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Digital Television DTV

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by PaulCsouls, May 21, 2004.

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  1. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    Most stations around me are broadcasting DTV, but receivers seem to be
    hard to find. Motorola makes a neat 1 chip solution called the MCT5100
    but I can't seem to find a source or a data sheet on it. Does anyone
    have information on what the specs are where to get components ?

  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Paul,

    You might be able to get there via this link:

    If that doesn't yield enough info I'd contact them for a pdf file. It
    would be their ASSP business group.

    We have DTV as well in our area but I won't do much about it until the
    programming gets better. Those dreaded shows won't improve just by
    switching to DTV. Except for the news our TV just sits there and I don't
    see spending money on it unless it breaks. Just my personal opinion.

    I saw some set top boxes that probably contain something like the MCT 5100
    but they cost more than our TV did. In Germany it's cheaper, they can get
    PC cards for DTV under $100 when they are on sale. Not sure if they'd work
    over here in the US though.

    Regards, Joerg
  3. Interesting. This looks like a simple method for getting a basic DTV
    receiver up and running. However, I'd consider a multiple chip solution
    with some custom FPGA glue logic. There are some interesting things one
    can do if one can intercept the transport stream or individual program
    streams. Unfortunately, this capability is something that gives the
    motion picture industry fits.

    Nope. Different modulation scheme.
  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I saw some set top boxes that probably contain something like the MCT 5100
    Thanks for the info, Paul. That's almost what I expected. Beats me why the countries around the
    world have such a hard time to agree on a standard. They can't even agree on a common digital radio
    standard. Everyone has to create their own little thing. Probably because it would make it all too
    easy otherwise.

    Regards, Joerg
  5. Julie

    Julie Guest

    Forget standardization on anything 'complicated', we can't even get a standard
    on fundamental AC frequency and amplitude!
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Yes, Julie, but AC standards were set when a steamer across the Altantic was the only means of travel and
    letters had to go the same route. I just don't understand why in this day and age it didn't get any
    better. We might as well cut the travel budgets to all those meetings and save the taxpayers some money.

    There are examples where standards were set properly. One is telecom and data. An IP protocol is an IP
    protocol no matter where you are on the planet. And a phone from Europe can be made to work in the US, at
    least to some degree. With radios, even analog ones, that's another matter. The ones with a PLL won't cut
    it because the channel spacing is different. And forget about analog TV where almost nothing is
    compatible. Seems like the standard makers learned nothing when going to DTV.

    Regards, Joerg
  7. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    Thanks Joerg

    I found that one. But there doesn't seem to be much information. I
    also found one at ATI

    I agree with your assessment of TV. That's why I keep wondering why I
    pay for basic cable just to get the reception when I can get digital
    reception. All my searches for DTV either end up at satellite TV sites
    or overseas. I beginning to think it's a plot by the cable and
    satellite companies.

  8. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    Yes, I'm beginning to think I need to look around for some open source
    FPGA components for the MPEG stuff. The special purpose stuff doesn't
    seem available to your average engineer.

  9. I dunno, but I know that I can buy a tuner in Europe, the tuner has
    'tuner' in it and viterbi decoder, and 8 bits wide full digital
    transport stream out.
    For example look at the ALPS tuner:
    Or perhasps at the ALPS site
    Not sure how far they are in the US with ATSC tuner with build in demodulator,
    but I think it must be there.

    How to filter transport stream and do things see my page:

    A nice introduction to DTV, and the transport stream by Prof. Navarro is here:

    Anyways, once you have the digital stream, all you need to do is filter out
    packets, this can be done in hardware FPGA, very fast processor (so also
    on the PC).
    I record transport stream, and then run the ts through a software filter
    in real time, piped into for example Linux mplayer.
    cat myprogram.ts | ts2pes VPID APID | mplayer -
    works great.
    Or via the ethernet card :)
  10. See my reply in this thread.
  11. Good info here. Thanks.

    The problem with this approach is that you can also sent the high def.
    MPEG streams to a disk drive. This is giving the movie studios fits and
    they are pushing for laws to prohibit the manufacture and sale of any
    device that gives the user access to the data stream. The OP may not
    care about this and the one chip solution (IF in, RGB out) may be
    suitable for his needs.

    Funny thing about movie studios: the regulations that they are backing
    would require any tuner/demodulator to negotiate a secure digital link
    with a high def monitor. If the monitor can not verify that it is a
    compliant unit (i.e. no record capability) the tuner must down convert
    the signal resolution to 480 lines.

    Thank you very much. If I am a pirate, intent on recording/burning
    illegal DVDs, I'd have to down convert the HDTV signal to 480 lines
    anyway, since that is typical DVD resolution. You just saved me the
    trouble (not that its very difficult to do).

    Other proposed schemes would require tuners to provide only analog
    outputs to non-compliant displays. But this is still far beyond the
    resolution that current pirates obtain with the camcorders they sneak
    into movie theaters. And even at that low level of quality, they still
    move product. On the other hand, if they (the studios) just left the raw
    digital signal accessible, they could easily embed digital watermarks
    into the data stream which would otherwise be obscured by a D/A
  12. Its called market segmentation. You split the world up into lots of
    isolated markets so that local manufacturers don't have to contend with
    foreign competition.
  13. OK, I think (my view) that this whole thing about copy right protection
    has gone way out of control, and indeed seems to be playing field of
    lawyers more then engineers. It seems some companies just think up some
    'solution' and who gets the contract makes big money.
    It is an example of a society gone astray, really.
    I was reading in the paper that now in NewYork you can no longer take
    pictures in the tube, as those pictures can be used by terrorists.
    How increadible stupid can you get?
    Politics, not science!
    That system you are talking about will of cause be hacked within a few weeks
    by a 12 year old who wants to see what the is not allowed to see...
    And, with that hack, ALL OF THE WORLD is in the clear.
    I have the source to much of the top secret DTV crypt stuff, some of it was
    released by the competion to do max damage to the other side.
    hehe, so what do you expect will happen:)
    And any image on a screen, well we had studio camera on a monitor years
    and years ago, and hard to tell the difference even for a profi.
    It is exactly this kind of 'straight jacket' by stupidity (like that no
    pics), that makes me feel like a good WW3 nuke session would perhaps help to
    bring things back to reality.
    And it is not only in this field oh no.
  14. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Paul,

    There are some terrestrial DTV broadcasts. In our area (Northern California) some stations got a
    temporary extra channel where their DTV signals transmit. But even then, the content is what
    matters. I expect the DTV material to be on the same level as the analog broadcast. Except for the
    history channel and some newscast, not much. Which is also why we have neither cable nor satellite.
    When we see what's on cable at neighbors I find most of the movies there pretty disgusting. The
    shows are so hollow that I'd fall asleep in minutes. I just don't see how DTV is going to improve

    Regards, Joerg
  15. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    DTV is certainly NOT going to improve content. That's why my personal
    DVD movie library is approaching 300.

    And I see two new movies that I must buy as soon as they appear on
    DVD: the new versions of "Stepford Wives" and "Manchurian Candidate"
    (I have the originals :)

    ...Jim Thompson
  16. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks for the info. The ALPS TDH series has both demodulation schemes in there so it should be
    usable in the US and Europe. The only problem is that when you go to a computer store over there to
    buy one of those low cost specials nobody knows what's in the box. The sales guys often only know
    what is written on the carton. I remember when I had to buy a multi-standard VCR in Europe I had to
    go through an expensive radio store because only they could find me all the specs (that was before

    What beats me is why the US had to go 8-VSB while most of the rest of the world went OFDM (which
    actually was suggested right here in the US, too). Same with digital radio as far as I can see. I'll
    just stay away from all that stuff as long as I can. Even with web radio where there is a standards
    fight going on (guess who'll win that one...). My trusty old shortwave radio works just fine. The
    vintage AM modulation scheme obviously couldn't be messed up by some bickering standards group.

    Regards, Joerg
  17. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Jim,

    Here I must confess that we don't even own a DVD player. But last month, for the first time in our
    lives, we did it: We rented a movie on VHS tape! It was "My big fat Greek wedding" and that finally was
    an enjoyable movie. Neighbors told us we just had to see it because that's pretty much how their wedding

    Further rummaging in the video store didn't enthuse us much though.

    Regards, Joerg
  18. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    DRM and iBiquity are both OFDM, no? I've been fully expecting that
    commercial radios will very quickly support both standards just by running
    different software in their DSPs.
    The modulation scheme can't be changed, but you can bet that sooner or later
    the FCC is going to dictate which modulation schemes are allowed in the
    commercial frequency bands. Within the next couple of decades I think we
    will be seeing the phase-out of traditional AM and FM in favor of various
    digital modulation schemes on the commercial bands.

  19. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I have that on DVD also ;-)

    I usually buy movies based on friend's recommendations.

    We rarely go to a theater, though the wife talked me into going to the
    new version of "The Ladykillers" (I already own the Alec Guinness

    The new version was funny though punctuated with an unnecessary level
    of black-style vulgarity.

    The last time I went to a theater before that was to see "Braveheart"

    ...Jim Thompson
  20. hehe, I was looking for some PC card on a website, it said 'details', so
    I clicked, and I got a BIGGER picture of the box.
    Yep, and in those times multi standard receivers - I think there was only
    Barco, very expensive.

    Well, I followed that discussion in newsgroups, and the decicion making
    process, and there was something about better long range and reflections.
    But maybe that person here who mentioned 'market protection' has the right
    It HAD to be different from Europe, because else the market would have been
    'spoiled' by cheap European receivers. (Europe has now had digital for many
    I am sure the prices will drop in the next few years in the US too, as
    production increases.
    Hey today on German TV there was a DVD recorder (with receiver etc),
    for 199 Euro, that worked on DVD+RW and DVD+R, so prices of that stuff are
    now also dropping.
    Yes, and a lot of effort was made... But market protection won.
    I have satellite, I dunno how many free digital radio stations there
    are, but more then a hundred, from all over the world, I hardly listen to it

    Realplayer plays a lot.

    Dunno who will win, 2 systems, competion, better quality, why one winner.
    mm, not yet ;-)
    You are at the start of new technology, I always liked to be at front, was
    first with this digital TV stuff, and you take your chances.
    Standards will perhaps last a bit shorter... things become obsolete,
    better products come, you may have to buy twice.
    Take that DVD stuff, DVD- DVD+, now Blue Light, and some other standard.

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