Originally Posted by CR_Client
Thank you for the explanation, Jarrett!
It appears that not much has changed since the post that was made 2 years ago, which also mentioned that different stations have different levels of automation. Kudos to you guys for taking advantage of triggers to help automate things as much as possible, and for taking the time and money to commit to making the end-user experience as seamless and reliable as possible (backup satellite feed, etc)!
My fear is that what happened with the NASCAR race may have even been an equipment malfunction that required a significant amount of time to repair and get HD up and running. While this would be a somewhat more acceptable reason than someone eating a tainted chalupa, if there WAS a technical malfunction, it would have been nice for some sort of crawl to have been put up (KFXA still has their good 'ol reliable SD character generator, after all) explaining that there were technical difficulties on the HD side of the house.
My problem is, $inclair's employees *seem* to care so little about things that, even IF there was a technical malfunction during a major sporting event (heaven forbid this happens during the World Series again), they STILL wouldn't put up a crawl, or even bother answering the phones.
Some day, the folks out at Broadcast Park (at least the ones in the TV part of it) might learn that a little bit of customer service goes a LONG way towards keeping people happy. All of the improperly-installed full-color LED billboards in the world can't increase ratings the way a little bit of customer service can.
Good day folks in Cedar Rapids. I thought I would take the time to help clarify some of the questions about how KFXA operates their master control.
First of all, the switching between local and network is indeed done with triggers from station automation. There is no switch being flipped manually.
The FOX network signal is not distributed through the station like it is at ABC, CBS, NBC or PBS stations. I won't take the time to bore you with all the details, but essentially all the other networks, like in Jarrett's case, and KGAN, are switched as baseband audio and video using conventional (HD)switching and terminal equipment. The FOX signal is delivered to KFXA and "switched" as an MPEG2 ASI stream. It's never decoded to baseband except for monitoring and for a backup in case there is an HD switching problem.
On Sunday during NASCAR, and subsequently on Monday during House, there was actually an equipment failure that prevented the trigger from automation to correctly switch to HD. It had nothing to do with someone eating a tainted chalupa.
What you saw in both cases was the upconverted SD signal that I referred to earlier.
The problem has since been resolved and I'm pretty sure you haven't seen it return.
When something like this happens in anyone's master control, there is usually some level of confusion that takes place with the operators. They are typically trying to figure out what happened and are usually on the phone with someone to get the problem fixed. Sitting down in front of a character generator typing in a crawl isn't high on their list of things to do. Additionally telling all the SD viewers that there is a problem with the HD feed tends to cause a level of confusion with those viewers.
Try to keep in mind that the people working at any television station, like any other business, are just human beings. For the most part, they are doing the best they can.
As far as customer service goes, I'm sorry that your expectations haven't been met. This forum is a great place to share idea's as well as let stations know if there are problems. There is always room to learn something new.
You might actually be surprised by who follows these threads.