High Def Forum
Thank you for visiting. This is our website archive. Please visit our main website by clicking the logo above.

How hard is it for the station to get PSIP right?

Sam Spastic
07-17-2009, 06:39 AM
I have 2 stations that don't have the right time. The PBS station was off by an hour for some time. I called, someone took the message and relayed to engineering. Their time is right this morning. But the local CBS is off by 10 hours for the last 2 weeks and all the program info says "Peoria,IL,Event#64" with the number ascending every hour or so. They let go their old public tech person and the new guy doesn't have a handle on it yet.

The time thing bothers me because it really messes up the guide and program switch timing and the "best" shows are on the screwed up station.

Don't these people know they need someone dedicated to updating guide info to however many places it needs to go. And monitoring what they send out. Master control is probably too busy to handle this.

Another station has good guide info during the day but in the evening everything is "DTV Program"

Detailed program info is sometimes there sometimes not on most of the stations I can get. I realize that stuff might take a lot of typing or maybe isn't available for every show. But with the same program on 2 stations one may have the detail while the other does not.

I think maybe these people (Peoria NBC and CBS) were dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age. While everyone else seems to have dived right into the deep end willingly.

JB Antennaman
07-17-2009, 08:34 AM
One small comment,

Most of the stations I view has this problem from time to time.

As you have said, the major networks really didn't want to switch to digital. All this technology is new to them.

I would compare that problem to digital watches and clocks on microwaves. Every time the power goes out, the digital clocks in the house has to be reset. In time, the homeowners becomes complacent, and they get tired of resetting the clocks and they finally end up just letting it go.

Or - as was the case with digital watches 35 years ago, the technology was just too new. You had to push button "A" while pushing button "B". You then had to go to a mode where you could change the time with button "D".

These people are just happy that there is a picture and sound.

They don't care if the program guide works or not. Maybe - as in the case of someone who was a engineer for 20+ years. They never had to do it before, so they just don't do it now - unless someone complains. It was not on their to do list.

Complaints to the station manager would be the best option.

The engineer only does what the station manager tells him or her to do.

To get up to date program information, you can either visit the stations web site or go to titantv.com and enter your address.

They had a really good program guide in my area, then they sold out to Comcast and now there is no information on the subchannels.

Just my opinion, but I would have to say that Comcast did it - because if you were a local subscriber and you saw that there was stations available that you couldn't watch - you would have a bunch of people calling you on the phone, wondering why they did not offer RTV as a regular channel.

JB Antennaman
07-17-2009, 08:39 AM
Stations transmitting on a translator - usually doesn't have program guide information.

My guess would be that the translator doesn't have a engineer posted at the transmitter 24 hours a day. Trying to keep everything running.

The station gets the translator up and running and they set the clock one time. If it looses it's time, they don't know or care.

A low power translator is not a top priority for them right now.

electrictroy
07-17-2009, 09:37 AM
The time thing bothers me because it really messes up the guide and program switch timing and the "best" shows are on the screwed up station. Worse than that - if you have a DTVpal or DTVpal DVR, then they won't work properly. They depend upon the PSIP clock to trigger their recording of programs, and if the station is off even a few minutes you can miss your favorite show.

Supposedly the FCC requires the clock to be accurate within a few seconds, but station managers are not complying. I think you need to include in your emails that if the engineer (or manager) does not comply, you'll have no choice but to file an official complaint with the FCC.

Oh and I don't buy the argument that stations are "learning". Most have had their digital equipment running for 9-10 years and by this point they should know how to operate it. Another station has good guide info during the day but in the evening everything is "DTV Program"..... I realize that stuff might take a lot of typing... The only station in my area that doesn't have guide info is the independent religious station. All the rest pull their info straight off the network feed, or some other automatic source. The best station is the FOX station which provides almost 2 weeks of advance guide data.

JB Antennaman
07-17-2009, 10:47 AM
One or two of my local stations had budget cuts.

One station had to leave 8 people go.

Guess who got the axe? The senior program director and the senior engineer.

One week later, they hired some college kid to take the place of the engineer. Nothing has worked since.

WQED is one good example of that.

RickGA
07-17-2009, 08:05 PM
At one time, I worked in the broadcast industry (radio). We had this one dude, who worked only on weekends, who would sit around with his feet propped up and sleep half the time. This was back in the 1980's and the station depended heavily on an automation system. Music was on 4 huge reels-to-reel decks that had to be changed. This guy would only change them when the last reel ran out. Man, that really created havoc with the programming in the system.

My point is, and has already been expressed, if the people at the station don't care, you end up with crap! I was always a perfectionist and finally resolved not to listen to the station when I wasn't on duty and a part-timer was working. Hell, if management didtn't care, why should I!

Anyway, I have the same complaint with stations in my area. I can receive signals from 3 markets and it is not unusual for the EPG info to be wrong or missing! Right now, I don't own a high-def TV. That would be another frustration... since I see a lot of complaints about stations forgetting to switch to hi-def "mode" when prime-time programming begins.

electrictroy
07-27-2009, 07:03 AM
One week later, they hired some college kid to take the place of the engineer. Nothing has worked since. Wow. If it's that easy to get a job at a Radio/TV station, needing nothing more than a college degree, maybe I should send my resume there.

JB Antennaman
07-27-2009, 07:37 AM
Wow. If it's that easy to get a job at a Radio/TV station, needing nothing more than a college degree, maybe I should send my resume there.

You don't even need a degree. - Most stations starts you out at minimum wage, and it doesn't get any better, unless you are Johnboy & Billy or Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh.

When my friends started in radio back in the early 80's, all you had to do was sign a piece of paper that said that you would abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the FCC.

In the late 90's, you had to take a test to get a license to broadcast.

I already had a class C license when I was in high school, because one off the teachers gave the test for the license to get a shortwave license. All you had to do was learn Morse code.

Morse code - today is like trying to hook your computer up to a toaster. Once the internet came along, Citizens Band radio and short wave went the way of the Dodo bird.

Being a electrical engineer, in charge of the transmitters doesn't pay anything either. My mentor worked for Rhonda radio and took care of several of their transmitters and didn't make enough money to buy food. They only call you when they have a problem.

If you do good work, once you fix it, they don't need you anymore.