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  • Analog vs DTV

    Yesterday, we, on the WTFDA DX BB, had a discussion about analog vs digital TV so, I thought I'd try a little experiment...

    Analog WUVM-LP 4z Atlanta is 312 miles from here and is running 2.5 KW. With the Icom R-7000 receiver I'm able to hear enough of it to determine that it is SS with Azteca America programming. I was also getting a little bit of video on the Sanyo DP19241 TV. Plenty enough to make a positive ID on this one.

    Meanwhile, I checked all of the regular 'benchmark' DTV channels from Atlanta and not a single one of them came anywhere near decoding on the Zenith DTT-901 converter box, even though, some of them are running 400 TIMES AS MUCH POWER (abt 26 db) as WUVM-LP.

    Analog vs DTV.

    73, Ed NN2E
    Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
    "You Might Be a Redneck If...
    Your TV is on 24/7.
    Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
    The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
    Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
    Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
    Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
    Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
    Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
    Jeff Foxworthy

  • #2
    DTV sure is fun... starring at hours of yellow bars that never decode at the same time I get hours of IDable material from an analog.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm still waiting for a decode of WGBH RF5, 80 miles away. It's been a week since they switched from 19. All I want to see is a couple of seconds of video. Is that too much to ask? I think so.
      Mike B.
      Enfield, CT
      -72° 30' W/41° 59' N
      FN31RX

      Online since 1999 and still going at
      mikesdx.com

      Comment


      • #4
        You're right Andrew... it was much more interesting watching weak signal programming than a 1/3 scale signal bar.

        Mike... Eventually WGBH will decode and, from that point forward, it'll be like you've stepped on a wad of gum in a hot parking lot... I had this experience with WHDF... Waited a looong time for it to decode and now I just can't scrape that thing off of my shoe... I see it's signal nearly everywhere I aim the antenna.

        73, Ed NN2E
        Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
        "You Might Be a Redneck If...
        Your TV is on 24/7.
        Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
        The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
        Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
        Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
        Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
        Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
        Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
        Jeff Foxworthy

        Comment


        • #5
          I believe it was the great Jeff Kadet who told me years ago that dxing digital television is like having the squelch stuck on eight (out of ten). I can't wait for ATSC 3.0 to be rolled out near me.
          TV DXing from Fairfield, Connecticut since 1977.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've been reading a recent paper (4-2019) by the NAB regarding ATSC 3.0, with reference to three subjects - the effects of propagation on a terrestrial UHF/VHF signal; the conundrum of the repack; and content protection (CP) and digital rights management (DRM).

            In the paper, the broadcasters concerns are on content protection, with regard to electronic devices that can record and/or stream OTA broadcast content for redistribution. This is mostly a network television concern. They don't want you sending the content of WXYZ or KABC half way across the country, via a wireless internet device (out of market). It also mentions that the FCC and the NAB recognize that atmospheric conditions can send a signal beyond its intended market (again, out of market). There had been implications that ATSC 3.0 receivers would have the capability to block *out of market* signals from being viewed. The NAB and the FCC agree that basic receivers should not present this problem for viewers, who have no control over atmospheric conditions (think E-skip and tropo).

            The NAB paper says that at this point, any electronic devices that receive OTA signals and also have an internet gateway should have CP and DRM installed in the technology. It mentions that consumers that want to receive basic OTA ATSC 3.0 signals without internet technology involved should not have to be concerned about CP and DRM giving them reception issues. Therefore, an OTA viewer (dxer) will still be able to dx DTV with basic devices. With an internet capable tuner such as an HDHomerun tuner, the days of dxing with ATSC 3.0 may be impossible, if such tuners are embedded with CP and DRM technology.

            They also recognized with the repack, atmospheric conditions can send signals further than their intended market. The broadcasters have to deal with that situation. Haven't DTV dxers seen the results of that already? And the repack has only begun.

            If you care to read the full details of this NAB report, it can be found here...
            https://nabpilot.org/wp-content/uplo...uide_Final.pdf
            Last edited by Jim Thomas; 08-10-2019, 12:44 PM.
            Jim Thomas
            Springfield, MO EM37

            "Let's just plop them in front of the TV. I was raised in front of the TV and I turned out TV." - Homer Simpson


            Fall & Winter 2019 dx equipment
            Antennas - Antennacraft MXU59 UHF antenna & home-brew version of Antennacraft VHF Y-10-7-13 antenna @ 25'. Both antennas fed through a Channel Master 7777 30dB pre-amp.
            Tuners - Zenith DTT901 converter box; AirSpy HF+ sdr; Silicon Dust HD Homerun Dual ATSC tuner, using Rabbitears autologger support.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Jim for that information. I don't think I'll have any reason to use an internet connected tuner, so I'll be fine. Unfortunately, those (like you) feeding information to "Live Bandscan" on Rabbit Ears will run into problems if the NAB has their way. It seems with each advance in technology, there comes a new set of drawbacks.
              TV DXing from Fairfield, Connecticut since 1977.

              Comment


              • #8
                Jim... Thanks for the info... I hope we can keep DXing (what's left of) TV.

                The, "Watch us and don't you dare watch another station" thing has been going on for quite a while. Back in the heyday of C-band satellite several network stations were available on C-band. Our local KFVS 12 Cape Girardeau, MO used to run ads telling us we'd better not watch another CBS feed, or else, blah-blah-blah. So... I filled a VHS tape full of Es and Tr recordings of CBS stations, from all over the country, and mailed it to KFVS with a note informing them it was all done OTA with an outdoor TV antenna system. I asked, "Which one do you want me to watch?" The silence was deafening... Notta peep of response from KFVS.

                *sarcasm on* So, auto-logging might be put out of business by ATSC 3.0?... You mean, the, "throw a stick of dynamite in the water and call it, fishing" crowd will have to go back to, *gasp*, "real time" DXing?! Awwww, that's too bad. *sarcasm off*... I must admit, since I've never run an auto-logger, yet, I've logged more DTVs than anyone else on the planet, this amuses me.

                I'd imagine, it won't take long before a method of 'work-around' is available to defeat whatever road blocks are put in the way.

                73, Ed NN2E
                Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
                Last edited by NN2E; 08-11-2019, 10:36 AM.
                "You Might Be a Redneck If...
                Your TV is on 24/7.
                Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
                The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
                Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
                Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
                Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
                Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
                Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
                Jeff Foxworthy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ed, I wonder what exactly did KFVS think they were going to do if someone watched an out of town CBS feed? Zap the TV or the owner for insubordination? What if someone lived somewhere like McKenzie, TN, where KFVS, WREG, and WTVF were possible/probable CBS stations with an outside antenna? That's crazy talk!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Their (KFVS) main issue was people watching another CBS station via satellite... Not that they could do anything about it other than run their obnoxious ad. I didn't like their attitude so I showed them they weren't the center of the CBS universe.

                    73, Ed NN2E
                    Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
                    "You Might Be a Redneck If...
                    Your TV is on 24/7.
                    Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
                    The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
                    Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
                    Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
                    Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
                    Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
                    Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
                    Jeff Foxworthy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      None of this is really entirely new.

                      ATSC 1.0 contains provisions for CP, for DRM, and for geolocation. The CP and DRM provisions are already in use for ATSC 1.0 transmissions via cable. To my knowledge the geolocation provisions were never used -- but if you read the PSIP standard you'll find them.


                      What's new with ATSC 3.0 is seamless integration of Internet delivery. An ATSC 3.0 broadcast is an Internet stream. Specifically, it's an IP multicast. If you watch, for example, CBS All Access, you're watching an IP multicast delivered through your Internet provider (ISP). In ATSC 3.0, you would normally be watching NBC Nightly News via an IP multicast delivered through the WMAQ-TV transmitter. For a couple of reasons, your receiver might switch to a multicast delivered through your ISP. Maybe you're watching on your tablet and you walk into a place where multipath takes out the OTA signal but you have wifi. Maybe WMAQ is airing a Culver's commercial in Schaumburg, but you live in Waukegan and the nearest Culver's is 15 miles away.

                      And all that's fine, as long as the Internet-delivered programming is coming from WMAQ. What they don't want is for the Internet-delivered programming to come from KOAA in Colorado. Especially the Internet-delivered syndicated programming. Like the Ellen DeGeneris show. WMAQ pays good money for the rights to air that program, and they expect to make that money back by selling access to the viewers who watch that show in the Chicago area. If some of those viewers are watching KOAA, WMAQ isn't getting their money's worth. (neither is KOAA; an auto dealer in Colorado Springs isn't going to pay to reach an audience in Chicago!)

                      So, one would presume some kind of technology will exist to prevent DRM-protected programming from streaming over the Internet outside the intended market. It's possible (likely) those limits will only apply to syndicated programming. (KOAA will happily allow me to watch their local newscast online) There is some risk to broadcasters in applying these limits to the OTA signal at all. Consider, for example, Kenosha, Wisconsin. It's technically in the Milwaukee market. It's also midway between Milwaukee and Chicago, and is home to an increasing number of people who commute to the latter city. With a reasonable antenna, it is possible to watch either WTMJ or WMAQ OTA. Blocking OTA reception of WMAQ might not go over very well. It is not difficult to find other "border counties" where reception of more than one market might be expected.

                      It would be possible to apply geographic DRM only to material received over the Internet.

                      Whether that will actually happen, who knows...
                      Doug Smith W9WI
                      Pleasant View, TN EM66
                      http://www.w9wi.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Doug, that sounds kinda familiar...

                        "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat, there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to, The Outer Limits."

                        I used to live in a, two market, TV coverage area... Halfway between NYC and Philly... I can just imagine what Hell would be raised, by the central NJ advertisers and viewers, if signals were cut off from either city.

                        73, Ed NN2E
                        Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
                        "You Might Be a Redneck If...
                        Your TV is on 24/7.
                        Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
                        The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
                        Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
                        Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
                        Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
                        Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
                        Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
                        Jeff Foxworthy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I was thinking about the original aspect of Ed's posting this thread - analog versus digital - and how a dxer can sit for hours waiting for a signal to finally get strong enough to decode.

                          Fast forward to the future. The NAB and electronics manufacturers decide to include CP and DRM technology in future TV receivers for ATSC 3.0 reception. So I'm sitting there for hours waiting for this signal to decode, it finally happens, and CP/DRM kicks in and no picture or audio! What? Where's my dx? My dxing habit just got a boot in the butt. Ouch. It could happen....maybe. But according to Doug's comments, not very likely.
                          Jim Thomas
                          Springfield, MO EM37

                          "Let's just plop them in front of the TV. I was raised in front of the TV and I turned out TV." - Homer Simpson


                          Fall & Winter 2019 dx equipment
                          Antennas - Antennacraft MXU59 UHF antenna & home-brew version of Antennacraft VHF Y-10-7-13 antenna @ 25'. Both antennas fed through a Channel Master 7777 30dB pre-amp.
                          Tuners - Zenith DTT901 converter box; AirSpy HF+ sdr; Silicon Dust HD Homerun Dual ATSC tuner, using Rabbitears autologger support.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think you can interpret my rather lengthy post to mean that the NAB and electronics manufacturers will not apply CP or DRM to OTA reception on purpose. Hopefully they won't do it by mistake.
                            Doug Smith W9WI
                            Pleasant View, TN EM66
                            http://www.w9wi.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NN2E View Post
                              Jim... Thanks for the info... I hope we can keep DXing (what's left of) TV.

                              The, "Watch us and don't you dare watch another station" thing has been going on for quite a while. Back in the heyday of C-band satellite several network stations were available on C-band. Our local KFVS 12 Cape Girardeau, MO used to run ads telling us we'd better not watch another CBS feed, or else, blah-blah-blah. So... I filled a VHS tape full of Es and Tr recordings of CBS stations, from all over the country, and mailed it to KFVS with a note informing them it was all done OTA with an outdoor TV antenna system. I asked, "Which one do you want me to watch?" The silence was deafening... Notta peep of response from KFVS.

                              *sarcasm on* So, auto-logging might be put out of business by ATSC 3.0?... You mean, the, "throw a stick of dynamite in the water and call it, fishing" crowd will have to go back to, *gasp*, "real time" DXing?! Awwww, that's too bad. *sarcasm off*... I must admit, since I've never run an auto-logger, yet, I've logged more DTVs than anyone else on the planet, this amuses me.

                              I'd imagine, it won't take long before a method of 'work-around' is available to defeat whatever road blocks are put in the way.

                              73, Ed NN2E
                              Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
                              There are already ways to run an autologger without uploading all the scan data to the internet. I have an offline autologger I run at my brother's house in Doylestown. It needs no internet connection. It merely shows the TSID and PSIP it receives for review later when I'm available... like not at work.

                              Comment

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