[opendtv] Re: Democrats Air Concerns About Analog Switchover

  • From: Richard Hollandsworth <holl_ands@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 20:12:47 -0800 (PST)

1  The FCC-05-199 test (see pg 6-6) of STBs and HDTVs available as of Aug05, 
indicated that there were two classes of performance.  The "best"  (ten out of 
24) HDTVs tested failed on about half of the 47 total Field Ensembles.  The 
STBs and remaining HDTVs could only pass a relatively small number of tests.  
Hence ALL of the STB's tested in Aug06 (including the highly popular ATI 
NXT2004 series) were very deficient in handling a wide variety of actual 
on-the-air multipath test conditions.

2. Only the latest and greatest "5th Gen" ATSC Decoder chips "meet" the A/74 
Receiver Guidelines....and only the new Samsung DTB-H260F STB has a "5th Gen" 
chip.  Hence, all ofher "current" STBs can be expected to exhibit the same 
deficient performance documented in FCC-05-199.

3. ATI submitted similliar test results for their "latest" ATSC Decoder chips:
Note the HUGE improvement with the latest two ATI chips (Theater?? Xilleon??) 
compared to other (unidentified) STB's, including what they called a "Third 
Gen" Receiver:.  FYI: Xilleon 240H is used in the Samsung DTB-H-260F.

4. If you look at the CRC test results on the PROTOTYPE LG/Zenith "5th Gen" 
Receiver, you will see that it did not perform well with short delay, nearly 
equal strength multipath test conditions, including Brazil "C" and "E" test 
conditions...such as can occur with an indoor or attic mounted antenna.

5. Every location is different....but for sure indoor and attic locations are 
much worse wrt to SNR and Multipath than stick mounted.  But unless there is a 
WORKING stick already in place, and indoor or attic location is the FIRST (and 
many times LAST) thing that people will try.....cuz anything else is going to 
involve spending big bucks for this "Free" OTA DTV thingy....or is prohibited 
by HOA/WAF restrictions...

6. Severe Multipath isn't just an URBAN problem---it's also a problem for many, 
many users who can only use an indoor antenna (HOA/WAF factor).

7. Severe Multipath is also a problem for those of us who don't live BEHIND a 
hill, rather than on the top.  All of my analog stations are mushed up....and 
the two nearest don't come in at all....  If I only had a 100-foot high 
stick....16-foot didn't help very much...

7. I have severe multipath and my Sylvania 6900DTE's "deficient" ATI NXT2004 
ATSC Decoder chip doesn't always provide flawless performance--despite help 
from a DTA-5000 Smart Antenna.  When it inevitably suffers a severe fade 
(remember Rayleigh fade statistics????), the video may only glitch--or may go 
away for anywhere from a blink of the eye to several seconds.  And when it 
recovers, there is a HUGE SNAPPING GRUNCH noise that comes out of the Surround 
System....at which time my wife covers her ears and exits to find another TV....

8. OTA may only be a distant memory for me whenever Time WARNER Cable works out 
their internecine warfare issues with CBS-WARNER (CW) network and finally adds 
CW-HD to our cable feed.


John Willkie <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: It's truly incorrect that 
multipath is much of a problem with current
set-top boxes from a wide number of vendors.  These are the boxes that will
be bought by those that need them.  There was much problem with earlier
sets, which were bought by "early adopters" who complained -- and correctly
-- widely.

It's also truly incorrect that multipath causes digital pictures to look
worse than analog broadcasts.  With digital, you either get the signal or
you don't; there is no grainy pictures.  Sometimes, there can be a drop out
that causes a picture to jumble up for a moment or three.  This is so bad
that the pictures are unusable.  

I'd truly recommend that you buy a converter shortly before you need one,
and only after you have seen the unit in operation at a home near yours.

The good news is that the multipath problems are largely confined to urban
locations where there are strong signals and many reflections from

For the most part, if you can get good analog reception now, you will be
able to get crystal-clear digital reception.  Indeed, if the broadcaster is
at full power, you should be able to get digital reception where you cannot
now get usable analog.

John Willkie

-----Original Message-----
From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Gregory J. Ward
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2006 1:55 PM
To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [opendtv] Re: Democrats Air Concerns About Analog Switchover

John Shutt wrote me a very nice explanation and background to  
introduce me to the issues I didn't know about, such as the  
auctioning of bandwidth to raise money for the gov't.

I've heard that digital HD broadcasts as they're currently deployed  
have lots of trouble with multipath, and in fact look worse than  
standard resolution analog broadcasts.  I'm all in favor of broadcast  

if the results are nice.  What I'm not keen on is buying a converter  
to get lousy reception when what I had was fine before.


> From: "Manfredi, Albert E" 
> Date: November 17, 2006 1:40:06 PM PST
> Gregory J. Ward wrote:
>> I'm new to this discussion, but why do we even need digital
>> broadcasts? What's wrong with requiring people who want HD
>> to get cable?
> "Let them eat cake."
> The real question is, why do we need cable to distribute broadband
> one-to-all communications, when this is more efficiently done without
> any cables?
> Bert
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