NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

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FixItInPost
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NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by FixItInPost » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:49 pm

Hello all,

I'm new to the boards here but I think this is the perfect place to find the answer I need, hopefully, anyway.

Does anyone here happen to know how to configure an Ericsson RX8200 to output VANC data for NBC's Namedropper triggers? Admittedly, I am new to engineering so forgive me for any ignorance in talking about configuring sat receivers. The Namedropper is installed in the program path and I cannot for the life of me get the triggers to fire from the network. I had them send a test and it was a no go on this end.

I have tried to send the triggers to the Namedropper from the program feed running through master as well as direct from the receiver through the Aux port. Neither worked, and in viewing the backdoor page for the Namedropper I can see that CC and audio VANC data is making it through but no sign of any namedropper triggers. That leads me to believe that this is a configuration issue on the receiver itself.

I would be thrilled if anyone here could help me solve this mystery. Let me know if there is more information I can provide to clarify any details i may have missed.

Thanks a lot!

-Josh

grich
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by grich » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:39 pm

First of all, enter "namedropper" in this forum's search box and you'll get some threads on the Namedropper triggers and how to view them.

You mentioned trying to inject the network into the Aux input during one of your tests. I don't know if the ND will read data from there, but I've never tried.

The trigger info is in the ancillary data on line 11. You need to insure everything in the program chain will pass all data on line 11...frame syncs, MC switchers, graphics engines all have potential to block it.

One thing that I've learned about the Tandberg/Ericsson receivers is you have to buy all of the optional features and a few more, to cover all of the bases, but I don't know if a missing feature set would kill ancillary data. I haven't tested our 8200 for ND data...we have a 1290 ordered with all NBC-used options for our C-Band backup receiver, and it does pass ND data.

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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by w9wi » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:06 am

I've had past problems with Namedropper cues caused by two different downstream devices:
- Imagine X50 frame sync. If you do format conversion on one output, it will mangle VANC on *both* outputs.
- Harris XHD3903 format converter. Old firmware was blocking VANC. I would expect if you have reasonably recent firmware this shouldn't be a problem. (we took the XHD3903s out of service nearly ten years ago when we hubbed & Harris had already fixed them)

We have some RX8200s but they're used for casual feeds, never tried to decode Namedropper cues through the unit. If we have a reasonably slow day I'll give it a try in a few hours. We have a Phabrix test monitor that'll read the cues.

As grich says, RX8200s have a TON of options. I don't offhand remember any that involve VANC but would not be at all surprised if there were some.
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PID_Stop
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by PID_Stop » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:03 am

As a starting point, I would patch the Namedropper out of the air path and connect it straight to the RX8200 output, and see if it triggers. If it does, then hook Namedropper to various points in your chain to see where it stops triggering.

Our plant happens to be a centralcasting hub that includes two NBC stations; because we run everything at 720p, we run the Namedroppers directly off the Skypath rack's output, before any conversion or processing take place. Despite our efforts over the years with different kinds of converters, we have never been able to reliably pass Namedropper triggers across to 720p.

One other thing to check: hook the Namedropper up to an actual Skypath output and see if it triggers there. One of our two Namedroppers stopped detecting trigger data, and we ended up sending back to Evertz for repair (the NBC agreement covers support, so it was no cost to us). It turned out that they had to replace quite a bit inside the unit, and it's been happy ever since.

Jeff

FixItInPost
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by FixItInPost » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:44 am

Thanks for the reply's, everyone.

We actually do not have a skypath rack. NBC told us that we should be receiving the triggers straight from the HD-SDI from the receiver. Here's some background.

There are two methods to receive the triggers in this Namedropper. The first is directly from the program signal running into it. The second way is to run a secondary program feed from the receiver direct to the Namedropper via it's AUX input, therefore bypassing any other equipment in the chain in the event that it is getting stripped somewhere along the path.

I have tried all of these and I still cannot get any of the Namedropper triggers. After I exhausted all of those methods, including goign from the receiver directly to the Namedropper, I took a closer look at the backdoor page for for it. I am getting VANC data for CC and audio, but no Namedropper triggers. I'm almost positive that it's a VANC configuration issue with our Ericsson.

Hope this gives more context to my situation. I'm planning on experimenting in another hour. I'll try some stuff out and let you guys know if I find a solution. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to impart your wisdom!

-Josh

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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by FixItInPost » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:57 pm

Hello all!

I got it to work! It was indeed the settings on the receiver. There was a VANC data setting that was not setup causing the triggers to not be received. Once I modified it and enabled it, we began having the proper elements fire at their designated times.

Thanks to all of you for your help, it is much appreciated!

-Josh

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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by grich » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:13 pm

Glad you were able to figure it out.

How do you not have a Skypath rack? You must be a new affiliate. Most of us are lucky enough to have 30-year-old dishes with a rack of 1290 receivers protected by a UPS that takes a month or more for NBC's contractor to ship a replacement when they die. :D

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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by PID_Stop » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:40 am

grich wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:13 pm
Glad you were able to figure it out.

How do you not have a Skypath rack? You must be a new affiliate. Most of us are lucky enough to have 30-year-old dishes with a rack of 1290 receivers protected by a UPS that takes a month or more for NBC's contractor to ship a replacement when they die. :D
Our centralcasting hub runs two NBC affiliates; they provided one Skypath rack yet no dishes. Every time they do the site inspection they complain that the dishes we are using should be larger, yet they balk at supplying what they think we ought to have. I've never understood why, since they ordinarily supply one set of dishes per affiliate, and this installation would end up serving two. Sigh...

Some day the networks -- especially the ones that use Ku band -- really should wake up and make at least a backup feed available as an IP stream using the newer RIST protocol.

Jeff

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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by Euclid » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:23 pm

There has been a C band backup feed for many years. At WRC-TV, Washington DC we have a separate RX-1290 outside the Skypath Rack that we feed from a fixed C Band dish and tuned to the C backup. We also call this receiver the Rain Fade receiver. I believe it is lower bit rate signal than the main feed and lower quality. We only use it in emergencies.

Note:
WRC is owned by NBC and shares some facilites with NBC News so we have a ton of dishes and facilites. If you don't have the luxury of a receiver that you can dedicate for this feed and C Band dish fixed on the right bird, you might set up one of your steerable C Band dishes and a receiver so that you repurpose it quickly in an emergency. We have plan similar this to use a KU band feed as a backup to our Master Control Hub in case it fails completely.

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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by PID_Stop » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:42 am

One of these days, I'm hoping NBC will start IP-streaming the backup feeds. The new RIST (ARQ) protocol makes for a surprisingly robust link, even over public internet circuits, and you don't need the overhead of forward error correction. Having a feed that doesn't suffer from sun outages, rain fade, snow in the dish, or boneheads with radar jammers would be fantastic. I can't fathom why NBC has stuck with Ku-band delivery as their primary distribution all these years...

Okay, I'm obviously really annoyed (and really tired) to have written essentially the same thing twice.

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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by w9wi » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:09 pm

You mean we're not the only station with "WARNING! TURN OFF RADAR DETECTORS!" signs fastened to the fence around our dishes?
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Re: NBC Namedropper Trigger Configuration Help

Post by Euclid » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:13 pm

I have never been told why NBC still uses Ku Band for the Primary feeds. I also have not worked with the people who make that decision.

I've spent my TV career in the very large NBC owned facility in Washington DC which includes the local stations for NBC and Telemundo, the NBC News bureau for DC, a piece of MSNBC, and a major downlink site for NBC News. One of the things I don't get to see is how "real" TV stations work. Since I retired I occasionaly run projects for WUSA, the CBS affiliate down the street. Their plant is about quarter the size of the NBC one.

For some reason our KU band feeds are rock solid except for occasional fades due to severe thunder storms. When I am working and there is heavy rain expected, I call the Hub and ask them to use the C Band feed, which uses separate equipment, until the storms pass. Skypath controls the six meter dishes, one receive/transmit the other transmit only. We control the smaller three and two meter dishes. Skypath also controls four of the five receivers in their rack. We have other dishes and receivers for incoming shows and feeds that we control and can repurpose in an emergency.

Down the street at WUSA (CBS affiliate) their main feeds are KU band and reliable also. I think that they only have two receivers for their network feed but like NBC, they have more dishes receivers for some syndicated shows and news feeds. I don't know if they have C Band, fiber, or IP backup. I'll ask sometime. They have at least four fiber paths and a microwave link from their studios and transmitter. They are all ASI.

Now that I have retired, I'm hoping to get out to see some real TV stations and how others do things.

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