The Digital Conversion in Television Essay

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The Digital Conversion in Television


Television is now in the process of converting from analog to digital technology. The significance of this change is greater than the introduction of color TV in the 1960’s, but more complicated since conversion will require new equipment for all consumers. Unlike color TV, digital television (DTV) uses a new kind of signal that does not fit within the structure of the old signal. "DTV" refers to a specific standard being implemented in the United States to carry a television signal in digital form through all stages of its transmission, not just for digital equipment such as video tape recorders and satellite receivers that have already been used in conjunction with analog
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HDTV has a specification called 1080i, which is so named because it has 1,080 horizontal lines of resolution transmitted in an interlaced manner, which means that when the lines of each frame of the video are sent, only the even-numbered lines are sent for one frame, then only the odd-numbered lines of the next frame. Another HDTV format is 720p, which has 720 horizontal lines, but all lines are progressively sent for each frame. One SDTV format is 480p (480 progressive horizontal lines).

A DTV signal can carry five channels of digital audio at the level of quality used by compact discs. This accommodates the demand for high-quality, movie theater-style sound. In the realm of analog television, this level of sound quality can only come from recordings, digital satellite transmissions, or digital cable signals, not over the air from a local TV station (Churchill).

An example of DTV’s extra function and flexibility is the system called Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP), a data service that allows TV users to view schedules and read descriptions of programs transmitted through cable or on the air. This is one standard that the National Cable Television Association and the Consumer Electronics Association agreed on; it is probable that cable operators and television stations may devise numerous ancillary data services related to entertainment or
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