Zapper box is now marketing a next gen antenna as “the first antenna designed for ATSC 3.0” but the only ATSC 3.0 feature listed is MIMO. I’m not aware of any stations using MIMO or receivers available to the public that can take advantage of MIMO. Don’t give up your old antennas just yet!
MIMO might refer to the tranmission technology that allows the portability to allow atsc 3.0 to work on 5G smart phones equipped with the correct software. That might be why the spec is sprinkled with the terms MiMo, LTE, and 5G.
To be fair, currently, every antenna is marketed as an HD or HD compatible. As though there’s any real difference between an NTSC and an ATSC or really any RF reception - I’ve been using the same antenna for over 30 years.
Yes antennas can be tuned and designed for specific frequencies, but an antenna is an antenna.
Marketing hype? First you give ATSC 3.0 an fancy “consumer-friendly” name, so you can tell the public it’s good for them… then, oh yes, it has DRM encryption so you have to pay for content, but it’s still a good thing - NextGen
It should be noted the antenna is designed by Televes, which is a well known, high-end antenna and related company and manufacturer. It’s not only tuned for repack, but has filters to block 600MHz+ from getting to a TV, which can cause tuner overload. I don’t think the antenna directly connects to your phone, but apparently can connect to some fixed LTE service devices, and more generic cell repeaters used when service inside a house is poor.
There are probably two antenna inside with one horizontal and one vertical for MIMO reception. I believe that’s the optimum setup if they want to increase bandwidth. It’s possible they came up with a fractal design but I’m not sure if a fractal gives enough separation between the carriers. I would love to see an x-ray or a teardown.
EDIT: I found some info to backup my assumptions. The test transmitter is described below. The receive antenna has to match the polarization to maximize effectiveness.
The current system supports a maximum of 5kW ERP [each horizontal and vertical antenna has 5kW ERP] because it was just developed for small-scale field trials. Cross-polarized transmitting and receiving antennas were used.
They did however use 4 antennas. 2x2 however. 2 vertical and 2 horizontal.
SP: ATSC 3.0 supports 2x2 MIMO optionally. Two vertical and horizontal antennas were used at the transmitter and receiver, respectively.
This was just a test setup but it’s linked from Zapperbox’s page and all test I’m aware of so far use similar setups. What’s inside the Zapperbox antenna is likely extremely similar.
This is my primary gripe about advertising the wonders of MIMO and ATSC 3.0. It’s way down the road IF we ever get it at all.
```SP: I am not sure when this MIMO [broadcast system] could be commercialized. However, if there is a strong interest in free OTA 8K-UHD or multiple 4K UHD deliveries, broadcasters and consumer electronics companies will be able to consider ATSC 3.0 MIMO or channel bonding.``
The extra bandwidth might never even be available to consumers for OTA reception. There is talk about using the extra bandwidth for other services like backhaul to the TV stations.