California Broadcasters Association President Mark Powers sent out a puzzling missive Friday afternoon: “The FCC has advised us that they have received complaints that the digital signals of many California stations have incorrect time codes (PSIP). This is a FCC violation and they have asked our assistance in correcting this problem immediately. Please check your signal as soon as possible.”
Turns out that a technically savvy San Francisco Bay area viewer complained to the FCC because several TV stations had switched to Daylight Saving Time October 2. Gary Lingren found that the PSIP parameter “DS_day_of_month” was set to “2” on the errant stations before October 2. It should have been set on October 3. This parameter, within the STT, sets the day of the current month that auto time setting devices change to DST. Apparently, one of the major PSIP suppliers set this parameter one month early. DST actually switches on November 2 this year. Your DS_day_of_the_month param should now read “2”, and your DS Status should read “In daylight savings time.” (Actually, it should read Daylight Saving Time, but that’s another conversation.) If it isn’t, you should edit it or notify your PSIP provider, depending on overwriting policies.
It’s not known yet which PSIP contractor set the errant parameter. If you find out, let us know.