RF Shorts – April 12, 2012

Pete Putman Tests Wall-Mounted Indoor TV Antennas
I've reported on HDTV expert Pete Putman's tests of a wide range of TV antennas over the years. I was pleased to see HDTV Magazine publish an article from him last week on Useful Gadgets: Wall-Mounted Indoor DTV Antennas. He subjected the Mohu Leaf, Mohu Leaf Plus, the Winegard FlatWave FL5000, the Walltenna, a simple $3.99 bowtie antenna from Radio Shack, and a Kowatec panel antenna to off-air reception tests at Turner Engineering in Mountain Lakes, N.J. In summary, the Leaf Plus did best, followed closely by the non-amplified Mohu Leaf and Walltenna. The Winegard FlatWave provided disappointing results, matching those of the $3.99 bowtie. See Pete Putman's article for the full report, including spectrum analyzer photos and pictures of the test configuration.

Aereo Faces Competition From Skitter
Website Gigaom's Janko Roettgers says Watch out Aereo; Skitter brings live TV to Roku. Roettgers explains that unlike Aereo, Atlanta-based Skitter has secured retransmission rights to the broadcast channels it offers. He tested the service and said that while the quality was more like SD than HD, he was impressed with its live pause capability and program guide. However, unlike Aereo--which is available on portable devices--it appears the Skitter service is only available to fixed devices like the Roku or WD Live set-top box. He describes the problems other broadcast-TV-over-Internet services have encountered and how Skitter has managed to avoid them, making the article a useful overview for anyone interested in the history of broadcast TV on the Internet.

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.