8-VSB Digital terrestrial TV needs outdoor antennas
As government officials campaign to offer the facts about the DTV reception of ATSC signals, millions of over-the-air viewers are going to be faced next February with a harsh reality: install a sophisticated new outdoor antenna or subscribe to a pay-TV service reports Broadcast Engineering.com
The article goes on to say “That’s because in many parts of the United States, viewers are going to find that reception of digital signals over the air is not so easy. In fact, due to many conditions, it may be impossible even with an antenna”
Centris, a market research firm estimates that more than 40 million primary and vacation households will have reception issues and that the government is leaving out key details in their DTV education campaign.
One of these issues is the type of antenna the government assumes that viewers will be using.
The assumption is that the TVs are connected to an outdoor antenna 30ft above the ground with an electric motor that allows the user to point the antenna toward the desired station.
In its research, Centris found that 75 percent of over-the-air households use indoor antennas on their TVs, and only 13 percent have an outdoor motorized roof-top antenna. In households with indoor antennas, the need for the TV signal to penetrate the premises causes it to be at least between three and 100 times lower in power due to loss.
Though Centris does validate the government’s recommendation for the required outdoor antenna for most households (see www.antennaweb.org), it notes that a variety of conditions in individual households will cause about 10 percent of homes to experience problems even if they use the recommended outdoor antenna.
Centris predicts that more than half of households are located in challenging digital TV reception areas.
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Source: Broadcast Engineering.com
Item added: 10th June 2008