Can a Silicondust employee verify that there is currently a problem with the Philadelphia ATSC 3.0 lighthouse video?

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Rybo
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Can a Silicondust employee verify that there is currently a problem with the Philadelphia ATSC 3.0 lighthouse video?

Post by Rybo »

In the last few weeks or months, I've started having problems with Philadelphia's ATSC 3.0 lighthouse on UHF 33. With a different brand of tuner, even though the signal meter shows very good signal numbers, I'm getting frequent occurrences of noise artifacts and stuck frames, and the video is constantly stopping to rebuffer. I'm seeing the same noise artifact problem with the HD Homerun at my parents' house (signal meter numbers are very good here as well), so I just enabled tuner level and app level diagnostics and also captured a 20 minute video.

Video download URL: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Zndiry ... sp=sharing

If you watch the video, you should see several occurrences of noise artifacts.

Since the signal meter numbers look fine, the ATSC 1.0 channels are fine, and this has been going on for a while (even at times when the tropo forecast shows little to no tropo), it seems to me like there's some kind of video level problem, like their encoder is messed up or something. Other people have recently reported similar problems as well in the https://www.avsforum.com/threads/philad ... ota.620626 AVS Forum thread. I should also note that the lighthouse engineers for some reason added a 7th 1080p OTA channel (Dabl) to the lighthouse around early April. They however removed that channel (possibly due to my complaints) earlier this week, so the lighthouse is back down to 6 1080p OTA channels, but the video problems are still happening.

Can a Silicondust employee take a look at my diagnostics and linked video and see if there's something obviously wrong that we can then report to the people that manage the lighthouse?

jasonl
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Re: Can a Silicondust employee verify that there is currently a problem with the Philadelphia ATSC 3.0 lighthouse video?

Post by jasonl »

There were some reception issues visible in the logs, but there were also some issues present when you were watching in the HDHomeRun app when no reception issues were indicated by the HDHomeRun so there's something odd going on. Do you see the same issues on the ATSC 3.0 Fox broadcast?

Rybo
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Re: Can a Silicondust employee verify that there is currently a problem with the Philadelphia ATSC 3.0 lighthouse video?

Post by Rybo »

jasonl wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 5:15 pm There were some reception issues visible in the logs, but there were also some issues present when you were watching in the HDHomeRun app when no reception issues were indicated by the HDHomeRun so there's something odd going on. Do you see the same issues on the ATSC 3.0 Fox broadcast?
I've seen the same problems with 6 ABC, FOX 29, and especially NBC 10 (with a different tuner that supports DRM). I assume the same problem is happening with the other lighthouse channels as well, but I just haven't been watching them as much as of late.

wx3i
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Re: Can a Silicondust employee verify that there is currently a problem with the Philadelphia ATSC 3.0 lighthouse video?

Post by wx3i »

I do see similar things on the ATSC 3.0 6ABC broadcast ... I am located in the NW suburbs of Philadelphia. I don't watch Fox 29 all that often, so, not sure about that channel.

Rybo
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Re: Can a Silicondust employee verify that there is currently a problem with the Philadelphia ATSC 3.0 lighthouse video?

Post by Rybo »

I should also note that I've had the below exchange with the https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/datae ... tyId=12499 licensee e-mail contact. I was initially thinking it was a tropo problem, but it then became clear that it wasn't. The e-mail contact was nice, but their Philadelphia engineers were supposedly somehow unable to even see the problem. It's quite frankly pretty ridiculous that I'm being forced to go to these lengths, to just get the people running this lighthouse to even be aware that there's a problem. What's our next course of action? Am I going to have to file an FCC complaint?
Me (6/2): I'm using a Z***x tuner in the greater Philadelphia area, and it as of late has been having problems with the ATSC 3.0 lighthouse on UHF 33. Even though its signal meter is showing that my signal strength has been around -38 dBm, and the SNR has been consistently 30+ dB, the ATSC 3.0 channels are having occasional occurrences of stuck frames and picture noise. It's also making the Z***x stop to buffer the OTA video several times per hour.
Is there some kind of known technical issue currently going on with the ATSC 3.0 signal? I am using a Channel Master Amplify pre-amp, and I guess I could test removing it, to see if that makes any difference. The Z***x's signal meter stats look fine though, even while a stuck frame/picture noise/video buffer event is occurring, so I'm wondering if the signal itself is the problem.


Me (6/2): Just to add to this...
Someone made a good point (https://www.avsforum.com/posts/63346283), in response to my https://www.avsforum.com/posts/63345884 post. This problem could potentially be tropo interference related. The https://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html site's current tropo forecast has a little bit of color over eastern PA. I live in the northeastern tip of Montgomery County (a little bit south of the Lehigh Valley), so maybe Scranton's WQPX UHF 33 signal is interfering at the moment.


Paramount (6/3): Good morning.
To your question, I’m unaware of any widespread reception problems with WPSG’s ATSC 3.0 reception. However, since it’s unlikely that I’d learn of any sporadic issues, I’ll forward your observations to our local Philadelphia engineering team, solicit their observations, and will share any useful information.
As is commonly known, three components are needed for reliable reception. First, the broadcast station must launch a high-quality signal. Next, that signal must successfully travel through the atmosphere without suffering attenuation or harmful interference. Finally, that signal needs to be received and converted into meaningful data, pictures, and sound. Since chronic problems with transmission potentially impact millions of potential viewers, they don’t go unnoticed. From your explanation, it sounds like your receiver is in good shape. That eliminates all but atmospheric propagation, which is beyond our control.
You mentioned that tropospheric ducting (Tropo) was predicted. This morning’s Rabbitears Live Bandscan Map confirmed Tropo effects in the region: Over the last 24 hours, several viewers reported long-distance (~ 150 mile) Philly station reception in DC’s VA and MD suburbs. Presuming your directional receive antenna is aimed toward Roxborough, it would be expected to boost signals from the southwest while rejecting signals from other directions. This might add WHUT-TV Ch. 33 Washington DC (also located to your southwest) to the suspect list – although it’s farther than WQPX-TV Ch. 33 Scranton PA. However, the actual interferer may not matter. After all, stations simply launch signals as authorized by the FCC. Intermittent interference due to ducting is often mutual and is largely unavoidable.


Paramount (6/5): Good morning.
I’ve just heard from our Philadelphia engineers, who reported receiving a few other sporadic reception reports last weekend – as would be expected during a tropo event. They’ve double-checked everything and found no problems. For good measure, they also sent samples of the transmitted WPSG digital signal stream to their independent technical consultant and to ********* manufacturer ****. Both said the signal “runs fine” on their units.
Regardless, we will continue our regular monitoring of the WPSG signal as we always do.
Best wishes,


Me (6/8): I'm becoming more convinced that there really is just something technically wrong with the UHF 33 ATSC 3.0 signals. As far as I can tell from the tropo forecast site, there's no tropo in the area currently, but I'm still seeing the exact same problems (stuck frames, picture freezing, picture noise, tuner instability), especially with the ATSC 3.0 WCAU NBC 10 signal. On AVS Forum, we now have problems seen on a Z***x, a Z***ll, and a Samsung ATSC 3.0 tv tuner, so it's looking less likely that it's just a problem with a particular device in a particular location.
https://www.avsforum.com/posts/63357088
https://www.avsforum.com/posts/63357691
https://www.avsforum.com/posts/63349500

Pin87a
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Re: Can a Silicondust employee verify that there is currently a problem with the Philadelphia ATSC 3.0 lighthouse video?

Post by Pin87a »

I don’t have much to add to the conversation, but I’m seeing the same exact thing in the Philadelphia area with Fox 29 (WTXF) and 6 ABC (WPVI) on my Flex 4K tuner. It started about a month ago. Signal levels are the same as they were prior to when this issue started.

Rflw
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Re: Can a Silicondust employee verify that there is currently a problem with the Philadelphia ATSC 3.0 lighthouse video?

Post by Rflw »

Ditto, same here.

Rybo
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Re: Can a Silicondust employee verify that there is currently a problem with the Philadelphia ATSC 3.0 lighthouse video?

Post by Rybo »

I got an e-mail from the Z******x team that they've been told that the problem has been supposedly fixed. I'll try to test tomorrow, either with the Euro game on FOX 29 or the Olympic Trials on NBC 10.

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