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Orlando Britehouse and clear QAM problems.

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I have been communicating with Brighthouse for several weeks now and seem to be getting nowhere but more and more frustrated.

According to the FCC and ATSC regulations I have read BH is supposed to include clear (unscrambled) QAM transmission streams for all channels that are available OTA in the same area as part of their licensing agreement. They do this for the Orlando area but there are significant problems and I can't get anywhere with BH since they won't let me get past the customer service reps who have no technical knowledge.

Basically the problem is that the virtual channel table (VCT) and Program Service Information Protocol (PSIP) metadata is being multiplexed with BH introduced errors into the BH transmission streams causing loss of reception. The problems are worst on virtual channels 6.1 (WKMG) and 68.1 (WUCF). The PSIP for 6.1 and 68.1 are completely missing about half the time on BH. On 9.1 WFTV OTA I have at times seen the EPG metadata missing but the correct VCT is always there. BH deletes the whole PSIP in this case and virtial channel also disappears. When this happens my TV tuners don't have the necessary information to connect the virtual channel 6.1,91. or 68.1 with the correct transmission stream (physical channel on the cable). Since I can also receive these channels OTA I have set up 2 TVs side by side. From this I can verify that the OTA VCT and PSIP data are absolutely correct and simultaneously that the BH cable channel data are corrupted.

After complaining many times BH sent a tech to my apartment. He could find nothing wrong with the physical signals on the BH channels but after seeing what was happening agreed that there was definitely a data problem. He stated that this was above his level and understanding and would have to fill out a report to get the problem to the engineering staff. Results - nothing. When I email BH again I get a canned answer "we are sorry you are having signal level problems and will schedule a technician for a visit to correct .....".

The problems are not signal level problems. They are being caused by the channel multiplexing equipment and staff at BH. This is the equipment that gathers all the digital MPEQ video and sound streams and PSIP metadata for the programs and assembles them into the physical channels on BH cable. Since they are changing the virtual channel assignments to meet there requirements they are necessarily rewriting the PSIP and VCT. This is perfectly legal and acceptable if they do this correctly. They repeatedly and consistently DO NOT.

I can only see 2 possible reasons. BH engineering staff and/or equipment are incompetent, or this is ian ntentional modus operandi as part of their marketing ploy to force the unnecessary rental of their set top boxes.

I am a retired engineer with experience in digital communications (not cable TV). Since the customer service contacts have little to no knowledge about cable tv technology I have explained the problems to no avail and asked if I could just talk to an engineer. This is a absolute brick wall. BH customer just reads off their cheat sheets again " we are sorry you are having signal level problems BLAH BLAH BLAH". Talking to BH about problems is like trying to throw rain back up to the clouds!

Brighthouse has significant problems. There is no way to contact anyone at BH who would understand what the problems are. I can see no way to proceed directly with BH.

So I have decided to take another track. I have a couple of spare linux computers and have ordered Tv tuner cards with ATSC and clear QAM capabilities. With some programming i will be able to extract the exact bit by bit metadata simultaneously from OTA and BH corresponding transmission streams and translate this into tables that clearly show the discrepancies that BH is introducing. If necessary I will forward a report including the data and analysis to the FCC, all the broadcast stations involved, all the advertisers on those channels, satellite and competitor networks( ATT , Dish, comcast, etc. ), and all local and regional media outlets. I am sure that the WKMG and WFTV investigative reporters would love to air these operations of BH relative to their stations and viewers who are being cheated. I talked recently with a group at our library and I will have no trouble getting help. There are lots of other groups and organizations to talk to. All my time is available to gather data, write, and give talks. Since I retired I have been looking for a cause. BH has given me on. We WILL get the attention of top level BH management and federal regulators. Whatever it legally takes!

If anyone on these forums is also frustrated by these issues with BH I could be interested in hearing from you. Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated. I am especially interested in any other forums, blogs, or websites which address BH cable problems or complaints.

Thanks,
Jack Kramer
Titusville, FL
post #2 of 2
Try here.

Oh and maybe do some researching before posting a rant as your first post.
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