DTV: Antenna Frustration


This is part of IEEE Spectrum's Special Report: The Day Analog TV Dies

Antenna frustration is a common problem in TV, but it may be worse for DTV viewers. I bought a digital converter for my rabbit-ears set and here are my observations.

Analog TV experiences ”graceful degradation” in a weak signal environment. The picture gets snowier as the signal fades, but the sound comes through okay. Not so with DTV. The picture may appear beautiful as the signal diminishes, but silence ensues. (”What did he say? I missed the punch line.”) Further diminution occurs and the picture freezes, then chunks drop out. Not good. I could stand a porous picture, but if I can’t hear what they’re saying, I miss the story.

I don’t think the public will stand for that.

To Probe Further

For more articles and special features, go to IEEE Spectrum's Special Report: The Day Analog TV Dies.