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Austin American Statesman news on HDTV!

385 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  David McRoy
Here is an acticle that was in the Statesman last week. Maybe everyone saw it!

http://www.austin360.com/auto_docs/e...o_state_5.html
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The best approach, in my opinion, would be for the Austin stations to do as other stations have around the country, including Salt Lake City. Simply build one common tower with all the antennas located on that tower. It would accomplish several things:


>The signal path would be essentially identical for all stations


>It would minimize the number of towers and the environmental impact


>It would be more cost effective in terms of environmental and construction fees
Well at least my adopted hometown (UT Longhorn, class of '86) is trying to get HDTV up and running.


You know, it really bugs me when I see stations in Austin (the 54th-largest DMA in the country) trying hard to get HDTV to their viewers while the ABC affiliate here in Washington (DMA rank: 8th) intentionally drags its feet and does nothing. :mad:
Yes, another bit of information from the local loser CBS affiliate who "probably" won't make the deadline. Good grief, for such a high-tech area, some of the local stations are just complete slugs.
Quote:
Originally posted by cwood
The best approach, in my opinion, would be for the Austin stations to do as other stations have around the country, including Salt Lake City. Simply build one common tower with all the antennas located on that tower. It would accomplish several things:


>The signal path would be essentially identical for all stations


>It would minimize the number of towers and the environmental impact


>It would be more cost effective in terms of environmental and construction fees
A modern approach and the best approach is a SFN (Single Frequency Network) that would lower the power 90% and have 5 or 6 smaller towers that would offer far better coverage and miniscule environmental impact. All stations could co-locate with this concept also. This is being done in Europe and will be done in the rest of the world.


Big sticks are also vulnerable like in Moscow and New York also suffer from other problems that cause major outages. An SFN would be far more durable and repairable.
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This is an interesting-sounding technology. How does it work, though? Does the STB need enough smarts to figure out which signal to lock on to? I assume this is only for digital signals, otherwise there would be a serious ghosting problem.
While broadcasters in a given market can sometimes get away with sharing a common tower, this is not practical in all markets due to interference issues. Some stations have to locate their tower further away from stations in their region which may be subject to interference than other stations in the same market.


A single frequency network, which works well in Europe, is expensive when you're trying to cover a large geographical area with a common program stream. Instead of one big tower and one big transmitter per station you need multiple towers and transmitters. Not a problem in Europe...like just about everything else there they just let the taxpayer foot the bill!;)


It has been postulated that ATSC could be adapted to operate in an SFN configuration and this might be a good idea under some topological conditions...urban canyons come to mind. Combining a big, general coverage transmission system with small gap-fillers is an attractive solution.
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