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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it just me here in Marina Del Rey? I haven't been able to catch KABC-DT on my Panny DST50 for two days.


I've left various messages at KABC (818-863-7777) but to no avail.


If many of you who are also experiencing the problem can call John Holland (818-863-7303) and leave your own message, I believe he's the head of engineering at the station. With enough messages, maybe he'll look into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just had a call back from John Holland. He assures me they have not been off the air for two days.


But (as expected) they have implemented a bunch of hardware/encoder changes over the past few weeks and have clearly impacted users, depending on the receivers they have. Last week it was Samsung which was hit. After that it was RCA. This week, it appears to be Panasonic.


Same general issues regarding the problems with the HDTV broadcast of the Oscars here in LA. Again, it seemed to be various decoders which were affected adversely.


Anyway the Harris people are still onsite and working to correct the problems, as they tweak things to try to account for the needs of the various receivers.


He promises me they're working on resolving it and will eventually get it sorted out.


I also brought up the very low audio level on the standard L/R stereo and he thanked me for pointing that out to him. Hopefully, they will crank it up a bit (but I'll believe it when I hear it).


Bottom line: they are aware of the current situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just had two more callbacks from other engineers at KABC-DT, wanting to know if the problem had now cleared up. Unfortunately, I happen to be timer-recording "Survivor" and "CSI" out of NY (on Dish) at this moment, so I can't tell them for another hour or so.


But after much bug chasing today, they believe have located what they are sure was the problem affecting Panasonic receivers. Just "one bit" in the encoder output stream, which they've now disabled. They also fooled with the PSIP data and it might be necessary to re-scan for channels on the DST50.


Anyway, I appear to have left voicemails this morning with the proper parties. They (presumably) have now chased down and corrected the problem, and I've made some new friends. We talked about lots of other subjects related to DTV and HDTV in general. We also discussed the Oscars problems (both audio and video), and it was fascinating to hear about their Tuesday-morning-after replay of the show with all of the directors, engineers, etc., to try and get to the bottom of why they had the difficulties they did. Turns out the video dropouts were caused by software upgrades obtained from a hardware vendor related to closed-captioning problems, and the software was apparently not bug-free. Very interesting discussion.


Hopefully, after 7PM I will discover that KABC-DT is back on the air (for me anyway).


They also said that in the very near future they're going to finish up some transmitter improvements that should benefit LA viewers in "fringe" areas. Here in MDR I have a great signal, but others on the outskirts might well see their reception jump way above the threshold and improve dramatically in stability.



P.S. - Apparently, EVERYBODY there (including higher-ups) follows AVS Forum! So what we say, they hear. We are encouraged to speak our mind.


And (because higher-ups will see it) they suggested we might talk about what (in my opinion) is a real problem of "over-stretch" of non-16:9 SD source content beyond the original 4:3 into something like an unreal 14:9 world of "fat heads" on KABC-DT. Their intent is to try and reduce burn-in caused by black bars, but in my opinion they've really overdone it. There's no retention of aspect ratio, and the stretch is just much too much. It's really annoying to try and watch some of that. At least that's my opinion.
 

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It is still out for me on my HD200 down here in south OC but, oddly enough, it works fine on an HDV420 upstairs in a loft. It's got to be something in the PSIP data.


-- Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They did fool with the PSIP data. They said I most likely would have to rescan for channels on my DST50, which I did.


But even after that, I was unable to pick up a signal on channel 7 (even though it had been locked by the channel scan).


I then selected channel 53 directly, and it flicked back to channel 7 as expected (and showed the new PSIP of KABC-DT). So now I was getting KABC-DT on channel 7 after all.


And once that was done, the DST50 seems to have cleared its brain of whatever fog or confusion it previously had. I didn't really do anything besides the channel re-scan, and then selected 53 specifically after selecting 7 failed to tune. And that cleared things up.


And things are now back to normal so that channel up/down tunes correctly to channel 7. All problems are gone.


You might try fooling around a little more. But if you still have no success, you should give Pat Walsh at KABC a call (818-482-9952) and tell him you have two receivers off of the same antenna, one of which tunes and the other doesn't. He'll want to know the brand/model of receiver, as their new encoder seems to not be entirely compatible with all brands and they and Harris are genuinely interested in working out the software bugs.
 
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