It took five generations of chip-set developments by Zenith Electronics Corp., but Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. is publicly singing the praises of the 8VSB (vestigital sideband) modulation scheme integral to the digital-TV-transmission system.
Sinclair had been an "early and often" critic of the system and what it said were major transmission limitations.
“We have always held firm to our belief that if you don’t have indoor reception you don’t have an over-the-air service,” says Nat Ostroff, Sinclair vice president, new technology. “And I want to congratulate Zenith for sticking with it. They didn’t give up and they beat and beat on the problem because they understood how important an over-the-air broadcasting component was to them.”
Sinclair gave the latest receiver chip its seal of approval after conducting tests in Baltimore.
Over the years Sinclair has put 8VSB through its paces, testing indoor reception throughout the city. It wasn’t until this fifth generation that the Zenith chipset could match the indoor reception capabilities of the DVB European broadcast standard Sinclair had backed.
Ostroff says the signals were received with a simple bowtie or loop antenna.
Ostroff adds that there is no doubt in his mind that if broadcasters want the over-the-air digital service to be as viable as the analog one they also need to begin educating the public. “The idea of free HDTV is a selling point broadcasters have got to focus on if they want it to remain a viable separate service,” he adds.