The electronic revolution in the television industry seems to have taken years to get to the consumer. It’s been tough since it needs the co-operation of the companies that make the gear to show, receive and transmit digital pictures, the TV companies that broadcast the programs and the movie and television sector that produce television and the movies that we watch. This article will trace the evolution from analog TV that is regular to the digital TV.
Today most folks are still getting analog television. Analog television technology is approximately 60 years old but still produces good quality graphics. In North America, Japan and part of South America the normal analog signal is the National television standards committee (NTSC) and in Europe and most other areas of the world it’s either Phase Alternating Line (PAL) or Sequential colour with memory (SECAM). SECAM is especially found in French speaking areas of Africa and France. Many countries that had SECAM are gradually moving to nations that were previously in the Soviet Republic , notably nations in Eurasia and the PAL system. Although there are numerous differences between the three technologies, the most evident to the viewer is the line resolution. The NTSC system shows 525 lines on the display and PAL displays 625.
These analog systems have functioned fine for 60 odd years and an important basis for transforming, as well as the only cause for anxiety, is that the signal was frequently subject to noise that may degrade the image quality.
The procedure whereby the average household receives digital television is evolving. They cannot view digital quality graphics as the typical house still features an analog television however they could be receiving digital signals. This means the signal could be clearer but before they are able to see the graphic it needs to be converted back into the conventional analog graphic (525 or 480 viewable in NTSC). And so the means of broadcasting the image is digital but the viewing is still analog. Usually the conversion back to analog is done by means of a set top box or satellite system.
The end point of the evolutionary phase is always to have digital transmission going into television or a digital display system. It is possible to safely say that you are viewing digital television, when this occurs.
When the means of producing the transmission or broadcast of the media, media and the devices for viewing the media conform to the ATSC standard afterward the benefits of digital TV is going to be really noticeable to the average television watcher.