Antenna Site & Head-end Selection Problems In Big City CATV Systems (1972)

By Steven I . Biro, B-Ro Antenna & Head-end Engineering

There are at least three schools of thought on the success of Big City CATV. One is classified by pressing hard for two-way communication, emphasizing the need for customer oriented special services . Wall Street was sold on this idea, and the financial resources are available in most cases to invest and expand two-way communication facilities. No practical experience has proven or disproven the impact of two-way communication yet. The second group of experts maintain that grand scale local origination, oriented toward local interests, local ethnic and political groups, is the answer for Big City CATV.

Still a third group of experts refuses to accept two-way communication and local origination as the only avenues to succeed in Big City CATV. They believe, and this consulting engineer is one of them, that while local origination and two-way communication represent significant contributions, the majority of Big City people will sign up for CATV if they experience off-the-air reception difficulties> such as ghosty pictures, RF or power line interference problems, missing or disappointing color fidelity, etc.

Thus, the next logical question is: Can CATV really offer better off-the- air reception in Big Cities? All parties must agree: if we do not ascertain ghost and interference free, true color fidelity picture at the head-end, the source of all cable signals, then the quality will not be improved after cascading 25 or 45 mainline amplifiers.

Selection of the proper antenna site, meaningful recommendations for the height and structure of antenna tower, size and configuration of the antenna arrays, can make or break any Big City CATV system.

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