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Poll: STBs that have problems with PSIP streams

724 Views 18 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Suntan
One of the broadcasters I'm associated with is trying to determine which STBs have the worst track record when it comes to PSIP issues. As we all know, stations had to conform to the new PSIP guidelines by 2/1/05. While the vast majority of STBs hummed along nicely, many box owners were left staring at blank screens for days until the stations realized they had problems with their PSIP streams. In some cases, a channel rescan was all that was needed. In other cases, STBs refused to display a picture until the PSIP was perfect. THOSE are the boxes I need a list of.

In an admirable move, the station plans to acquire the 2 or 3 worst offenders to use as monitors to make sure its DTV signal is always viewable to all.

Rather than set up a voting poll, I figured I'd just do it this way, and point the broadcaster to the thread. ENGINEERS: be as technical as you can.

If your location isn't in your profile, put it in your message in the off chance this broadcaster would like to contact a station in your area to compare notes.

This is for STBs, not integrated sets.

I'll start the ball rolling with one vote for my own Samsung T-151.

Many thanks.

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I'm in Washington, DC area and my DISH network 811 receiver can't get local Fox 5(5.1 digital map) at channel 5, but rather at its RF channel 36.

In MCE 2005 w/FusionHDTV3 Card, can't even tune to Fox 5(channel 1051, means 5.1 digital), complaining no signal, guess it's due to PSIP issue.
My Samsung t165 has problems with some PSIP streams. WTVF in Nashville frequently, but not always, gives it fits.

My Dish 6000 is kind if fussy. There was a problem with one channel locally and it caused only the Dish 6000 and one other receiver to not receive a signal.

Rick R
Originally posted by jcatalfamo
Whats PSIP?
www.psip.org should explain it.
From previous posts, I'll bet the offenders will be Dish plus any OTA only box. It's the fully PSIP aware receivers that have problems. DirecTV boxes get their program info from D* databases. The problem is really with the PSIP generators that begin the GIGO process.

There are some exceptions. Haven't seen any of the old Sammy T-150s blow up. And my OTA+D* Zenith sometimes dumps, too. But the objective is to purchase the "always fail" receivers and hope by monitoring them, they'll be covering the "sometimes fail" receivers, too.
I have a Sammy 160 D* which when I use NO ZIP (to receive the broadcaster's PSIP) my local NBC (WAFF, Huntsville, AL) affiliate has no program guide for 48-2 while 48-1 is just fine.

While, on my PC, I have an ATi HDTV-Wonder that gets various TIME data and the program's rating (e.g. PG-13) on 48-1 and no program guide info at all for 48-2. Also, I'm seeing dropped frames on 48-1 as well.

Along the same lines, our ABC affiliate (WAAY) is DTV only (no HD) and they do not broadcast ANY PROGRAM GUIDE INFO whatsoever in their PSIP. I say this as neither tuner displays it -- only Unknown and/or Regular Programming.

We have a local fourm: www.tennesseevalleyhd.net as well...

Greywolf -- D* has had problems with their solution. Sometimes the broadcaster doesn't send a PSIP that is compliant with the database D* is using and the customer loses audio all together. I went through this with APTV... they had to change their PSIP to become compatable with the D* database. Seems this ATSC is so new that nobody really knows what to do :-|
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Zap2it.com often uses the PSIP data from a station for the information it sends to D* to put in the database. If the PSIP data is wrong, the wrong information winds up in the database. It shouldn't cause D* boxes operating off the database using zip code information to lock up though. The Samsung D* receivers are the only ones I've heard of that are fully PSIP aware when in OTA mode only.
I have a Samsung T-165, and I'd have to say it's pretty bad. Almost any

PSIP problem will cause it to not decode. It's only redeeming quality is that

if it decoded a channel previously, it seems to keep that information and

is able to continue decoding after a change to bad PSIP (as long as you

don't do a re-scan).

The sad part is that PSIP is entirely auxiliary data to the Transport Stream.

That is, all that's required to decode the stream is already present and a

more "fail-safe" methodology would be to ignore mismatches or parsing

problems in the PSIP and fall back to the base Transport Stream information

to decode the stream. It's much better to see pictures without channel

mapping or EPG than a blank screen.

I've been developing my own PSIP dumper/checker, but it's not quite ready

for prime time. It can find obvious PSIP problems, but needs more work to

find more subtle problems.

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Great idea, Ron. Good luck with it.
Samsung will win this contest.
Originally posted by Ken H
Samsung will win this contest.
Kinda what I told them, but they asked for the survey just to be sure. In fact, my 151 will probably be on their bench, next week. I don't THINK there are any OTA boxes that have PSIP issues when the 151 doesn't, making it a good test unit. Still, they want to buy as many as necessary to make sure, so....
Originally posted by Andrew Hornfeck
... Sometimes the broadcaster doesn't send a PSIP that is compliant with the database D* is using and the customer loses audio all together. I went through this with APTV... they had to change their PSIP to become compatable with the D* database. Seems this ATSC is so new that nobody really knows what to do :-|

If the PSIP and D* database don't agree, the TS160 will not work right. That's why setting all the local ZIP Codes to 00000 or setting the STB to "no dish" will sometimes fix the problem. Of course, if you apply the remedy, you lose the local guide or you can't watch D*!

I've lost audio, video or both, after local stations made bad PSIP changes. Getting them to fix the problem is a nighmare because they always say "well it's working with our STB - must be the viewers' problem".
IF you run into this with D* then PM me and I'll give you 'the man's name in LA who will LOVE to hear from you. Unfortunately, D* looks like the bad egg when the OTAs send out non-conforming PSIP.

But, it's forums like this that we should point our affiliates to in hopes they learn just how sensitive these STBs are.

BTW, the RCA 210 is nearly a copy of the Sammy 160 -- had EXACTLY the same problem the Sammy did with D*... don't coun't out the RCA, either.
My Dish 6000 is having all sorts of problems with the new PSIP from FOX-5 (WTTG-DT RF36) in WashDC.

A few symptoms:

1. On local station setup, the 6000 will initially recognize the PSIP remapping from RF36 to 5-1. When first asked to tune channel 5-1, the 6000 goes black for 15-20 seconds, then finally displays the DTV station. However, the 6000 now thinks it's tuned to a completely different local channel (4-2) when the Info button is pressed.

2. When tuned to the station, if I press Recall (previous channel), then Recall again, the 6000 actually tunes this other local channel (4-2), and not 5-1.

3. At this point, the 6000 will not tune 5-1 by entering that channel number, and it will only tune WTTG-DT by entering 36-1. Again, it takes 15-20 seconds for sound & picture to appear.

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The DTC-100 will display a blank screen, switch back to the previous station, or lock out a station if there is a significant change in the PSIP stream (instead of bad info). I don't have anything here to decode the stream, so associating problems with the actual PSIP stream is hard. I do know that a rescan is necessary about every 2 months to clear up problems.

The Hisense (Walmart) STB had problems originally, but a software update fixed that. It did require a rescan to get the channels back, but otherwise is working fine.

Just in case you want to cross it off your worry list.

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