Digital Television: A Consumer’s Guide

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Mister Mobility breaks down the technical details of digital television into easy-to-understand language in this guide for consumers.

Digital terrestrial television (DTT) – or simply digital television – is television broadcasting in which the pictures are transmitted as digital signals which are decoded by a device in or attached to the receiving television set.

digital television - dtt

Analogue TV

Television sets have used analogue technology right from the beginning. Analogue television sets work by receiving broadcasts on electromagnetic waves. In other words, the videos, pictures and sounds that you see on your TV are transmitted via electromagnetic waves. The problem is that magnetic waves can only do so much in terms of quality. Digital television fixes that problem.

Digital Television

Digital TV broadcasts video, pictures and sounds like PCs do. This has the following advantages:

  1. consumers have access to more channels
  2. consumers enjoy better picture and sound quality
  3. broadcasts can benefit from multiple language tracks
  4. subtitles can be added to broadcasts
  5. electronic TV guides can be included

Equipment You Need To Enjoy Digital Television

If you own an analogue TV set, you will require a decoder/receiver in order to receive digital broadcasts. However, if you own/buy one of the new digital TV sets with the decoder built in, you are good to go without a separate decoder box.

Subscribers to services like DStv and similar satellite-based television services are already compliant and have no need to worry.

Do You Need paid Subscription?

Not necessarily. Some digital television services require a paid subscription. However, some local TV stations are now broadcasting free digital signals. So, you can connect to any free digital channels without paying anything. Just scan for the digital channels in your area and watch.

Do you have any more questions about digital television? Ask away, and we shall do our best to provide you with easy-to-understand answers.


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