[opendtv] Re: Toward digital TV

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 17:58:01 -0500

Dale Kelly wrote:

> About four to five years ago I dropped into a London
> Pub for lunch and saw first hand a repeat performance
> of the COFDM systems robustness I  witnessed during
> the Sinclair demonstrations. This pub is located
> adjacent to and almost under, the major multi track
> train trestle feeding Charring Cross station and is
> also surrounded by substantial buildings and moving
> train and other vehicular traffic. There clearly was
> no direct signal from the transmission site but, using
> a Silver Sensor antenna mounted atop the STB, the
> COFDM reception was almost flawless*.
> This report is anecdotal in nature and it is possible
> that the LG equipment used at Marks apartment could
> achieve similar results from 8VSB signals at that very
> difficult location. However my point is: the COFDM
> receiver was first generation off the shelf hardware
> while the LG unit is not available to consumers at any
> location at any price.
> * As I recall, minor very short-term pixilation was
> observed twice in a period of about 45 minutes.

But there are many rebuttals to this.

One is that the earlier COFDM receivers were actually
better than the newest Freeview receivers, the difference
being the tuner itself.

Another is that COFDM was *specifically* designed for
these conditions. Where the signal level is adequate,
you were testing it in exactly its natural environment.
It would have been interesting to compare it with 4th
and 5th gen ATSC receivers in that same environment, but
such a test does not constitute the sum total of all
comparision tests one would want to see. Unless US
broadcasters make an effort to provide a good network of
translators throughout the country, in the US we seem to
have much bigger areas to cover with only one tower.

Another is that this doesn't contradict the simple fact
that professional outdoor antenna installations are the
norm in Europe, for those wanting to receive all OTA
stations in their market. This is largely due to the
low power transmitted from stations and translators, no
doubt, and also because apartment dwelling in large urban
areas is also the norm. So apartment antenna systems or
individual antennas on the roof of these buildings is a
very common sight, at least in OTA countries.

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