TPT, the local PBS affiliate, heavily promoted the White House honors for Stevie Wonder. For many in the Twin Cities, though, they needn’t have bothered; audio problems made the program unwatchable.
It’s still unclear what the problem was, since viewers in other parts of the country reported no similar problems.
In the Twin Cities, however, some viewers couldn’t hear any of the audio from singers or comments by Michele Obama.
“My parents called me to ask about the audio. MTS multi-track sound button fixed it for me. WCCO’s CSI also had similar problem,” one acquaintance on Twitter told me.
Perhaps this is fallout from the digital conversion. Perhaps we’ve entered an era where some older TVs aren’t compatible, despite assurances to the contrary. Or perhaps TPT just messed up. Or it was the cable company or satellite service (so far, people with problems have been Dish Network and Comcast subscribers). We don’t know. A call to TPT’s offices only yielded a taped message that because of the snowstorm, the offices were closed.
We’ll try to follow up on this (I’m off Friday, but will try to check) after sunrise.
Here’s some terrific pictures from the White House on the event.
(Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images)
Updated 11:15 a.m. — Through the kindness and connections of Twitter, it’s been relayed to us that an audio processor failed.
Updated 5:53 p.m. 2/27 – Email from TPT
We sincerely apologize for this problem and would like to explain how it occurred. Recently we installed a new piece of equipment in order to alleviate some audio fluctuations. Unfortunately this new equipment failed and our engineers worked throughout the program to try and restore sound, but were unable to do so. We were also not able to insert a “crawl” to alert our viewers to this issue because we do not currently have the equipment to insert this bit of information while a program is in progress. This equipment is on our list to purchase as soon as funds become available.
We apologize for the late response, but we have been checking into the broadcast rights of this program. We have determined we will be able to air it again in the near future, but do not have rights to do so until after our March pledge drive which begins this evening. We will inform you via email when we have a specific broadcast date and time for this program. We appreciate your patience and, again, apologize for any inconvenience.