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DTV broadcast technology is more flexible and efficient than today’s analog broadcast technology. For example, rather than being limited to providing one analog programming signal, a broadcaster will be able to provide a sharp "high definition" (HDTV) program or multiple "standard definition" digital programs simultaneously. Providing several program streams using the digital spectrum is called "multicasting." The number of programs a station can send using the digital spectrum depends on the level of picture detail, also known as "resolution" in each programming stream. DTV can provide picture resolution, interactive video, and data services that easily surpass the capabilities of "analog" technology. DTV technology is much more efficient than the current analog technology and will allow the broadcast of more program content using less broadcast spectrum. 

All of the Atlanta TV stations are broadcasting in digital now {and analog}.  Atlanta has been ahead of the curve for some time concerning the digital and HDTV conversion,

Digital TV (DTV) does not mean HDTV! The two terms are not interchangeable - in spite of continued, wide-spread public misuse. While HDTV (High Definition TV) is "digital," it is a unique - completely separate and different TV Format. HDTV requires its own unique "High Definition Television" equipment, from start to finish - from production studio to broadcast station, from transmitter to in-home receiver. All Components must be HDTV capable and compatible. As used in the general sense, Digital TV refers to "SDTV" - Standard Definition (Digital) TV. The Digital TV Transition applies "only" to the change-over from Analog TV to Digital - SDTV; it does NOT include or involve "HDTV" - at all! TV Broadcasters are mandated to broadcast Digital TV Signals (SDTV) - only. The decision, whether or not, to transmit HDTV programming remains the voluntary choice of each Broadcaster.

TV stations serving all markets in the United States are airing digital television programming today, although most will continue to provide analog programming through June 11, 2009. At that point, full-power TV stations will cease broadcasting on their current analog channels, and the spectrum they use for analog broadcasting will be reclaimed and put to other uses. When you change the channel on your analog set after that date there will be snow on every channel.


Receiving DTV signals over the air requires an antenna and a receiver that can decode the digital signals. In general, an antenna that provides quality reception of over-the-air analog TV signals (VHF and UHF) will work for DTV reception. Satellite TV providers, Dish Network and DirecTV are currently providing their subscribers with DTV programming. So, if you have satellite TV you do not need to do anything unless you want HDTV, then you will need new satellite equipment, an HDTV satellite receiver and new dish antenna. SATPRO can install an antenna for local DTV and HDTV reception, or satellite for HDTV. SEE OUR:  "HDTV Antenna OTA",  PAGE.

When full-power broadcast stations stop analog service, you still will be able to use your analog TV with a set-top converter box. Converter boxes for analog TVs receiving over-the-air broadcasts will be available in retail stores at that time. These boxes receive digital signals and convert them into analog format for display on your analog TV. If you are a satellite subscriber, your current satellite box is a digital box and your are already watching digital TV. Remember, even with a set-top converter box, your current analog TV will not display the full picture quality of DTV. To enjoy the full picture quality, you must have a DTV set or HDTV television. By March 2007, all TVs (and other devices that are designed to receive broadcast television signals) are required to have digital tuners built in. HD Monitors are not required to have a tuner. If you have that odd TV in an extra room to watch local over-the-air channels with rabbit ears and it is not hooked up to satellite, than you will need a converter box for that TV to continue to use it for local channels.

Most DTV and HDTV sets have wider screens (16x9) than current analog TV's screens(4x3). The wider screens allow for wider images that are similar to those you see in a movie theater.  The cost is dependant on which type of display you want and the size of the screen.  The prices continue to drop.

An Integrated DTV set is a digital television with a built-in digital receiver and decoder (tuner). If you have an Integrated DTV and live in an area served by a DTV broadcast station like Atlanta, you only need an antenna (preferably an outdoor antenna) to receive over-the-air DTV broadcast programming. Integrated TV's also can receive and display current analog signals. In contrast, a digital monitor is not capable of receiving and tuning DTV programming without additional equipment. A DTV set-top box must be connected between the antenna and the monitor to receive and display DTV programming that is broadcast over the air. Also, if you are a satellite subscriber, you may need a new set-top box to receive HD broadcast. Confirm with your retailer that the DTV receiver or set-top box is compatible and has the proper connectors to interface with the DTV monitor that you are purchasing. Monitors also can display video from DVD players and VCR's through their connectors. Integrated DTV sets and digital monitors do not necessarily display programming in full HDTV format. Some integrated sets and monitors will display DTV in lower-resolution "enhanced definition" EDTV or "standard definition" SDTV format. So although sets may be marketed with labels or descriptions that imply HDTV resolution, check before purchasing if you want HDTV quality. You want an HDTV set.

True HDTV programming is typically broadcast in one of two resolutions: the newest 1880p, 1080i or 720p. Most broadcast networks have opted for the 1080i format, boasting that it provides the highest possible resolution, while ABC and ESPN HD went for the smoother pictures of 720p. Fox has announced that it will use 720p for it's HDTV broadcasts. What's the real difference between the two? While 1080i technically offers the most lines of resolution, it's delivered in the old style interlaced format, meaning that your TV set draws each frame in two passes: once for the even horizontal lines, and a second time for the odd lines. The newest 1080p uses progressive scanning for the best picture if the program is broadcast in 1080p. The 720p (progressive) format has fewer lines of information than 1080i and 1080p but draws each frame in a single pass, delivering pictures that look slightly smoother than an interlaced image, especially when there's a lot of movement on the screen. Most videophiles agree that 720p is the superior format, despite 1080i's resolution advantage. For average viewers, however, it's hard to tell the difference.  Progressive scan DVD player's play in 480p.  EDTV 16:9 {or ED Enhanced Definition} is 480p. SDTV {or SD Standard Definition} is 480i 4:3.

Don't make the mistake of buying an "EDTV" Set or Plasma if you are expecting HDTV.  An EDTV {Enhanced Definition TV} only displays a 480p picture and not HD. HD is 720p, 1080i & 1080p.  EDTV sets are priced lower than true HDTV set and fool some who do not know about EDTV sets.  The future is with an HDTV set. 

Call it the Law of Desires; the Rule of Retail: the more something costs, the more we want it. It doesn't really matter how much better the product is or whether we actually need it.

Take HDTV, for example. Now that 1080p sets have hit the mainstream, many buyers are getting caught in up the 720p/1080i/1080p conundrum -- they want the best, but is the top-end progressive upgrade really worth the extra cost? After all, most of these folks are migrating directly from standard definition to HD, so won't even the lower standards make a world of difference?

David Colker at the Los Angeles Times was curious about this as well and this week posed the "is 1080p worth it" question to a panel of technology analysts. The results were mixed. Although everyone agreed that the technology behind 1080p is a good thing, and probably represents the future of high-definition television, it might not be time to plunk down an extra grand for a TV that won't be fully utilized for at least a few more years.

"We are in the era of specsmanship," Gardner research analyst Van Baker told Colker. "People have gotten hung up on the numbers. The real question is; how much resolution do you really need?"

And that's a fair question; especially considering how little 1080p content is out there. No one broadcasts in it yet, so the only real sources so far are Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. And it could be a while before we see cable and satellite providers building out their bandwidth capacity to handle the extra load required by 1080p.

"My advice is to spend a little less on a TV and put the money toward HDTV services," Baker said. "Then it will look fantastic."

Clearly, HD isn't going away. Sales are on the rise, customer demand has never been greater and 1080p sets will continue to sell no matter what they cost. But keep these concerns in mind about the value of 1080p.

Timothy Sprinkle  

 (as of 2010 many manufactures offer 1080p in there higher cost sets and it is              becoming the standard as they push it more. BlueRay DVD is 1080p) 

HDTV Tips To Consider


                  For More Digital TV Information See;     www.dtvanswers.com

Call SATPRO for information on adding an antenna for local Atlanta digital and HD Over-The-Air programming and channels.       WWW.ATLANTADIGITALTV.COM