Archive for the ‘Radio’ Category

A Future Affordable 4K And 8K LCD Or LED DTV Widescreen Display?

April 5, 2014
4k, 8k, uhd, shv

The projected cost of future affordable 4K and 8K LCD or LED video display would be equivalent of a given number of unit of affordable 17-inch 1080p unit.

Here on most urban and suburban centers in the Philippines, various retail stores, mall-based hardware stores, and some wholesale appliance stores such as SM Hypermarket, SM Savemore, Puregold, Ace Hardware, and many others introduced an affordable, genuine China-brand-made or locally-brand-made 720p and 1080p resolution widescreen LCD or LED display priced between Php 8,000 to Php 10,000 on respective sizes 17-inch to 23-inch. Low to medium income Philippine households may be capable to buy those affordable video devices as a replacement of (a near phase-out) conventional CRT analog TV if ever they would engage to watch high definition (HD) video broadcast content in the future, whether a current digital cable TV (DVB-C), digital satellite TV (DVB-S2), or free-to-air digital terrestrial TV (ISDB-T). Of course, they would never need to worry that matter as an alternative from an expensive, large HD display of the past priced at Php 50,000 to Php 150,000 being rolled out in the Philippines in late mid-decade 2000s.

But on today’s latest technology trends, the Philippines—as well as other neighboring developing countries in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia—may not able to engage a new high resolution digital TV resolution standards, such as 4K (Ultra high definition) and 8K (Super Hi-Vision) due to highly-bidded price of LCD or LED display unit at respective Php 1 million to Php 10 million. Are there a possibility that those high resolution video units must be lower down depending on a required affordable electronic components on manufacturing process?

Suppose that to make an affordable, portable 4K LED-backlit LCD display, for example, the unit would be equivalent to an assembled four units of 17-inch 1080p display, to be priced at projectedly Php 32,000. Same with affordable 8K LED-backlit LCD display, for example again, with an equivalent to an assembled sixteen units of 17-inch 1080p display or four times that of affordable 4K display, to be priced at projectedly Php 128,000. (See illustration above.)

The manufacturer responsible to develop affordable 4K and 8K display? Only China-based electronic companies or even some locally-based electronic companies in the Philippines would attempt to do so, if and only if they would give a consent from the developer of genuine 4K and 8K video display units such as Hitachi (8K), Panasonic (4K), Sony (4K), JVC (4K), etc., regarding patent rights and fair trade issue.

Future 4K And 8K Broadcast In The Philippines?

Another concern for most local TV networks in the Philippines are the possibility of broadcasting 4K or 8K digital video content, which are very expensive to operate to shoot, record, and stream compared to an affordable SD digital video content and even a gradual expense HD digital video content. To solve this problem, I suggest, every TV network must try to quit to operate a full power analog TV transmission (such as 50 kilowatts and 60 kilowatts) and fully shift to a low-power DTTV transmitter (such as 100 watts, 250 watts, and 1 kilowatts) in order to save money from high-cost electricity bills. Then the network is up to decide whether they would either remain digital SD or shift to HD, 4K, or 8K depending on desired budget to operate… The projected operation cost of streaming HD, 4K, or 8K broadcast with low-power DTTV transmitter is less than, gradually greater than, or equal to the current operation cost of analog or digital SD broadcast with full-power analog TV transmitter. (See illustration below.)

dtv, analog tv, broadcast

A projected cost between digital TV and analog TV broadcast.

Baron “Super” TV Antenna, Suitable For DTTV Reception?

December 4, 2012

Baron TV Antenna Philippines Photo November-December 2012

The Philippines has already adopted ISDB-T, but while NTC were still reviewing and revising the drafted IRR for the use of Japanese technology DTTV platform, there were still heating up a debate to choose which DTTV platform would be fitted to roll out before analog switch-off (ASO) on December 31, 2012, such as ISDB-T or DVB-T2. But on lighter side, if future DTTV transmission in the Philippines become mainstream, it requires a good high gain outdoor TV antenna to receive DTTV signal for most households such as Yagi-Uda or log-periodic. The only exception is to use two-element antenna known as Baron Super Antenna, which is only considered as disadvantageous.

The brand name Baron was named after professor Ernie Baron, a radio host of the program Knowledge Power on AM radio station DZMM aired in late 80s until early 2000s. But the first brand was DC Super Antenna, in which “DC” was called after Engineer Dennis Carandag of ABS-CBN, who developed a two-element antenna consisting of 58 MHz dipole at 1.2 meters long per every two antenna rod, a short director at about 40 centimeters long of balanced alignment at about 20 centimeters facing the dipole, and a spacing between two elements at about 30 centimeters long. To connect between the antenna and an analog TV set, it requires a standard 75-ohm RG-6 coaxial cable and a matching transformer known as balun, instead of an old 300-ohm flat twin wire in an older analog outdoor TV antenna design.

The second antenna model was Baron KGL Antenna, consisting of a V-shape of both the long dipole (1.3 meters per rod) and short dipole (18 centimeters per rod). Introduced in late-mid-decade 2000s, this antenna was only apply on mountainous areas and dead spots, claiming it would scatter analog TV signal (away from the TV tower on ground) over high hills due to its high propagation.

Both the Baron Super TV Antenna and Baron KGL TV Antenna were often apply only on older boob-tube analog TV set model to receive analog TV channel signal, but on this digital age the question was this: can these two antenna models be apply to DTTV reception? The answer would be “no”, because it only generates a respective low signal gain and multipath reception in UHF digital terrestrial TV transmission. Accordingly, if a lone long dipole and even V dipole does not have a director, it would create a third, fourth, and fifth harmonic signal lobe on both high-band VHF (174 to 216 MHz) and UHF (470 to 806 MHz) reception, rather than a true circular signal lobe that low-band VHF (54 to 88 MHz) can. And in the case of two-element Baron antenna, there were other criticisms involed according to a fellow ECE students posted on Facebook album photo of DTV Pilipinas blogsite using a 4NEC antenna analyzer software: since a long dipole generates only 75 ohms compared to folded dipole at 300 ohms, a further increase of RF spectrum at respective TV Channel 3 to 5 and 8 to 13 would also increase impedance level between 100 to 250 ohms, so that only means a Channel 2 TV signal (54 to 60 MHz) and Channel 7 TV signal (174 to 180 MHz) would only stay at 75 ohms.

But there were another Baron antenna model that claimed it could generate high gain TV reception compared to Yagi-Uda TV antenna, not only on fringe range analog TV reception (100 kilometers and above) applying full power analog TV transmission but also on DTTV reception applying low-power DTTV transmission. Called Baron Extended Range Super Antenna and introduced in late-mid-decade 2000s, it consists of a long dipole at 1.2 meters long per rod, short dipole at 18 centimeters long per rod, shorter director at about 20 centimeters long of equal balance, a cross-connected wires between long and short dipole serving as two-element log-periodic antenna, and a spacing at about 30 and 3 centimeters. There were other brand of three-element high gain TV antenna that would imitate as that of a lone Baron brand, such as Crystal and Edge, with the same quality and signal strength but with a different type of matching transformer.

The two-element antenna, the V-shape antenna, and three-element high-gain antenna model with the enclosed RG-6 and balun under Baron brand were often priced at respective Php 500 and Php 600 marked as genuine (in which the aluminum rod of every models were corrosion resistant against any weather condition) available at every leading hardware stores in most popular shopping malls. Non-genuine two-element antenna found in street vendors and street bargain men uses only ordinary balun and RG-59 coaxial that would lead to poor TV reception, and its substandard aluminum rod and frame may lead to corrosion and fragility.

Whether Baron Extended Range Antenna, Crystal, or Edge would be used to receive mainstream 1 KW, 2 KW, or 3 KW ISDB-T DTTV transmission power in the coming years, it’s up to the electronics expert to remind for most consumers whether or not to use these three-element high gain antenna, for which it remains only mandatory that may not improve DTTV reception due to obstructions.

Information About HD Radio For The Philippine Shores

September 9, 2012

hd radio

While the Philippines are still awaiting for the release of Implementing Rules And Regulation for the commercial rollout of ISDB-T DTTV transmission and set-top-box receivers before the December 31, 2012 analog TV transmission switch-off (ASO), there were an additional rollout of digital media that would replace the current analog FM and analog AM radio transmission and receivers using the U.S.-based digital radio platform, in order to attract many people that often bored of limited analog audio radio transmission for the past few decaces.

High definition digital radio, or branded as HD Radio, is a next generation digital radio platform developed from United States Of America (U.S.A.) assigning on both the former analog U.S.-based FM band (88-108 MHz) and the former analog AM band (522-1620 KHz) (also known as CAM-D, an AM band HD Radio) and surpasses other platforms such as European DAB (digital audio broadcast) that assigns only FM band, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) that uses Band-II short wave frequency (SWF), DTMB Sound Broadcast in mainland China that assigns only UHF TV band, and ISDB-Tsb that assigns only UHF TV band. The term HD is currently mean as “hybrid digital” mainly due to the combined analog and digital radio transmission, but with separate carrier signal of assigned radio frequency to prevent from interference of both analog FM/AM radio receiver and HD digital radio receiver. HD Radio uses a standard IBOC or IBAC modulation beside a separate 15 KHz analog FM carrier channeling and 9 KHz analog AM carrier channeling, with a rate of about 64 kbps to 128 kbps of HDC audio codec format. If analog FM/AM broadcasting would discontinue in the near future, it would generate at about 300 Kbps carrying 128 kbps to 256 kbps AAC format for optimal CD sound quality.

The digital radio transition using HD Radio as well as other types of digital radio platform may not be easy. There were many factors about possible disadvantages of adopting it on both the radio broadcasters and the consumers, mainly due to lack of promotional and informative activities, as well as its possible defects on both transmission and receivers. Firstly, if analog radio broadcasting would discontinue, then most low-budgeted veteran analog radio stations and their engineers would lose their job if they did not re-educate to know how to operate HD Radio transmission. Secondly, most consumers may not able to buy HD Radio receivers due to high-price of its fewer advanced digital circuitry compared to cheaper-priced analog radio receiver unit. And thirdly, the digital sound volume of AAC audio codec content streaming on HD radio was only limited, so therefore most HD radio unit must have an extra volume control in order to boost loudness, aside for adjusting a volume control on most stereo audio unit.

And while there is no specific date on when it will shut down analog FM and analog AM broadcast in the future even when the platform would change to a new specs regarding VSB-based (not OFDM) digital aerial modulation and AAC audio codec prototype, HD Radio is initially available to broadcast across United States and Canada, but there is no plan to adopt the U.S.-based digital radio platform across the country outside the two countries (I don’t know—in my thought—whether Mexico and the rest of Central Latin America, South Korea, and Taiwan have had also already rollout HD Radio) as mentioned above as a substitute to DAB, DRM, DTMBsb, and ISDB-Tsb. Various U.S.-based electronic consumer companies have decided to manufacture HD Radio receiver—both portable and handheld—and release through most U.S. and Canada stores for many consumers.

In the Philippines, FM radio station DWKC 93.9 MHz in Manila owned by Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) was the first station to experiment the platform to broadcast across Metro Manila started in mid-decade 2000s. DWRR 101.9 MHz FM Manila owned by ABS-CBN was followed suit for HD Radio test broacast in 2009, and later DWDM 95.5 MHz FM Manila owned by Eagle Broadcasting Corporation (a known subsidiary of Iglesia Ni Cristo Network Incorporated) for HD Radio test broadcast in 2011. The commercial rollout of HD Radio broadcast and HD Radio receiver in the Philippines would be available only if both analog FM and analog AM radio broadcast will shut down (even if those stations have a qualified graduating ECE students to operate an installed HD Radio unit) following the analog TV broadcast switch-off on December 31, 2015.