RF Shorts for Nov. 8, 2012

Doug Lung

Reviewer Finds Simple.TV Not So Simple 

It appears the Simple.TV box may not be as simple to use as some hoped. Ben Drawbaugh posted a review, Simple.TV review: a set-top box that streams broadcast TV to mobile devices on Engadget.com.

Drawbaugh writes, “America's favorite pastime is certainly under attack from all angles, and while we suspect someone will eventually come along and flip the television industry on its head, we don't think Simple.TV is the device to do it. For starters, it's saddled with numerous hardware requirements, along with buggy software. But even when the software matures and proper tablet and phone apps are released, there's the matter of the subscription. That $59 a year essentially amounts to location services and guide data.”

The device does not include storage and the only output is wired IP, so if you don't already have something like a Roku box you will only be able to watch it on your computer. If you want to watch video from Simple.TV via the Internet, you’ll need to subscribe to their Premier Service for $59 per year.

Drawbaugh suggests the Hauppauge Broadway as a possible alternative. It's more expensive, but uses broadcast PSIP data, so no guide subscription is required.

e2v Posts Latest Financial Results

Many UHF TV stations use e2v IOTs in their transmitters, so I thought readers would be interested in the e2v half year results. There is no mention of broadcast tubes in the report, but for the entire RF power solutions divisions the report says that sales for RF power devices were down five percent.

According to the report: “This reflects lower demand in our commercial and industrial business, partly offset by growth in electronic countermeasures, with radiotherapy being steady.”

It’s also interesting to observe that their high-power tubes are seeing increasing use in the industrial processing of bulk materials.

“In industrial processing systems, we have signed a development agreement with Rio Tinto, covering the design and supply of large-scale ProWaveTM microwave and radio frequency generators for use in projects to improve the efficiency of mineral recovery. The agreement follows on from the signing of a memorandum of understanding earlier this year and forms a framework under which e2v will scale up microwave generation to that required by Rio Tinto. Successful completion of the development phase, anticipated at around two years, could then lead to the supply of mine-ready microwave equipment.”

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at dlung@transmitter.com.

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.