ATSC 3.0 OTA Reception

One of the stated aims of ATSC 3.0 is to simplify the client’s reception job and make OTA reception easier. As mentioned above, ATSC 1.0 botched this aspect. Whereas people previously had an easier time receiving stations, ATSC 1.0 made it that much harder. ATSC 3.0 is meant in part to address this deficiency.

The Aero antenna worked because there 1,000s of other small antennas nearby creating the effect of a large antenna.

There are no small OTA (UHF, and especially VHF) antennas that I’m aware of. The lower the frequency the larger antenna you need at a given power.

@TabloFan and @CraigRoyce thanks, that was a good read. Cleared up a lot.

Yes, the Aereo antenna was a ruse. Aereo spun a tale when they told the courts that each client would be “renting” an antenna. Those small antennas were attached to a common bus (when plugged in) which electrically then formed a huge antenna array.

I noticed that Aereo DID NOT plug in one of these antennas WHEN a customer ordered their service. All these mini “hinges” were already plugged in forming one huge resonant circuit. But the courts were too stupid to understand this. They focused instead on whether the content had been paid for.

Aereo even stated that a single antenna could not be identified as “belonging” to a customer. When a customer logged in, an antenna (any) was “assigned” dynamically for his usage. Bunk!

An easy test to unmask Aereo in court would have been to ask them to bring in JUST one of these small hinges, connect it to a tuner and display a live program. “If it fits, you must acquit.” No one did that and their “rental antenna” claims (one per customer) went unchallenged.

I’m aware that the UHF and VHF wavelengths are long. Most antenna director dimensions are based on frequency half and quarter wavelengths which would be from 7 to 15 inches. I expect that under ATSC 3.0 people would still retain their old antennas for some of the feeds. But the distribution methodologies under ATSC 3.0 are not restricted to the traditional transmission schemes. See the article above where testers placed an antenna within a car and got reception in a tunnel.

ATSC 1.0 screwed up and botched the transmission environment. Most people were upset with their OTA reception at the digital cutover since their reception was much better prior to that. ATSC 3.0 is meant to correct that using a variety of technologies and techniques. How that will be done is under review but the purpose and mission is there. People also didn’t expect heavy vehicles to fly ages ago…

What the ATSC 3.0 program and effort shows is that OTA is not stagnating but progressing. This is promising if the communications industry and the FCC are addressing OTA needs and infrastructure instead of kissing cable ass.


While I have no doubt that 3.0 will bring fantastic things I am still very skeptical about the whole antenna aspect … things look great on paper till you try to use it in the real world with all the nuances like multipath reflections, hills metal buildings and trees and other various sundry things… I would be happy to be proven wrong but I still think one will need an antenna if you are more than a few miles out of the metro broadcast area… ie. 10+ miles.

Multipath reflection is being addressed with the new tuner designs for ATSC 3.0 to the point where they can be eliminated by the tuner circuitry. LG’s tuners have already been dealing with multipath for the past several years. Rather than dealing with multipath at the antenna level, tuner circuitry is being used to deal with this problem.

Intelligence is being built into the entire distribution scheme by decoupling the layers (as with ISO) from each other. The old monolithic structure of transmission, MPEG2 encoding, etc. which limits both hard and soft communication will be phased out.

No one said anything about not needing antennas under ATSC 3.0. OTA reception was better prior to ATSC 1.0 so ATSC 1.0 transmission and reception is not a good standard, evaluation or measurement for OTA.

Accidentally found this old topic. Fascinating read. Any new information 10 months later?