Linked by weildish on Tue 6th Jan 2009 17:28 UTC
Editorial If you live in the United States, then it's almost certain you've heard about this big digital switch that public television is making due to a new US law. If you live outside of the US, I bet you've heard of it anyway since we like to let people know what we're up to. The big day that's coming up -- February 17th, 2009 -- that magical date when all television stations will historically abandon the infamous analog broadcasting for greener, digital pastures -- didn't strike fear into the hearts at my household. We rarely utilize the antenna, and then only two to four times a year for a special program. Nonetheless, we got our hands on one of those nifty coupons anyway and went out to purchase a digital converter for the sake of those few intrinsic public broadcats. Read on for the whole story.
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RE[3]: Most TVs won't need one
by konfoo on Wed 7th Jan 2009 20:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Most TVs won't need one"
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EXCEPT DTV/HDTV are DIRECTIONAL in nature, versus the OMNI-DIRECTIONAL nature of Analog TV. So you may very well LOSE channels.

No it is not. That is patently untrue. Transmission towers are omnidirectional, as is the signal. The modulation, user location, and elevation may determine the best receiving antenna to use, and that may be directional or omnidirectional, but there is no reason why one cannot use a combiner / diversity antenna. In fact many so-called omnidirectional antennas encased in plastic are nothing more than diversity antennas.

DTV/HDTV (yes they are different) also require PERFECT signal. So good luck watching the NFL OTA in a storm.

That's not at all true. There is still error correction at the analog signal level (RS). The problem is severe packet loss where there is a long GOP length in the video stream. Both the analog and digital output as well as the resulting multiplex and video can be error and erasure corrected (RS/LDPC/etc) to cope with this. Unfortunately due to the fact that there is a large population of set tops out there, these things cannot be optimized at the risk of rendering older set tops inoperable.

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