Digital TV FAQs

  1. Can I adapt my current TV to receive digital broadcasts?

  2. What will a digital picture look like on my conventional TV?

  3. Will I need an antenna?

  4. What’s the difference between DTV, HDTV and SDTV?

  5. What's the difference between interlaced & progressive scanning?

  6. Are all digital programs transmitted in the 16:9 wide-screen format?

  7. Will I be able to view digital broadcasts on my cable system?


1. Can I adapt my current TV to receive digital broadcasts?
Yes. Our digital set-top decoder box (TU-HDS20) allows many current televisions to display digital programs. The resulting picture quality is about the same as that provided by DBS or DVD. Conventional televisions will not be able to display full HDTV resolution quality.

2. What will a digital picture look like on my conventional TV?
A DTV picture viewed on your conventional TV (set-top box required) will be comparable to a picture from a digital broadcast satellite (DBS) or DVD player. This is an improvement over conventional broadcast television, because DTV signals can't be degraded by environmental interference that would otherwise cause "snow" or "ghosting".

3. Will I need an antenna?
Yes. Initially, DTV will only be available over the air. This means you need an antenna to receive it. Outdoor or attic antennas will be generally more effective than set-top versions. In the future, DTV network programming may become available from cable and satellite providers.

4. What’s the difference between DTV, HDTV and SDTV?
DTV is a general reference to Digital Television technology. DTV is either broadcast in HDTV (High Definition TV) - with resolution as high as 1080 scanning lines (interlaced) or 720p - or SDTV (Standard Definition TV), with 480 scanning lines (interlaced or progressive).

Most daytime programs are broadcast in SDTV, while HDTV is used for prime time movies and specials. The audio standard for HDTV is Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround sound (also known as AC-3)1. This provides 3 discrete audio channels for the front speakers (left, center, right); 2 channels for the rear surround sound speakers, and one channel for subwoofer sound. You will need a TV or an external audio system which is capable of decoding AC-3 to get the full effect, but any standard stereo system will provide you with excellent sound.

1. Dolby and Dolby Digital AC-3 are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corp.

5. What's the difference between interlaced & progressive scanning?
These designations refer to the method by which the lines of picture information will be scanned in to create the image on your screen. "Interlaced" means alternate lines scanned in alternate passes, the way conventional TV sets currently work, while "progressive" represents sequential scanning of all lines in a single pass, the way computer monitors display their information.

6. Are all digital programs transmitted in the 16:9 wide-screen format?
No. All HDTV and some SDTV programs are transmitted in the 16:9 wide-screen aspect ratio (the format of movie theaters). Aspect ratio refers to the width of a picture relative to its height.

Today's conventional TV aspect ratio is 4:3. SDTV programming may utilize 16:9 or 4:3. Of course, wide-screen programs can be viewed on conventional TV screens in the letterbox format (with black areas above and below the picture). Likewise, you'll be able to view regular aspect ratio pictures on a wide screen TV, with the picture digitally increased to fill the screen, or with gray areas on both sides of the picture.

7. Will I be able to view digital broadcasts on my cable system?
There is currently no FCC schedule for cable or satellite providers to deliver DTV programming. However, since 65% of U.S. households currently subscribe to cable and more than 10% have satellite programming, providers will likely start passing along DTV broadcasts in the future. In either case, a set-top decoder would allow you to view DTV programming on your current TV, giving you the best picture your current set could provide.



 

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