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McQ - What happened here?


AndyM108
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I just got home in time for the ending of McQ, which I was recording, and all I saw was a frozen frame with no sound, and then nothing until it finally disappeared.  Did the movie end before this, and if so, what was this still picture (which lasted at least 3 or 4 minutes) all about?

 

If the ending was cut off due to a technical glitch, I sure hope they re-schedule it, and soon, being as it was one of the few respites we had all day from an endless parade of cowboy movies.

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I just got home in time for the ending of McQ, which I was recording, and all I saw was a frozen frame with no sound, and then nothing until it finally disappeared.  Did the movie end before this, and if so, what was this still picture (which lasted at least 3 or 4 minutes) all about?

 

If the ending was cut off due to a technical glitch, I sure hope they re-schedule it, and soon, being as it was one of the few respites we had all day from an endless parade of cowboy movies.

Sounds like a cable broadcast freezing problem.  Rare, but I have encountered it too.  And not just on TCM.  Sometimes on a news channel.

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I just got home in time for the ending of McQ, which I was recording, and all I saw was a frozen frame with no sound, and then nothing until it finally disappeared.  Did the movie end before this, and if so, what was this still picture (which lasted at least 3 or 4 minutes) all about?

 

If the ending was cut off due to a technical glitch, I sure hope they re-schedule it, and soon, being as it was one of the few respites we had all day from an endless parade of cowboy movies.

 

Sounds like a problem I used to have when I had cable.  It was usually one of two things, a receiver error on their end or a receiver error on my end. 

 

In the case it was on their end, it would usually manifest itself as a frozen channel when I would be flipping through the channels.  Certain channels would occasionally just look "frozen", as if paused, and no sound.  It was on their end, as flipping back and forth through the channels didn't fix it.  [This sounds like what you had]

 

The other thing that happened for me would be a cable channel showing an "unavailable" message and then the screen going blank all on its own.  I had all the power saver features ruled out.  The situation turned out to be an unintended consequence of a newer cable company technology called Switched Digital Video (SDV). 

 

As a way to cut down on overhead and maximize profits, they only send the channel that the customer's cable box is tuned in to.  In the past all channels were available all at once at the cable box.  Now certain blocks of channels are programmed to be sent only when your box tunes in to them.  That causes a bit of a delay in changing channels. 

 

The cable company receives the cable box's request to change channels, then it assigns your line of communication to that channel.  Then it listens for the cable box to send out a "heartbeat" signal.  As soon as it doesn't detect it any more, it reusues that line of communication for something else, normally after the customer changes the channel or turns the set off.  It is a two-way system, and if it misses any return signals, it just assumes the box is off.  Sometimes incorrectly.  Changing the channels can fix this.  Way too complicated for its own good, and unacceptable for MovieCollector.

 

Those are just my past experiences with digital cable.  Unfortunately for me TCM was on a block of SDV channels that didn't work correctly.

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I just got home in time for the ending of McQ, which I was recording, and all I saw was a frozen frame with no sound, and then nothing until it finally disappeared.  Did the movie end before this, and if so, what was this still picture (which lasted at least 3 or 4 minutes) all about?

 

If the ending was cut off due to a technical glitch, I sure hope they re-schedule it, and soon, being as it was one of the few respites we had all day from an endless parade of cowboy movies.

 

After recording Brannigan without any glitches, I ran through McQ and discovered that it froze at 1:36:44, so anyone who recorded it is probably in for a nasty surprise.  It would have to happen with one of the tiny handful of John Wayne movies I'd ever want to watch.

 

And bad luck comes in pairs, I guess, because twice in the middle of 21 Days last night, one of those "Emergency Test Alert" messages broke into the film and cut out about two separate minutes of the middle.

 

So after all this, I just had to get out my old git-tar and tell you about a few troubles I've had.....

 

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Sounds like a cable broadcast freezing problem.  Rare, but I have encountered it too.  And not just on TCM.  Sometimes on a news channel.

It most definately sounds like it's at the cable company's end. Like I always say, in cases like this, if it was happening at TCM it would affect everybody on all cable and satellite systems and these boards would be packed with complaints.

 

My guess would be either the cable's company's receiver that picks up TCM from the satellite or maybe a bad connection or cable  box at the customers home.  Could be just a fluke, glitches like that happen from time-to-time for any number of reasons, but if it happens again, I'd call the company and ask for a service call and a new box.

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It most definately sounds like it's at the cable company's end. Like I always say, in cases like this, if it was happening at TCM it would affect everybody on all cable and satellite systems and these boards would be packed with complaints.

 

My guess would be either the cable's company's receiver that picks up TCM from the satellite or maybe a bad connection or cable  box at the customers home.  Could be just a fluke, glitches like that happen from time-to-time for any number of reasons, but if it happens again, I'd call the company and ask for a service call and a new box.

 

In retrospect, we did try a replacement cable box.  (Both were brand-spanking new Cisco boxes, still sealed in the original packaging.)  As well as having a cable tech out to the house (several times) to measure the signal strength.  They did run some new wire and put in an inline signal amplifier, but that didn't solve either of the two problems which I described in detail in my last post.

 

Since I don't get the bulk of these issues as a DirecTV subscriber, I think it might be cable company issues downstream from the satellite, perhaps caused by routing and switching latency, or maybe even caused by their own signal processing hardware.  The cable companies have much more infrastructure to deal with.  That and sometimes their pie in the sky thinking doesn't quite add up.

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