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.

The History of Scented Candles

Not many people seem to know this… By the end of 2012 the UK will have been the only country in the world to have totally made the switchover to all digital television. The digital switchover starts in 2008 – less than 2 short years away.

A recent Which Report (Which is the major consumer champion in the UK) shows that in many areas the awareness of the digital switchover is less than 2 %. Even in the Borders Television region – the first to make the change – only about a third of the people surveyed knew what was going to happen.

It really does seem that the UK is sleepwalking in to the Digital Switchover.

Not surprisingly, the whole switchover programme is being watched with keen interest by other nations around the World. The benefits of digital television for broadcasters, manufacturers and programme makers are pretty clear. The new media is already changing programme making – Planet Earth, currently showing on the BBC – is a prime example of what can be achieved. And of course the manufacturers are positively drooling at the thought of all the new televisions, video recorders and set-top boxes they expect to sell.

Consumers are set to benefit too – better pictures and sound, high definition television, interactivity, movies on demand… The list goes on.
Governments have a keen commercial interest too. They own the air waves. And digital television takes up much less band width than conventional analogue signals. So the move to digital frees up precious broadcasting capacity that Governments are keen to sell to the highest bidders. The sale of the mobile telephone spectrum for 3G providers raised over £20 billion. Who would bet that the sale of the television spectrum won’t raise significantly more?

The move to digital television benefits us all. So why do so few people know what is happening?

Simply being able to receive digital television is only part of the issue. Just about every television bought more than 12 months ago, and a good percentage of those being sold now, are effectively obsolete. All of them will need a separate satellite receiver or set top decoder box to receive digital signals. Every video recorder will also need an additional decoder.

The UK Government puts the average cost per household to upgrade to digital television at £132 ($210). I feel the real figure is likely to be 4 or times this level. Most homes in the UK have upwards of 4 televisions – each and every one will need significant investment to receive digital television signals.

In the UK 68% of homes already receive digital television in some form- satellite (which means BSkyB – the only UK satellite television provider), cable or terrestrial freeview. In almost all cases digital television is only watched on the main television in the house. The other sets are still restricted to the main analogue, terrestrial stations. From 2008 this has all got to change.

It’s time to wake up. We are at the threshold of the biggest change in the television experience since it was first invented.

Start planning your own digital switchover now.

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 –

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.