VERIZON ADMITS BANDWIDTH INADEQUATE FOR SOME MAJOR SPORT EVENTS !!! GOODBYE NCAA FINAL FOUR!
stubaby
Enthusiast - Level 1

Live in Washington DC metro area and have FIOS Ultimate bundle - was trying to watch the Maryland - Georgia Tech game on ch. 574 ESPN2 which just froze or was blank.  All other surrounding HD channels and standard def channels worked fine.  Call Verizon Tech, who first tried to have me do standard diags like power down/power up and reconnect cable to STB. Of course, being a EE and technical type myself, I told him that was unlikely the issue because as stated above all other channels worked fine (I suspected a bandwidth issue related to the major sporting event).  The tech, after long time putting me on hold, eventually came back on a politely informed me that "I had correctly answered my own question.  That the bandwidth problem is a known issue, when the 'provider' doesn't send 'enough' signal".  He did not offer any further solution or compensation.  I informed him this was unsatisfactory (I watch primarily sports) and I wanted a credit, at which point the tech transferred me to the billing department.  After a nearly 35 min onhold wait (no joke - 35 mins) a Verizon billing rep came on line and offered me a 1 day credit of $1.60.   I almost laughed - nearly 60 mins on the phone, no HD ball game, and $1.60 credit is the best they can do.  To make matters worse, I was told if it recurrs I would have to call in again for each occurance.  He upped that to $11 credit when I complained loudly (although he said he wasn't really 'supposed to').     Truly pathetic!!!  ANyone else have similar problems during major events?   Please voice your dissatisfaction so this gets solved.

Now I can't look forward to NCAAs in HD (unless I head to the nearest sports pub, which I may need to to drown my sorrows!)

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prisaz
Legend

It would be nice is FIOS could display a message instead of a blank screen during a black out. But the Guide is also lacking. It would be difficut for the VHO to inject a message since it is a local backout? Like when no feed is available out of a local VHO, have a signal feed that states:

The Local Event Is Blacked Out In Your Area.

Please look for the programming on a local broadcast channel also available on FIOS, if the programming is carried locally.

Even better have it show the channel where it is available. I know that happened during the channel realignment when the Premier was taken over by Extreme. So it is possible.

Just a thought.

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Hubrisnxs
Legend

for that matter though, espn could do the same thing.  they are the ones to whom the black out was imposed.

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spacedebris
Master - Level 2

The channel provider (for example ESPN), notifies the carrier (Verizon in this case) that a program must be blocked within certain geographic area's. Then it is Verizon's responsibility to block it out in those area's.

Verizon only receives one signal from the provider, it is then sent to a SHE (super head end). From there Verizon sends it to the local VHO (Video Hub Office) that services the region. (VHO 4 serves the MD/VA in the DC area) Then it goes to the local offices, the local offices are the ones that put in the blackouts.

There actually is a problem with some live events not sending enough bandwidth, but this is a provider issue, not a Verizon issue. Verizon has the bandwidth to handle anything sent to them. The problem is that the provider doesn't have the bandwidth to get the signal to Verizon.

Now not saying that Verizon doesn't have issues with the occasional program or channel. That's to be expected. But most pic quality issues on Live events are the fault and responsibility of the Provider. And even then, the problem may simply be the ability of them to get the signal out of the venue to the broadcast center.

Hubrisnxs
Legend

Generally, a broadcaster would prefer to broadcast, instead of leaving dead air. Unless it was a mistake, then you can rest assured that the black-out was not anything Verizon did voluntarily, nor probably even anything that ESPN did voluntarily. Black-outs are often imposed to benefit the sports teams themselves. So you would complain, in your case, to Notre Maryland - Georgia Tech, as well as to the conference Georgia Tech is in, Pac-10, and the NCAA itself.

Black-outs may also be imposed to benefit other broadcasters. Essentially, the grantor of the license to broadcast would impose the conditions of the black-out on ESPN, so that ESPN doesn't draw more audience away from, say, CBS. In that case, it is again the schools, the conference, and the national association that you would direct your complaints to.

Best of luck.

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Justin46
Legend

I think you are way off base here. And it doesn't matter what some CSR says, they frequently are very under-trained or ill-informed and will say almost anything to get you off the phone. And I agree, it is very frustrating to have the CSRs want to go through the script they are reading from, but I guess Verizon requires they do it or they get fired.

Since you are in MD, and you were wanting to watch a Maryland game, I bet that the game was blacked out on ESPN2. Happens every so often, on various channels. Verizon doesn't seem able to reliably post a black-out screen, typically what happens is that the you just cannot tune to the channel (typically you see a frozen image from the channel you just left) or the channel is dark, no picture at all. Did ESPN2 come back on shortly after the game ended? If so, almost certainly a black-out. Was the game also being shown on a local channel?

Of course there is also another simple answer, that the feed from ESPN2 was unavailable for some (probably technical) reason. Again, that happens on any channel from time to time, not much Verizon can do about it if they don't receive a signal.

Anyway, there is no FiOS bandwidth problem with the channels they now have, at least IMHO.

__________________________________
Justin
Verizon FiOS TV, Internet, and phone
QIP6416-P1, IMG 1.7C, Build 09.83
Keller, TX 76248

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Kenilworthkid
Enthusiast - Level 3

I love it Justin!

"And it doesn't matter what some CSR says, they frequently are very under-trained or ill-informed and will say almost anything to get you off the phone. And I agree, it is very frustrating to have the CSRs want to go through the script they are reading from, but I guess Verizon requires they do it or they get fired."

But whenever I say something similar in a post on the DSL forum the moderators get all <*********> and edit my post.

The basic job of any Verizon tech support person it to annoy you until you hang up, then they can close the ticket and put "another satisfied customer" in the books.

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prisaz
Legend

@Kenilworthkid wrote:

I love it Justin!

"And it doesn't matter what some CSR says, they frequently are very under-trained or ill-informed and will say almost anything to get you off the phone. And I agree, it is very frustrating to have the CSRs want to go through the script they are reading from, but I guess Verizon requires they do it or they get fired."

But whenever I say something similar in a post on the DSL forum the moderators get all <*********> and edit my post.

The basic job of any Verizon tech support person it to annoy you until you hang up, then they can close the ticket and put "another satisfied customer" in the books.


Oh but they sent you an email to highlight how they solved your problem that was not fixed. That is my favorite.Smiley Very Happy

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stubaby
Enthusiast - Level 1

sorry, but think you are wrong.  Game was played in Atlanta - no blackout in MD.  It was available in standard def on ESPN2.  It came in once or twice momentarily on HD ESPN2 but picture froze.   Game ended and it still was doing it for the next game also.  Tech told me, after confirming with others, there are situations (I hope not too common!) where this happens.  If it was blacked out why would all above be true and they offer me credit?

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jss9669
Contributor - Level 1

The game was blacked out on ESPN2 because it was also being carried on My20.

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stubaby
Enthusiast - Level 1

How would you know without channel flipping?  Nothing in the Guide indicated this.

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Hubrisnxs
Legend

I feel like you guys that they NEED to put an identifier that the sports channel is blacked out and to check local affiliates or something to that effect.

doesn't sound like too big a request to me, but sometimes you can even check the station like I Think ESPN has a black out page too,   its really the station responsibility, but to avoid confusion Verizon should kick in there too.

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prisaz
Legend

@Hubrisnxs wrote:

I feel like you guys that they NEED to put an identifier that the sports channel is blacked out and to check local affiliates or something to that effect.

doesn't sound like too big a request to me, but sometimes you can even check the station like I Think ESPN has a black out page too,   its really the station responsibility, but to avoid confusion Verizon should kick in there too.


I agree. But the station furnishes a feed, do they black out the signal, or is it the providers responsiblity to black it out in a given market? Not sure how that works. I would not think they feed Verizon a different signal for every market? Verizon should at least have a page that states the local feed from the content provider is not available at this time. Instead of a blank screen. Hey I know what would go over good. A 1960s B/W test pattern that showed when the channel was off the air.

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JTMAG1
Newbie

The broadcaster informs Verizon of the blackout and they work with the station to black the channel out in the correct area.

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Hubrisnxs
Legend

http://espn.go.com/broadband/espn360/faq#22

Why is an event blacked out?


This is because the event that you requested is not available on ESPN360.com in your market. Blackouts apply to broadcasts that have been sold regionally or locally per league, conference and local rights holder agreements. Regional and local rights holders are usually broadcast stations or regional sports networks. Blackouts are implemented to protect the primary rights holder, as defined by the professional and college sports leagues or teams in a given market.


that is from espn.com, blackouts apply to broadcasts so in turn broadcasters right?

IDK   the whole thing is confusing, but I think I am starting to catch the drift.   regardless though, Verizon knows about what is blacked out and when, so they should be able to control the message that comes up on the channel, but who knows..

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Weekender
Enthusiast - Level 3

jss9669 is correct.  In the DC area, the ACC Tournament games were blacked out on ESPN2 and shown on MY20 channel 506.

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prisaz
Legend

It would be nice is FIOS could display a message instead of a blank screen during a black out. But the Guide is also lacking. It would be difficut for the VHO to inject a message since it is a local backout? Like when no feed is available out of a local VHO, have a signal feed that states:

The Local Event Is Blacked Out In Your Area.

Please look for the programming on a local broadcast channel also available on FIOS, if the programming is carried locally.

Even better have it show the channel where it is available. I know that happened during the channel realignment when the Premier was taken over by Extreme. So it is possible.

Just a thought.