The Advantages Of HDTV And Digital TV

You know there must be something special about digital television if Scooby-Doo endorses the technology (the Great Dane sold out and did a spot for DIRECTV!). High-Definition Television, also known as HDTV, is a digital television broadcasting system with enhanced resolution and superior qualities to traditional television sets. HDTV and digital television are usually related in a conversation, since HDTV is always digitally broadcast, since it required less bandwidth thanks to video compression.

High-Definition Television can yield a much better-quality image than standard television because of its great number of resolution lines. Digital signals do not have the problems with snowy or pale images, which are direct results of very weak signals or signal interference. Shows broadcasting in HDTV and received on digital-ready receivers, allow for better reception, more realistic image colors and a visual sharpness about 2-5 times greater than standard TV transmission. This is because the gaps between scan lines are much narrower. This means that nature shows, films, sporting events and the like can be photographed on 35 mm film and viewed at home with nearly the same original resolution. (Try watching Coppola’s Apocalypse Now Redux the way the director saw it!) Additionally, HDTV systems usually bring along Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound to the media package, allowing TV or movie viewers to hear full surround sound features.

Not only does High-Definition Television boast several advantages over SDTV and other standard systems; but the casual home viewer (primarily used to an ordinary analog-based TV set) also has to factor in the advantages that a digital system brings to the table. (Or dining room, or living room-wherever!) As stated with HDTV, DTV takes up less bandwidth and the bandwidth is also continuously variable, depending on the compression level. Therefore, digital broadcasters can provide more digital channels in the same space, allowing for special features like HDTV, and allow for more interactivity between viewer and network channel. Digital TV also allows for multiplexing capability, which lets viewers tune into more than one program on the same channel. Imagine watching more than one sporting event at the same time and on the same screen! Imagine watching two movies side by side and comparing notes. This is the perfect compromise for analog veterans who love to channel flip. DTV also allows for electronic program guides, additional languages and subtitles.

There is a huge race in the broadcasting industry to offer the largest choice in HD programming. Satellite companies seem to have the edge over cable providers with Direct TV HD leading the pack in the number of high definition channels to choose from. Most providers offer HD receivers or upgrade options to HD DVR boxes.

All in all, nearly everyone-particularly a casual TV viewer who has been watching the Discovery Channel on a small rectangular screen-agrees that DTV, and especially High-Definition TV have superior picture quality, enhanced audio quality and much easier reception than the analog generation ever dreamed.

If you’re a casual viewer wondering if the difference between HDTV and regular analog television is worth it, then now is really the best time to switch over-because soon enough, all of your favorite networks will be making the same switch, with or without you. On February 17, 2009, US network television will terminate all full power station terrestrial analog broadcasting in favor of digital broadcasting.

While you could try and request a rebate from the government to receive a converter box with digital tuning, the TV viewer in you surely begs, not just for the status quo, but for hundreds of additional channels-all available in High Definition Television. With all the additional color, sound and interactivity television’s simulation of life is one-step closer to the real world.

Portable Solar Energy Power Stations

Portable solar energy power stations may sound, to some, like a dream. They can think of many places where portable solar would be useful, such as the RV they love to take camping, or the boat they use for long fishing trips. They cannot imagine, though, that portable solar energy power stations actually do exist.

Portable solar energy power stations have many practical uses, which we will discuss later, but what is portable solar power?

Description of Portable Solar Power

Portable solar power is energy generated from sunlight, the generator being of a size and form that can be moved readily from place to place.

Most portable solar power units use photovoltaic panels (PV panels) in one way or another. Some are amazingly small, and can be carried in a pocket, while others must be moved on a flat-bed trailer or truck.

Examples of Portable Solar Power

You may already be using portable solar power without realizing it. The following are examples of different sizes and styles of portable solar power.

1. Pocket calculators have been using portable solar power for years. Expose the calculator to sunlight, and it stores solar power for use. You can then carry this solar power into a field or up a mountain track.

2. Garden lights, or lights around a swimming pool now use portable solar power. If you want to rearrange your lights, or you decide to carry one as a flashlight, the portable solar power goes with you.

3. A multipurpose portable solar power unit is the fold-out solar panel that can be carried in a case the size of your day planner. Wherever you take it, you can open the panel to charge your cell phone battery, GPS, or other similar “gadget” you carry.

4. “Powerfilm” products are paper-thin PV panels – further examples of portable solar power. These products can be easily carried to charge almost all Lithium, NiCad or NiMH batteries. You can recharge batteries for boom boxes at the beach or while camping. You can recharge your digital camera or camcorder while on a hike. As long as you have sunlight, you have portable solar power.

5. Flexible PV panels, rugged and durable, give portable solar power for hikers and campers. This portable solar power can be rolled up like a sleeping bag, and then set up anywhere. You can drop it, step on it, dampen it while crossing a stream – and it will still give you power.

6. Larger portable solar energy power stations can consist of one or more photovoltaic panels (PV panels), simple wiring for the input jack, and a battery – sometimes referred to as a power pack. A commercially-produced portable solar power unit like this may also include a small fluorescent light, and a connection to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter plug.

Examples of Innovative Portable Solar Power

Portable solar energy can, as we said, be carried with you. It can provide electrical energy when you travel to a remote third world village on business. It can provide military units with necessary electrical energy while they are on the move. It can power a small heater in a winter camping tent, or provide a reading light for campers. It is valuable and convenient.

As our demand for that value and convenience increases, portable solar power is becoming more innovative. Portable solar power is being added to clothing and backpacks. It is being added to handbags. You need never worry about cell phones, laptops or other electronics going dead again. Portable solar power is yours to use, anywhere, free.

Did you know about these products? Some are experimental, but others area on the market.

1. If you want “lady-like” portable solar power, you might choose the “Power Purse” as a lovely accessory. This purse is more than an accessory, though. It can power up small electronics. Designed by Joe Hynek in a handbag competition, this little black bag is covered with laminated portable solar power panels. It has a short plastic handle, and can easily be carried anywhere. Imagine the possibilities.

2. But a purse is not always appropriate. If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a field, you might be happy to have the “Juice Bag” backpack on your shoulders. A Juice Bag is a worldwide patented portable solar power backpack. Flexible ballistic nylon solar panels make it lighter than solar bags with stiff glass solar panels. Take off your Juice Bag when you need to recharge items such as cameras, cell phones, or GPS units. It generates electricity in both direct and indirect sunlight.

3. Portable solar power is also available in a cozy jacket with multiple pockets. Hikers, military personnel, and travelers can fill the pockets with cell phone, GPS, laptop, camera, and other electronic devices. Then slip the 3 ounce portable solar power panel into a special holder on the back of the jacket, and you can generate energy for your electronics.

Portable solar energy power stations make use of these ideas and more. They may be large enough to generate sufficient electrical power for a small village, or small enough to be carried by a child. Whichever it is, portable solar power is definitely “on the go” in many places and in many ways.

Why The United States Is Switching To Digital Television Transmissions

Right now the United States is in the process of converting all television transmissions from analog signal to digital signal. Switching from analog to digital offers numerous improvements and advantages. One of the primary advantages is the amount of data that can be broadcast. When using a digital signal you can broadcast far more actual data than you can using an analog signal over the same amount of bandwidth. There is also a large movement to High Definition TV; to be able to take advantage of the benefits of HDTV it is imperative that the US switches to digital transmissions.

To transmit a signal for HDTV can require up to five times as much data as a standard television signal. In the frequency range allocated for television broadcast there is not enough open bandwidth to transmit that much data via an analog signal. To accommodate more HDTV transmissions more and more transmissions in the US will have to be digital.

It is possible to greatly increase the amount of compression applied to the data within the signal with digital transmissions as compared to analog transmissions. Digital transmissions use the Mpeg 2 standard of compression; with this compression technology it is possible to compress the data as much as 55 to 1. The standard is what is known as a “lossy” standard, which does mean that there is some quality lost. However the final quality is still far superior to the NTSC standard currently used for analog television transmissions. The Mpeg 2 standard is already the standard compression used for DVD’s and digital satellite stations.

The final quality of a digital signal is far superior to an analog signal for several reasons. First as stated earlier the Mpeg 2 is a superior technology to the NTSC and creates a better product before it is transmitted. Secondly digital signals do not allow for any loss of quality during the transmission. Analog transmissions are transmitted as a wave signal, which allows for signal degradation during the transmission. Digital signals are a series of 1’s and 0’s and only require that the signal be strong enough to be received. As long as the signal is received then the data will be a perfect reproduction of the data that was originally transmitted. With an analog signal though as the signal power decreases so does the quality. The weaker the signal the lower the quality of the image that is reproduced by the television receiver at the other end of the signal. This is what causes static and “snow” when you watch anything broadcast with an analog signal.

Because of the improved quality and improved flexibility in broadcast format there are many good reasons for the US to make the switch to digital. Over the next several years more and more stations will change to a digital signal instead of analog. Soon there will be few if any stations still broadcasting an analog signal.