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Digital TV era now five years away

Date Posted: 2006-04-21

Fuzzy television pictures are soon to be a thing of the past.

Digital television, first introduced nearly a dozen years ago, will become the full industry standard in Japan beginning in 2011. Television networks and stations will no longer transmit analogue television signals, making digital technology the only system in use.

Authorities say most people area already buying digital television sets, so it’s not as big a deal as it may seem. Still, if you’ve an older television, you’ll be required to purchase a special digital tuner to pick up the signals five years from now. Those, one official says, will be quite expensive.

Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and Nagoya have already full digital broadcasts, with Kyushu and Okinawa ready to start in December. Broadcast companies say digital offers so much more in way of effective signal use, allowing multiple channels in the same space as a single old analogue transmission. It allows people to watch multiple signals at the same time, something today’s lifestyles seem to be asking for.

By the end of December, 80% of Japan will be receiving digital television signals. Analogue television sets are still being sold, but with warning stickers they’ll be somewhat obsolete by 2011.

Some senior citizens are puzzled by the big deal, saying they don’t understand why all the fuss.

Television specialists are trying to explain how analogue pictures are poor compared to digital, and are trying also to point out that without a digital television, or at least a special tuner, people will be picture-less in 2011 unless they change.

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