[opendtv] ATSC experience

  • From: "Albert Manfredi" <bert22306@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 19:27:06 -0500

First, responding to some points which apply later.

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

>Homes located in rural areas generally require sophisticated
>antenna, typically mounted on tall masts or towers to
>receive distant broadcasts.

But obviously it would be best if they did not require a
complicated antenna. The easiest way to get people to
use OTA TV is to show them that indoor antennas are
often sufficient.

>Other than locally produced programming such as
>news, this is largely untrue.

Largely untrue doesn't mean untrue. UPN, on Saturday
afternoons, has different programs in Wash and Balt,
which I often record for viewing later. This is always
the case, not occasionally. The main networks might
not do this often, during prime time, but occasionally
they do. And when they do, I appreciate having the

>As I said in the previous message, the ability to
>receive distant market signals IS NOT A FEATURE,
>to receive a distant signal when a game is blacked
>out in the "local market."

But, again, to the consumer, the NFL is being a
nuisance. Consumers like to work around
nuisances, not to be encumbered by them.

But the main event is that the Accurian box works
quite well, in my very first testing. It is easiest to
say which stations I *cannot* receive, from Wash
and Balt markets.

I cannot receive Washington UPN 20 and
Washington PBS 26. It's too bad about UPN,
because Baltimore UPN 24 is apparently only
analog? PBS is no big problem, because Annapolis
channel 22 and all its multicasts comes in fine. I
understand that WETA-DT is on a lower tower
and lower power. I know this, because they
once had to transmit analog from it, when their
main antenna had a problem, and the signal was
very bad in analog. Very weak, where we are.

So that's a lot of channels. Interestingly, virtually
all these come in just fine with either of my UHF
antennas, one being higher gain than the other.
I have yet to try bypassing my antenna amp,
which sometimes helps in DTT reception. And
also curious is that a strange MHz network station,
with a zillion multicasts (many are just color bars)
only comes in with a VHF omni I have.

So, is ATSC coverage better than analog? Well,
certainly it is for us for Baltimore stations. Far
better, because now they all come in as clear
and sharp as local stations. With analog, some
of the Baltimore stations were quite weak.

More experimenting to do, with DVI input and
with the aspect ratio choices, and I might try
an indoor antenna downstairs, just for kicks.


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