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Last modified: Wednesday, November 09, 2005 

Short for Digital Television, it is a digital television standard that is fast replacing analog (or NTSC analog) television. DTV enables broadcasters to offer television with movie-quality picture and sound. It also offers greater multicasting and interactive capabilities.  While many use the terms Digital Television (DTV) and High-definition Television (HDTV) interchangeably, they are, in fact, two different things. DTV refers to the actual TV signal being transmitted digitally (instead of as an analog signal). DTV offers several broadcast options, two of which are considered to be HDTV formats. Some of the more common DTV standards include:

  • 480i:   -the digital version of current analog signals.
  • 480p: - provides a sharper image and looks closer to HDTV than regular television. Today all DVDs can be played on EDTV.
  • 720p: - provides an image close in quality to 1080i, but allows 480p signals to be broadcast as well.
  • 1080i: - the most detailed HDTV image available from broadcast TV

The numbers above represent the vertical resolution, while the letters represent interlaces or progressive scan (i) (p). For example, 1080i represents 1080 vertical resolution, interlaced. For more information on the complete list of current DTV standards, you can visit the ATSC Web site listed in the links section below.

A U.S. Senate panel has set an April 7, 2009, as the deadline for television stations to switch entirely from analog to digital broadcasts. Analog televisions will work until all analog broadcasting ceases. Once the transition to complete DTV has taken place, a converter will be required to receive DTV signals and change them to the analog format of these older types of televisions. However, these DTV-to-analog converters will not produce true DTV quality.

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For pages about DTV . Also check out the following links!

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ATSC General FAQ 
Analog television sets will continue to receive analog broadcasts at least through 2006 and possibly longer. After that, consumers will be able to hook up a set-top box to their existing TV to receive digital TV broadcast signals, but not in high-definition. Of course, current TV sets will continue to work with cable, satellite, VCRs, DVD players and other devices for many years.

Guide To DTV Standards 
The ATSC Standard for Digital Television (DTV) encompasses a number of elements, documented in various Standards, Recommended Practices, and Implementation Guidelines. This resource serves as a guide to the these documents.

Home Theater Magazine 
Featuring news, spotlights, product descriptions and reviews of today's Home Theater equipment.

DTV Shopper's Guide
Digital Television (DTV) is a new type of broadcasting that will transform your television viewing experience. That means better quality, more choices, and more control over your television. This articles discusses what you should know before you buy!

related categories

Digital Television

Home Entertainment

related terms




HDTV tuner

interlaced scan

progressive scan


television aspect ratio

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