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Old 25-Apr-2012, 5:22 AM   #7
GroundUrMast's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
Is there a real solution?

Originally Posted by signals unlimited View Post
Sorry...there is no dis-advantage to installing a rotor. It is the best tool in the system, even if it is only used to locate the sweet spots in the system then parked. That is unless the viewer enjoys climbing up to the antenna with a monitor to aim or re-aim one two or more antennas.
I have to consider the cost of a rotator a potential disadvantage, especially if one problem is addressed only to create two more.

But, I don't blame a rotator for the lack of effort and ingenuity on the part of designers and manufactures. Besides the frequent lack of 'direct entry real-channel tuning', manual-add and/or add-scan, many TV's lack a signal meter suitable for use with a rotator.

In my opinion, every ATSC capable TV should have:
1. The ability to accept direct manual entry of any real channel.
2. Manual channel add function.
3. The intelligence to detect the presence of ATSC and NTSC automatically and then if appropriate, 'learn' the available virtual channel information for future direct entry of the channel number in VC format.
4.A signal meter function that's easy to access.

IMO, rotators fail to solve the underlying problem of, "How to conveniently receive stations from multiple directions, as judged by the television viewer."

A real solution is not that complicated -- For about $10 extra per unit, a TV could be designed to allow addition of one or more optional 'expansion' tuner modules, which can retail for roughly $50 to $100 each. A TV could be designed to control many plugin tuners, each with a separate antenna, satellite or cable signal source. The software requirements would be almost identical to existing designs, only needing to create a table entry to track the appropriate tuner best able to receive a given channel. By default the TV would be equipped with a built-in tuner with ATSC and QAM functionality but could include cable card support with no new rocket science required.

Another possible solution might be to integrate rotator control into the tuner control software. Sadly, an open standard would be the obvious political hurdle that would prevent such an idea from ever gaining a foothold in the market place. This solution also is limited to one TV per antenna just as current rotator installation are.

Personally, I have five active antennas, connected to four SiliconDust HDHR-dual tuners. Multiple PC's have access to the tuners. I have fun making it all go. But as others have already observed, the typical new TVF member asking for help is not going to build an antenna farm or HTPC.

I can't expect my 'Rube Goldberg' solution to compete with a single fixed aim antenna in more than a few rare cases. Likewise I don't see how a rotator solution can compete with a single fixed aim solution if such is available. ('Single fixed aim' includes combinations built with the aid of a UVSJ, and / or HLSJ)

(Thanks to everyone for the polite and professional discussion.)
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 26-Apr-2012 at 6:36 PM. Reason: Sp. & grammar
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