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I've often said that the US is a technological backwater. Unlike European countries where media technology is moved forward through necessity by the local governments, here in the US the FCC allows the consumers to choose which technologies they want. This results in a lack of techno-progress as the big name manufacturers continue to push their older technology in order to get the biggest return from their investment. The net result is that only now (2004) is the New York City area getting RDS data signals in their regular FM radio some 10 years after it has been widely available in the rest of the world. So what does this have to do with Digital TV? It goes to demonstrate that Digital TV will not be in wide use or availability for quite some time. It should be noted that the FCC has mandated that regular analogue TV transmissions will cease by 2007 or when 85% of the population has made the switch to digital.

Here in the New York City area there are quite a few TV stations that are broadcasting in digital format using the ATSC standard. The standard allows for 1 Hi-Definition and 2 Standard Definition pictures in the same data stream or "channel". If the broadcaster chooses to compress the data or drop the Hi-Def picture he can add more Standard Def pictures. This is demonstrated locally by the PBS station NJN.

All the below stations can be received at my house in Randolph, NJ, (40deg 49.100N, 074deg 34.140W) some 40 miles west of NYC. I have a very simple setup consisting of a UHF only beam antenna pointed east to NYC. The antenna is mounted at about 40 feet on the roof of my house and sports a 10db preamp. The antenna is fed into a Hauppauge WinTV-D TV tuner card in my Windows XP machine. The screenshots are possible thanks to the capture feature in the TV software.

Click on a picture below for some more samples. I'll be adding some video too.

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WCBS-DT CBS2 channel 56
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WABC-DT ABC7 channel 45 stream 1
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WNJB-DT/WNJM-DT NJN channels 8 & 51
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WNYW-DT UPN9 channel 44 stream 2
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WFUT-DT Telefutura channel 53
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WNYW-DT FOX5 channel 44 stream 1
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WNBC-DT NBC4 Channel 28 stream 2
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WPXN-DT PAX channel 30

For a listing of available channels in the NYC area click here

 

& Mark A Phillips, G7LTT 1995-2004
This page was last updated Saturday October 09, 2004 09:24 Eastern Daylight Time