Advantages & Disadvantages of Digital TV

Written by john michael
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Advantages & Disadvantages of Digital TV
Transmitting in digital (Rooftop Television Antenna image by ryasick from Fotolia.com)

In 2009 the country changed from analogue transmission to a digital format for transmitting television programming. This was done to free up more bandwidth to be used for other features and to make high-definition broadcasts possible. Digital converts sound and picture into computer data before transmitting. While there are distinct advantages to this change there are some minor disadvantages.

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Higher Quality

Digital transmission is higher quality because it converts sounds and pictures into digital data and then transmits this data electronically. When the electronic data is received by the receiver in your home, it is converted back into the original sound and picture through a tuner. This converted data is what you then hear and see on your TV. Because of this conversion into digital the picture is not grainy but is instead very clear. The digital tuner inside the receiver takes out any "noise" from the signals before converting them back to the original sound and picture.

Less Bandwidth

When the sound and picture is converted into digital data it is also compressed. In simple terms, it is like taking your foot and stepping in a garbage pail filled with paper. You press down and "squish" the paper so it takes up less room. This compression enables multiple channels to be transmitted over the same cable or frequency where only one used to be transmitted. This is great for the cable companies who want to increase the number of channels they provide without having to replace any of their current equipment.

Compatability

All new TV's, computers, and other electronic equipment are designed with digital in mind. Digital transmission is better at taking advantage of these features than is analogue.

All Or Nothing

Consumers who do not have cable or satellite television services, but instead use an antenna or "rabbit ears," are forced to purchase a converter box to view any programs. If they do not have the converter box all they will see is static and fuzz. These consumers really do not have a choice, they are forced to change or else they will not be able to watch any television programming. Also, with analogue if you do not have a perfect signal you will still be able to see the program, although it will be fuzzy. With digital you need a very clear signal or else you will see nothing.

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