What makes digital television so special? A digital image isn't inherently better
than an analog image, and in some cases it can be worse. An HDTV picture
doesn't have to be digital either; Japanese HDTV is broadcast over an analog
signal. There has to be another reason why the United States is choosing
to go through the pain of switching from analog to digital.
In fact, there are several good reasons to go digital,
including: how much data it can transmit, how consistent the data stays
over distance, and what type of data the signal can carry. For the same
amount of bandwidth, you can stuff a lot more information into a digital
signal than an analog signal. A digital signal doesn't produce the same
problems with the picture we see on a distant analog television, either.
And television in the digital age won't be limited to video and audio;
our televisions will become truly interactive. Combined with HDTV and
digital sound, this means a better picture, better sound, and digital
data. But how are we going to fit all this into the same amount of frequency?
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