RF Shorts - Aug. 20, 2009

Peter Putman posted a report Once More, Out to the Fringe on his Web site describing the antenna set-up he used to pick up TV stations from Albany NY, including WRGB on channel 6, over an obstructed 54 mile path at his brother's house in southwestern Vermont. One critical factor was orienting the antennas to take advantage of knife-edge refraction. Putman says, "I'm also amazed at how robust the 8VSB DTV system turned out to be, and how it's perfectly suited to unusual propagation paths like this one." He concludes, "The good news is, if you live in a "tough" DTV reception location, you may not be completely out of luck. It helps if the DTV stations you want to receive are co-located, because having only one antenna heading to deal with is a real blessing. But there's no reason why you couldn't succeed with a broader antenna pattern if DTV stations are spread farther part—you just need to get enough signal to the receiver, and you're home free."

See Tom Buckley's article W3XK: America's first television station on examiner.com for a description of Charles Francis Jenkin's July 1928 TV broadcasts from his laboratory at 1519 Connecticut Avenue in Washington D.C. According to the article, Jenkin's broadcasts using a mechanical scanning system preceded the September 1928 demonstration of Philip Farnsworth's fully electronic system.

"Cash for clunkers" in the U.S. and similar programs in other countries gave owners of older, inefficient, polluting cars an opportunity to get a credit towards the purchase of a new car by turning in the old car to be scrapped. In Britain, Sony Corporation launched a similar program to encourage consumers to turn in an old TV for credit on a new one. According to the article Sony launches cash-for-televisions scheme in Britain, consumers could get as much as 150 pounds ($246) for their old TVs.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.