HDTV: Clearing Up the Confusion - Part Three

The FCC has put together a glossary of HDTV related terms. Visit www.dtv.gov/ for a complete list of terms.

Analog TV
Analog technology has been in use for the past 50 years to transmit conventional TV signals to consumers. Most current television transmissions are received through analog television sets. Analog signals vary continuously, creating fluctuations in color and brightness.

ATSC
An acronym for Advanced Television Systems Committee, and the name of the DTV system used by broadcasters in the U.S.

Digital Cable
A service provided by many cable providers, digital cable offers viewers more channels. Contrary to many consumers' beliefs, digital cable is not the same as High- Definition Television or digital television; rather digital cable simply offers cable subscribers the options of paying for more services. Digital Monitor: DTV monitors are televisions that can display a digital signal but lack an integrated tuner (unlike an integrated digital set), and thus cannot receive a digital broadcast signal without an additional set-top box.

Digital Monitor
DTV monitors are televisions that can display a digital signal but lack an integrated tuner (unlike an integrated digital set), and thus cannot receive a digital broadcast signal without an additional set-top box.

Digital TV
Digital TV is the umbrella term encompassing High-definition Television and several other applications, including Standard Definition Televison, datacasting, multicasting and interactivity.

HD Ready
Describes an HDTV monitor. This term doesn't necessarily mean the monitor has a digital tuner. It often means the monitor is "ready to be connected to a digital tuner." A digital tuner must be purchased separately.

HDTV Tuner
A device capable of receiving and outputting HDTV signals for display. May be stand-alone or integrated in the set.

High Definition TV (HDTV)
The best quality digital picture, widescreen (16 x 9) display with at least 720 progressively scanned lines (720p) or 1080 interlaced lines (1080i) and Dolby digital surround sound.

NTSC
NTSC is the acronym that stands for National Television Systems Committee" and the name of the current analog transmission standard used in the U.S. , which the committee created in 1953.

Set-top Converter Box
This unit sits on top of the viewer's analog TV, receives the over the air Digital TV signal, converts it to an analog signal, and then sends that signal on to the analog TV. A converter box will not be needed for televisions that receive service from cable or satellite.

Standard Definition TV (SDTV)
Basic digital television transmission that may be displayed with fewer than 480 progressively scanned lines (480p) in 16 x 9 or 4 x 3 format. 480 interlaced (480i) is the quality of today’s analog TV system.


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