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Defining TV Moments with HDTV

Television technology as we know it today has evolved tremendously from its inception in the late 1800s. Inspired by the success of the inventions of Bell and Edison in bridging wide distances, scientists became more and more intrigued by the possibility of ‘distance vision’ or the ability to simultaneously see someone in another part of the world moving and talking while one is in another location. With their relentless efforts, it wasn’t long before American scientist Charles Jenkins and Scotsman John Baird were able to put on air in England and the U.S their first television programming of silhouettes and stick figures. This was followed by several major breakthroughs which eventually led to the development of television technology as we know it today. • 1927 — Bell Laboratories transmitted the first live picture with voice broadcast.

• 1939 — RCA unveiled its first line of television receivers in its World’s Fair. • 1943 — The National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) technological standards for black and white TV were established. • 1957 — Robert Adler invented the first practical remote control called the ‘Space Commander’. • 1960s — Color television programming was launched. • 1962 — Television signal via satellite was launched for the first time • 1970s to 1980s — The highly efficient fiber optic cable was introduced significantly improving delivery of television programming and paving the way for the entry of digital television technology.

• 1990 — Closed-caption television was created for the hearing-impaired. • 1994 — High Definition Television (HDTV) standards were established along with a plan for the eventual phasing out of analog television and the conversion to the digital format • 1998 — The first HDTV sets were sold in the market. What is HDTV? High Definition TV or HDTV is a digital broadcast standard that insures the viewer the ultimate in viewing quality and sound. It is one of 18 voluntary standards for digital television set by the Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC), which provides guidelines on the levels of quality to be followed for sound and video encoding and transmission. Of these 18 standards, which are all superior to the analog technology commonly used in television today, HDTV holds the highest rank. The HDTV broadcast format, therefore, is the most superior. However, purchasing an HDTV-ready TV set does not mean that one automatically gets to enjoy the benefits of this technology. To be able to enjoy HDTV, one must also be viewing a program that has been digitally prepared. In some cases, one needs a set-top converter to convert the broadcasts from analog to digital. Whatever it is, one cannot escape the fact that the digital age is upon us and, whether or not we are ready, it will just be a matter of time before the analog broadcasts we have grown so used to is phased out and digital TV becomes the standard.

For an avowed TV addict who knows nothing about digital TV, the prospect is daunting. The need to understand DTV and HDTV therefore is now. For more information on HDTV, please do visit http://www.GoHD.


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