[opendtv] Re: STB hunting

  • From: Mark Schubin <tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 11:54:58 -0500

Manfredi, Albert E wrote:

>Mark Schubin wrote:
>>>Seems to me that anyone depending on NTSC to begin
>>>with will have a leg up on transitioning. Because
>>>they will already have had to figure out how to get
>>>good reception of OTA stations.
>>I don't think so -- on two counts:
>>1.  I get good NTSC reception with set-top rabbit
>>ears.  Not even the very latest prototype Samsung
>>receiver could get DTT stations here that way
>>(although the 5th-generation LG could).
>But you get "perfect" reception with window placement
>of the indoor antenna, right? Not "good," but
Yes.  And your point is?

Who puts a TV in front of a window?  How many analog TV viewers would 
know that if they can't get anything with a set-top antenna, they should 
move it to a window? 

You said NTSC viewers would have a leg up because they've figured out 
how to get OTA.  Okay, I've figured out how to get OTA -- with set-top 
rabbit ears.  That hasn't given me a leg up on getting DTT.  Maybe my 
engineering background has.

>I get atrocious NTSC reception of MHz Networks on
>Channel 56. It's so bad that you periodically lose
>sync on the NTSC signal, with any of the three antennas
>I have. I guess the biggest problem is that the
>transmitter is located way to the west of all others,
>with a hill in the way, and there's no big incentive for
>me to accommodate that.
>And yet, with the *VHF* omni, I get a solid signal of
>its digital channel 30. The SNR hovers upwards of 16.5 dB
>consistently. Not bad, getting solid recetion with that
>sort of SNR, considering this cannot be a gaussian
>channel. And with what must be a 3rd gen receiver, even.
Once again, you've contradicted your statement about NTSC viewing being 
training for DTT reception.  You didn't bother to accommodate your NTSC, 
and you didn't have to do anything special for your DTT.  Lucky you.

>And not only that, but this same VHF omni gets me most
>other local DTT channels as well. So DTT reception can
>be easier than analog, unless you're satisified with a
>truly abysmal analog picture. Which I am not, since OTA
>is my source of TV signal.
I don't think ANYONE is arguing that DTT reception can NOT be easier 
than analog.  Of course it can!  And deliver perfect pictures, too.  Or 
it can deliver nothing.  Or it can deliver most stations but not one (as 
in the Washington Post article).

And I am not arguing here about modulation system.  ANY digital system 
has a cliff.

All I am arguing against is your statement that NTSC viewing trains 
people in how to get DTT.  I don't believe it does.

>>2.  Have you seen what many people watch (in terms of
>>snow and ghosts)?  Yeesh!
>Exactly. Digital is simply different, and far better than
>analog, depending on one's point of view.
So, once again, NTSC viewing does NOT provide training in DTT 
reception.  Someone watching NTSC with snow and ghosts will either get 
startlingly perfect pictures when switching to DTT or nothing.  The NTSC 
viewing provides no training in how to move from the latter condition to 
the former.

>I noticed even in that Wash Post piece you posted that
>the author was not a habitual OTA user. So to him, having
>to figure out the best antenna placement was a brand new
Once again disproving your argument that NTSC viewing is training for 
getting DTT.  PLEASE re-read your paragraph at the top of this message.

> And yet, the piece was hardly negative.
Except for the Washington ABC outlet (and, by extension, the network, 
its advertisers, and its programming suppliers).

That selective reception, to me, is the biggest problem with DTT -- and 
a big justification for broadcasters not to promote it.

If, after the transition, you get nothing, you might make some effort to 
move the antenna (as the Washington Post writer did) until you get 
something.  If you get something, but not everything you got before, 
maybe you stop trying, and a broadcaster loses audience (as with KCSM).


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