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High Definition Television: The Creation, Development and Implementation of HDTV Technology

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0786449750
ISBN-10: 0786449756
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About the Author

Philip J. Cianci worked with HDTV systems at Philips Research USA and ESPN, was the editor of Broadcast Engineering magazine's e-newsletter Transition to Digital from 2005 through 2007, and is the author of two books about television technology. He lives in Lake Peekskill, New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (January 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786449756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786449750
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,762,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Although I am an electrical engineer who designs DTV stations, my expertise is at the transmitter end, dealing with RF issues such as antenna patterns and allocation conditions. The closest I needed to get to the studio end was the digital video input to the STL microwave transmitter. That was fine with me, because I figured that a digital standard with well over a hundred acronyms wasn't something I was overly anxious to learn about; let somebody else try to drink from the ATSC fire hydrant. I was interested in service thresholds, signal protection ratios, power vs effective height limits, and similar FCC rules needed for DTV station applications and, in some cases, rulemaking petitions to change a station's digital channel. Things got really interesting in Canadian and Mexican border areas, but the thrust was that I could leave the studio end to video engineers who specialized in the care and feeding of digital video devices.

Still, I couldn't help but remember the early DTV standards wars and then the Grand Alliance compromise. The decision by the FCC for the U.S. to go with 8-VSB instead of COFDM seemed like a questionable one at the time, and the pathetic performance of early 8-VSB DTV receiver chip sets only added to the misery. But by the time sixth-generation decoder chips (actually a single chip instead of a set of chips) became available in 2007, just in time for coupon-eligible converter boxes, DTV receiver performance was finally on a par with European COFDM, but with the spectral efficiency of 8-VSB. Thus, more than three years after the end of the DTV transition in June of 2009, the U.S. system turned out pretty well. A long gestation with a difficult birth, but ultimately worth it.
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