would freeze for a short time period usually between 2 and 7 seconds(signal strength would be fine) then go to no signal for a second or two then flip back to normal. It would happen on a regular schedule, I didn't time it but it was like every couple of minutes or so and would happen the same way each time. As the game went on it seamed like someone was trying to fine tune the signal to remove the problem, but it got worse for half time and the third quarter. Then it seamed the same as the first quarter in the fourth quarter, like the settings had been changed back to what the were in the first quarter.
Based on this experience I have a couple of questions:
Can you confirm that this was an issue with your digital broadcast signal?
Have others reported it to you(I hope I am not the first one)?
Do you know what this issue is?
Is the problem continuing?
Do you have a fix for it and if so when will it be implemented?
I enjoy High Definition programming and watch your station more because of your high definition broadcasts, but issues like this can be very frustrating, especially during high profile events such as Monday Night Football. I had a group of people over to watch the game and they were not pleased with the experience because of this and made comments like “High Definition does not work” and “Why should I get HD if the networks can’t get it right”. I personally have seen and do see it done right over the air and with DBS systems and I tailor my viewing to those who do it right. To get more folks jazzed about HD and to get them to move to HD we need to have stable systems that deliver the programming and try and make it fool proof. Working with issues like this can be very difficult for the average viewer and we need your help to make it simpler and cleaner.
I know that OTA digital broadcasts can be very effective at delivering HD programming. Additionally, I am sure that you are concerned about the delivery of your broadcasts and have approiate resources devoted to the resolution of issues such as these. I would appreciate a response to the questions above and can provide any additional information you need.
Here is a response I got from who I believe is an engineer:
From: F. Roe
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 12:43 PM
We are having a problem with our DT transmitter, please be patient as we correct this problem.