The Vestigial Sideband and Other Tribulations (1988)

By Archer S. Taylor, Malarkey-Taylor Associates, Inc.

In 1941, NTSC recommended standards to FCC that specified vestigial sideband amplitude modulation in order to squeeze a 4MHz video signal in to a 6MHz channel. In 1954,NTSC recommended color TV standards that specified pre-correction at the transmitter for the group delay characteristics of what they believed to be an "average receiver': These two NTSC RF standards create enough mischief in modem TV reception largely to mask the improvement in baseband NTSC perfonnance being pursued so diligently by ATSC and the FCC advisory committee on Advanced TV. FM transmission on cable, withY /C delivery to the subscriber TV set would by-pass the VSB problem. Low-cost ($25) VLSI chips in the fonn of FM modulators and demodulators will be needed to achieve this economically. Correction of envelope delay distortions due to the IF sound trap should be made the sole responsibility of receiver designers, by eliminating the NTS C pre-correction standard for transmitters, cable TV processors and modulators, and establishing tight tolerances.

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