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Great article

I usually read lightly through the various trade magazines I receive until I find an item or article I need to read carefully because I know if I do I will learn something new and interesting. Such was the case for me recently with the November issue of Broadcast Engineering, regarding the article Testing MPEG, by Pearse Ffrench.

What a great article. It was a learning epiphany regarding my understanding of MPEG-2 as it applies to DTV transmission and television reception. Mr. Ffrench did an excellent job of explaining the compression, encoding, transmission and decoding process without going too deeply into “engineer speak,” The article held my interest and gave me the opportunity to take some great notes for my personal DTV reference notebook. I now have a MUCH greater understanding of the whole process. So much so that I now feel comfortable explaining it to others, thus increasing their understanding of DTV.

Great article. Great job! Please pass on my compliments and thanks to all involved — especially Mr. Ffrench.
Tim Werner

Just how do I get DTV?

I'm a recently retired CE and, no, I didn't invest $6000 in a DTV receiver. I've been out of the loop for several months, so I'm confused with the way DTV is being marketed by the retailers. They sell DTV-Ready, DTV-Compatible and DTV-Capable monitors, but I've not seen an ad for a DTV tuner.

“They sell DTV-Ready, DTV-Compatible and DTV-Capable monitors, but I've not seen an ad for a DTV tuner.”

I asked at a couple of stores, and they all provide evasive answers. I know there is an RCA tuner and Panasonic has one, but I've only seen it in one store and have been told by my colleagues that some don't work well. What goes? Have you addressed this in one of your great editorials?
Don Sinex
CE KOCE-TV, Retired


First, there are several manufacturers providing DTV tuners. Some current models include Panasonic TU-HDS20 and TU-DST51, Sharp TU-DTV1000, Samsung SIR-T100, Sony SAT-HD100 and RCA DTC-100. Some of the satellite and cable STBs, for example the EchoStar 6000, provide for an optional ATSC tuner module. Second, it's unfortunate, but you'll not see much in the way of promotion or product in this area because Hollywood wants to “protect” copyright holders and be sure you can't digitally record anything you view — at least not free. The current STBs don't provide that kind of “protection.” Personally, I prefer unprotected viewing.
Brad Dick

Freezeframe winners

The February Freezeframe question, “What did the HL in Ikegami camera nomenclature originally mean?” was apparently too easy. While I thought it might be a tough question, readers proved otherwise.

Of course, the answer is Handy Looky, roughly-translated Japanese for small portable camera. With 50 correct answers, the only difference was in the spelling. Great work to those who had the right answer. Because of the large number of entries, all correct entries were placed in a box, and the following readers' names were drawn to receive a Broadcast Engineering T-shirt. Thanks for all who entered. This month's question is on page 8.

Ernie Flotto, KAET-TV
Steve Alhart, NEP
Paul Bonnette, Encore Video
John Anthony, TV Stars
Roger Kicks, Wyoming Public TV
Susan Ponds, KPHO-TV
Frank David, LeBLANC Broadcast
Jeff Kreines, DeMott/Kreines Films
Chris Whittington, NBC
John Hillis, News Channel 8
Mike Weber, Optimus
Phil Hejtmanek, WPWR-TV