The Official AVS 'Smart Antenna' topic - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 167 Old 12-14-2009, 06:57 AM
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The illustration looks like a set-top converter box to me. Does someone manufacture a box to adapt a smart antenna to a non smart antenna-enabled TV? If so, would that be a reasonable way to go? Most of my local stations' transmitters are about 20 miles distant.
Gary

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Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Unless a set specifically calls out 'Smart Antenna', it will not be able to take advantage it. Yes, you can connect the RF antenna coax feed, but it will not work like a Smart Antenna.

In particular, look on the set for a 'Smart Antenna' interface on the set.

No Vizio to my knowledge has ever had a Smart Antenna interface.

Here is a device with a Smart Antenna interface, located to the left of the AC powercord:

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post #152 of 167 Old 12-14-2009, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granathg View Post

The illustration looks like a set-top converter box to me.

Correct.

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Does someone manufacture a box to adapt a smart antenna to a non smart antenna-enabled TV?

No.

At 20 miles, there are a number of antennas which should work. Check the antenna topics at the topic of the forum, or start a topic of your own and post the results from TV Fool.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #153 of 167 Old 12-14-2009, 04:25 PM
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There are still some STB's being manufactured that support DTV "smart antennas", however, the output signal is NTSC analog, not HD. These same boxes were until recently part of the goverment's coupon program to preserve consumer OTA reception with the demise of analog TV broadcast. I'd very much like to see TV and STB HD tuners support "smart antennas", but I don't think it's happening yet.
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post #154 of 167 Old 12-18-2009, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI: There IS a way to use a Smart Antenna with a DTV that is not equipped with Smart Antenna I/F.
Connect a (cheap) CECB which has the EIA/CEA-909 Smart Antenna I/F to the Smart Antenna
(e.g. DTA-5000 or ANT-2000) and then use an RF Splitter on the coax as it enters the CECB to split out
an "adapted" RF signal for connection to the DTV. You must switch channels on both CECB & DTV.

I have not tried to connect the RF Splitter between the Smart Antenna's Power Insertion Module
and the Smart Antenna, since it probably requires a "DC PASS" type Satellite RF Splitter....YMMV....
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post #155 of 167 Old 12-18-2009, 10:08 AM
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I appreciate all the responses. Thanks. I don't think I'm ready to tackle this suggestion though. I'd be in uncharted ground and I don't think I'd have the time to implement. But you've all given me things to think about.

I think I'll opt for a Quantum FX ANT-102 if I can get someone to confirm that it's a reasonable choice for me. I think the RS UFO is overpriced. I'm not all that far from my favored transmitters and they're in several different directions so a rotating indoor antenna seems to suit me best. And I'll have another remote in the house!
Gary
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post #156 of 167 Old 12-18-2009, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post

If the TV provides support for a "smart antenna" it will have a jack that looks much the same as a LAN jack does on a computer -- only visible difference being the lock is offset to one side. Also, you can be sure the TV manual will mention it. In case you're unaware, the function of the jack is to provide control signals to the "smart antenna" to enable it to optimize its reception for the selected channel. Those control signals are what enable a "smart antenna" to be smart.

There are two variations of the SA interface hardware [standard].

The original version (-909) used the 6-pin modular jack and plug for power and control.

The later -909A version provided for the control and power services to be provided over the single coax connection without any additional cabling.
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post #157 of 167 Old 12-18-2009, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

There are two variations of the SA interface hardware.

The original version (-909) used the 6-pin modular jack and plug for power and control.

The later -909A version provided for the control and power services to be provided over the single coax connection without any additional cabling.

I'm aware of the proposed single cable solution, however, I'm not aware that it was ever implimented on a consumer product ! Did I miss something?
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post #158 of 167 Old 12-19-2009, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post

I'm aware of the proposed single cable solution, however, I'm not aware that it was ever implimented on a consumer product ! Did I miss something?

Good question. I simply don't know because I haven't looked. I was considering only the CEA standard so I edited my previous statement to reflect that.

I do know the NAB prototype supplied by AD was capable of using either version, but that's about it.
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post #159 of 167 Old 12-19-2009, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

Good question. I simply don't know because I haven't looked. I was considering only the CEA standard so I edited my previous statement to reflect that.

I do know the NAB prototype supplied by AD was capable of using either version, but that's about it.

Well, both the two released (and since discontinued) "smart antennas" include the offset lock LAN connector (as do all the released coupon STB's that support "smart antennas") -- and as I recall, the antenna descriptions stated they required input via those connectors in order to function "smart"ly. So, I don't know if any of the boxes also support the coax encoding, but I'm inclined to doubt it (I'm pretty certain my TRT doesn't support that mode since it isn't in the manual).

It's certainly a great idea though ! Course, so are "smart antennas" -- just wish I knew where to find such beasts !
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post #160 of 167 Old 12-20-2009, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I have not yet seen ANY CECBs or DTVs that support the single coax "Smart Antenna" I/F.
BTW: It simply means the Power Insertion Module is absorbed into the host....as it should have been all along.....
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post #161 of 167 Old 12-20-2009, 02:05 PM
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I'm not having any luck identifying this thing you refer to as a "Power Insertion Module". The "smart antenna" system, as I understand it, consists of the antenna which includes electronics for adjusting signal gain and antenna "aim". Plus the controller which is currently also located at the signal analysis unit. Between the two are normally only the coax RF cable and the controller cable. I can easily see how putting a splitter on the RF would allow the selectively tuned signal to be delivered to video receivers in addition to the analysis/control box, but I'm definitely not with you on the identity and function of said "Power Insertion Module". Are you just referring to an active instead of passive splitter?
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post #162 of 167 Old 12-21-2009, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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DTA-5000 comes with it's DPI-100 Power/Control Insertion Module:
http://photos.imageevent.com/holl_an...%206900DTE.jpg

There is a similar small box that comes with the RCA ANT-2000.
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post #163 of 167 Old 12-21-2009, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

DTA-5000 comes with it's DPI-100 Power/Control Insertion Module:
http://photos.imageevent.com/holl_an...%206900DTE.jpg

There is a similar small box that comes with the RCA ANT-2000.

Thanks for the photo. So I take it the module translates the "smart antenna" control signal and "inserts" it onto the RF coax leading to the antenna output -- something that would be useless if the antenna were unable to extract it. So, given the module was included with the "smart antenna", I gather the two antennas are indeed able to receive control signals via the single RF cable.

"Power" insertion implies one of the control cable contacts carries a DC voltage which is converted to AC by the module and also "inserted" onto the RF coax for extraction at the antenna and use in powering its circuitry.

Am I interpreting correctly?
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post #164 of 167 Old 12-22-2009, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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DC voltage is needed for the Variable Gain Preamps, Combiners and Control
ciruitry in the Smart Antenna.
The CECB outputs DC, which is simply passed on up the coax....no AC conversion,
just like a typical Preamp. I think the DTI-100 has a modem (manchester encoded?)
to convert digital control signals on the CEA-909 I/F to a very low freq modulated
carrier to the antenna.
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post #165 of 167 Old 12-22-2009, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

DC voltage is needed for the Variable Gain Preamps, Combiners and Control
ciruitry in the Smart Antenna.
The CECB outputs DC, which is simply passed on up the coax....no AC conversion,
just like a typical Preamp. I think the DTI-100 has a modem (manchester encoded?)
to convert digital control signals on the CEA-909 I/F to a very low freq modulated
carrier to the antenna.

Ah, I see, I guess the current requirement is pretty minimal at the antenna, and so as long as the 75 ohm transformer at each end has a high DC impedance, a several volt offset on the coax over a modest distance shouldn't present a resistive loss issue.

EDIT: Oops -- a couple out-of-practice errors in my response. If the RF impedance at the transformer is 75 ohms, the DC resistance cannot possibly be high, however, a series capacitor solves that problem -- sorry about that !
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post #166 of 167 Old 12-22-2009, 04:04 PM
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FWIW, I see that the CEA has a current working group that is working on a Rev "B" of the -909 specification.

Makes you wonder if they're wasting their time given the utter lack of publicly known interest on the part of both TV set and antenna manufacturers.
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post #167 of 167 Old 12-22-2009, 05:00 PM
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I feel the main problem before was simply nobody was actually explaining the function of a "smart antenna" together with its requirements. I saw both ads and Wiki information that was hopelessly incomplete -- essentially ignoring the entire external control issue and leading the prospective buyer to presume the "smart antenna" magically did everything required all by itself. The result -- many disgruntled consumers gaining absolutely no advantage whatsoever from their purchased "smart antenna" and returning it in disgust. That, of course, results in many disgruntled dealers who probably never understood it either.

If they're working on an updated interface specification, it probably means they plan to give it another go, and hopefully have learned from the mistakes of last time.
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