[opendtv] Re: 20040722 Thundering Thursday Thanks (Mark's Monday Memo)

  • From: Bob Miller <bob@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 19:34:20 -0400

John Willkie wrote:

>The ATSC system reached for the high fruit on the trees, and now, in a site
>that many people thought would never have reliable ATSC reception, even
>there, that fruit is within grasp.  The only issue now is longitudinally.
>Now, we need to find a tougher "acid test" of receivability.  Where's that
>shmo from Portland that said he couldn't get the Portland stations?
>John Willkie
>P.S.  Still can't wait for Bob Miller to try COFDM reception there.  Now
>that we have a working baseline to compare it with.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>[mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Mark Schubin
>Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 5:31 PM
>To: Multiple Addresses Suppressed
>Subject: [opendtv] 20040722 Thundering Thursday Thanks (Mark's Monday
>SPECIAL!  DTT in the U.S. Works!
>Count me among the believers in the 5th-generation LG/Zenith ATSC receiver!
>We just did a test, this morning, in my apartment, and I thought the
>news was too important not to release immediately.  Present were two
>senior research engineers from LG Electronics in Korea, Bob Miller and
>an associate from Viacel, and Richard Bogner and an associate.  Miller
>had arranged for the test in my apartment.  The receiver was the LG
>With a simple loop antenna, with NO care in the positioning, we were
>able to pull in seven DTT stations reliably.  When I say "reliably," I
>mean not only that the pictures and sound were okay but that people
>could move around the room and I could move the antenna around without
>causing any breakup.  It WAS possible for me to find an orientation
>where I could make it fail, but I really had to try, even on WNYW-DT,
>which could previously be received only with the antenna on the floor.
> That's a big jump from previously trying to find an orientation (and
>position) where I could make it work.  For the first time, I could
>receive signals (six channels) from an antenna atop my TV, where I
>normally get analog channels.  I received three channels reliably from
>New Jersey.  We got the same results with the classic Radio Shack dual
>bow-tie with reflector, but other (fancier) antennas did not work as well.
>The only channel I have previously received that I could not get this
>morning was (which we confirmed with a spectrum analyzer) off the air.
> Two of the other channels I could not receive are operating at very low
>power, and one has its transmissions beamed away from me.
>I now believe that any shmo with reception conditions similar to mine
>can simply take the receiver out of the box, connect a cheap loop
>antenna, stick it wherever it looks good, and start to receive ATSC
>signals from all full-power, full-pattern stations.
>There has been a breakthrough!  YAY!  Congratulations to LG/Zenith!  Let
>the transition move forward!
>For the record, the channels I received were: WCBS-DT, WNBC-DT, WNYW-DT
>(which carries WWOR as a subchannel), WABC-DT, WPXN-DT, WNJN-DT, and
Can confirm Mark's enthusiastic post.

Richard Bogner is the Bogner of Bogner antenna. His broadcast antennas 
account for a fair proportion of all full power antennas. He is one of 
the RF pioneers of the TV age. My associate was Meric Adriansen who is 
responsible computer technology behind the ABC sign in Times Square as 
well as the new J.P. Morgan sign on the Rudin Reuters building at 3 
Times square that is composed of the equivalent of three HDTV 1080i 
signals horizontally. I think it is 125 by 25 ft. and wraps around the 
NW corner of 42nd and 7th Ave. It has been lit only the last week or so.

Congratulations should go to Sung-Ryong Hong who arrived last night from 
Seoul Korea and if I heard right is the engineer most responsible for 
the 5th generation Zenith receiver. He was accompanied by Mr. Ja-Hyuk Koo.

Before testing at Mark's apartment I tested at my apartment on Roosevelt 
Island in the East River and I can say that this is truly a receiver 
that works plug and play right out of the box WITH NO INSTRUCTION MANUAL 
since they didn't include one if they even have one yet. I will post the 
details of each location tested later.

We also tested at 32 Ave. of Americas on the 25th floor which is the 
former AT&T World HDQTs floor and one location from which we have been 
broadcasting COFDM. I believe we received 11 channels there with a 
random placement of a bow tie antenna. We also tested at Richard 
Bogner's home in Roslyn Long Island. His home is secluded in high large 
trees and there is a hill between him and Manhattan at around 20 miles. 
He has had many multipath problems and a limited selection of channels 
that he could receive at all. When it is windy he has atrocious reception.

He was very impressed with the new receiver and it picked up 
successfully every channel he thought possible.

The clear winner in the antenna department were the simplest loop and 
rectangle antennas both beating out the quad bow tie, a Weingard HDTV, a 
Radio Shack powered antenna, another similar unpowered RS antenna. The 
rectangular wire antenna (can't cost more than $5) tied with Richard 
Bogner's monstrous rooftop Yagi antenna with rotor. The rooftop only 
matched the wire antenna by using two different directions.

The wire antenna was taped to a bedroom window casually by Richard with 
a piece of scotch tape.

The receiver could work portable if you do not mind using a directional 
antenna. By portable in this case I mean take a portable DTV to another 
fixed location and fiddle with a simple antenna for a moment.

This 5th generation receiver will not do true portable or mobile in any 
way. COFDM still blows it away and Mr. Hong did not seem to have much 
faith that such would be the case in any reasonable timeframe.

That being said this 5th generation receiver does replicate NTSC if you 
leave out the mobile part. It will cause the transition to digital to 
finally proceed IMO.

Two weeks ago I called Hisense and told them I would be interested in 
their receiver if they could use Zenith 5th generation tech and WM9. 
Seems that is in the cards now to. They said at the time that they could 
do it. That and a rave review from Mark Aitken made me call LG who 
promptly sent a 5th gen receiver DHL and two senior engineer designers.

The only thing that confuses me is why LG didn't drop 8-VSB in 2000 for 
COFDM. They would have sold a ton more HDTV sets in the last four years. 
Easy to see why S. Korean broadcasters caved on COFDM and why it was 
easier for Mexico to get off the fence now.

BTW we still cannot broadcast a signal of any strength above Midtown 
because of interference issues.

Bob Miller
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