Saturday, January 19, 2008

Digital TV Technology

It’s official now, folks, the irrevocable transition from analog to digital television is set in stone or at least in the legal language of a specific bill. President Bush recently signed a law that makes February 17th, 2009 as the last date that TV stations are permitted to air an analog signal. In a nod to something that might be called “no TV left behind”, the same bill that sets February 17th as the target date also allocates 1.5 billion of your tax dollars to help purchase digital to analog boxes, saving millions of those analog TV’s from an early grave. That gives everyone about 3 years until this law goes into effect. The U.S. is switching to Digital TV and HDTV (High Definition Television) at the same time. Some other countries in the world are switching to HD, but they are currently broadcasting those signals in analog, not digital.This enactment has been called the largest industrial mandate in the history of the United States. Certainly, there is guaranteed money to be made by companies building and designing the digital to analog converters. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) seemed to enjoy the fact that the cable companies were unable to prevent the HDTV (High Definition Television) broadcasting of local channels, so that viewers can view them with an antenna on the HDTV itself, in the attic, or on the rooftop. Not only is there a new market in digital to analog converters, but industry analysts foresee the sales of integrated Digital Television sets rising to over 18 units this year. An integrated Digital Television just means that the tuner and display are housed together. It is possible to buy a DTV Monitor, which is an analog television that needs digital tuner in some form, to display the digital signal. You will find these tuners in various units, from a cable box, an over the air tuner, and a satellite receiver. Of course, all digital signals are not high-def, but all HD signals are digital. The SD (Standard Definition) TV signal will be better than the old analog signal, and it will no longer have the analog artifacts of snow and ghost like images. SD will not offer the life-like clarity of HDTV; you will still need the HD television and the specific programming in High-Def for the sharpest, clearest pictures imaginable. By some measurements, the picture is about five times sharper than a good analog set of today. The sound with Digital Television will also be improved. Consumers have said that the digital sounds seem to envelope them and come from many directions, not just, from the speakers on the television. As our television habits evolve, things were bound to become digital. The digital signal is cleaner, and is more easily compressed, allowing for the broadcast of more information. The improved quality of video and sound are reasons enough begin the first part of this century as a digital republic. A leader in technology reporting, Julia Hall has published articles about the latest digital devices and gadgets for over ten years. After graduating from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering, Julia turned down huge salaries from some of the most recognized fortune 500 companies in the world to pursue her dream of becoming a leading consumer advocate. Julia uses her expertise to cut through the too good to be true deals offered by high tech companies to reveal the real steals and the real duds that we re bombarded with daily. If you enjoy staying on the cutting edge of technology , whether for business or pleasure, but find yourself occasionally confused by the overwhelming information out there let Julia be your guide.

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