Just as CDs changed the way we listen to music, digital technology is transforming the way we watch television. Compared to traditional TV, it provides a number of exciting new ways to improve your TV viewing experience.

The Knowhow

Without going into the technical description, Digital TV is the television standard of the future. Ever since television began, we have received our pictures and sound through an analogue transmission.  These days, technology has advanced dramatically and the analogue signal can't cope with today's standards.

Let’s look at the advantages:

  • Increased sharpness and clarity
  • The older analogue signal is currently operating at the limit of its technology. It suffers from atmospheric interference and there is not sufficient space in the signal to improve matters.
  • The digital signal stands up better to atmospheric interference
  • The signal can be compressed so that more information can be transmitted
  • Bigger screens

Greater choice in our viewing

The transmission bandwidth required for analogue television transmissions means that our current transmitters and receivers cannot handle any more TV channels. Digital television is compressed before it's transmitted and therefore it's possible to transmit four TV digital channels in the space required for one analogue channel. At the same time, we are also able to provide a wealth of extra information such as programme guides and more interactive text services.

How to get Digital TV:

There are currently three ways that Digital television is delivered in the UK: Satellite, Cable and through Freeview.

  • Satellite: Geographically, digital TV through satellite can be received by more households than any other method. The service provider is BSkyB, and you will require a satellite receiver dish and set top box, which will be provided by BSkyB. There is a selection of channels available for free without the monthly subscription but you do gain considerably more channels through a monthly subscription. For details, contact BSkyB at www.sky.com
  • Cable: In recent years, many towns have been provided with a network of cables by a cable TV provider. There are many cable providers and to find information about their services you would need to contact a local television retailer, or check local information services (Town Hall etc). Cable TV is therefore only available in those towns where there is a cable network. You will require a set top box, which is supplied by the service provider, and you will need to pay a monthly subscription. Currently, there are no free services provided by the cable operators.
  • Freeview: Eventually, when the analogue TV signals have been switched off, most households will be able to receive Digital TV through their television aerial. Currently, only a few households will not be able to receive these signals until the switch off. If you live in an area where Digital Terrestrial TV is available, you should check your postcode for availability (see www.freeview.co.uk); you will need either a set top box or a television with a digital receiver built in (Integrated Digital Television or IDTV). Once you have the set top box or IDTV, most TV channels will be free to view although there will also be a selection of channels which are only available by monthly subscription (see www.topuptv.co.uk). Many householders may find that they will need to upgrade their TV aerial installation to receive Digital Terrestrial TV.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific details.

Updated On:

Mar 07, 2013

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