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[AV Media Matters] Digital TV

There is some confusion about what digital TV is because there are two
going on simultaneously.

Satellites are transmitting normal NTSC TV signals using digital technology
to compress the video into a narrow bandwidth for easier transmission.  The
advertisements make it seem that digital is better but it isn't when it is
compressed.  I'm not saying that it is bad, just that it is no better than
terrestrial analog TV.

The second "digital revolution" is the FCC mandate for U.S. TV stations to
broadcast a higher resolution digital video by 2005 (I believe).  Consumers
are not running to the stores to buy $4,000-$6,000 High Resolution TV sets
the TV stations are reluctant to spend millions of dollars to convert their

The Editorial in the July 11 "TV Technology" states, "Broadcasters believe
there's no consumer demand for digital programming.  And because those
broadcasts won't add additional revenue--because there are so few viewers
watching--what's the incentive?"

A friend of mine is the chief engineer for a family run group of five TV
stations.  They are just barely able to make ends meet now.  The day they
forced by FCC to go on the air with digital is when all five stations go off
the air.

Jim Wheeler

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