Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Next Page Previous Page

Digital TV / The Many Faces of HDTV

So, sometime in the future you see an advertisement for digital, high-definition televisions and you decide that it's time to take the leap. You buy one at your local electronic appliance store and bring it home to your living room. It's big and intimidating, but you're excited about the possibilities. After finding the right spot, plugging it in, and putting batteries in the new remote, you're staring at a 16:9, high-definition, multi-casting, surround-sound, enhanced television. Now what?

With a firm press of the power button the set flashes to life. It scans for channels and maybe brings up an electronic guide so you can navigate through all the available programming. After a quick scan, you decide to try out a documentary on National Parks in Africa.

Your first impression is a picture that looks incredibly real. Every detail is revealed with amazing clarity. You're looking over your shoulder for wildlife because the 5.1 channel sound makes it seem like you're there on the Serengeti. Your favorite nature programs are now more real and educational.

Next, you decide to catch up on the news. A box pops up asking you which stocks to follow, where to check for weather conditions, which college basketball scores to list, and which stories to read more about. Watching the news just became a personalized report.

A message from Fred Rogers

Your kids take a seat with you on the couch, so you switch to the local Public Broadcasting channel, and choose children's programming from the four multi-casting selections. The other three selections are showing Norm starting a carpentry project, Julia baking some pastries, and a documentary about New Guinea. You and your kids play some learning games with Big Bird, replay the sing-along a few times, and then print out a picture for coloring together. Your kids are learning by doing.

It's time to check out your favorite movie channel. Hollywood's best are shown as they were meant to be seen. Your new television shows the whole picture and surround-sound brings the action to life. The picture quality looks just like you see in the theater, minus the nasty scratch marks on week-old film. You'll want to see all your favorite movies over again.

For the last five decades, television has changed the way we see the world and how we learn and communicate. However, the basic technology of the television has not changed with the advances in communications developed in the last few decades. Digital television will change how we look and listen to TV.

So, when is all this digital magic coming? I thought you'd never ask.

Digital Broadcast Timeline[next]


Crash Course Home | Site Map | PBS Digital TV
TV Grows Up | A Different Aspect | The Coming Resolution
Digital Vs. Analog | I Want My Enhanced TV | The Many Faces of HDTV

Copyright © 1998, PBS Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Site Designed and Developed by OPB Learning Media