Digital technology is not a passing whim, but an inescapable technological advancement. By the year 2006, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will have ordered all analog transmitters off the air. Before long, all broadcasters will commence with the employment of a revolutionary technology that will bring crystal-clear images and interactivity to television. However, the traditional set in the home will become obsolete, and consumer interest in its proposed replacement remains untested. Consequently, only one major network has partly devoted time and resources into designing an extensive outline for breaking into the impending digital epoch. Surprisingly, that broadcaster is PBS. The Public Broadcast System's dedication to a high-definition television adjustment present the educational station with an infinite collection of benefits that will have numerous positive implications for the station's continuing role as entertainer and educator. Furthermore, high-definition television (HDTV) will significantly enhance the beauty and complexity of all PBS's programming.
Founded in 1969, The Public Broadcasting System is America's sole television network of public stations. Collectively, educational establishments, community organizations or state and municipal groups, operate approximately 350 member stations. All public television stations highlight the importance of illuminating cultural and educational programming, as well as distinguished programs on nature, science, and public affairs. In PBS: Behind the Screen, Laurence Tarvik depicts this unique organisation as "a $5 million appropriation" which over time, became a "multi-billion worldwide multi-media empire" (xvii). Over four decades, PBS has become a leader in using technology to further its educational objective, such as, closed captioning, stereo television sound amd foreign language audio tracks. Therefore, it was inevitable that PBS would plunge ahead in the digital arena. At present, PBS does not resemble a conceivable pilot to navigate the television industry into this new technological horizon. The major disavanturage for the network is its $230 million annual budget, (that would seem diminutive compared to commercial networks and as a non-profit organization). However, that has not interrupted the network from perfecting a $1.7 billion strategy that will transfigure the station into one of America's most advanced program conveyance systems.
At the core of PBS's industrious approach is the manner it proposes to adopt the larger bandwidth that digital technology presents. Whereby every section of the channel is adapted to dispatch the clearest picture. With a 60-inch screen and 720 or 1080 scanning lines, HDTV sets will be able to boast an outstanding wide-screen picture (16 by 9 aspect ratio). Moreover, in contrast to approximately 480 lines in the National Television Committee (NTSC) analog format (4 by 3 aspect ratio), HDTV will exhibit images considerably more definer than the traditional models they are proposed to succeed. Furthermore, as our field of vision is rectangular, the format of HDTV is closer to the way we see. Naturally, having the screen occupy the viewers peripherally field of view will significantly enhance the sense of being there. In addition, HDTV's 5.1 channels of sound: three in the front (right, center, and left), two in the rear (left and right) and a subwoofer bass (the .1 channel) will provide a near perfect sound. In addition, the picture on a HDTV set will stay perfect until the signal becomes too weak for the receiver to pick it up. To be specific, the flawless reception will be the same picture the broadcaster started with at the transmitter. Overall, HDTV promises to make watching television, more of a cinematic experience, and will undoubtedly revolutionized the way we view PBS programs.
Nevertheless, exceptional sound and improved picture quality does not necessarily convoy sufficient features to justify the average person spending somewhere between the estimated $3,000-$6,000 price range. In PBS's favor is a range of factors that combined to make the conditions right the networks digital modification - most notably, PBS's dedication to airing diverse programs. As all PBS programs usually encompass vivid images or enlightening information, the distinct digital qualities that HDTV offers, will be adequately arranged with the ideal show. For example, during the day, the digital bandwidth can be filled simultaneously with several different shows at a lower resolution (multicasting), and during primetime viewing written facts and statistics can be aired alongside the video signals (datacasting). The union of PBS and HDTV will bring boundless possibilities for enlightening program content and will undoubtedly change the public broadcaster in phenomenally ways.