Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
E-VSB tests confirm performance

Enhanced VSB (E-VSB), an optional new feature of the ATSC Digital Television Standard, greatly enhances indoor reception of DTV transmissions in “signal-challenged” locations even when a simple antenna is used, according to test results detailed in a technical paper delivered April 23 at NAB2006.

Tests conducted under real-world conditions in the Baltimore, MD, area in the fall of 2005 by Sinclair Broadcast Group and Zenith Electronics confirmed the performance of the ATSC E-VSB standard. The Association for Maximum Service Television worked with Sinclair and Zenith to analyze test results.

The study found that the E-VSB bitstream delivers the expected 6dB margin improvement compared to the normal stream. Additionally, the tests confirmed that the presence of E-VSB does not adversely affect the normal stream reception of legacy receivers.

The tests also showed that the fifth generation of E-VSB receivers from LG Electronics showed improved performance in difficult sites compared to earlier generations of ATSC receivers.

Wayne Bretl, Zenith R&D manager, delivered the E-VSB technical paper during NAB2006. With E-VSB, broadcasters have the “flexibility to further improve DTV reception, and, at the same time pursue new business models,” he said.

Developed by Zenith and ATI Technologies, the ATSC E-VSB standard responds to broadcasters’ request for greater flexibility in the DTV transmission system and wider over-the-air reception coverage. E-VSB allows broadcasters to choose between bit rates and added robustness without impeding HDTV.

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