DIGITAL TELEVISION (TV) STANDARDS BASICS AND TUTORIALS

The standard for broadcasting analog television in most of North America is NTSC. The standards for video in other parts of the world are PAL and SECAM. Note that NTSC, PAL and SECAM will all be replaced over the next ten years with a new suite of standards associated with digital television.

International organizations that contribute to standardizing digital television include:

Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC)

Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB)

The Advanced Television Systems Committee was formed to establish a set of technical standards for broadcasting television signals in the United States. ATSC digital TV standards include high-definition television, standard definition television, and satellite direct-to-home broadcasting.

ATSC has been formally adopted in the United States where an aggressive implementation of digital TV has already begun. Additionally, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, and Argentina have agreed to use the formats and transmission methods recommended by the group.

DVB is a consortium of about 300 companies in the fields of broadcasting, manufacturing, network operation and regulatory matters. They have established common international standards for the move from analog to digital broadcasting.

DVB has produced a comprehensive list of standards and specifications that describe solutions for implementing digital television in areas such as transmission, interfacing, security, and interactivity for audio, video, and data.

Because DVB standards are open, all compliant manufacturers can guarantee that their digital TV equipment will work with other manufacturers’ equipment.

There are numerous broadcast services around the world using DVB standards and hundreds of manufacturers offering DVB compliant equipment.

While the DVB has had its greatest success in Europe, the standard also has implementations in North and South America, China, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

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