The Digital Realm: Christine Spurgeon
Digital television broadcasting provides higher quality viewing and more television services by using the same digital technology used in computers., compact discs and mobile phones.
Digital TV delivers clearer, sharper pictures with less interferecne and ghosting, which currently affects many viewers in built-up or hilly areas. The change from analog to digital television will also give viewers more choice with multi-channel programming, and viewers will receive broadcasts with cinema quality images and surround sound. Digital TV will also let viewers receive 'enhanced television services' - services like subtitles, captioning, datacasting and a choice of veiwing angles, plus internet features like email, web-browsing and access to online services - all via their television set.
The difference between analog (traditional) and digital televison lies in the way information is carried from the source (the transmitter) to the receiver (the television). With analog broadcasting the signal is in the form of a continuous wave, whereas digital is in the form of discrete bits of information.
The commercial and national broadcasters began digital television transmission on 1 January 2001 in the metropolitan markets - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth - and services to regional areas are progressively rolling out. During the eight-year conversion to digital TV, broadcasters are required to transmit (simulcast) both analog and digital signals. Australia's full conversion from analog to digital television will be complete in 2008.
To receive digital TV, viewers need either a digital television set that can process and display the full digital signal, or a digital set top box that can convert the broadcast to an analog signal for reception by a traditional analog television set.