Bugs Bugs Everywhere !

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Scarpa, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I was bored by the ball game last night so I decided to do a little Direct TV Surfing in my HT. I very rarely Watch much Sattelite in my HT other than Sporting events, HDnet , and the occasion HBO Show. I've read over the last few months Horror stories about those Awful TV Bugs ruining peoples RPTV's. But I never realized just how badly it had gotten till last night. Every Channel has a bug. Some are translucent similar to the HDNet logo, but the vast majority are solid Large Behemoths. How Irresponsible of Broadcasters to allow this practice . I have no doubt that If I spent long enough on any of those channels I'd be enjoying the logo on my Favorite DVD. It's pretty much to the point that I cannot justify watching any Direct TV on my Mits 65807. wHICH IS SAD. And TNN is the worse. I wonder if anything can be done?
     
  2. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    Dave, I don't own a RPTV and I don't own a satelite, but I know exactly what you are talking about because we have the same problem on Cable. I agree TNN is the worst offender, it pisses me off when I watch Miami Vice or Mad TV on there to see their stupid WS like bar on the bottom showing what your watching and their huge TNN logo[​IMG] , As far as being able to do anything I don't know about that but I suppose it is possible to complain to them perhaps if they get enough complaints theuy will stop this practice.
     
  3. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Blame Fox. They are the ones who started it, and everyone else jumped on board after that. I remember a Simpsons episode where Bart leans down and actually rips the semi-transparent Fox logo off the corner of the screen ... if only we could do that in real life.
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    This has been something of a pet crusade of mine for some time now. And there have been quite a few threads in "Television Programming" about these station ID logos/bugs.

    To protect your expensive Mitsubishi RPTV, minimize your time viewing these dastardly, obnoxious cable/satellite channels. And, as you know, make sure your contrast and brightness levels are at the lowest settings you can achieve while maintaining a watchable picture.

    Can anything be done about this?

    Afraid not. Thousands of consumers have complained, but the networks don't care. They will tell you in their form letters that viewers "appreciate" these station bugs because they are apparently confused by all the channel options available to them through cable or satellite.

    Which, of course, is ludicrous in light of the fact the networks remove the bugs when broadcasting commercials. (Commercial breaks occur pretty much simultaneously on all channels around the clock. And that's when most people channel surf!)

    You can try writing your congressional representative, but many fear the idea of a political solution to this bug infestation.

    Ultimately, vote with your own time: Screen DVDs mostly, while watching only the occasional broadcast.

    My feeling is this plague will get far worse--with little chance of it ever getting better.
     
  5. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    And cancel your satellite "service".
     
  6. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    The "bugs" probably won't stop until someone sues the networks for screwing up their expensive tv & wins a big settlement with national exposure of the settlement [​IMG]
     
  7. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    Bill Will (and all):
    I keep hoping and praying that some smart attorney will realize the potential (which I believe is honestly there), and contact those users who have posted with burn-in problems. Those who have any logo burnt in, or whose burn-in was caused by the presence of a NETWORK-ADDED static image, should band together and file a class-action lawsuit against any and all of the networks whose images are responsible. Once can argue that these logos are destructive, I should think. One can argue that they are so new (which is true), that many consumers bought before realizing the risks, indeed before the risk existed). And, it is easy to prove that some are still buying today without relaizing the ptential risks. The manufacturers refuse to cover this under warranty. And, the property damage is quite real, and quite expensive (typically in excess of $1,000.00 for parts alone, I have heard quotes of $1100 to $1500). Damages should be easy to prove. I am surprised no attorney has jumped on such a case, based on contingency.
    If anyone is interested, it would be easy to compile a list of such users. Here, and on seven other forums I frequent, I see complaints of burn-in at the rate of about four a week (total). It is also easy to SEARCH these forums, to reach those who have suffered over the past two years.
    In the meantime, I am limited to letter-writing (and E-Mail writing). I sent three yesterday, and urge all of you who are at all concerned about this issue to do the same. I am currently using a list which can be found at:
    http://www.colossus.net/nologo.networks.html
    The Name of this page is: Society for A Logo Free TV
    I sent three letters to networks where the logos are still not even transparent, informing them that I was dropping their channels from the list of memorized channels on my RPTV, and that nobody in my household was to watch their stations under any circumstances until that logo was removed. This is the absolute truth. I love the History Channel, but i can tell at a glance that that logo WILL burn, and quickly.
    And, I am not an attorney, but the fact so many have changed their logos to be more transparent is at least prima facie evidence (it would seem) that they DO recognize the potential damage which a non-transparent image can do (althought the relaity is that ANY static image, even a transparent image, can cause burn-in). However, I should think that this recent movement on the part of many stations whould increase any lawsuit's possibility of success. It is like an admission of guilt, I should think.
    -Bruce
     
  8. Mike Loiterman

    Mike Loiterman Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like to see concrete proof that these things actually "burn" into a RPTV under normal use. Normal use being a channel channel change every 30-60 minutes, a properly calibrated picture and turning the set off when not in use.

    I would think that unless you had your contrast cranked all the way up, left your TV on day and night, and never switched stations, you would be pretty safe. Even if you subjected your set to such treatment, commericals are run every 5 to 10 minutes which, IMO, would act as a screen saver.

    While an "average" consumer might do something so stupid, I quesion wheather they would even notice or care. This being said, I doubt many people on this forum, and especially those in this thread, would abuse their set in such a manner. So is this really an issue we should be worried about?

    I just bought a Sony 57HW40 so I suppose I should be concerned about this issue, but watching one station for a few hours doesn't seem dangerous to me. Burn in, while possible, doesn't seem likely to occur under relatively careful viewing conditions.
     
  9. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    Bruce, you don't want to be involved in any class-action law suit because nobody comes out of it with any money except the lawyers [​IMG] you would probably end up with a coupon for $100 off your next purchase of a new tv if you were lucky while the lawer stuffed a million into his own pocket. But if you were not loooking to recope your loss& wanted the "bugs" gone then a class-action suit would be the way to go. I don't know why the tv manufactures themselves haven't started screaming about it to the newtorks that they are ruining their products. I'd also like to see Consumer Reports or some other independent source start reporting on how long it took to burn in an image & which brands it took the longest. They all can't be the same. You would think by now that some outfit (Outlaw are you listening) would have come up with a "black box" to detect logos & remove them from the picture. I can't imagine that it could be that hard to do especially because it would only have to look in the corners. Maybe it could even have an on/off switch so you could check the channel if you wanted to or turn it off if you were playing a video game or using webtv. All the networks say that it's there to help people find their channel but I'll bet it's got more to do with "Copy Protection" than anything else.
     
  10. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    Mike:

    >>> I would like to see concrete proof that these things actually "burn" into a RPTV under normal use. Normal use being a channel channel change every 30-60 minutes, a properly calibrated picture and turning the set off when not in use.
     
  11. Mike Loiterman

    Mike Loiterman Stunt Coordinator

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    BruceSpielbauer:

    I think we're looking at this from two different perspectives. AS my previous post described, I'm looking at this from the perspective of knowledgable users trying to protect their sets. It seems to me that you're looking at this in terms of establishing a lawsuit or convincing TV stations to remove the logos because of burned-in screens owned by typical users. I whole hardly agree with what you're saying if this is the case.

    Under "default" conditions, which is what you describe and what typical people use, there exsists the risk of logo burn-in. But the risk, in my opinnion, is only to those that don't know any better. Is this fair or right? Absolutely not.

    I personaly feel that for enthusiasts using a set under the conditions I described earlier, burn-in, although a posibility, does not pose a significant risk to home theater buffs. I feel that the "normal use" I defined represents operation by relatively knowledgable people...most members of HTF, HTT, AVS, etc., NOT out of the box or typical settings.

    This being said, users that care about logo burn-in will probably take the proper precations to prevent it. Users that don't know about logo burn-in will continue as the have, unknowingly damaing their sets in which case a lawsuit might be apropriate.
     
  12. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    I think we are in complete agreement, Mike. I do not believe that MOST users here are at a very high risk for burn in, at all. However, I am disturbed by the number of posts I have seen on these forums from people who claim they have been afflicted. Some, I can attribute to "newbies," to be sure. In many cases, I am certain the person who is suffering only just arrived, and came here specifically to ask if anything could be done about their burn-in. The person with a "QVC Channel" logo burn in, who came here to complain about it last February was a newbie, and it was his first post on this forum. In some cases, this is obvious. In OTHER cases (such as the person who thought he did everything right, by reducing his contrast), the suffering person was not a newbie. I find this disturbing. There have been some members who were not newbies, were educated on the area, and still managed to get "hit."

    Take care, and be well,

    -Bruce
     
  13. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    I don't believe the networks run those logos purely to "help" viewers find their channels.
    If I'm not mistaken, the FCC requires stations to identify themselves a certain number of times per day. That used to take the form of station breaks, or commercials for the station itself - "You're watching ABC" - that sort of thing.
    But the networks didn't like this, because obviously they're not collecting advertising revenue when they're running commercials for themselves. So with Fox leading the way, they turned toward the permanent logos. (I believe some stations used to fade them in and out, which obviously wasn't as bad).
    Seeing as how the cable industry has given millions of dollars to Congress, which has responded to that bribe -er, excuse me, I mean "contribution" - by deregulating the cable industry, allowing consumers to get fleeced in terms of rates and other things, I doubt that we'll get any help in the political arena to stop this practice. In this day and age, if a corporation finds a way to make more money, it will, no matter how many consumers get screwed over in the process.
     
  14. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Bugs have to do with Nielsen ratings. The bug lets Nielsen viewers know what station they're watching so they can enter it on their written log. Yeah, most Nielsen families don't have a problem with this, but some do and because they are idiots, we all have to suffer bugs.

    I've protested bugs since the beginning, when Fox started it all. No point in it, apparently, as the six or seven people who turn off a station because of the bug don't make a blip in the ratings, and now that every station in existence uses bugs, you'd be stuck with watching nothing that's broadcast.

    Maybe once the Nielsen company gets rid of hand-written logs and monitors channels automatically, the bugs might possibly in a perfect world disappear.

    Until then, we need some interference from an enterprising company that can create a bug-remover, the above-suggested class action lawsuit, or (shudder) a law against them.

    BTW: I buy tapes from an outfit called Sinister Cinema that often has obscure stuff that I crave. The last tape I bought from them sported an "SC" bug in the lower right corner. It only lasted about five minutes, but that was enough: I asked to be removed from their mailing list until the bug disappeared permanently.

    Jan
     
  15. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    No need to shudder about a law regulating such things, Jan, as that would probably be the only way to stop it. Without laws governing corporate behavior, the world would be a much, much worse place to live. But as I said, we aren't going to get any legislative help with this anyway.
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, the bugs are not a public service bestowed upon us by benevolent television networks. They are another form of branding--and in the case of TNN, the branding gets in the way of the programming.

    Other than PBS, there is hardly any "television" I watch any longer--most of this having to do with those damn bugs. I do not like to be distracted. And though both of my displays are properly calibrated, I worry about static images.
     
  17. Matt Wallace

    Matt Wallace Second Unit

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    I thank you guys for starting this thread. First off, I didn't realize the HTF was calling them "bugs", so that's a help. Also, as I do more and more research in prep for my next TV purchase, I'm noticing these logos more and more and have really wondered how bad their effect is. I guess now I know. I think that another method of protest may be to hit 'em where it hurts, i.e., the advertisers for TV stations. After an appeal to the stations themselves, I have to imagine that letting advertisers know that you won't watch or support any station or product that has the logos would be the next step.
    "Dear Darrin's Dance Grooves - I will no longer watch Nickolodeon, Noggin, or Cartoon Network or order your insightful tapes/DVD's because they cause permanent, unreversable damage to my family's projection television. "
    That was a sarcastic stab at a serious problem. Then you have the TV manufacturers:
    "Gee, we sell them this high dollar RPTV, they experience burn-in, and then they have to have it repaired by some authorized service tech's who pay us for both their right to certification and for the expensive parts they use.... Yeah, let's stop THAT shit!" LOL! I don't see it happening. Truly a conundrum [​IMG]
    Matt
     
  18. Trace Downing

    Trace Downing Supporting Actor

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    I just got a new Mitsubishi RPTV delivered last night.
    There was a warning tag clipped right on the front of it that said not to watch excessive amounts of channels with static images, such as station logos, and ticker-tape news programs.
    The store's display version of my new TV had a DVD main menu burned in, and could be seen very clearly underneath Tom Hanks trying to open coconuts, and FedEx boxes.[​IMG]
     
  19. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    As the originator of this thread I just want to say my sets been professionally calibrated, I just don't want to take a chance with my investment.
     
  20. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Nor should you. It would be interesting if more of these networks knew of people such as you--unwilling to risk their home-theater investments due to the trashy clutter they are forcing upon viewers.
     

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