Originally posted by ajmusicmedia
I'm not American, but I've been seeing these ads on American TV for a while and have been wondering also what it's all about and why the government
Digital is one of those magical words. I've worked 16 years as a Graphics designer and I'm also a musician, so I know a lot about analog vs digital.
Digital is less expensive because it's cheaper and can never come close to analog. For the older people; remember those vinyl records with the rich,
warm sound? The CD never came close to accomplishing this (vinyl is still the standard in the industry for sound comparison). MP3's work well only
with electronic music, ie, music that is made with machines rather than actual musicians. In the 70's, the industry would never have even attempted
to offer such poor quality. Remember those half-inch thick plastic records for small children? MP3 quality is below that. Much below that.
High def tv is below the 35 mm (film) quality. And what you see on your digital tv is generally 256 colours: quite limiting. The most blatant example
of this was the opening credits of Star Trek Deep Space 9. You have a space scene with, if memory serves me right, a comet. On digital tv, you see the
bands of grey levels while on analog tv, it's all smooth.
Back in the early 80's, Sony and others were working on hi-def analog tv; decades ahead of current digital technology.
The only reason we have digital now is that it's cheaper. Your digital camera might take nice pictures, but compare the colours to the original and
it doesn't even come close. At some point, technology will revert back to analog; there won't be a choice.
So either this switch to digital is simply a $$$ decision or there is something sinister behind it.
realize the rest of the world is switching too.
Meh. Records are way worse sound quality than CDs. They sound warmer because they're incredibly inaccurate when compared to the original source.
They're lossy, -every time you listen to your record, it degrades a little. MP3 is lower quality than CD FLAC audio, but I for one can't even tell
the difference between a decent bitrate MP3 and a good bitrate MP3, let alone between a great quality MP3 and lossless audio. And I have good hearing,
too, according to tests. Don't remember the hard numbers on that though. CD audio is truer to the source than both vinyl and MP3. Vinyl and MP3 are
just good enough to fool the ear.
People prefer vinyl mostly out of nostalgia and placebo. Given the choice, I'd pick MP3 over cd and vinyl, because I for one certainly can't tell
the difference, and it's much more convenient.
And you obviously know nothing about digital versus analog. Digital simply means that the image is transmitted as a series of discrete pulses, instead
of a continuous waveform. Digital lends itself to far more accuracy, and volume of information moved. The quality of the picture you get out of a
digital signal simply depends on how much information you're willing to move. For an acceptable quality of picture and sound, digital takes less
bandwidth. TV is already pretty crappy image and sound, so they figure they might as well switch over to digital so they can free up some space in the
EM spectrum for everyone else. After all, all your cellphones and DSs and wiis and blue tooth gadgets and whatnot all need parts of the EM spectrum,
as do walkie talkies, GPS, and all manner of other things.
And digital TV is (up to) 65,536 color. Not 256. It will, of course depend on how the TV station decides to divide up their bandwidth. They can have
multiple simultaneous shows per channel with digital. the quality of each will suffer. At about twice the bandwidth of DVD players, it could either
have one show at twice DVD quality, or two at DVD quality, or four at pretty crappy quality. If you don't like what you're getting, it's your
broadcaster's fault, not the format. On a non-crappy station, it'll look great.
A nice thing about digital is that it either works, or it doesn't. You'll either get a perfect picture, or, if you're too far from the receiver,
you won't get anything at all. You'll never be fiddling around with an old bunny-ears antenna trying to get the picture less fuzzy. You'll either
have the picture, or not. Static will be a thing of the past. sucks for people way far away from a transmitter though. The American digital TV system
doesn't have as good of an error correcting system as the European standard.
I'd be willing to be five bucks you couldn't tell the difference between a 320 kpbs MP3 and a lossless FLAC file of the kind that's put on CDs or
used to create modern records in a double blind trial. Seriously, nobody ever can. People can tell vinyl apart from them, but that's actually because
vinyl is noticeably worse quality.
If pirate TV stations are too stupid to "acquire" the equipment to broadcast digital TV, just as they once acquired the equipment to broadcast
analog TV, then they don't deserve to be broadcasting in the first place. It's not like they can straight up personally manufacture analog equipment
out of transistors and solder. They use equipment that was made by corporations. So when we switch to digital, they'll switch to digital.
The government doesn't wholly subsidize the entire cost of every digital to analog conversion box because it has no obligation to. You should be
thankful they're doing even as much as they're doing. If you haven't looked, you'll notice that the constitution doesn't say that you have the
right to a modern TV. It is a product, that you pay for if you want. It is a LUXURY ITEM. it is not necessary for life. It's not like the broadcast
TV starts costing money, you just need the equipment to get it.
That said, I should probably pick up one of those gizmos - I don't even have the equipment to get analog TV, let alone digital, and if I ever want
it, I guess I should buy it while it's still subsidized.
Originally posted by Rumrunner
I heard it was to stop people getting cable for free with just an antenna.
PROTIP: Cable is delivered via cable, not broadcast. That's why they call it cable. You can't get it with analog TV antennas. Digital TV will mostly
stop people from getting analog TV for free, and they will have to buy TVs or receiver boxes capable of getting digital signals for free. Or else be
stuck with a useless box good only for playing video games and moves from VCR or DVD pl