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post #541 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ssterling View Post

One other thought concerning KFFX. Anyone ever look at the 36dbu contour map in the FCC database? Since URL's aren't allowed, google KFFX and the FCC database info, which leads to the contour map is in the first few hits.

I think 36dbu defines the legal service area of a station. Looking at the map, any of us west of about US 395 are outside the service area. We should be allowed to receive distant channels since we are not in their service area. Probably would take a lawyer to battle it though.

Your post prompted me to try to get up to date on the rules concerning the legalities of getting distant digital HD feeds via satellite. These rules were revised by Congress in 2004 as part of the Satellite bill ( Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 orSHVERA) .

There is a FCC downloadable .doc file that covers all the complexities of the present rules.
I found it with a Google search for the title of the FCC document which is "Television Broadcast Channels on Satellite" dated October 2006, so it is the latest info.

In 2004 the battle between the Satellite providers and the NAB local station monopoly was largely won by the NAB making it nearly impossible for most to receive the national network digital HD feeds( some were "grandfathered in". There are heavy fines if the Sat. company provides National Network channels service to a non-eligible customer. There are however some exceptions that allow viewers classified as "unserved" by local channels to get the National Sat digital feeds, discussed in the FCC document.

The new 2004 rules moved in the direction away from models to specific on site digital testing ( and the FCC document lacks a lot of specifics)

After July, 2007, on-site tests will be permitted done by a certified tester to measure the specific station's digital signal strength. If those tests show the signal to be below limits ( not stated yet), then after the certified, signed test results are properly processed the viewer can get national digital feeds. These tests can be done and paid for by the satellite company or an individual may contract with an authorized company to do them( and pay the costs!). The test involves raising a calibrated antenna 20-30 feet at the location, and measuring signal strength using certified , calibrated digital equipment at 5 locations in a grid and averaging the data. DirecTV filed a complaint that such tests will be difficult due to lack of certified people and equipment to do them.

Since several on this forum are getting KFFX with more modest antennas than the proposed "test antenna', I would guess unless a viewers site is blocked by a hill or other obstruction , this expensive test would only prove most people would NOT qualify. I am getting KFFX 8.3 at a signal strength of 85+ with a modest UHF-VHF combo at about 15 ft elevation, so am disqualified for the national Sat feeds. My hope lies in DirecTV's plan to provide "local into local" HD service which is the proper legal path, which I expect Dish to match too. Cable is another alternative to an OTA outdoor antenna.

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post #542 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Snyder81 View Post

"We hope to have this Sunday's playoff available in HD on Ch 18.
This Thurs, we are installing a new digital microwave system that will allow us to get the new digital signal from our studio to the transmitter site.
If everything goes okay, we should be broadcasting shows that are in HD, maybe by Thurs night, there are some operational procedures to work out yet.."

Hmmm, Thursday night came and went without HD from KEPR. I dont think I will hold my breath for Sunday's games either. At this point I am just hoping for an HD Super Bowl.

"Fool me once, shame on you... Fool me twice! Shame on me!"
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post #543 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 11:39 AM
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In order to get KFFX digital, I will likely have to put a roof antenna up? I'm in NW Pasco near the Water Towers, I can see Johnson Butte and the towers from my front porch. I'd say thats a pretty good line of sight!

I have a RS UHF/VHF in the attic and get most of the local stuff ok. Except for Fox and KEPR. KEPR Digital is not as bad as analog, but not as good as KDNU or KVEW digital. And PBS is just wonderful. I will be interested to see how KEPR does when HD is going. One day I even got channel 21. Not since though.

I don't mind climbing in the attic to change antenna direction or any other chore, but I will not be able or willing to climb on the roof for an outside antenna.
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post #544 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 11:53 AM
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My E* receivers (VIP611 and VIP211) won't pick up KFFX any more? I wonder why this is? I ran a "rescan" and am getting a descent signal strength, but no picture or sound?
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post #545 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 01:25 PM
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KEPR just showed up on 19.1 with side bars suggesting HD format. Yippee. At last.
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post #546 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEP1030 View Post

KEPR just showed up on 19.1 with side bars suggesting HD format. Yippee. At last.


Thanks for the post!!!

I can confirm KEPR is now in HD format broadcasting a SD program with black sidebars.

Also on my HR10-250 signal meter the KEPR channel ID changed and now reads"

Frequency 18, Channel 19-1 KEPR-HD" Note that "HD"!!!!!!
This is the same XXXX-HD channel ID as I get for the other Tri-City HD digital channels. Yesterday it was identified as "KePrDTV"

Wonderful news! Someone at KEPR deserves a good "Three Cheers!

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post #547 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldielox View Post

My E* receivers (VIP611 and VIP211) won't pick up KFFX any more? I wonder why this is? I ran a "rescan" and am getting a descent signal strength, but no picture or sound?

Sorry, I don't have much help, but I am getting a good SD picture and sound on KFFX-DT broadcasting on subchannel 8.3 with a 85+ signal level. So they are on the air. They show up in my channel list as usual on channel 11-1. I have a DirecTV HR10-250.

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post #548 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bizeesheri View Post

In order to get KFFX digital, I will likely have to put a roof antenna up? I'm in NW Pasco near the Water Towers, I can see Johnson Butte and the towers from my front porch. I'd say thats a pretty good line of sight!

I have a RS UHF/VHF in the attic and get most of the local stuff ok. Except for Fox and KEPR. KEPR Digital is not as bad as analog, but not as good as KDNU or KVEW digital. And PBS is just wonderful. I will be interested to see how KEPR does when HD is going. One day I even got channel 21. Not since though.

I don't mind climbing in the attic to change antenna direction or any other chore, but I will not be able or willing to climb on the roof for an outside antenna.

KFFX-DT broadcasts from the Blue Mountains near Spout Springs and is about 66 miles away. The direction is about 15 degrees East of our local stations. This distance makes any attic installation questionable, and since they are on high VHF channel 8, the typical UHF antenna has too little gain at channel 8.

Do you get any signal at all on your receiver signal strength meter set to channel 8? If your are getting some signal, perhaps moving the antenna East could help a bit, but high VHF is not as directional as UHF.

My experience is that I got a weak 10-20 level from KFFX-DT on my old UHF only outdoor antenna, but this was not enough to get any picture or sound at all. Only when I got the 35 element (8 ft long!) outdoor UHF-VHF combo and the signal got above 70 did I get a good picture.

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post #549 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 02:29 PM
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Sorry, I don't have much help, but I am getting a good SD picture and sound on KFFX-DT broadcasting on subchannel 8.3 with a 85+ signal level. So they are on the air. They show up in my channel list as usual on channel 11-1. I have a DirecTV HR10-250.

I'll keep playing with it. After rescanning my channels, I have also discovered the 19.1 KEPR channel that the earlier poster noted....looks like KEPR is getting closer to launching their HD station.
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post #550 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BEP1030 View Post

KEPR just showed up on 19.1 with side bars suggesting HD format. Yippee. At last.

Looks like some tweaking is needed due to an occasional video breakup but I would think that will be cleared up in time for Sunday's games.
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post #551 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 02:37 PM
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Looks like some tweaking is needed due to an occasional video breakup but I would think that will be cleared up in time for Sunday's games.

Where are you located using the Columbia Center Mall as a reference? Are you N,S, W, E of the mall?
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post #552 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 05:52 PM
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I am also getting KEPR-HD on 18-1, but with a lot of noise in the picture, a lot of artifacts. Better late than never! I will also give them the benefit of the doubt that the signal will be cleaned up. I am receiving the signal at 100%, better than any other channel in my lineup.
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post #553 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 09:39 PM
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The first HD program on KEPR's schedule tonight was "Ghost Whisper" at 8PM, so I was there to watch, so all I can report is what I received was a rocky start.

The program began in wide screen HD and a sharp picture, but the sound dialog on Dolby was coming from my rear speakers instead of the front, and there was picture and sound breakup fairly frequently. At the first commercial break about 5 minutes into the program they switched back to SD with black side bars for the rest of the program. This fixed the sound problem, but the picture/sound dropouts continued. I also waited for the next HD program to start at 9PM, but it also started in SD so I quit for today.

Actually, I think they got a lot done today, getting the link to the transmitter up and running, and getting some HD broadcast. There are a number of technical issues to solve, but this is common on first HD startups so I don't want to be too critical. All these issues can be solved.

I don't have my antenna aimed exactly towards KEPR's tower, since they are a few miles West of the main group of local TV transmitter towers. I am south of Columbia Center mall and can see the KEPR tower direct line of sight. It might be possible I need to adjust my antenna if I am the only one getting these dropouts. However, I am getting a 92 strong steady signal strength and today was the first of these pixel and sound breakups.

Any one else have reception problems tonight with their first HD broadcast?

On the KEPR 5:00 PM news they made an announcement they were starting HD broadcasting today.

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post #554 of 1604 Old 01-12-2007, 11:52 PM
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Letterman isn't in HD, but I'm sure they'll get all these issues ironed out soon. I'm sure the breakups are broadcasting issues and not signal strength issues. Good job KEPR! Hopefully you can cut a deal with Charter before the SuperBowl for all the folks who are chained to cable TV. Free HDTV over-the-air is awesome!
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post #555 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by donshan View Post

On the KEPR 5:00 PM news they made an announcement they were starting HD broadcasting today.

So KEPR is HD now too... about a week after Yakima. But I don't recall KIMA mentioning anything on their news last Friday when they went HD. Maybe I just missed it.

There appears to be a lot of changes coming to KIMA's newscasts next week. Today was Roxanne Vanniku's (or however you spell her last name) last broadcast after a 4 year stint with KIMA. Valerie Hurst, the weekend anchor, I believe is taking over the 5PM broadcast next week and they are moving some of their newscasters to the weekend editions. Then they are bringing in a couple of new anchors I believe for the 11PM broadcast on KIMA.

In related news, Yakima Herald Republic had an article about the new news program on KCYU-LP FOX here in Yakima. A lot of it was what I mentioned the other day about KNDO/KNDU being news partners with FOX. I just wish this very amateurish reporter would have asked FOX the real important questions. Like when are they going to start broadcasting on Channel 28 in Yakima digitally and why do they keep settling for low powered transmitters for our area.

What does the changes in KIMA's news department mean? I am guessing they are getting ready to do double duty with another channel like KAPP/KVEW and KNDO/KNDU. Probably KCWK. Why else would you have 2 new reporters on an 11PM newscast when they claim to be #1 in the ratings? I don't ever see the ratings data for local news so I don't know if that is true or not.

One now has to wonder if Roxanne V.'s exit today was her own decision or Fisher's. Probably hers, but I wouldn't be surprised if Fisher kind of let her go early or later than she originally planned with all of the recent developments in the local news business.

-YakHDTV06
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post #556 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 10:28 AM
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I posted above that the KEPR 5:00 PM news yesterday made an announcement they were beginning HDTV broadcasting, and specifically mentioned programs like "CSI" and a soap program I don't remember, plus the NFL games this weekend would be broadcast in HD. They also advised all those with HD receivers to do a "rescan" of local channels to be sure they receive the new HD channel, and he commented that "all you with HD receivers know all about how to do that stuff", referring to scanning to get receivers locked into the proper sub-channels. It was a very positive announcement.

For the few minutes the KEPR HD picture was on last night. it was as good as our other local network stations. Obviously, they noted the problems and switched back to SD for the rest of the evening. Hopefully they are getting things solved today. Over the past few years I keep trying to better understand HD digital broadcasting, so will pass some observations for discussion, and correction if I have it wrong.

The serial data bitstream rate of digital numbers (1s and 0s) of an HD broadcast is 4 to 5 times faster than SD digital video depending on the compression rates chosen. The data rate also varies with picture content. For example, fast action changes more pixels per second and has a higher bit rate, than a static graphic ad image. Fast animation or sports action always peaks the bit rate. The maximum data rate is 19.39 Mb/s for HD, but most stations divide that among two or more subchannels. If the HD channel were allocated 14 Mb/s to reserve some for other subchannel (s), and the source feed bit rate (which fluctuates with picture content) exceeds 14 Mb/s there will be a picture dropout problem because data has been lost. Each subchannel added reduces the HD bit rate available and reduces picture quality. It takes awhile to get it all balanced out, but I am sure KEPR will get there, if they are serious about HD. ( That is an open question still!)

Edit note added :
I just went back and reviewed my DVR recording of the first HD broadcast last night, and the picture breakups do NOT seem related to fast action where the peak data rate problem I discussed above would occur. In fact some very fast graphics and action scenes played perfectly. The problem also continued even after they switched back to SD at a lower bitrate. Thus, it is more likely these pixel dropouts are a problem with their microwave link transmission, or some component in the chain randomly dropping data in both SD and HD.

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post #557 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 11:12 AM
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I'm getting KEPR HD now, but I'm no longer getting KFFX digital. Are you guys getting sound and picture from KFFX? I'm showing a good signal strength but neither of my DISH receivers will "lock on" to the signal.

Seems like everyone else is using Directv, so this may be an issue with the DISH receivers.
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post #558 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by goldielox View Post

I'm getting KEPR HD now, but I'm no longer getting KFFX digital. Are you guys getting sound and picture from KFFX? I'm showing a good signal strength but neither of my DISH receivers will "lock on" to the signal.

Seems like everyone else is using Directv, so this may be an issue with the DISH receivers.


Have you tried the "pull the power plug reset" fix? Cut the power for a minute or so and then power up again. This will force the receiver to reboot and you will have to wait for it to reset all the channels including the sat channels and local channels. You may have to reset some of your channel settings in the receiver too. On my DirecTV receiver this has been the cure a couple of times for obscure problems, including one when I couldn't get 31-2 to come in once.

I just now (11:50AM) checked 11-1 again and yes, I am getting a good SD picture and sound from KFFX-DT. It occurs to me that your receiver originally found and expects to find 11-1 on actual channel 8.1 where it was until recently when they switched to 8.3. Turning the power off erases some such data and it starts up like it was a new install. In my DirectV this process takes about 5 minutes.

Edit note added: Also my DirectV has a menu item to delete all local channel settings from the receiver memory. If your Dish unit has such a "delete" you could force it to forget KFFX was on 8.1 and then force the rescan to reset to 8.3

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post #559 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 01:04 PM
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Well, at exactly 1 pm, KEPR switched back to HD in time for the game. There is still a lot of breakup in the signal, hopefully they get that cleaned up.
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post #560 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 01:22 PM
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KFFX is out for me was working about an hour ago, but KEPR looks great in HD, get a few breaks, but not bad at all. Hope fox gets fixed before the game.
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post #561 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 01:44 PM
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I'm getting pixelation, but when I switch back to the regular channel the HD channel is still 99% better, so I can live with the pixelation for now.

My signal is at 88%.

This is hooked directly from the OTA to the TV. Not using my directv box. (its an older directivo box).
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post #562 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 01:52 PM
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The pixilation has nothing to do with signal strength in this case... I'm getting 98% signal strength but still getting pixilization, whether I tune with my DTV box or tune with my TV. Definitely something KEPR needs to work on.
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post #563 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 02:32 PM
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Got the KEPR HD coming in here also. Lots of signal strength, so agree with Don that the drops and such are upstream of the on-the-air transmission.

Interesting on the sound-- with the football commentary out the back channels, and the crowd noise /PA/ background music etc on the center and front. My wife kinda likes it-- back channels are pretty close to the house seating. All the ads have the sound in the right place, including the few that are in 5.1.
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post #564 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 03:24 PM
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Edit note added: Also my DirectV has a menu item to delete all local channel settings from the receiver memory. If your Dish unit has such a "delete" you could force it to forget KFFX was on 8.1 and then force the rescan to reset to 8.3

I'll look for something similar on my DISH receiver.

Thanks.
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post #565 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 04:03 PM
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It appears that the KEPR engineers are working on the breakup problems because the distortions have been getting better as the game goes on. Where as they were nearly constant when the game started I am getting very few of them now. Is any one else noticing the same thing?
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post #566 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nofences View Post

It appears that the KEPR engineers are working on the breakup problems because the distortions have been getting better as the game goes on. Where as they were nearly constant when the game started I am getting very few of them now. Is any one else noticing the same thing?

Yes, I noted the same trend, the breakups were getting fewer, especially the last quarter of the game. That is what I have been hoping would happen. There are a lot of adjustment "tweaks" to get everything right. Not bad for the second day of HD broadcasts.

Also, as ssterling posted above I too noticed they had the Dolby sound orientation backwards during the game, with the announcers in the back and crowd noise in the front. However during commercials, I also heard the sound to revert correctly to the front the same as ssterling heard it. It was also that way yesterday evening. I suspect that is a minor software issue, easily corrected. In other HD station startups a frequent problem has been lack of lip sync between digital audio and the video , and on that point KEPR got it right from the beginning- sound was in sync with the picture.

In spite of a few bumps this HD game is a major improvement for KEPR broadcasting and I want to congratulate them!

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post #567 of 1604 Old 01-13-2007, 11:54 PM
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Well it is finally here. I have been watching this forum for months waiting for KEPR to go HD, after the buzz really started to kick up I got Dish with the ViP 622 receiver box. I love the local OTA HD broadcasts and am really hooked.

My signal strength is about 76 with an powered indoor RS antenna. The Colt game picture (when not pixelating) was beautiful. The broadcasters voice was concentrated to my rear left surround speaker, but the crowd noise and other noises were coming from the front three. My receiver was receiving a DD 5.1 signal. The commercials were playing correctly so it must be a software encoding problem as noted previously. Interestingly I switched my receiver to Stereo and the broadcaster voices then only came from the front left speaker.

NCIS was also broadcast in HD and looked very good. The pixelation and drop out rate seemed to decrease from that of the first half of the Colts game. They must have made some more modifications, however the voices still in the SL channel.

I have a question, my onscreen guide for KEPR and KNDU HD both indicate the programing and times of shows, but my KVEW just shows Digital Service and I have to look at the SD channel to figure out what is on or upcoming. Does anyone else have this problem or is it my dish receiver?

Thanks for the help, and thanks to all those that helped prod KEPR to make the move.

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post #568 of 1604 Old 01-14-2007, 06:51 AM
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I have a question, my onscreen guide for KEPR and KNDU HD both indicate the programing and times of shows, but my KVEW just shows Digital Service and I have to look at the SD channel to figure out what is on or upcoming. Does anyone else have this problem or is it my dish receiver?

I believe this is normal as I'm experiencing the same condition.
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post #569 of 1604 Old 01-14-2007, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donshan View Post

In other HD station startups a frequent problem has been lack of lip sync between digital audio and the video , and on that point KEPR got it right from the beginning- sound was in sync with the picture.

Yes! If any local broadcast engineers are reading this, PLEASE make sure your video and audio are synched. It's beyond my comprehension how anybody sitting in a boadcast studio can not notice this, but it's very common. I have a Denon receiver that can adjust the audio delay but the different stations are out of synch by different amounts and it's too difficult to adjust my Denon every time I change channels. (The adjustment is buried several menu levels down.) The industry needs to come up with some kind of standard synch check. Or maybe they just need to start paying attention. Considering the amount of money we spend on big screen HD screens, 7.1 surround, etc., I'm surprised more people aren't complaining about this issue. It drives me nuts.
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post #570 of 1604 Old 01-14-2007, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djwww98 View Post

Yes! If any local broadcast engineers are reading this, PLEASE make sure your video and audio are synched. It's beyond my comprehension how anybody sitting in a boadcast studio can not notice this, but it's very common.
....

, I'm surprised more people aren't complaining about this issue. It drives me nuts.


If anyone wants a live example of out of sync audio/video tune to KNDU 25-3 Weather Plus and watch the weather man/girl's mouth vs. the actual audio. Every time I have watched it has been out of sync, especially the segments on national weather. There are adjustments at the station in digital broadcasting to fix this, it just takes someone to notice and adjust it.

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