The Rationale Behind Digital Broadcasting


Digital TV Broadcasting

By now you’ve probably heard that TV broadcasting will switch over to digital (DTV) on February 17, 2009. You’ve probably also heard Cassandra-like warnings about everything you’ll need to be prepared for this event. The great likelihood, however, is that you won’t need anything, and that if you do, the effort and cost on your part will be minimal. With the help of a few Web resources, you can find out what, if anything, you need to be prepared.

The Switch from Analog to Digital TV

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What You Will Need: Digital Televisions and Signal Converters

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The Benefits and Pitfalls of Switching to Digital Broadcasting

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The Rationale Behind Digital Broadcasting

Why did Congress mandate this change? Why are we being forced to adopt a new technology? In this section, learn what underlying factors motivated this transition.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • First and foremost, DTV looks and sounds better, and provides not only interactive features, but also such technologies as Digital Rights Management (DRM), which is used by music publishing companies and other industries to limit the number of times you can watch a particular movie, for example, or limit the number of machines on which particular broadcasts may be recorded or viewed.
  • To push through this improved technology, economic incentives were created to encourage compliance throughout the industry. A great deal of broadcast bandwidth that is currently taken up by TV signals can now be auctioned off by the government for use by new technologies, particularly mobile phones, wireless computing and medical telemetry devices.
  • There’s also some national pride involved here: the United States is trying to achieve a broadcast standard that’s either on trial or already commonplace in several other countries, including Japan and England.

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The History, Science and Politics of Digital TV

Ideas for improved broadcast quality and services have been knocking about since the 1980s, but as ... read more »

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