NAB: Online Consumer Antenna Calculations Improved

For those who prefer their HD content straight off the air and uncompressed, be advised that AntennaWeb, a Web site designed to help consumers select antennas based on their market and location, has been updated and augmented in recent months.

A series of improvements has been incorporated into the software tool used on the Web site, which is funded by the Consumers Electronics Association and operated by Decisionmark (soon to be TitanTV Media), according to NAB's technical newsletter for engineers.

NAB said CEA's R5 committee, on which NAB sits, has developed a set of improvements--including a modified terrain database, improved obstacle data, different algorithms, and more planning factors for DTV and NTSC.

The Antenna Recommendation algorithm recommends a class of receiving antennas (characterized by color code) optimized for a specific location and set of installation options. It calculates the antenna with the smallest power margin >= 0 dB that is predicted by the Individual Location Longley Rice (ILLR) model to provide the required signal to the receivers. The model provides the color of the antenna predicted to work best at that location, NAB said.

Calculations are intentionally designed to be conservative.