TV Technology reports some radio amateurs are now on-the-air using high definition digital TV
Ham TV has evolved right along with the rest of the industry, moving from mechanical scanning to all-electronic operation, then color, and eventually to digital video and most recently, high-definition imaging.
And while commercial television entities have routinely spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in retrofitting analog plants for digital broadcasting, hams—being an ingenious and creative lot—have managed to go digital on the cheap.
Art Towslee WA8RMC is one of these DTV pioneers. In an effort to make DTV more accessible for amateur radio operators, Towslee, along with two others, has launched a small manufacturing operation that produces a digital encoder card—the DATV (Digital Amateur TV) Express board—that sells for $300. It operates in conjunction with a PC, as it’s a software-defined device, and provides either a DVB-S or -T output.
“Our purpose was to get people in the U.S. interested in DTV,” said Towslee. “So far we’ve sold 120 of the cards. However, I am a little disappointed as most of the sales have been to people in Japan and Europe.”