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Comments

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Sale of IBM's Chip-Making Business To GlobalFoundries To Get US Security Review

evilviper New country? (95 comments)

"I don't want cast aspersions unnecessarily on Abu Dubai — but they're not Canada," said Adams

I think you're okay... They'll both assume you must be talking about the other one.

about a month ago
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Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

evilviper Slashdot LOVES cell phone tracking (168 comments)

I don't know what it is, but slashdot editors just LOVE the hell out of cell phone tracking. I mean, there has probably been a story or two on the subject before now:

http://slashdot.org/story/05/1...

http://slashdot.org/story/05/1...

http://slashdot.org/story/05/1...

http://slashdot.org/story/05/1...

http://slashdot.org/story/02/1...

http://slashdot.org/story/02/0...

http://slashdot.org/story/06/0...

http://slashdot.org/story/07/0...

http://slashdot.org/story/12/1...

http://slashdot.org/story/06/1...

http://slashdot.org/story/02/1...

Everyone go out and find all the cell phone tracking stories you can, and submit every one to /. They love it when you do that!

about a month ago
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Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People

evilviper Re:backup for 911 (115 comments)

What are the odds your family isn't all on a single cellular carrier, making you unable to take advantage of such redundancy?

Verizon and Sprint are compatible, while AT&T and T-Mobile are compatible. And with them all switching to LTE, it's likely they will all be mutually compatible in a few more years, when manufacturers start selling multi-band LTE phones.

Most every post-paid cellular plan includes voice roaming. Even if you're not paying for roaming normally, when you dial 911, all restrictions are dropped, and your cell will connect to any available tower from any provider that it can.

about a month ago
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Internet Broadband Through High-altitude Drones

evilviper Re:I'm betting on balloons (99 comments)

Balloons cost a million to launch, and stay up a couple weeks. I could see drones having a real advantage. Then again, geostationary satellites have an even bigger advantage.

about a month ago
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Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People

evilviper Re:backup for 911 (115 comments)

In FIOS areas, it's no longer possible to get a POTS landline. You can get a phone service over FIOS, but it's subject to wall-power being available, and you're using the same E-911 system as normal VoIP or cell phone services, anyhow. It's the FCC that's to blame for me not having a landline.

Also, there's no reason cellular 911 service shouldn't be ultra-reliable. There are 4 different nationwide carriers in the US. What are the odds that all 4 of them will have ALL their overlapping cell towers in an area knocked-out? That does happen, today, but ONLY because the FCC pussied-out on requiring them to have backup generators in each cell tower, and lets them just keep a few backup batteries in there for short power outages.

And if some event damages the fiber-optic line to my house, there's no chance I'm fixing it... At least with a cell phone I have the option of climbing onto higher-ground and trying to get a signal from a more remote tower, or even just SMS texting emergency services (coming real-soon-now) and hoping.

With ad-hoc WiFi in cell phones, people may soon be able to self-assemble into their own wireless network that spans whole cities, after a disaster knocks-out all other local service. Try that with your land-line.

about a month ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

evilviper Re:The end for me (937 comments)

...scratch that. SoylentNews turns out to be just as bad as /. in this regard. They posted this same damn story, too, and the head of the site has stated they don't want to be a tech site at all.

Instead, my last hope rests with pipedot, which is much more like an old-fashioned /. with a focus on sci/tech instead of flamebait crap. Hell, the sci/tech stories even get more comments on pipedot than they do on SoylentNews, which says a lot about the community.

about 2 months ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

evilviper The end for me (937 comments)

Well, this nicely wraps-up my 16 years of involvement with /.

See you on SoylentNews.

about 2 months ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

evilviper Re:Multi-family units (80 comments)

an apartment where she does share the building with up to 15 other families.

That doesn't preclude installing an antenna, it just reduces your options. Multi-floor apartment balconies and/or windows usually get pretty good TV reception. If previous occupants had DBS dishes mounted, you can stick an antenna on that J-channel. And landlords are usually reasonable. You can always ask for permission to install an antenna, explaining the non-destructive mounting option (chimney straps, non-penetrating root mount, etc.) you'd like to use, and promise it'll be less unsightly than what you'll do if they refuse.

about 2 months ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

evilviper Re:Renting (80 comments)

It could be technically the landlord's roof, not mmell's.

As long as mmell doesn't share the roof with other tennants, he has the right to mount an antenna up there.

Law of the land since 1996:

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over...

about 2 months ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

evilviper Re:Of course they don't need the full spectrum (80 comments)

Speaking of technical, it was only recently you can easily find actual frequencies used by TV stations (needed if you are using UHF wireless mics). After the DTV transition, I could not find actual frequencies used which drove me nuts because those that say it is same as NTSC are wrong

Umm, tvfool.com has had that info forever.

I linked to the FCC's DTV transition plan in my journal about OTA TV in 2007:

http://slashdot.org/journal/18...

Specifically:
"FCC DTV tentative frequency assigments"

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs...

If you're talking about the center frequency, that's a very simple conversion. The Linux DVB package contains two text files listing center frequencies:

us-NTSC-center-frequencies-8VSB
us-ATSC-center-frequencies-8VSB

ATSC eg.:
A 57028615 8VSB
A 63028615 8VSB
A 69028615 8VSB
A 79028615 8VSB
A 85028615 8VSB

about 2 months ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

evilviper Re:Sharing channel == worse picture quality (80 comments)

Sadly, even if we move to picocells, the antennas will still need to be "visible" and will still have some "size" to them due to the frequencies they need to handle.

Actually, wavelength at 800Mhz is only about 1ft (~30cm), so that's practical to hide. Hell, you could disguise it as a chimney or some other roof penetration.

My plan would be to mount them on telephone poles wherever available. There, they could just use business-class cable/DSL/FIOS service as the backhaul. Maybe that possibility would encourage Verizon to expand their FIOS deployment, since the big money is in cellular. AT&T's U-Verse fiber network could support it, too. Sprint/T-Mobile would be at a disadvantage, but maybe deals with local cable companies would help both sides compete. After all, where you need several picocells is right where there are already large populations, and already have wired options installed.

With that plan, cellular data could actually be both faster and cheaper than wired internet access.

about 2 months ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

evilviper Re:Sharing channel == worse picture quality (80 comments)

I certainly don't need the mod points, but it's damn sad to see the ass-backwards moderation on this story.

This factually incorrect nonsense is +5:
* http://slashdot.org/comments.p...

While my correction actually got modded down:
* http://slashdot.org/comments.p...

Similarly with this thread, I'm clearly the only one who has provided information specific to the situation, and my comments get ignored, while generalized rants with terrible info are +5.

It's a crushing disappointment to see just what /. has turned into... I can only hope SoylentNews does better.

about 2 months ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

evilviper Re:For the naysayers (533 comments)

dial-up and ISDN have always referred to specific technology. Broadband has meant "not dial-up" and "fast".

Broadband has "always referred to specific technology" too.

about 2 months ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

evilviper Re:They also use considerably higher frequencies. (80 comments)

VHF frequencies tended to flow around obstructions. UHF frequencies tended to be more "line of sight".

Lower frequencies cast a much longer shadow behind obstacles, where higher frequencies will fill-in the area more immediately behind the obstacle. People might be most familiar with AM radio fading out when driving under a bridge, while FM radio does not.

The flip side of that, which you're talking about, is that lower frequencies will lose less of their power over long distances, diffracting around the curvature of the earth, than higher frequencies.

However, that's largely compensated for by UHF broadcast and consumer receive antennas having much higher "gain" than VHF, as well as the FCC accounting for the difference and allowing UHF broadcasters to crank-up their broadcast power accordingly.

In theory, it's possible to receive VHF stations further away. In practice, you'll have a hell of a time picking up either VHF or UHF more than 50 miles away, and it gets pretty expensive after that (unless you're blessed with ideal terrain).

In my case, with some effort, I can pickup both VHF and UHF stations from 130 miles away, and the UHF stations happen to be stronger than the VHF stations.

about 2 months ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

evilviper Re:Sharing channel == worse picture quality (80 comments)

So two stations that were previously using 6 MHz bandwidth each, will now share one channel, presumably using 3 MHz each.... and so each will have a 50% drop in picture quality. How is this a good thing for the consumer?

Answer: Because NOTHING you've said has a shred of truth. You might try looking-up KCET and KLCS before ignorantly spouting off next time...

KLCS has been operating on a waiver... They've never been broadcasting any HD channels, but just 4 SD channels. KCET has one HD 720p channel, and 3 SD subs. The two can pretty easily fit in the 19Mbps bandwidth of a single 6MHz carrier, without degrading quality at all. In addition, both could stand to drop some of those sub-channels...

KCET's NHK channel largely duplicates KSCI's carriage of several hours of NHK programming per day, as well as both KCET and KLCS carrying a half hour segments of NHK on their main channels, several times a day. Incidentally, KSCI has been operating with 9-10 SD subchannels in their single 6MHz channel for years, now.

Answer #2: PBS in the greater Los Angeles area is a complete fucking mess.

Before KCET dropped their PBS affiliation (an idiotic move, but that's another topic), they were just one of 5 PBS stations available in the greater LA area: KCET, KLCS, KOCE, KVCR, KPBS (and likely others). Now they're down to a mere 4, which is still frankly 2 or 3 too many. All of which are broadcasting almost the same content as each other, often at or near each others' time-slots. Each covers their own smaller footprint, with their own smaller niche, getting a fraction of the public donations during their pledge drives. Whereas one single PBS broadcaster in could cover a larger area, get a bigger chunk of viewers, get a bigger chunk of the donations, and improve their programming, accordingly.

KCET should just up and die, already. They dropped their PBS affiliation in a dispute over money, complaining they were paying out half their income to get PBS programming. Since then, their income has dropped by far more than half, because they no longer have any content most anyone wants to watch. They're only delaying the inevitable by selling off their assets; first their large and empty TV studio, and now their transmitter.

It's kind-of a good move for KLCS OTA TV viewers in SoCal, because KCET had invested in building several digital repeaters, to provide a very strong signal in areas where it is difficult or expensive to get Los Angeles area broadcasts. A sadly worthless move once they dropped their PBS affiliation and nobody watched their channel anymore, but getting KLCS on there would deliver PBS content again, and get some use out of it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

The FCC's "repacking" is a dammed cluster-fuck, screwing over OTA viewers (whose numbers are currently RISING after the digital transition made OTA far more viable). By reducing viewing options, and/or pushing broadcasters into less viable channels (eg. VHF-lo) where their broadcast footprint will be reduced, they're starting to destroy the system they've slowly and painfully built-up over the past 75 years. This just for the benefit of cell-phone companies, who would rather throw more money at buying-up the public's available spectrum (at very cheap, fire-sale prices), rather than investing in picocell sites with smaller horizons and much higher frequency reuse. But the one small advantage it offers is the chance for sick and failing TV broadcasters to cash-out in a cash-positive way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

about 2 months ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

evilviper Re:For the naysayers (533 comments)

And we're full circle.

That's what happens when you use circular logic...

For the term broadband to retain its meaning of "fast Internet", it needs to refer to speeds that can be considered fairly snappy in today's reality,

I agree. Let's do that just after we upgrade "dial-up" and "ISDN" to high speeds.

Like "broadband", they meant "high speed" once upon a time. As you're saying, since it meant something once, we must force it to continue to mean the same thing, forever.

about 2 months ago
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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

evilviper Probably numerous different independent genes (269 comments)

With "smart" people ranging from type-A personalities, to high-functioning autistics, it's not surprising they wouldn't find one specific set of genes for intelligence. There is extreme variation in "smart", and even more for "academic achievement", where a complete idiot (for lack of a better term) willing to put in substantial effort, can perform just as well as a highly intelligent person without such motivation.

about 2 months ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

evilviper Re:For the naysayers (533 comments)

...and 4Mbps is still faster than dial-up today.

about 2 months ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

evilviper Re:One Sure Way (275 comments)

Review sites like Yelp and the sort will throw up every roadblock at any attempt by any court to de-anonymize a user.

Courts don't like being messed with. They try that a few times, and they'll eventually get smacked-down, hard.

In short, it's impossible to identify a poster

Bull.

about 2 months ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

evilviper Re: Mecial Cannabis companies (275 comments)

Do you honestly think the stock room is like a door to narnia that has infinite space?

No, I simply think you would like to sell your merchandise, not give it a permanent home in your back room. Who buys it, and for what purpose, is completely irrelevant to that goal. I also don't think it's a war-crime that sometimes an item is going to be out-of-stock.

Clearly you never had to manage stock at a grocery store before..

Actually, yes. A small convenience store, which sold a decent selection of groceries.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Low Power Monochrome LCD screens

evilviper evilviper writes  |  more than 5 years ago

evilviper (135110) writes "Ever since I picked up my Psion 5mx handheld many years ago, I was impressed all-around with the clarity and amazingly low power requirements of simple monochrome LCD screens. I didn't even find myself missing color. Now, I find myself tasked with replacing hundreds of dumb terminals with surplus PCs, doing nothing at all but running a simple terminal emulator, and wasting power. With the majority of power being drawn by the monitor, and requirements so modest that switching to a grayscale display would go practically unnoticed, naturally, my mind goes back to those inexpensive and power-sipping monochrome LCD screens. Sadly, all I've found in my searches are old CRTs, and very expensive high-end LCDs for medical imaging.

So where can decent-sized monochrome LCD screens (preferably with VGA connectors) for PC output be found? Even a text-only screen, ala. digital watches, might be acceptable. I'm sure I'm the only person to ever have this need. What do others in similar situations do to reduce the power consumption of largely idle PCs that are needed merely as a small upgrade from dumb terminals?"
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Cellphone Signals Used to Track Traffic Patterns

evilviper evilviper writes  |  more than 6 years ago

evilviper (135110) writes "Engineers at the Indiana Department of Transportation have developed a method to track how long it takes vehicles and pedestrians to travel from one point to another. "Now we have a way to measure how slow traffic is on a given stretch of road or how long it's taking people to get through airport security at a given concourse and time of day." Data from such a system would provide not only information about short-term factors such as congestion from construction work zones, but also long-term trends requiring design changes.

Research findings will be detailed in a paper appearing in the June issue of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal. The researchers have filed a patent on the method, and the basic technology is available commercially to create the tracking system.

(apologies for the previous submission lacking URL)"
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Cellphone Signals Used to Track Traffic Patterns

evilviper evilviper writes  |  more than 6 years ago

evilviper (135110) writes "Engineers at the Indiana Department of Transportation have developed a method to track how long it takes vehicles and pedestrians to travel from one point to another. "Now we have a way to measure how slow traffic is on a given stretch of road or how long it's taking people to get through airport security at a given concourse and time of day." Data from such a system would provide not only information about short-term factors such as congestion from construction work zones, but also long-term trends requiring design changes.

Research findings will be detailed in a paper appearing in the June issue of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal. The researchers have filed a patent on the method, and the basic technology is available commercially to create the tracking system."
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evilviper evilviper writes  |  more than 7 years ago

evilviper (135110) writes "Everyone's favorite company (SCO) is now distributing everyone's favorite GPL'd Unix video program (MPlayer) for their UnixWare and OpenServer operating systems. With it, they are including numerous codecs in the form of Windows DLLs, from Microsoft, Apple, RealNetworks, and others. This brings up numerous questions about the legality of re-distributing freely downloadable files, and the enforceability of EULAs on the related software. It also raises the question of whether the GPL extends to closed-source, binary code being loaded by GPL'd programs at runtime, such as DLLs or Linux kernel modules.

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/88956
http://www.sco.com/products/docs/MPlayer%20for%20U W714%20&%20OSR6-FINAL.pdf
http://www.sco.com/support/update/download/release .php?rid=270
http://www.sco.com/support/update/download/release .php?rid=271"

Journals

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FTA Satellite Reception in North America

evilviper evilviper writes  |  more than 6 years ago

If you live in the western US, more than 100 miles from a major city, over-the-air TV can be very limited, available only via a weak signal, or entirely unavailable. There, your only choice is satellite.

DBS vs. FTA
The question is, do you want to pay $50 a month to a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service like DirecTV and Dish, or do you want to be free? DBS providers will give you a large number of channels, but I find 95%+ of my TV viewing is shows available on local broadcast channels anyhow. That leads us to free-to-air (FTA) satellite.

Over in Europe, Asia, Africa, there are a large number of channels broadcast unencrypted. The western US, however, is the absolute ass-end of the world... separated from the rest of the world by the two largest oceans in the world, and, with such a minuscule population density that practically nobody is interested in serving the area. See previous point about TV reception.

FREQUENCIES/LNBF
Point being, with FTA in North America, there isn't a big selection. As a rule of thumb, as an English speaker with a KU band receiver, you can really only expect to get PBS, news, and shop-at-home channels. Things get more interesting, however, in the C-band... There you have a much larger selection of channels, intended to be picked up by cable companies and the like, and include all the major broadcast networks. Even though just about all growth is in the KU band, it's clear there is still a lot of life left in the C band. I recommend a dual, C/KU LNBF. You really don't even need to worry about noise and gain figures for LNBFs these days, unless you're looking to pick up seriously fringe signals.

PICKING A DISH
The second issue is size. I don't consider a dish a good purchase if you can't take it with you when you move elsewhere. The only way to guarantee your future land-lord/neighborhood association/etc. absolutely can't forbid you from installing a dish is to follow FCC rules and buy one that is no larger than 1 meter in diameter. Fortunately, this isn't 80s technology anymore, and 1 meter is perfect sufficient for C-band reception. Furthermore, you can get just a bit more signal if you go with an offset dish, rather than an old, standard, parabolic dish, as the LNBF is not located where it blocks signal reception. Since you're size-limited, it's better to buy an offset antenna, and get the maximum amount of signal possible. In most cases, there is effectively no price difference.

RECEIVERS
Analog has nearly gone the way of the dodo. 4DTV/VideoCipherII is popular in North America, and a good option if you want to get all the standard "cable" channels (for a lower price than cable or DBS, but otherwise, there's practically no FTA content, so it's quite safe to skip it. That just leaves one option, the one that has quickly taken over most satellite transmissions, worldwide: DVB-S... For about $40, you can get a nice PCI DVB-S card, and turn any old PC into a TV tuner, or DVR. But, if you're not very technologically competent, there are also $150 "FTA receiver" set-top-boxes that will do the job as well, if less flexibly.

ENCRYPTION
Though I'm really not interested in it myself, I should at least mention that FTA is commonly used as a euphemism for illegally descrambling encrypted satellite TV signals. Now, DirecTV and 4DTV broadcasts are immune, partly because they are proprietary, and relatively few people have interest in. Dish Network, however, uses standard DVB-S equipment, and NagravisionII encryption, which can be decrypted with "softcam" programs that are available. Of course these things are difficult to find, due to the risk of lawsuits under the DMCA, but "softcam" software certainly exists both for computers (Windows and Linux) as well as "unofficial" firmware for damn near all "FTA" receivers. Yes, it is a bit of a shell-game, and no doubt the vast majority of FTA sales are based on this.

CHANNEL GUIDE
To see what satellite signals are freely available to you, visit lyngsat: http://www.lyngsat.com/freetv/United-States.html

Just be sure to take that listing with a grain of salt... Sometimes, that list shows signals available that are actually from satellites on the opposite side of the planet (see: Playboy One).

EQUIPMENT
You'll also need standard equipment like a dish rotator, that is strong enough to hold the weight of the dish, and communicates with the receiver in some standard they both understand, but that's pretty straight forward to check on. Not to mention good quality coax cable, and absolutely no splitters in-line, or else you'll cause some serious damage.

INSTALLATION
Buy a compass, and mount your dish so it has a perfectly clear view all across the southern horizon... If there's a tree or a building in the way, you've got almost no chance of getting any reception at all. You can mount it to your roof, or to the ground, but either way, make sure your mount can handle hundreds of pounds of force, without the dish shifting even a fraction of a inch, otherwise you'll have picture drop-outs when it's windy. Manage all of that and, barring heavy commercial air traffic, you should get a perfect signal, all the time. The dish is far larger than it needs to be for KU-bands, enough so "rain fade" shouldn't occur in even the worst storms.

Hopefully this was helpful for those of you considering purchasing a satellite dish. If you still have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section.

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HDTV Reception: Everything You Need to Know

evilviper evilviper writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Both ignorance and misinformation abounds about the coming switchover to HDTV in the US. I will cut right to the facts.

Right now all major TV stations have two transmitters, their old/original, and a new, secondary for their DTV broadcasts, which is always lower power, on UHF. As of February 2009, they will be shutting off one of the two, and broadcasting digital-only. The FCC has allowed them to select which of the two they wish to continue using. At this point, it's largely settled. VHF-low is going away.

ANTENNA SELECTION:
Practically all broadcasters on VHF-low (channels 2-6) are dropping their existing channel assignments, and switching to a higher (UHF) one. There are very few exceptions. There are also (much lesser) signs of broadcasters leaving VHF-high (7-13), but for the time being, there are lots of VHF-high channels, so you will need an antenna that can receive channels 7-13.

Also important is the fact that ATSC doesn't handle multi-path interference (ghosts) very well. Unlike current analog NTSC, it won't just make the picture look worse, if it's significant, it will prevent you from getting a picture at all. If you are in a city with tall building or big hills/mountains around, this is very important in the selection of an antenna. Older and more common (rectangular) VHF antennas are less directional, and can do little to suppress multi-path interference.

Also important: The FCC is removing UHF channels 52-69. There will no longer be TV broadcast in that range.

STRONG SIGNAL (0-20 miles):
If you are just a few miles from all the TV stations you want to receive, and there are no obstructions in the way, you would probably do well to just get a TV-top antenna that does both VHF and UHF (rabbit ears for VHF and a loop or bow-tie for UHF).

MEDIUM SIGNAL (20-40 miles):
If you use an older rectangular VHF antennas, multi-path interference on VHF signals can pose a problem. Don't get an antenna that is large, and/or highly directional with high gain (db) or else it will be unnecessarily difficult to install and aim the antenna. Hopefully all the channels you want to watch are coming from the same general direction, otherwise, you'll need a (low-end) antenna rotator to get a good signal or possibly two antennas pointed in different directions. I suggest a Winegard 4400 (4-bay) for UHF, and possibly an AntennaCraft Y5-7-13 for VHF-hi. To connect them, DON'T USE A REGULAR SPLITTER or you'll ruin your reception for no good reason. You want a $2 UHF/VHF combiner, commonly made by Pico Macom/Blonder Tongue/Holland/etc.

WEAK/FRINGE SIGNAL (40+ miles):
The most popular type of UHF antennas, yagis with corner reflectors (they look like big metal arrows), design is such that they perform poorly at lower UHF channels, and best at the highest UHF channels. One of the antennas I was considering buying only starts to perform well at UHF channel 50, channels which won't be around in a year.

With that in mind, I recommend an 8-bay antenna instead... One of the top performers which is also far less expensive than other 8-bay antennas is the Winegard 8800. 8-bays perform quite well at the lower range of UHF frequencies from 14 to 50. A few 8-bay antennas claim to get good VHF performance, but it's all misinformation (which I also fell for). At best, they only barely outperform the most basic rabbit ear designs, If you're far enough from UHF stations that you need an 8-bay, you'll also be far from VHF stations, and need a GOOD VHF antenna to bring in the signal. A barely-capable-of-VHF 8-bay simply doesn't have enough gain to get decent VHF reception. A $20 VHF-high antenna will blow them all away. Use a VHF/UHF combiner, NOT a standard splitter to connect them.

VHF-hi needs much smaller and cheaper antennas, and VHF-low is almost gone, except in Alaska, where stations are keeping their low VHF stations due to terrain.

There's one other advantage that multi-bay antennas have over yagi/corner reflectors. If you are renting an apartment, you are allowed to install any antenna you want, provided that it resides entirely on your property. Being able to mount a long yagi/reflector without it sticking out (no longer your property) is pretty unlikely, unless you have a huge balcony. Multi-bay antennas are quite flat, and even just an outside window ledge could be used to mount it legally. Just make sure it's mounted securely, because they are heavy. If there's no location for installation outdoors, you could also install it on the inside of a window, facing out, perhaps hidden from view by your curtain... a yagi would have to stick out, halfway across the room.

INSTALLATION:
There's no substitute for putting your TV antenna on a nice long pole, hooked up to your HDTV tuner, and walking around your house with it until you find a location that gets a strong signal on all the channels you care about. A simple procedure, but a lot of time-consuming work. An antenna can be mounted up to 12' above the top of your roof without requiring you to apply for any permits, and in general, the higher your UHF antenna is, the stronger the signal.
Stay far away from power lines. Be sure to ground both the antenna pole and the coax cable outside of your house to prevent lightning damage.
Large multi-bay antennas are very heavy, so be sure to get heavier gauge pipe for mounting it.
If you are in a fringe area, and your cable runs aren't pretty short, you'll need a mast-mounted signal preamplifier. Lower noise (2.0db) is better, and only slightly more expensive than the rest. Gain (eg 15db) will hardly be an issue UNLESS you have extremely long cable runs... Only then, a second amp might help.

I'm looking forward to HDTV, not for the resolution, but because 95% of the shows I care about are on broadcast TV, and signal quality (fringe area) is the only reason I consider cable/satellite. DVRs, Netflix and Hulu obsolete most of the need for cable, and the sudden and total deterioration of the quality of original programming on the major cable networks sealed pay-TV's fate, IMHO.

If you still have any questions about the basics of digital TV, feel free to leave a comment, and I'll get to it. Coming up next time (soon!) similar tips for satellite reception...

Sources:
FCC DTV tentative frequency assigments: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
Antenna performance comparison: http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html

Products Linky:

UHF/VHF combiner: ... Pico Macom "Tru Spec" UVSJ

Winegard UHF 4-bay 4400: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=hd-4400&d=winegard-hd-4400-4-bay-uhf-prostar-1000-high-definition-tv-antenna-%28hd-4400%29

Winegard UHF 8-bay 8800: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=hd-8800&d=winegard-pr8800-8-bay-uhf-prostar-1000-high-definition-tv-antenna-%28hd-8800%29

AntennaCraft VHF-hi y5-7-13: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=y5-7-13&d=antennacraft-by-radioshack-y5-7-13-highband-broadband-vhf-yagi-tv-antenna-for-channels-7-13-%28y5-7-13%29&sku=716079000987

AntennaCraft VHF-hi y10-7-13: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=y10-7-13&d=antennacraft-by-radioshack-y10-7-13-highband-broadband-vhf-tv-antenna--%28y10-7-13%29&sku=716079000994

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