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Discussion Starter #1
This weekend I finally got my new HDTV, SIR-T160, and OTA antenna installed. Won't get my sat-C kit until this week, so right now I'm just watching OTA. Last night was my first night to sit down and view the fruits of my labor. Started off with "Yes Dear" and "Still Standing" (at least I think that's what was on). Horrible shows, but I just wanted to watch some HD. About halfway through the first show, it became SD (as if someone forgot to "flip the switch" back to HD after a commercial break), and it stayed that way until about halfway through the second show. I bounced around a bit to Monday Night Football (don't like sports, but that is certainly the most eye-popping). Later watched CSI, and The Tonight Show. Football and CSI seemed fine, but the first 15 or so minutes of The Tonight Show had no sound. Had to listen to the feed off of satellite while watching video from OTA (which resulted in considerable time delay). The sound eventually came on, but sounded bad, then eventually got fixed completely. So three out of the five shows I sampled had considerable problems for a significant amount of time. I have to ASSUME that since the issues eventually fixed themselves, that it was the networks, not my STB. Is this par for the course? Does someone actually have to manually switch back and forth between HD and SD during commercial breaks, or is the equipment just buggy?


Can't WAIT for my Sat-C kit. I never realized how bad the programming was on the networks until I tried to find something decent to watch on them. Hopefully I'll have better technical luck with HBO, Showtime, DiscoveryHD, HDnet, etc.
 

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Last night was also my first taste of HDTV with ComcastHD. I watched a bit of MNF which looked great and watched Jay Leno and also experienced no sound in the beginning. Then I checked back a few minutes later and it had sound.
 

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The HD/SD switching problem is your LOCAL

CBS station.


The sound problem last night on Leno was a

network problem. Leno is almost always done

right - not a typical problem.


General answer to your question - Yes - many of

the local stations just don't want to spend the

time and effort to do it right !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:
Originally posted by cmunroe
The HD/SD switching problem is you LOCAL

CBS station.
I kinda figured that would be the case, since most of the commercials are obviously handled locally. I don't really know how this stuff is handled... is it not all automated? Is there some technician sitting there eating powdered donuts who forgets to push a button because he got all engrossed in reading the Enquirer?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Darin
I kinda figured that would be the case, since most of the commercials are obviously handled locally. I don't really know how this stuff is handled... is it not all automated? Is there some technician sitting there eating powdered donuts who forgets to push a button because he got all engrossed in reading the Enquirer?
For the most part this is all done by hand. Someone has to be sitting at the controler and "flips the switch" back and forth. Our ABC station wasn't bad last winter but there was a noticable delay from when a program started and the switch was flipped. Now they are so good at it you can barely notice. During MNF last night they were almost exactly on que with the program starting back up. I think only twice they missed it by less then a second.


So your station is pretty bad. I would recommend emails or a call to the lead engineer (call daytime) to let them know it's happening cause they could have some interns or something at night to flip the switch and they may not even be aware cause HD viewership is low and if no one calls then they think all is great. Of course, they may not care either which is pretty common as well. I'm lucky in that my local stations actually care about their HD feed and HD viewers. We even have a local radio station running an contest only seen on the HD feed (probably to help gage viewership I guess).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Darin
... I don't really know how this stuff is handled... is it not all automated? Is there some technician sitting there eating powdered donuts who forgets to push a button...
You hit the nail on the head. It's done manually and you can blame your local affiliates. The weekend people at our local CBS affilitate have the absolute worst switch-flippers. I swear they are asleep most of the time.


Call the station and see if you can get the direct numbers to the MCO. Call them every time they forget to throw the HD switch.
 

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When my local NBC station started broadcasting HD a few months ago they solved the switch flipper problem in a unique manner--they just left the network HD feed on all the time--breaks for local ads were blank, just a peacock screensaver.


The ABC station's been up since April of 01. I've been watching it since Oct. 01 and forgetting to flip the switch often occured for the last 13 minutes of NYPD blue.


As of a few weeks ago, both stations have installed automated switchflippers and there have been no glitches since then.
 

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You might also want to accumulate a list of stations phone #s as I have, a quick call usually fixes things...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve S
... I've been watching it since Oct. 01 and forgetting to flip the switch often occured for the last 13 minutes of NYPD blue.
They probably didn't forget, they likely left it that way so they could insert some obnoxious promo for the upcoming local news. Our CBS affiliate used to do that 2 or 3 minutes before the end of programs before the local 10pm news began. The picture would shrink to 4:3+sidebars and the sound would pop. VERY annoying to have it happen right at the end of a show you were interested in....
 

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I've found that our local PBS station, WPBT, is always right on the money. Our local CBS affiliate (WFOR) is a very close second. In fact, these two stations have spoiled me when it comes to HDTV....I now fully expect everything to go flawlessly on ALL the digital stations.
 
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