What's This Digital Television Thing All About?

Digital tv is the next generation of video broadcast technology. The old system, called analog tv, was developed in the 1950s. DTV was developed for the 21st Century by a working group of developers, broadcasters and engineers, so that customers will get the best item. The exact same way computer systems scan pictures into information files (actually turning your holiday photos into a series of 1sts and 0s); DTV alters the movie and video into digital images (those exact same Ones and 0s) and transfers them.

Analog still works, so why switch?

They used to say, "If it ain't broke, do not repair it," but 8-track tapes were changed by cassette tapes, which were changed by CDs and so on. New technology does the very same thing, but does it much better. By altering the way TELEVISION signals are relayed, the signals use less bandwidth, implying more shows can be sent over the airwaves. According to the FCC website, "That means much better quality, more options, and more control over your tv."

Using less bandwidth also means parts of the broadcast spectrum will not be required by the TELEVISION market. This spectrum is restricted, like a series of pipelines; there are many, but only a lot of. DTV means tv needs less pipelines. The others can be reassigned to public security-- authorities, fire and paramedic services-- or wireless phone service suppliers or other usages.

When and how did the switch happen?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started establishing the switch-over in 1996. Starting March 1, 2007, all tvs integrated in or imported to the US needs to have a digital tuner along with an analog tuner. Many stations released digital broadcasting in addition to analog broadcasts in late 2008 or '09. On June 12, 2009, all significant TELEVISION stations stopped sending analog signals. A couple of small, local TELEVISION stations will continue using analog.

Customers who acquired TVs developed March 2007 or after didn't need to do anything; they were developed switchover-ready. In reality, the switchover went efficiently, many people most likely didn't even see it was occurring. Those with older sets can purchase a new TELEVISION or a converter than equates digital back to analog signals.

Analog-only TELEVISION sets developed before March 2007 might still be readily available for sale; if so, sellers should to publish a notification plainly mentioning which sets are analog-only.

Will customers need an unique antenna to get digital tv programs?

Customers who presently use an antenna, either on-the-set 'bunny ears' or a roof-mounted antenna, must get digital signals along with they got analog signals.

Is this associated to high-definition tv?

No, HDTV is a different issue. HDTV audio and video signals were always digital, this action means that routine TELEVISION (often called 'boosted' tv or ETV) are is also now digital. Customers do not need to purchase an HDTV to see digital-TV programs. Broadcasting programs in boosted and high-def formats is called 'multi-casting,' which will be among the huge benefits of the digital switch.

Other helpful realities:

Customers who choose to purchase a new tv do not need to send their old set to a land fill; many neighborhoods have recycling programs. Cable television systems are not needed to change to digital; many cable television business provide digital and high-definition program plans along with analog. Some might ultimately decide to change to all-digital shows. The FCC's DTV guidelines apply only to broadcasters-- those who use the general public airwaves to provide programs to customers.

Adult controls (like the V-chip) will work also with digital signals as they have actually dealt with analog. Like all customer electronic devices, tvs have actually changed a lot over the previous fifty years. With couple of exceptions, these have actually been modifications for the much better. Digital tv is just the latest member of that list.