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Digital Television's


Television's manufactured since March 2007 have a built-in digital tuner, or more specifically an ATSC tuner, for receiving over-the-air Digital TV. Most digital TV's can also receive analog (NTSC) signals for displaying older recordings and games.

ATSC -- Advanced Television System Committee
NTSC -- National Television System Committee

HDTv Set HDTv Set
Television Standard
Analog NTSC
Digital ATSC 1.0
4k UHD ATSC 1.0 / 3.0
ATSC 1.0 standard unless noted.
  • Multicast - multiple channels
    • SDTV - standard definition
    • HDTV - high definition
    • 4k UHD - ultra high definition (ATSC 3.0)
  • Audio
    • Surround Sound
    • Stereo / Mono
  • Information
    • Channel / Network / Program Guide
    • Resolution / Audio type / Time
    • Signal Strength
    • Closed Caption

4k, UHD, Next Gen, and ATSC 3.0, are often used interchangeability.

A few television models are video monitors only, and do not have a built-in digital tuner. Television monitors get raw video from a cable or satellite box, or a digital tuner (broadcast TV).

Some television digital tuners do not use a low noise receiver and may not get weaker signals. One reason not to use a low noise receiver is to cut cost, another reason is satellite and cable TV signals are amplified before getting to the TV.

Computers, Tablets, & Smart Phones Need a Digital Tuner
Many electronic devices can receive TV broadcast using an external Digital Tuner. The coax cable from an inside or outside antenna plugs into the DTv tuner, the tuner connects, usually with an Ethernet cable or WiFi, to your computer or network router / switch. You may need to download a media/TV app for your devices. Some DTv tuners have multiple receivers for receiving multiple TV channels simultaneously.

Analog Televisions Need a Digital to Analog Converter
Most TV's manufactured before 2007 require a Digital to Analog Converter Box, sometimes just called a Digital Converter, to receive OTA DTv. Most converters are also recorders. The coax cable from the antenna plugs into the converter box, the box is then connected with another coax cable to the televisions's Antenna Input. A coax to twin-lead adapter is needed for older TV's with a twin-lead input connection. Some converters can also connect to the television with video, VGA, HDMI, or YPbPr cable sets for better picture and audio quality.

ATSC Website -- list of downloadable documents; ATSC 1.0 Standards | ATSC 3.0 Standards

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Resolutions

4k UHD
2160p
HDTV
720p
1080i
1080p
SDTV
480p
480i
The number is display height pixels per inch.
p = Progressive - picture lines displayed one after the other.
i = Interlaced - odd picture lines displayed then even lines.

Aspect Ratio
Width : Height

Display Aspect Ratios
16:9
Wide Screen
4k UHD, HDTV, SDTV
4:3
Analog TV ratio
SDTV
1:1
Square
HDTV, SDTV

Summary

Definition Resolution
W x H (PPI)
Aspect
Ratio
Frame
Rate
Ultra High
Definition
(4k UHD)
2160p 3840 x 2160 16:9 24 fps
30 fps
60 fps
120 fps
High
Definition
(HDTV)
1080p 1920 x 1080 16:9
1:1
24 fps
30 fps
1080i 30 fps
720p 1280 x 720 24 fps
30 fps
60 fps
Standard
Definition
(SDTV)
480p 704 x 480 16:9
4:3
24 fps
30 fps
60 fps
640 x 480 4:3
1:1
480i 704 x 480 16:9
4:3
30 fps
640 x 480 4:3
1:1

W = width
H = height
PPI = pixels per inch
fps = frames per second

Most Hollywood movies run at 24 fps. The old analog TV system ran at 30 fps with an interlaced (i) picture and aspect ratio of 4:3.

Stations will continue to broadcast using the current standard (ATSC 1.0), but will have the option to simulcast on another frequency an Ultra High Definition signal (ATSC 3.0).

otadtv.com Over-the-Air Digital TV (OTA DTv)
Digital Television's
otadtv.com/digital_tv/hdtv.html