Evening News in HD: What Happened

By Chris Ariens Comment


The TVNewser inbox filled up pretty quickly last night with emails alerting us to the audio problems during the CBS Evening News’s HD debut. This might have been our favorite:

The sound was out for half the show on my affiliate in Chattanooga. Looked good, but couldn’t hear a damn thing.

According to a CBS News spokesperson, “The MetaData inserter which passed qualification testing prior to last night failed at the beginning of the broadcast. Some east coast stations were affected briefly, but the rest of the country was not. The problem has been fixed.”

It’s always the damn MetaData inserter.

Anyway, we weren’t satisfied with that answer, so upon further questioning, here’s what else we learned.

The audio MetaData card that failed is what tells the system what the audio is: stereo, 5.1, whatever. So, the MetaData inserter failed and the Dolby encoder that prepares the audio for the network distribution muted channels 1&2. CBS uses a setting called 2+2 which signifies channels 1&2 for stereo and 7&8 for SAP (second audio program). Last night, Channels 7&8 were fine and also had audio on them.

Now, aren’t you glad you asked?

Good luck tonight KC.