Television has come a long way since John Logie Baird. From a choice of channels which could be counted on one hand to access to hundreds. We now have high definition and even 3D. Technology is changing every day. We progressed from black and white through an aerial which sat on top of the TV to colour and now analogue to digital. Gradually the analogue television service received through your normal TV aerial is being phased out and replaced by digital TV. This means that we will no longer be able to receive the ‘old’ service. So what do I need to get the most out of it? There are two things to consider. One is your television set and the other is how you receive the transmission (through aerial, cable or satellite dish).
With your television set there is a wide range to choose from. There are LED, LCD and plasma sets. Each has differing things to offer and unfortunately because of this differ in price. Then there is the decision whether to go with high definition. High definition (HD) uses a higher number of pixels, around five times more than standard. This gives a clearer and sharper picture therefore improving the experience. Think about the difference when moving from video to DVD. Most TVs sold now are ‘HD ready’. You also need to have the HD system and connections along with a TV service which provides HD programmes. Even if you have all the HD equipment not all programmes as yet are transmitted in high definition. 3D television is perhaps quite a way away for most residential televisions. Apart from currently being limited to films and the occasional sporting event, it will probably be a long time before becoming commonplace, especially taking into consideration the cost of setup.
Traditionally the analogue service has been through the use of indoor aerials. These signals are being replaced with digital in the ‘great digital switchover’ meaning that in order to receive the television signals we need to ensure that we have the equipment. It may be possible to use your analogue aerial but it is more likely that you will need to replace it with a digital aerial or set top box. Other alternatives are to use satellite or cable television systems (no regular aerial is required with either of these services). Some set top boxes provide free channels and despite some people being happy with this limited amount, most people want more. This is where satellite and cable services come in. This enables you to receive the hundreds of channels which seem to increase regularly. Whereas the set top box with its set number of channels is free, the satellite and cable services require you to pay a monthly fee as well as an installation fee of the dish or cable box. On top of this you may need to pay extra for special events such as sports or concerts.
So it may be just changing your TV aerial which is needed to get digital television. On the other hand to fully experience the ever changing developments in television you may wish to go further and splash out on the latest TV and system.