Well, I'll admit that today's receivers work much better than the ones in
1999. However, I will state categorically that not one single ATSC receiver
manufactured or prototyped today works as well as a 1999 vintage cobbled
together DVB-T box did in Baltimore, nor as well as a prototype truly mobile
HM-COFDM receiver did in Las Vegas in 2000, nor as well as diversity COFDM
receivers did in NYC in 2004.
It's not just 8-VSB reception at 19.4 Mbps that I am worried about. It is the entire range of tools that DVB-T provides each individual broadcaster to choose her/his own tradeoffs between receiveability and payload that makes it head and shoulders above ATSC, and it always will be.
Variable bit rate to increase receivability? ATSC has proposed it with E-VSB but DVB-T had it from the very start. Hierarchical Modulation? Samsung proposed it in a skewed sort of way with A-VSB, but DVB-T demonstrated it at the 2000 NAB.
Portable reception? I have given several examples of portable DVD/DVB-T receivers that have been available in Europe for at least two years, while even today not one exists yet for ATSC. Laptop reception? Again, too many USB thumbdrive and PCMCIA cards to count have been offered for DVB-T over the past several years, but only in the last year have the ATSC Thumbdrive equivalent been offered.
Mobile reception? Bob Miller gave the finest example of mobile reception of a very low power DVB-T transmission that I have ever seen. Stephen Long tested mobile reception in the deserts of greater Las Vegas in 2000 at speeds where the ticket would have cost more than the receiver. (Oh how I wish Sinclair videotaped some of their Baltimore reception tests for future generations to ponder.)
Robustness? Mark Schubin took the same receiver that Stephen Long used all around the exhibit halls of the 2000 NAB and the only place he could not get reception was inside of a transmitter cabinet, and even then only when the door was closed.
Argue all you wish about a theoretical 2 dB advantage for ATSC, while I watch my television station's signal freeze and macroblock every time a car drives through the nearby parking ramp.
And I am still waiting for Motorola and NxtWave to deliver on their 1999 promises that derailed the effort to get ATSC thrown out of this country.
Whew, there, I feel all better now. Have a good weekend all.
Well, I'm not being negative, I'm stating a fact: This stuff doesn't work.
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