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Part I: Today’s Technology > Watching Digital Television: HDTV

Chapter 27. Watching Digital Television: HDTV

Television is another area embracing the change from analog to digital. The current analog standards for television broadcasting and display have been around for decades; for this reason, they provide image quality that is actually comparable to the lowest resolution now available on your computer screen. With all the advances in other areas of consumer electronics and in wireless communications, it’s no surprise that the television standards are being upgraded as well.

The most exciting new standard for digital television (DTV) is called High-Definition Television (HDTV). Digital television actually has 18 formats, 6 of which are HDTV formats and 12 of which are the lower resolution Standard Definition Television (SDTV) formats. Both standards are digital, but HDTV provides the highest resolution. The HDTV standard provides roughly twice the number of vertical lines and twice the number of horizontal points onscreen when compared to the current analog television standards, such as NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) in the United States or PAL (Phase Alternating Lines) in Europe.


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