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It can make you dizzy to start exploring the number of televisions available on the modern market. There are SD, LED, HD, and so many other types of televisions that you may decide to skip home entertainment altogether. That, however, would be a tragedy because the modern world of digital TV is such an incredible experience.
In the United States, the only television signals used are digital, and in Australia and New Zealand the transition from analogue to entirely digital is already underway. By the end of 2013 it is anticipated that all analogue broadcasts will be over and that all signals will be digital. Thus, it makes sense to get yourself fully prepared ahead of the game.
So, what exactly is digital TV? It is essentially, the same as traditional television with the exception that all of the signals are digital. This means that they are transmitting their signals digitally, which is a different "language" than the older analogue. Thus, anyone who wants to enjoy access to digital channels must have the appropriate equipment for doing so.
What is the necessary equipment? Though there will be an ever-increasing number of televisions produced with integrated digital tuners, most people will need a digital TV receiver in order to grab the signals out of the air. It is only the proper receiver that will convert the signal into a workable program on the television.
The most important thing to know about the use of the receivers, however, is that not all will be alike. For example, in Australia, there are two forms of digital television - SD and HD. These are formats that describe the "resolution" of the images on the screen. Clearly, the HD is the optimal format as it is "high definition", but SD (standard definition) has a lot to offer too. For example, it often arrives with "CD quality" sound, a superior picture to standard TV broadcasts, and many different channel options.
This leaves it to the consumer to decide what they will need when they purchase their digital TV receiver. Will it be SD? HD? Built into a new TV? The thing that has to be considered at this juncture is whether or not the consumer is going to choose to accept the free channels being broadcast and captured by their old television antenna, or if they will elect to get a satellite installation and use a subscription service.
There are a lot of benefits to the subscription options because they deliver the largest numbers of channels and are usually the only way to access HD programming. This is something to give serious thought to because it really maximizes the investment in a good television and makes the most of a digital TV receiver.
For example, DishTV makes it easy to get any sort of equipment (usually with Freeview approved functions) and to then choose whether you are going to subscribe to the service or simply use the receiver to enjoy the free channels.
There are also many different digital TV receivers that have onboard recording functions too. Some even have integration with the Internet to allow for media streaming. Thus, a well-chosen receiver can end up being the source of a household's entertainment needs. In fact, many consumers purchase such receivers in order to allow themselves to watch one program while recording another, and to retain upwards of 500GB of HD programming.
Now, this will bring us to the issue of price, and that too is something to seriously consider. Why? If you work with the appropriate providers you can easily get a strong digital TV receiver, the satellite dish required for reception, and access to a service such as Freeview. A combination package of this kind save a tremendous amount of money, and get a household up to date with digital TV long before the switch is made.
There are also "terrestrial" digital TV providers that do not require anything more than the receiver in order to enjoy broadcasts in SD. Currently, none of the digital receivers can accept or handle the HD signals, and this includes the televisions with integrated digital tuners and/or receivers.
What are the differences in the prices between satellite and terrestrial units? Very little. So, that leaves it down to the consumer to understand what they want now, but to also consider what they might really want in the near future too. There are many options for television viewers, and they will only expand with the arrival of all digital broadcasts. The wisest thing to do right now is to invest in units that can accommodate your needs immediately, but which will also give you access to the many new programs and options just around the corner. The best way to do this is to compare your choices in digital TV receivers, and find the features that best meet your needs.