Saturday, January 31, 2009

Digital TV Broadcast Power Increase Necessary for Analog-to-Digital Conversion

I have no cable TV reception. No satellite dish TV reception. Just "rabbit ears" antenna TV reception. I have used "rabbit ears" antenna for TV reception for years.

Even though I live in a metro area where one would think there should be good reception, I have noticed a continuous decline in reception quality over the years.

I suspect two causes of that declining reception quality. Perhaps...

1) Increasing building density interferes with signals, or

2) More likely, given my paranoid mind: Since more and more people have switched to cable and satellite, the broadcasters have just decided: "What the hey, we may as well cut our broadcast power. Who cares about antenna receiving people, anyway -- THEY DO NOT SHOW UP IN OUR RATINGS STATISICS."

I have already installed an analog-to-digital converter box, and when the picture is good, it is very, very good. But that is rare. Reception requires positional adjustment of the rabbit ears for each station. And even the positional adjustment required for each station varies from day to day and hour to hour. Reception drops in and out constantly on some stations, and even on the best receiving stations occasionally. BTW, I have also tried installing an in-line amplifier. I have tried installing amplified rabbit ears. Those do nothing. Such amplifiers require good signals to amplify.

While analog reception quality was often not the best, you could usually get SOMETHING. Now, with digital, it is all or nothing. And frequently nothing.

The only solution lies with the FCC and broadcasters: The FCC needs to require the broadcasters to increase broadcast signal power.