RF Shorts – Jan. 5, 2012

Pete Putnam Tests Mohu Leaf and WallTenna
HDTV Expert Pete Putman tested the Mohu Leaf and WallTenna indoor TV antennas with his trademark thoroughness. In the article Useful Gadgets: Super-Flat Indoor TV Antennas – Do They Really Work? he tests the antennas for reception of TV stations on Channel 6, a variety of high-band VHF channels, along with UHF stations in two different markets. The article includes spectrum analyzer photos so you can compare the gain of the antennas on some selected channels. As I read the evaluation, the Mohu Leaf is better constructed, offsetting some of the advantages of the larger WallTenna. Overall, performance is about the same on UHF, but the larger WallTenna performed better on VHF. Putnam also compared the two flat antennas with his Kowatec and Radio Shack "budget" model antennas. His conclusion was that the flat antennas did not have a distinct advantage over them, but the flat antennas had the upper hand in design.

Siano Plans U.S. Mobile DTV Push
Olga Kharif from Bloomberg News writes Siano sets sights on U.S. mobile-TV market in her article published in the San Francisco Chronicle's Business Report. In the article, Siano CEO Alon Ironi said, "We need to see the creation of a positive perception of the mobile-TV market in the eyes of the financial community. It's almost a condition for going public. Right now, if you talk to an average analyst, all they know about mobile TV is it failed."

The article said Siano is planning a push into the United States next year. The company is weighing a filing for an initial public offering and the timing may depend on how quickly mobile DTV takes off with Americans.

Home Priced to Sell; Amenities Include 10-Story Sat Dish
Ayesha Minhaj, on the NBC Bay Area Website, describes Bomb-Proof Earth Station for Sale in Carmel Valley, Calif. This is the former AT&T Jamesburg Earth Station. It was used to take live images from the Apollo 11 landing on the moon in 1969 and send them out to the rest of the world. The property includes the 10-story dish antenna, an associated 20,000 square-foot facility, a three-bedroom house, basketball court, barn, two private wells, a helicopter landing pad, and 160 acres of land. Minhaj says the building is designed to handle a five megaton nuclear blast. The sale price is $2,950,000. If one of my wealthy readers purchases it, I'd love to get a tour.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.