What’s This Digital Television Thing All About?

What is DTV?

Digital television is the next generation of video broadcast technology. The old system, called analog television, was created in the 1950s. DTV was created for the 21st Century by a working group of programmers, broadcasters and engineers, so that consumers will get the best product. The same way computers scan photos into data files (literally turning your vacation pictures into a series of 1s and 0s); DTV changes the film and video into digital images (those same 1s and 0s) and transmits them.

Analog still works, so why switch?

They used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but 8-track tapes were replaced by cassette tapes, which were replaced by CDs and so on. New technology does the same thing, but does it better. By changing the way TV signals are broadcast, the signals use less bandwidth, meaning more programming can be sent out over the airwaves. According to the FCC website, “That means better quality, more choices, and more control over your television.”

Using less bandwidth also means parts of the broadcast spectrum will no longer be needed by the TV industry. This spectrum is limited, like a series of pipes; there are many, but only so many. DTV means television needs fewer pipes. The others can be reassigned to public safety–police, fire and paramedic services–or wireless phone service providers or other uses.

When and how did the switch happen?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started setting up the switch-over in 1996. Starting March 1, 2007, all televisions built in or imported to the US must have a digital tuner as well as an analog tuner. Many stations launched digital broadcasting in addition to analog broadcasts in late 2008 or ’09. On June 12, 2009, all major TV stations ceased sending out analog signals. A few small, local TV stations will continue using analog.

Consumers who purchased TVs built March 2007 or after didn’t need to do anything; they were built switchover-ready. In fact, the switchover went smoothly, most people probably didn’t even notice it was happening. Those with older sets can buy a new TV or a converter than translates digital back to analog signals.

Analog-only TV sets built before March 2007 may still be available for sale; if so, retailers must to post a notice clearly stating which sets are analog-only.

Will consumers need a special antenna to get digital television programs?

Consumers who currently use an antenna, either on-the-set ‘rabbit ears’ or a roof-mounted antenna, should receive digital signals as well as they received analog signals.

Is this related to high-definition television?

No, HDTV is a separate issue. HDTV audio and video signals were always digital, this action means that regular TV (sometimes called ‘enhanced’ television or ETV) are is also now digital. Consumers do not have to buy an HDTV to see digital-TV programming. Broadcasting programs in enhanced and high-def formats is called ‘multi-casting,’ which will be one of the big advantages of the digital switch.

Other useful facts:

Consumers who decide to buy a new television don’t have to send their old set to a landfill; many communities have recycling programs.

Cable systems are not required to switch to digital; many cable companies offer digital and high-definition program packages as well as analog. Some may eventually choose to switch to all-digital programming. The FCC’s DTV rules apply only to broadcasters–those who use the public airwaves to deliver programming to consumers.

Parental controls (like the V-chip) will work as well with digital signals as they have worked with analog.

Like all consumer electronics, televisions have changed a lot over the past fifty years. With few exceptions, these have been changes for the better. Digital television is simply the newest member of that list.

Retractable Fabric Banner Stands, Types of Files For Printing, and CMYK vs RGB Color Spectrums

Question: I need to order some pull up or roll up banners. What sizes are available and what advice you could give me for the print file design and file type?”

Answer: There are several sizes available, from table top roll up banners to very large back wall retractable banners. Horizontal sizes range from 22 inches to 60 inches to heights of 36 inches to over 10 feet. Not all these combinations, of course, are available together. For instance, you probably won’t be able to find a 22 inch wide roll up banner that is over 10 feet tall for stability reasons.

One of the most popular sizes is the 85 centimeter by 200 centimeter, or approximately 33.5 inches by 79 inches. Another popular larger size is approximately 91.5 centimeters by 233.5 centimeters, or 36 inches wide by 92 inches tall. Custom sizes are also available, but costly and slower to get.

There are also various materials that you can have the banner portion of the stand made from such as lightweight “stay flat” vinyl (normal vinyl will tend to have some edge curl), bonded and laminated paper products, or dye sublimated polyester fabric banner material, which is our favorite for its continuous tone print quality – like a photographic print.

Regarding your print file, it should be prepared with a minimum half an inch bleed edge (for instance, if you have a photographic background or even a light-colored background, it should “bleed” outside the actual banner size half an inch), and text, logos, or other design elements should be a minimum of one inch inside the banner edge.

The file can be saved at 150 dpi full-sized or 300 dpi at half-sized, though we recommend a full-sized banner file at the former size. Also, if you’re working in Illustrator or Photoshop, that you flatten your files so as not to have any elements drop on in the print file. Most printing companies can print good files such as.pdf,.ai, and.eps files -.jpg files can also print OK if you follow the above specifications.

Hope this helped. Anyway, you can find more about retractable and pull up banner stands in this page – http://www.visigraph.com/fabric-vinyl-cloth-banners/banner-and-stands/

Question: Should I send an artwork in RGB or CMYK for printing?

Answer: First, let me define what those two acronyms stand for and what each is used for.

RGB stands for the Red-Green-Blue color spectrum, and is what your computer monitor and your television use to create the color that you see in both places. Recently, one major computer company came out with a CMYK monitor, so this may begin to change in the future, but for now, most digital images you see use the RGB color spectrum.

CMYK stands for Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black, and is the basis of colors used for printing and everything else, for the most part, that is not digital or electronic. When you have business cards printed, or decals, or signs, or banners, or menus or any other printed advertising piece, you will need to submit your file(s) to the printer in a CMYK format, because no printer that we’re aware of prints in the RGB color spectrum.

The rub with having these two common color spectrums used in the printing industry is that you view most print files in RGB, and then they get printed in CMYK. So, you design something on your computer that looks good, color-wise, to you on your computer’s monitor, and convert it to CMYK, and send it out to a printer, and yuck! you get your cards back and the color is all wrong. What happened? It looked great on your monitor!

Here’s what happened. Your monitor, which most likely is not calibrated to the CMYK color spectrum, simply did what it’s factory preset colors told it to do. Your printer, though, should have asked you if you needed a specific color, and explained to you that “red” means one thing to your computer’s monitor, and could mean something entirely different to an actual printing machine whose print spectrum is calibrated to the CMYK color spectrum.

The way to get around this, without buying a spectrometer and calibrating your computer’s RGB to be roughly equal to the CMYK spectrum is to find Pantone Matching System® colors (known more commonly as PMS colors), is to view a PMS color fan and choose the specific color you’d like your printer to use. Most printers have one or several of these in their office or shop, and if you’re dealing with a company from a long distance, there are ways to view these fans without spending the high cost to purchase them.

Digital TV and Radio – the Changing Face of Radio and Television Broadcasting

Digital TV

A new digital TV format called ATSC is being implemented in North America and will replace the analog NTSC one by 2009. This will allow high definition TV (HDTV) to be implemented on terrestrial television broadcasts. This digital tv switchover will allow homes currently without a satellite system to receive digital terrestrial television which will give a much improved picture quality.

Other new benefits of digital transmission are that more channels can be transmitted within the same bandwidth (portion of the radio frequency spectrum), this enables more channels to be broadcast using existing transmitters and antennae (though modifications will be necessary) and will allow some of the bandwidth to be used for other services if desired such as voice and data or government uses.

For the average user, the picture quality, whether using HDTV or not, will improve immensely.

In the UK this transformation has been under way for a few years with the result that many people have as large a choice of channels available through digital terrestrial television transmission as they would with a satellite system, and much improved picture quality.

For the consumer, it should be understood that it is not necessary to buy a completely new TV set in order to receive the new transmissions. A simple set top box (digital tuner) can be used, though more and more new TV’s will have the capability of picking up digital transmissions without an extra box. These set top boxes retail very cheaply so it is not a huge investment, and the US government is taking steps to help people with coupons in order to ensure everyone upgrades to the new service before the analog transmissions stop. The only possible additional equipment may be an upgraded aerial.

In the US market a majority of people already use satellite or cable services and most of these will already receive digital signals, but as many as 20% may be receiving analog signals on terrestrial services so for these people a huge improvement in TV services is on the horizon.

Digital Radio

In the US digital radio has been embraced using satellite services primarily, though terrestrial broadcasters are interested in introducing services if the high costs of receiving equipment comes down. Satellite services have been popular for people travelling as they can receive the same channels they are used to wherever they are, and there are less censorship issues and advertising with the satellite services, though the downside is that they have to subscribe.

In the UK digital radio is through terrestrial services (called DAB radio and free apart from equipment costs) and the services are becoming very popular now that equipment costs have fallen to below $100 for most receivers. Many more channels and excellent quality mean that it will become the radio medium of choice for most people very quickly. DAB radio (Digital Audio Broadcasting) is becoming popular both in homes and cars with a wide choice of channels and crystal clear transmissions.

The improvements in signal quality and station choice as with the TV services are the main benefit to consumers. For service providers there will ultimately be many more services they can deliver to people over the same radio bandwidth, advertisers will have better targeting in the same way that they can over the internet, and for the government more radio spectrum is available whether for more channels or other uses.