[opendtv] Agendas, etc.

  • From: Mark Schubin <tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Open DTV Forum <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 16:11:53 -0400

I hope John G. can let me know what my agenda is; I'd love to know.

I have not taken a side in ATSC vs. DVB-T.  It seems to me that there 
are good points and bad to each system.

I have worked (hard) on an ATSC working group and (less hard) on its 
implementation subcommittee.

I HAVE seen DVB-T working in its "native" area.  In 1999, I went to a 
ground-floor flat on a narrow street in London and tried it with a 
set-top antenna (I also generated impulse noise there).  I have also 
seen it work, on later visits, in other flats in London with both 
set-top and roof-top antennas, and elsewhere in the UK.

I participated in the Sinclair Baltimore tests.  I also personally 
carried the Nokia DVB-T portable around the NAB show floor years ago and 
couldn't get its reception to fail except inside a transmitter cabinet.

I have witnessed mobile demonstrations of both ATSC and DVB-T, and ALL 
have failed at some point -- some worse than others.

I have cable TV. 

I have had my cable-TV service fail.  I have lost a broadcast channel 
due to a retransmission dispute between the broadcaster and the cable 
operator.  I have lost a different broadcast channel due to a 
retransmission AGREEMENT between the broadcaster and the cable 
operator.  In all of those cases of loss of cable, I have used a set-top 
antenna (rabbit-ears for VHF, bow-tie for UHF) to receive the missing 

I have, on occasion, used a battery-operated portable TV.

My desire is for DTT to work in my apartment at least as well as NTSC 
does.  Everything else, for me, is gravy.

The 5th-generation LG chip in the LG set-top box brought to my apartment 
by the LG engineers appeared to do that.  I can't be more definite 
because, as I've said before, the TRANSMISSION situation (not just 
reception) in New York was in flux during the test.  I don't know if I 
could get all NY DTT stations because all NY DTT stations weren't on the 
air at the time.  But it seemed as though that receiver might do.  It 
was certainly plug-&-play.  It worked with a set-top antenna.  It didn't 
care about people moving around the room or traffic outside.

In fact, it seemed to work almost as well as did the DVB-T receivers I 
tested in Baltimore years earlier.  I say "almost" because I didn't need 
ANY antenna in Baltimore; just touching the antenna lead was 
sufficient.  The 5th-generation LG appeared to need at least a loop, but 
that's okay with me.

Once again, no one has ever tested DVB-T reception in my apartment.  
Maybe the conditions here are worse than in the Baltimore apartment.  
Maybe it wouldn't work.  I don't know.  I DO know that I get perfectly 
acceptable NTSC reception with my set-top antenna.

Given the success of the 5th-generation LG prototype here, I look 
forward to being able to get reliable DTT here via a set-top antenna on 
a commercially available product.  To date, no one has yet demonstrated 


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