The Benefits of Digital TV
So you want to know what you’re going to be getting with digital TV... Why the big fuss and the national switchover? Is it really that much better than analogue?
The fact is that we are moving with the changing times and taking advantage of the technological improvements. Digital TV actually gives you an enhanced viewing experience, and opens up doors to new realms of the TV experience. Analogue, whilst functional, is dwarfed by digital, and does not possess the quality nor the versatility of the newer, sharper format.
Analogue vs. Digital
Analogue has served us well for a long time, providing TV pictures and sound through a signal received via an aerial. The reception of this signal was achieved through variations in frequency and amplitude, and these messages generated the whole sight and sound package of a TV programme onto your screen at home.
This was not particularly efficient, taking up excessive bandwidth (airwaves) space with only a few channels. The picture was unreliable, and if you lost the picture the sound usually followed.
Lots of time spent hovering above the TV waving the aerial around! The signal usually returns at about the time you have contorted your body to an impossible and highly painful position.
Enhanced picture and sound
Digital is advanced. The information representing the picture and sound is sent as a digital (computerised) signal, and then decoded by a set-top box. This means that the picture and sound is crisp and clear, and no one has to stand over the TV in agony with one leg around their neck, brandishing a clunky aerial, looking more than a little daft.
Digital TV can be sent by aerial, as well as satellite, cable or internet (IPTV), and all these methods offer a more defined and enjoyable viewing experience.
The digital medium is incredibly efficient with bandwidth space, so, instead of a handful of channels, you could potentially access hundreds of stations across a broad spectrum of genres and interests. The number of channels available depends on your provider of choice and the type of TV deal you have in place, but the possibilities are there thanks to the capabilities and advantages of digital TV.
Digital TV and digital set-top boxes offer interactive features, such as 'red button', and this lets you access alternative content like a sport multiscreen, alternative angles and commentary or catch-up TV. Some set-top boxes and digital TV providers also have games and other interactive features to explore.
HD and 3D
As a result of the switch to digital, other avenues open up, with HD, or, high definition, proving an increasingly popular choice. Digital TV viewers can move up from normal digital to HD which further improves the picture and sound, whilst the depth and effect of 3D has now been brought into the home as part of the digital TV experience.