Letter to Cordel Green and Phillip Paulwell Regarding the Consistently Poor Video Quality and Technical Breach of License by Television Jamaica (TVJ) – October 11, 2012

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The SUBJECT line should be:
Technical Breach of License by Television Jamaica (TVJ)

The BODY is the following:

Dear Cordel and Phillip:

For the past 2 years, the operators of Television Jamaica (TVJ) have failed to maintain technical standards on its transmission sites and relay systems, as per the terms of license under which it operates.

During the period specified, and as recently as Thursday October 11, 2012, the picture on channel 12 – which serves the St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland areas, consistently display sub-standard and unacceptable quality. The following is a summary of breach of technical standards:

(1). Vertical, horizontal and zig-zag lines;

(2). Picture jumps until it goes off-air;

(3). There is almost always no color in its display;

(4). On images with white background, the picture gets extra white then go off-air. Upon resumption, the picture gets faint (dark) then go off-air, after the signal is restored, it displays properly for a few seconds then it reverts to the poor quality.

Audio/speech on TVJ gave a chipmunk effect, similar to when one is editing a newsclip by rewinding or fast-forwarding the tape. That has been a consistent issue for the entire week of September 21, 2012 – September 27, 2012.

Carroll Lawrence and Chris Aiken from RJR’s Engineering Department admits that there have been issues with TVJ in St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland – the Channel 12 service area. For the period in question, we have noted where there has only been a “temporary fix” whenever these incidents occur. In other words, as soon as the engineers carry out maintenance work on the problematic site and the picture is restored to acceptable standards, the picture gradually degrades after only one day and pose an issue all over again.

The operators of TVJ failed to implement sustainable measures and the Broadcasting Commission (the so-called regulator) wasn’t proactive enough in ensuring that this licensee is held to account for the unbearable over-the-air transmission and deficiency in service standards that is continually experienced by viewers in these large service areas.

It is quite disturbing that the only time the picture quality on TVJ displays up to standard, apart from the one day grace period after work is carried out (as maintenance) on the site by engineers, is when it rains. Thus, viewers in those areas can only hope that it rains so they can view “Prime Time News” and other important features properly for a few hours.

TVJ goes off-air an average of 4 times per week with the most recent being on Wednesday October 10, 2012.

TVJ (Channel 12) displays more interference and inconvenience to viewers and advertisers in the St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland areas more than how it is actually required to perform under the terms of its license.

Well-thinking individuals whom have an appreciation for standards and advances in the new world are annoyed at the fact that the Broadcasting Commission has no enforcement bureau and, generally, no real power, while the responsible Minister and the Governor General refuse to fire the imbeciles whom are currently warming seats and occupying space within the regulatory entity.

Because of this lax in organizational skills, expertise, communication, proficiency and knowledge, the Broadcasting Commission will continue to be a dog without teeth.

What kind of regulation is executed by the Broadcasting Commission that allows for a licensee, in this case TVJ, to be operating way below the international standards for broadcast for two (2) years? Similarly, what kind of regulator does NO monthly, quarterly biannual or annual inspection/investigation of its licensees technical operations? Isn’t that a requirement??

Yes, we know we have once again highlighted and promulgated the deficiencies, irrelevance and sheer stupidity of the operators of the Broadcasting Commission, that was the intention. We don’t care whether Cordel Green or Hopeton Dunn are embarrassed by this, we don’t answer to NOR are we in any way obligated to the Broadcasting Commission or the Government of Jamaica. We only care that these important issues are brought to the attention of the public and that they get involved, and that the current “fillers” in the regulatory entity move speedily to address these technical issues with TVJ, so that the viewers and advertisers may be encouraged to show loyalty once more.

CVM television transmits from the same location as TVJ – from Shafton, Westmoreland – yet the picture quality on CVM which serves the same respective service areas (St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland) always display DVD-like picture. It appears that the operators of CVM television have found the real value and long-term benefits of investing in up-to-standard and quality equipment and sustainable maintenance work on its transmission sites.

We are demanding that the Broadcasting Commission exercise some regulatory sense and responsibility and sanction the operators of Television Jamaica (TVJ) for causing inconvenience to viewers and economic loss to the advertisers whom have contracted services with the station to reach the target audience that TVJ is failing to reach when these events of poor picture quality and no signal occur.

We will be sending a separate letter to the all the advertisers affected during the period of sub-standard period of operation, namely the poor video quality, by TVJ.

Hopeton Dunn, we can’t wait to see how your “genius” will manifest in three (3) years’ time when you force the television licensees to upgrade to digital facilities. The operators of Television Jamaica fail to maintain a consistent, acceptable form of quality according to international standards over their current analog systems, do you seriously believe that a digital facility makes more economic or technical sense and in so little time? This should be interesting to see.

You are clearly asking the struggling licensees to bite off more than they can actually chew.

Citizens Advocacy Group

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