Tag Archives: NTSC

Lunch & Learn: Tuning In or Tuning Out? The New World of Digital TV with David Hopkins

tvs.jpgSince the early days of television, one of the principle challenges has been to deliver transmissions of high quality video with consistency. Throughout the world, several video standards, notably PAL, SECAM, and NTSC have attempted to achieve such quality. Since just after the Second World War, the United States has been committed to NTSC, named for the National Television System Committee that adopted it. This analog television system uses 525 lines of resolution and 30 frames per second but is constrained in no small part by the complexities and inconsistencies involved in transmitting audio and video over the air waves. Hence, its nickname among technicians: “Never The Same Color twice in a row.”
After more than a half century of use, NTSC transmissions will be replaced in the United States by a new standard, ATSC [Advanced Television Systems Committee] on February 19, 2009. After that date, full-power stations will broadcast digital signals only. For more information about the deadline and its possible impact, link to www.DTV.gov. As it turns out, 3,000 low-power stations will not be making the transition immediately owing to its costs. To see the new digital transmissions, owners of older analog television sets will need a decoder or set-top box to translate the new digital signals into an analog signal that the older TVs can understand.

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