Differences Between Analog and Digital TV

The switch to digital-only broadcasts is not so far away. Current television broadcasts utilize analog technology which is susceptible to a number of obstacles. Digital technology generates a crystal-clear image and sound. It also enables TV stations to broadcast multiple channels with distinctive programming.

But what is so special about the digital TV antenna? Why is the digital TV transition happening? Because it looks better, sounds better and comes with more channels of programming. Nevertheless, here is how analog and digital mechanisms are different from each other.

Analog functionality

The analog system has been working for over half a century despite the imperfections. It transmits programming in a continuous signal. The amplitude of the signal depends on the information contained in a picture. The analog signal is transmitted over a specific radio frequency from a TV station’s transmitting antenna over the air to a receiving antenna connected to the TV set. Each station is assigned a particular frequency that correlates with the channel number. Viewers choose to receive transmissions on that specific frequency when tuning the TV to a particular channel.

Since it cannot always re-generate original programming, analog signals contain many flaws. It distorts over long distances and also suffers interference from other sources which results in a low-quality image and sound. Analog signals are relatively inefficient. Each channel consumes a lot of precious bandwidth.

Digital functionality

Digital TV is more advanced than analog technology. The digital broadcast transforms the programming into a stream of binary bits. The binary bits are then recombined to produce a replica of the original material. The picture and sound are usually identical to the original source.

The digital signals do not weaken over distance. Additionally, it is a more efficient technology as well. It needs less bandwidth which allows local TV stations to broadcast from two-four channels in a space of a single analog channel. This results into a better variety of channels.

Here are some benefits of using digital TV antennas:

  • By far, the most notable benefit digital TV antennas have offered is a good quality of picture and sound. Picture quality is superior. The potential of grainy and fuzzy pictures is eliminated. The sound is superior to analog sound.
  • Digital TV means more channels.

The difference

Old analog TV tuners cannot receive and process digital signals. Secondly, the local TV station’s digital signals are most likely broadcast on a separate frequency than the analog signal.

However, one thing needs to be understood. Digital signals are clearer than analog signals but they are not always perfect. Quality does not fade but will stay perfect up to the point where it is too weak to continue. The picture and sound will disappear directly after the limit is crossed. Digital TV is about either getting an amazing picture and sound or getting nothing at all. Nevertheless, digital has gained immense popularity due to the benefits outlined here.

Awais Ahmed is a student, blogger and digital marketer who helps small entrepreneurs to improve their online presence. He has a range of interests including technology, apps and small business.