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Re: [AV Media Matters] Digital TV

Jim Wheeler wrote:
>Satellites are transmitting normal NTSC TV signals using digital technology
>to compress the video into a narrow bandwidth for easier transmission.

Well, normal 525-line or 625-line signals.  They are not encoded as
NTSC  or PAL (or SECAM).

>I'm not saying that it is bad, just that it is no better than
>terrestrial analog TV.

No more vertical resolution than terrestrial analog TV, but "no better"?

- 720 lines of horizontal luma resolution vs. about 440 (terrestrial NTSC)
- up to 360 lines of horizontal chroma resolution vs. about 50
- zero ghosts
- insignificant random noise

There CAN be compression artifacts, especially in fine-detail
fast-motion sequences like basketball, but "no better"?  I disagree.

>The second "digital revolution" is the FCC mandate for U.S. TV stations to
>broadcast a higher resolution digital video by 2005 (I believe).

Wrong on both counts.

The FCC has already required 79 stations to transmit digitally.  All
other commercial stations are due to transmit digitally by May 1, 2002.
Even non-commercial stations are due to transmit digitally by May 1,

BUT there is absolutely no requirement for any station to transmit
with higher resolution.  All the FCC requires of each digital
station is one free-to-view video signal at least comparable to
current analog transmissions.  If the station's current analog
transmissions are of VHS resolution, then so can its digital


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