Essay Example on Next-Generation Television

Published: 2023-01-13
Essay Example on Next-Generation Television
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Technology Media
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1303 words
11 min read

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set off the plan for television broadcasters to migrate from analog to digital services. Although the TV stations felt this move as a waste of time and unnecessary nuisance, the commission had to provide reasons for the migration. The first reason is the picture and sound quality. For the normal television users, the quality of picture and sound really matters. With analog television, pictures and sounds would drift from in and out while consumers watch their favorite programs. With digital television, movies broadcasts can fit in their original screen unlike for analog where they have to be cut to fit. The second reason is that digital television offers multicasting of programs. Digital signal carries huge information compared to analog, therefore, more videos and sounds can be accessed on the television. Lastly, there was a need to clear up analog resources. The digital transmission would free up some space of the broadcasting spectrum which could serve other purposes such as public services and safety services. Television networks could save their resources such as electricity, time and money transmitting to both analog and digital platforms (tlab, n.).

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According to FCC, the first test to move to broadcast from analog to digital started in 1st November 1998 whereby only 25 TV stations participated in the exercise (Smith, 2016). The test bore little to no fruits because only people who could afford $5000 TV could access the programs. The federal law pursued the exercise until digital television dropped their prices from $5000 to $150. FCC chair Michael Powell found himself in a tricky position in 2001 because he had to hire experts to fix transmission problems. The transmission problems continued for sometimes until 2009 when the Obama/Bush government intervened. By then, consumers could not rely on television for continuous information. FCC later realized that the 2006 set deadline was being over-ambitious. In fact, it took United States 11years to completely scrub off analog television. Although the U.S was very purposeful to be the first country in the world to embrace the digital platform, it was overtaken by Norway who took only two years and by 2009, it had digital television running all over the country. Therefore, by 12th June 2009, all TV stations in America transmitted from digital signals.

According to analog TV consumers, the plan to switch digital transmission from analog seemed very sudden but the case was not sudden for broadcasters and manufacturers since FCC had reached an agreement with them in 1996, two years before the first digital transmission. Charles Platt (1997) provides that on 1st November 1996, Reed Hundt, FCC chairman announced an agreement between the board and major broadcasters, computer industry and manufactures about the plan set to switch analog signals to digital. Main Newspapers companies were not involved in the agreement but later accepted the FCC move. However, the major bodies involved in the revolution plans anticipated that the exercise would take long and would be a disappointment to TV consumers. It is for the same reason that broadcasters were stuck in showing old analog transmission because they had no legal permission to access the digital signals when the 25 TVs were on test and also, they had nothing to show in the new signals.

The broadcast of both analog and digital television was made mandatory by FCC. FCC under the leadership of Michael Powell on 12th June 2009 announced that all United States television stations be transmitted through a digital signal. For many households were ready for the migration, they already had acquired the digital converter box to use with their analog television. Other few households were not prepared. They could not access television stations since they had been switched off on analog transmission. The mandatory digital transmission was made permanent since then. American people just like any other country's people wait until the last minute when an action is taken against them. For the next television generation, the same mandatory rule might be applied to all television broadcasters. Consequently, the switching might be made permanent just like the digital migration.

When FCC announced the differences between analog and digital television and the need to switch to digital transmission, the news was both positively and negatively discussed on professional levels and news level. Most professionals took the news positively adding that it was the right time for the country to grow technologically. Consumer Technology Association (CTA) CEO Gary Shapiro provided that digital television offers much consumer benefit and it does not hurt anything by embracing it. He also said that the next generation television offered high-quality television services to the consumers. Other professional comments mentioned that television networks will have the ability to enhance their programs by airing customized content. From the news, most common consumers felt that switching from analog to digital television was a waste of time and resources. Although other consumers seconded the move, those against it made it clear that it was a government skim just like any other. The positive comments in support of digital migration for both professionals and consumers are parallel today. However, the negative and positive comments from both sides are not in parallel. Actually, the positive comments about the migration are still valid today since the benefits are already being experienced.

Television formats such as HDR-10 and HLG should not be major concerns for consumers while they buy the television. These HDR formats were really confusing and raising eyebrows for potential consumers because they did not know which the best to buy is. However, this confusion was later explained by letting the consumers know that they can purchase any of the HDR formats so long as they learn how to adjust their settings to give the preferred view. HDR television is very recommendable because consumers can change the contrast and color of television to their tastes. Through the settings adjustment, the user is able to watch programs live Sports just as if they were live Kumar, 2018).

Upon the introduction of digital television, most television consumers could not afford the digital television and others did not want to buy them. FCC considered their needs by providing digital converter boxes for them to use with the analog television. As a matter of fact, this action attracted most of the consumers because it was a cheaper and convenient way to migrate from analog to digital without incurring so much cost. This alternative plan is likely to be applied during next-generation television. FCC together with the major broadcasting networks and manufacturers will have to agree on the best way to cater to consumers who cannot afford the next generation television.

The major reason why we need to transmit from a digital format to another is that there is so much technological growth which needs to be applied (Jost, 2008). The second reason is that with the availability of internet network there is so much for television networks to add to their broadcasting that the current digital television cannot transmit. Another reason is that there is no harm in advancing. So long as transitioning from one broadcasting transmission to another does not negatively affect anything, there is the need to transit. Also, the next generation will automatically come along with its advantages as to why we need to transit, advantages that will work in favor of the consumers as well as the television stations.


Jost, K. (2008, June 20). Transition to Digital TV. Retrieved from

Kumar, S. (2018, September 4). HDR, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HLG & Advanced HDR (Explained). Retrieved from

Platt, C. (1997, February 1). The Great HDTV Swindle. Retrieved from

Smith, E. (2016, October 25). The Long, Weird Transition from Analog to Digital Television. Retrieved from

Tlab. (n.d.). The various methods of TV transmission. Retrieved from

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