Posts Tagged ‘DTV’

DTV – next the Metric system

June 12, 2009

Change is hard – yes, everyone say that one more time in unison with me:

“Change is hard.”

OK, perhaps I am being just a little bit facetious, but the US is painfully slow to change on some things. Finally, though, we have a significant transition under our belts – a change from analogue TV to digital TV. Whew!

In 1977 or so – maybe it was 1978, I installed and commissioned some of the first digital microwave systems that conveyed two DS3 signals or 1344 56Kb/s digital telephone calls (in 64 Kb/s data frames)¬†simultaneously. The impact on the rural communities that “hopped” onto these DS3’s to digital telephone switches in the nearest large city was accommodation of modern push button DTMF dial phones in lieu of rotary dial phones, and the ability to place long distance calls directly without requiring an operator to “place” the call for you. This was a great advance for these small communities, and it put the entire country uniformly in the modern age of digital telephony. Looking back, that was exciting for me, and I was helping to make it happen – to push the high tech envelop in telephony to the very “edges of civilization” in the US.

Today, the entire country uniformly enters the modern age of digital television. No more fuzzy pictures or interference bars from overhead airplanes or from reflections off of large buildings – just a picture-perfect picture – if you are lucky to have enough signal to detect and decode… I wonder just how many television sets will actually receive their signals over the air? My suspicion is a small number – maybe less than 5 percent. Unless you are one of those few, you will probably wonder what all the hubbub was about… But change is hard, and the very words “change to digital TV” is a hard sell even if you receive your video service from Comcast or DirecTV or AT&T (Uverse) or Verizon (FIOS) or a number of other players in this industry – for you so served, well, nothing really happened today – but the change was still hard…

What’s the next big change? I am hoping for the Metric System.¬†With the digital TV transition behind us now, maybe we can tackle the Metric system again, and make it stick to us all! Give me an M, an M, an MKS – give me a C, a C, a CGS!

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