American Forces Network TV viewers have seen on-air problems in the past few weeks, but AFN has solutions, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Since the launch of AFN Family and AFN Movie on Sept. 3, AFN viewers have seen programs cut off by another show without warning, as well as discrepancies between advertised schedules and what was being shown.
“We had some problems with our automation processes,” said Larry Sichter, the chief of affiliate relations for the Defense Media Center, the programming source for military radio and television outlets overseas. “There’s just bugs we have to work out, [but] we’re on top of it. We have solutions.”
Soldiers in Darmstadt, Germany, say they’ve noticed the problems.
Pfc. A.J. Garza, with Company C, 32nd Signal Battalion in Darmstadt, said all AFN disturbances are annoying.
“It bothers me when I’m watching something I like on AFN, especially when I’m watching a movie, and there is some sort of disruption.”
But Sgt. Mike Stephens, of the same unit, said it isn’t that bad.
“I just assume they’re doing some sort of upgrade to the system. I don’t get mad,” Stephens said. “I know they have so many other programs going on. It doesn’t bother me.
“I like that new movie channel,” he said. “They play some pretty good stuff.”
Sichter could not give a date as to when fixes would be made.
“There’s no ‘definitely’ in the computer world,” he said, referring to the system’s server-based technology.
Engineers are finding the system is having unexpected difficulty in processing a substantial increase in file management tasks, due to the introduction of new channels.
Sichter said engineers did test the system with its additional workload, and it was “running fine.”
AFN also installed new equipment recently to split its services between the two major regions of the world.
All the AFN services are fed in real time to Asia. For the Atlantic region, however, AFN feeds a seven-hour delayed version of AFN Family, AFN Movie and AFN Spectrum in addition to the other five TV services.
Problems last month affected these regional feeds as well.