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3 Jul 2017
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Analog And Digital Television: What Is The Difference?

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Posted By Laurel H.

A lot of people wonder what is the difference between the analog and digital TV? The answer is the way the signal is transmitted. The signal of analog television resembles very much to radio signal transmission, with one difference: the video signal of analog television is AM and the audio is FM. There are many negative aspects of analog signals, and one of those is that there can be annoying interferences in bad weather, and signal quality depends very much on the location of the TV.

Resolution and image quality of the analog TV is restricted, because certain bandwidths are assigned to analog TV channels. The US had an analog TV signal called NTSC. The NTSC standard was adopted after the World War II, and it was never intended to be used for color TV broadcasting. A well-known weakness of the standard is color implementation: lot of people called the NTSC-standard jokingly "Never Twice The Same Color".

Digital TV has quite a few advantages over analog signals. Digital signal is very much like computer data flow. There are two kinds of signal: 0, and 1, meaning "on" and "off". The user sees the image or not. This is why in the digital era gradual signal loss and interference is unknown. And it doesn't matter how far away the transmitter is.

Unlike analog TV, digital format has been designed to be able to take all the main factors of television signal into consideration: B/W, color and audio can be transmitted as interlaced or progressive signal. This means the signal content has greater integrity and flexibility.

Another advantage is that because digital TV signal consists of "bits", the same bandwidth one analog TV signal requires can host not only higher quality digital image, but there will be extra space left, which can be used for extra video, audio or text signals.

Because of this, viewers can have a lot of extra features like surround sound, multiple language audio or text using the same bandwidth the standard analog TV signal requires. Digital television is also able to transmit signal for HDTV's that become more and more popular these days.

Digital technology is also able to broadcast programs in true wide screen (16x9) format. The shape of the picture is like a movie screen, so there will be no black bars on the top and the bottom of the image. This way movies can be viewed exactly the same way filmmakers intended to be seen. Sports fans will also love the 16x9 format, because this allows them to see the whole length of a football field.

In the United State, the date of the digital transition was June 12, 2009. This day all analog TV signals went black. Analog televisions became useless, unless there was an analog-to-digital converter connected to them. The transition was originally scheduled to 2006, but authorities postponed the transition with 3 years because they realized the consumers were not ready.

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