Clear QAM stations only coming in 480i - recent change?
gburlingame1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Does anyone know if Verizon recently changed the clear QAM stations in the Burlington, MA market?

I have a TV in the kitchen with a built in clear QAM tuner that has worked great for years, picking up the local stations in their native format, e.g., 720p or 1080i.

A couple of nights ago my wife called me at work to say that this TV was not working, but all other TV's were working fine.

I came home and did a re-scan and the TV found all the stations, but there are only coming in very low quality @ 480i.

Has anyone else run into this issue or have any information?

Thanks!

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20 Replies
JoeSes
Newbie

Sometime this summer (2019) HD channels stopped working on my clear QAM TVs without set top boxes.  I'm in the Boston area.  Has anybody else out there run into this issue?  Any word on what happened?

I've been using a couple TV's without STBs for years now, and as far as I know Verizon is required to make local broadcast channels available.  The two TVs behave slightly differently, but neither will show the HD channels.  Interestingly the older TV gets the audio on the local hd channels, but no picture.

I have yet to contact customer service since I expect this corner of their service to be outside any rep's scripts.

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CRobGauth
Community Leader
Community Leader

I assume you have tried to relearn all of the channels that come in to TV?

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gburlingame1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Hi CRob,

Yes.  You may not have seen the first post in this thread -- that's exactly what I did, but a rescan only found the stations in 480i... super low fidelity, whereas they all used to come through in their native format -- either 720p or 1080i.

 Greg

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JoeSes
Newbie

Of course right after posting my message I managed to find this thread from July/August of this year. Just add my voice to complaints!

I'm curious about how my message wound up in this thread?

  Re: Clear QAM stations only coming in 480i - recent change?
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gburlingame1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Hi there JoeSes -- I opened this thread back in July.  I received an email that a moderator named Lawrence merged your thread with this thread.

I'm upset like others on what Verizon has done.  I do question if it is even legal or not.

Ultimately I upgraded to newer Verizon equipment at no cost to me and actually ended up paying slightly less per month to add a mini one box to the TV in our kitchen so I stopped following up on this.

What irks me the most is that two times reps opened the ticket, only to have it closed a couple days of later with no explanation. 

Greg

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RedDragon4650
Newbie

I noticed this problem starting in July 2019. I have a Windows PC with 3 tuner cards that I have setup as a personal video recorder (built this machine before DVRs became a commodity). The tuners stopped being able to record the HD channels I had mapped for the local network stations around the beginning of July (I am in the Leominster, MA service area). When I remapped, the only versions of the channels the tuners could lock in were the 480i versions.

I originally thought that it might be related to the fact that NBCBoston (Channel 10) started announcing that they were changing their frequency/signal to provide HD quality broadcasting. And, Verizon had made a channel mapping change in anticipation of the 8/2/19 cutover to the new frequency/signal. I was hoping that Verizon would eventually get things working again.

Maybe if more people complain, Verizon will address this issue and give us back the HD channels, in the appropriate format(s).

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zztop1
Enthusiast - Level 2

We the customers must remind Verizon Fios management that the original cable service was created decades ago for paid customers to receive standard local broadcast channels without the need to install an antenna. This recent change in their headend violated the original basic cable services. majority of the TV sets released today are not capable to tune and decode MP4 signal. This is the reason you only hear audio, but no video on all HD clear QAM channels due to the fact Verizon is transmitting MP4 in their HD channels. MP2 is the current standard. Someone at Fios management make a decision that take away the basic service from their customers. This is not right for all their consumers, Verizon must fix this issue they created in house. They must role back their changes and continue to transmit standard MP2 format on their clear QAM HD TV signal! The basic clear QAM cable service must be compatible to as connecting a TV set to an antenna to receive all local HD and SD stations.

Edg1
Community Leader
Community Leader

@zztop1 wrote:

We the customers must remind Verizon Fios management that the original cable service was created decades ago for paid customers to receive standard local broadcast channels without the need to install an antenna. This recent change in their headend violated the original basic cable services. majority of the TV sets released today are not capable to tune and decode MP4 signal. This is the reason you only hear audio, but no video on all HD clear QAM channels due to the fact Verizon is transmitting MP4 in their HD channels. MP2 is the current standard. Someone at Fios management make a decision that take away the basic service from their customers. This is not right for all their consumers, Verizon must fix this issue they created in house. They must role back their changes and continue to transmit standard MP2 format on their clear QAM HD TV signal! The basic clear QAM cable service must be compatible to as connecting a TV set to an antenna to receive all local HD and SD stations.



Verizon has been changing many channels to MPEG4 over the years. Even some of their older set-top boxes don’t support MPEG4. With MPEG4 there is a higher compression rate is will free up more bandwidth. I don’t think any channels will be going back to MPEG2. Unfortunately technology moves fast and equipment becomes incompatible. 

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zztop1
Enthusiast - Level 2

ATSC standard for the US is called for MP2, and note that 99% of TV set do not decode MP4. The on air signal is still MP2. Verizon can improve their premium services within their closed Setop delivery system and spectrum, but they must transmit the basic clear QAM spectrum the same as on air broadcast. Verizon customers never received any notification on this change, and appallingly most of the Verizon support staffs did not aware this change. Verizion, and other carriers need to address this issue. Verizon violated FCC rules, take away the basic Cable service from all their customer's. Verizon must provide the basic clear QAM service to all their customers.

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EHollick
Enthusiast - Level 1

Follow-up to call from Verizon yesterday....

I had a voicemail from the Verizon Manager, with information I provided, he did make some calls and found out that Verizon has upgraded their transmission of HD with MPEG-4.  

From the ressearch arch I did today (Google) it appears most TVs will not decode the MPEG-4.  Again, my research is limited and my knowledge on this is limited.

I am evaluating options and I think I am going to try an HD antenna. I do not like the idea of paying for a set-top-box to watch a handful of channels.

i do plan to check this thread regularly to see if anyone else gets a better solution from Verizon.

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gburlingame1
Enthusiast - Level 3

This is really fishy.   Fact check me on all this, but from memory the digital tuners on  legacy TV's are setup to accept either Cable or Antenna HDTV signals -- antenna signals being 8-VSB modulated and cable signals being 256-QAM modulated, but the underlying payload has to be an MPEG-2 payload.  Verizon can't change it MPEG-4, that won't work because that's not the HDTV standard.  (Note:  The reason TV's ask you to select Cable or Antenna on the coax input is so they apply the correct demodulator to the signal.)

Verizon closed my ticket without ever reaching out to me with an explanation...simply gave me the explanation "everything is all fixed".  It's not all fixed -- I'm still getting the same lousy 480i signal instead of the native channel's signal which I'm pretty sure is against FCC regulations.  

Of course the FCC has been changing the rules a lot lately, so maybe they've relaxed this requirement and Verizon jumped at the chance to save some network bandwidth.  That's just speculation on my part.

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EHollick
Enthusiast - Level 1

Received a call today from Verizon Service Managaement so they could understand what the issue was the tech that was here last week wasn’t able to resolve.

I made reference to this forum and others with similar circumstances over a diverse Burlington MA market area. 

He agreed something must have happened at a system level. He said he would be talking to some folks in the technical areas.  

Hopefully, we will see our HD channels (soon).

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Nujer99
Newbie

Thanks for the update and appreciate you escalating this with the Verizon technical team.

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EHollick
Enthusiast - Level 1

I noticed this same issue on Tuesday, 07/16/19, in Hudson, MA.

After rescanning channels and Verizon FiOS tech support sending reset signal to netowrk interface (box in basement that converts fiber to coax) did not resolve, a tech was dispatched.

Tech arrived this morning (07/18/19) and foudn the network interface was not putting out a good quality signal. This probably explains intermittent internet lapses (that I often thought were just the servers being accessed).

So, even though I now have the most up-to-date network interface, I still don't have the HD channels.  Tech found the signal coming thru on his test equipment, but did not have a solution why no HD channels display on the TV.

Both TV's show that the signal is there. One shows a black screen (would be blue if no signal for that channel) and other receives auido, but a blank picture.

Hope this is resolved soon.

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Nujer99
Newbie

Thanks for the update.  Hopefully we'll get an answer on this soon.  I don't think this is an issue on our side as many of us in different areas are experiencing the same issue at pretty much the same time.  Something changed on the Verizon side.  I'm hoping it wasn't something intentional and that they can restore things back to the way it was at some point.

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Nujer99
Newbie

Yes, same issue in Groton, MA.  Kitchen TV as well.  Disappointing as 480i is tough to watch.  Hopefully they'll change things back but I'm guessing that won't happen.

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gburlingame1
Enthusiast - Level 3

That's interesting.

I read that the FCC requires that local affiliates be carried in clear QAM in their native format.

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Edg1
Community Leader
Community Leader

Still have HD channels on a Samsung that was previously scanned. This is in Philadelphia Area. There is no change here. 

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GAQ1
Newbie

Hello There..

I have also list the HD versions of several station...Will try to rescan the TV QAM tuners and report back !

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gburlingame1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Hi GAQ....what did you find out?   

Thanks!

Greg

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