WATS Happenings

Official Newsletter of the
Waco Amateur Television Society (WATS), Inc.

Volume 6, Issue 8, August 2001


Meeting Notice
CORD Offices
601 Lake Air Drive
Waco, TX 76710

Thursday August 16, 2001
Directors 7:00 pm, Members 7:30 pm

Lines of Resolution

As we move to the era of digital television, we may need to reconsider some basic terminology. I found a wealth of information nicely explained by a FAQ (frequently asked question) web site:


Visit this site for almost everything you ever wanted to know about DVD’s and other technical video topics. Below is a nice discussion about “lines of resolution.” Read it carefully, as the use of “vertical” and “horizontal” can be confusing on the first read.
—John, AC5CV


Everyone gets confused by the term "lines of horizontal resolution," also known as LoHR or TVL. It's a carryover from analog video, it's poorly understood, it's inconsistently measured and reported by manufacturers, but we're stuck with it until all video is digital and we can just report resolution in pixels.

Technically, lines of horizontal resolution refers to visually resolvable vertical lines per picture height. In other words, it's measured by counting the number of vertical black and white lines that can be distinguished across an area that is as wide as the picture is high. The idea is to make the measurement independent of the aspect ratio. Lines of horizontal resolution applies both to television displays and to signal formats such as that produced by a DVD player. Most TVs have ludicrously high numbers listed for their horizontal resolution.

Since DVD has 720 horizontal pixels (on both NTSC and PAL discs), the horizontal resolution can be calculated by dividing 720 by 1.33 (for a 4:3 aspect ratio) to get 540 lines. On a 1.78 (16:9) display, you get 405 lines. In practice, most DVD players provide about 500 lines instead of 540 because of filtering and low-quality digital-to-analog converters. VHS has about 230 (172 widescreen) lines, broadcast TV has about 330 (248 widescreen), and laserdisc has about 425 (318 widescreen).

Don't confuse lines of horizontal resolution (resolution along the x axis) with scan lines (resolution along the y axis). DVD produces 480 scan lines of active picture for NTSC and 576 for PAL. The NTSC standard has 525 total scan lines, but only 480 to 483 or so are visible. (The extra lines are black. They contain sync pulses and other information, such as the Closed Captions that are encoded into line # 21). PAL has 625 total scan lines, but only about 576 to 580 are visible. Since all video formats (VHS, LD, broadcast, etc.) have about the same number of scan lines, it's the horizontal resolution that makes the big difference in picture quality.

Do you have anything to add or critique this article? I’d welcome your inputs for a future issue of Happenings! Send me a note. —John, AC5CV

President’s Column

Last week on the WATS ATV Round Table the question was asked about how or where NASA TV channels could be found on the satellite systems. Here are some things that I learned. If you have some older satellite receiving equipment (C or KU band) and a typically 9-foot dish, you can receive the NASA channel with audio on GE-2 transponder 9C (3880 Mhz), orbit position 85 degrees West longitude at 6.8 Mhz or GE-2 transponder 13 (3960 Mhz) with vertical polarization. If you are ready to upgrade or are considering a new system, try either Direct TV or Dish Network. But, before you buy a system, be sure to take the time to study and ask all the questions you can, because there are many ways to go. I have studied a little and here are my choices because they are HDTV-compatible. By that I mean that you can use the receiver for both satellite and off-the-air HDTV programming. You will need a TV that is HDTV-compatible for seeing the picture. With this combination you can have the start of the most popular home theater system.

My first choice is the Direct TV-because I already have Direct TV. I would need to upgrade from my current 18-inch dish. I would need an 18-by-24 inch oval dish and a receiver such as the RCA DTC-100. A subscription to the basic package will include the NASA channel at no extra cost, on channel 376.

The other way to go is Dish Network once again you will need a basic package and it will include the NASA Channel 24/7 at no extra charge. On the Dish Network, NASA is found on channel 213.

It might be good to check out these Web sites.

If interested in NASA, you can watch a slightly lower quality version on the Web. Search for "NASA-TV" or go to http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/nasatv/. If you would like to keep up with the missions you can view/print a list of scheduled activities at http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/nasatv/schedule.html.

Well, that's all that I have on that now but I will keep my eyes and ears open for more.

Remember that we will have the Wild West Century Bike Ride on September 29, 2001.

Hope to see every one at the meeting Thursday August 16, 2001. Board of Directors meets at 7:00 pm; members at 7:30 pm.

73 de KC5UOZ
David L Bush
WATS President


Waco Amateur Television Society (WATS)
Minutes of the Board Meeting
19 July 2001

The July meeting was held at the offices of CORD, at 601 Lake Air Drive, beginning at 7:00 PM, with President David Bush presiding. Those present were:

David Bush, President

Horace Bushnell, Secretary-Treasurer

John Chamberlain, Director

Norris Martin, Director

Justin Martin (Visitor), Webmaster

Upon motion by Horace Bushnell and second by Norris Martin, the minutes of the June meeting were approved as displayed on the web.

John Chamberlain moved for approval of the June Financial Statement as displayed on the web. Motion was seconded by Norris Martin. Motion carried.

John Chamberlain made a motion that he be reimbursed $25.00 for Gift Certificate good at Olive Garden, previously approved by the Board, to be given to David Boehner as a token of our appreciation. Second was by Horace Bushnell. Check was issued.

Motion was made by Horace Bushnell that the newsletter, WATS Happenings, continue to be published in hard copy and mailed to members who did not specifically request otherwise, and to others who might possibly be interested in WATS. Motion was seconded by Norris Martin. Motion failed.

To make it a matter of record, Horace Bushnell stated that he had, immediately after placing the May issue of WATS Happenings in the mail, sent an e-mail message only to the President and Directors, advising them that he would no longer edit and publish WATS Happenings. For the purpose of clarification, the responsibilities of the Secretary/Treasurer do not, and never have, included any part of the newsletter. It was edited and published voluntarily.

There being no other business, meeting was adjourned at 7:35 PM.


Horace Bushnell, W5TAH

President, KC5UOZ

Secretary-Treasurer, W5TAH

Director, AC5CV

Director, KB5SLI

Photos by Larry Bush, W5NCD

Waco Amateur Television Society (WATS)
Minutes of the Meeting of Members
19 July 2001

The July meeting of members was held at the offices of CORD, at 601 Lake Air Drive, beginning at 7:35 PM, with President David Bush presiding. Those present were:

David Bush, President

Horace Bushnell, Secretary-Treasurer

Larry Bush, Member

John Chamberlain, Member

Norris Martin, Member

Justin Martin, Webmaster (Visitor)

John Chamberlain moved the minutes of the June meeting be approved as displayed on the web. Seconded by Horace Bushnell and passed.

During the June Meeting of Members John Chamberlain moved that WATS begin collecting excess ATV equipment for the purpose of furnishing “loaners” to members who are in need of equipment, on a temporary basis, to get on the air. The motion was seconded by Bushnell, but a vote was not called for until tonight, at which time the motion carried.

During the June Meeting of Members, President Bush suggested that the ATV equipment collected in the foregoing action be stored at the Bush warehouse at Speegleville. No motion was made at that time. Tonight John Chamberlain brought up the subject and made a formal motion that the offer be accepted. Second by Norris Martin, the motion carried.

David Bush brought up the subject regarding the marking or tagging of WATS property items. After a brief discussion it was agreed that it would be better to await completion of an inventory and listing of present items in the Property Book before deciding how to handle this.

W5NCD's new zip drive Larry showed us his new zip drive. Using a remote control, it can put on it's own "slide show" of stored images!

Horace Bushnell brought up the subject of replacing the camcorder now in the Skycam, which is in a poor condition. Larry Bush reminded us that the late model camcorders are built in such a way that it is impossible to wire into the zoom circuits. Also, someone suggested adding a soundboard to the transmitter in order to transmit the sounds of fireworks during the next exhibition. Finally, Larry suggested that each of us come up with suggestions at a later meeting, as to the best way to replace the existing camera, along with suggestions for zoom controls, whether it be hard wire or infrared.

Several members discussed an idea of a beacon type SSTV transmitter to send time-delay images for use on the web.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:10 PM to enjoy a program by Larry Bush.


Horace Bushnell, W5TAH


Financial Report
31 July 2001

Bank Balance as of 30 June 2001

    Credits:  None

    Debits:   Check #361

Bank Balance as of 31 July 2001

    (Outstanding: Check #362, $25.00)

Available balance:



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Horace Bushnell, W5TAH


WATS Happenings is the official newsletter of the Waco Amateur Television Society (WATS), Inc., a non-profit organization, chartered by the State of Texas with registered offices at 3804 N 21A Street, Waco, TX.  Use of information contained herein is permissible, provided credit is given to the source. Edited and published by John Chamberlain, AC5CV.

2001 WATS Officers and Directors

President: David Bush, KC5UOZ, KC5UOZ@bigfoot.com

Secretary/Treasurer: Horace Bushnell, W5TAH, W5TAH@aol.com

Director (thru 2003): John Chamberlain, AC5CV, AC5CV@arrl.net

Director (thru 2002): John Gafford, N5XAK, jgafford@clearsource.net

Director (thru 2001): Norris Martin, KB5SLI, nmartin@tstc.edu