FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

QUESTIONS

1. What is a self-test and how do I perform it?
2. When I do a self-test, what channels should I expect to find?
3. How do I determine the signal quality on my receiver?
4. What is the difference between signal level and signal quality?
5. What channel do I use to view the simulcast?
6. What is horizontal and vertical polarity and why does this matter?
7. Is the Willow Creek audio feed Mono or Stereo?
8. What if I can see video on the Willow feed but can’t hear the audio?
9. What can I do if my audio is out of sync with the video signal?
10. Why can't I see anything on other FreshAir channels when doing my self-test or when viewing the channel on my receiver in between satellite tests?
11. I can't see a picture and I'm not sure I've got the cable from the satellite dish plugged into the right input on the receiver.  Which input should the cable be plugged in to?

 

ANSWERS

1. What is a self-test and how do I perform it?

A self-test simply involves checking your receiver to confirm that you are receiving a usable signal off of the satellite (Galaxy 17). [Some receivers will indicate Galaxy 11. This is embedded information. Galaxy 17 was moved into the same orbital position formerly occupied by Galaxy 11. Either indication is appropriate.]

The process is simple: Essentially, you go to one of the ABC NewsOne Live channels on Galaxy 17 and then note your signal strength and quality to confirm that you are a) looking at the correct satellite and b) receiving a good quality signal.

You can find complete instructions for doing a self-test at www.willowsatellite.com/downloads.aspx under the “Tutorials and Diagrams” section.

The self-test instructions are contained in the document for your HDVR 1200 receiver.

 

2. When I do a self-test, what channels should I expect to find?

You should expect to find a minimum of two active channels. These are labeled ABC NewsOne Live and ABC NAC CH2.These are occasional use channels that news organizations use for location feeds. Both channels are pre-programmed into your receiver.

If they are not transmitting live news reports, they have a graphic on the screen with the ABC logo, transmission information, and sometimes test tone for audio. Also, you should see multiple FreshAir channels on your system, but most likely all will be dark (no signal) until our Full Path tests. If you have any questions about whether you are on the correct satellite or seeing what you should, please call Fresh Air Media at 530 888-7676.

3. How do I determine the signal quality on my receiver?

HDVR 1200 Receiver:

  • • While viewing the channel, press the info or OK button on your remote. This will bring up the info screen. ou will see S and Q bar graphs with a number following. These are the S and Q numbers.

 

4. What is the difference between signal level and signal quality?

In very general terms, "signal level" represents the strength of the connection between the receiver and the LNB and satellite antenna (and thus the satellite signal itself). A very low or non-existent signal level indicates that there is something wrong with the basic connection to the satellite -- perhaps the cable has been severed or the LNB has failed, for example.

Signal quality, on the other hand, represents the strength and robustness of the actual satellite signal you are viewing. Therefore, the signal quality value can change when you switch to another channel (whereas the signal level remains relatively constant as long as you are connected properly to the satellite dish / LNB).

The signal quality value is based on the manufacturer's algorithm to calculate how much error correction is necessary to display a usable signal. This algorithm is software-based and can change from manufacturer to manufacturer and from one firmware version to another. Therefore, even the same exact signal can read differently from one receiver to the next.

 


5. What channel do I use to view the simulcast?

You will see 17 FreshAir channels pr-programmed on your receiver. We will announce on this site and in email to each site the appropriate channel for the LIVE feed and the WEST COAST feed. Just tune to that channel for the Full Path Tests and the Event.  

 

6. What is horizontal and vertical polarity and why does this matter?

Horizontal and vertical polarity are terms used to describe the orientation of the signal being transmitted by the satellite. The signal can be transmitted in a horizontal or a vertical polarity on the same frequency, thereby doubling the effective number of transmissions available on the satellite at the given frequency.

Some LNBs are designed to only receive at a single polarity; others can receive at both vertical and horizontal polarity but need to be told which polarity to align themselves too. The LNBs installed on almost all Willow Creek satellite dishes fall into this latter category.

The way the receiver tells the LNB which polarity to align itself to is by sending a DC voltage of either 13 volts (V) or 18 volts (H) via the coax cable that connects the receiver to the LNB.


 

7. Is the Willow Creek audio feed Mono or Stereo?

The audio portion of the Willow Creek signal is a full stereo audio (Left / Right) program.

 

8. What if I can see video on the Willow feed but can’t hear the audio?

There are a couple of potential causes for this.  Use the following procedure to troubleshoot:

  1. First, make sure that the lack of audio isn’t a result of your sound system configuration.  Check the signal path of your audio system. 
  2. If everything checks out OK, try bypassing your sound system and feeding the receiver’s Audio Out (RCA Connector on the back) signal directly into an amplifier or some other device where you can monitor the signal directly.
  3. If you have audio directly off the receiver, go back and check your sound system signal path.
  4. If this is not successful, call Fresh Air Media at 530-888-7676 for further assistance.

9. What can I do if my audio is out of sync with the video signal?

If the sync issue is one which has *always* been present in your system and which stays at a consistent value, you may want to review your signal path and determine if there is a system-induced sync issue in your setup.

However, if this symptom is something which “came on all of a sudden without warning”, there are factors that can create this situation in a receiver and which are generally outside of your control. In this case, you can momentarily switch off the current receiver channel to another channel and then quickly return. This typically re-synchronizes the signal and fixes the problem.

Having said that, this is not an easy choice if the program content is in the middle of a session and you have 500+ people who will view the switch back and forth. Use your judgment as to whether the channel switch is worth it or not. If the sync issue is not too severe, it may not be worth the interruption. Also, if you are close to the end of a session, you may be able refrain from doing the switch until during the break.

Another option is to switch to the streaming video feed.  Again, use your best judgment here.

Whatever the choice, make sure that you consult with your Producer before doing anything!  Any action should only be initiated with their full approval.

 

10. Why can't I see anything on other FreshAir channels when doing my self-test or when viewing the channel on my receiver inbetween satellite tests?

The FreshAir channels used for the Willow GLS only have signal available during scheduled transmission times. Therefore, if you select the FreshAir channel to be used for the Willow GLS during a time when there is no transmission, most likely you will not see anything.

However, if you select the correct FreshAir channel during a time when there *is* a transmission (like during a satellite test or the event itself) and you cannot see a signal, call Fresh Air Media for assistance (530) 888-7676.

 

11. I can't see a picture and I'm not sure I've got the cable from the satellite dish plugged into the right input on the receiver.  Which input should the cable be plugged in to?

The correct input is the "LNB IN" input. This connector is located on the left of the receiver's rear panel as you face the rear panel.