While television technologies that center around high definition television get a lot of attention these days, there are also other exciting things going on in the world of television technology and entertainment technology in general. Most of these are centered around the merging of computer and television technology. The computer industry has been trying to get into people's living rooms for a while now, but in general they haven't been able to get past the idea that the computer belongs in the home office and all of the television type entertainment components- like the VCR, the video gaming system, and of course the television set itself- still belong in the living room.
This dogma has been broken down gradually over the past few years though. In many ways it really began with digital television. Digital television was a whole new way of looking at television. While the old fashioned analog signal was an electronic analog of real images, digital television broke images down into computer data for transmission and then that computer data was rebuilt into images by computer equipment in the form of a special receiver unit. One of the most noticeable results of this process was that it became very easy to electronically clean inference out of the digital signal because the interference was identifiable as noise rather than data. The result of the ability to clean up interference in a television signal was an incredibly clear picture that couldn't be matched by the older analog TV format. Since digital television brought computer equipment into the living room- in the form of the digital TV receiver- it was suddenly easier for other computer-like equipment to make inroads into the living room as well. Once digital TV was adopted, the DVD player wasn't far off. DVD players were similar to the CD-ROM drives already found on computers in the sense that they played discs that carried data that was read optically, and since DVD stands for digital video disc, DVD's just carry digital television around on a disk. Not long after that, it occurred to someone that if digital television could be stored on a disk that was similar to the CD-ROM associated with computers, it would also be possible to store digital television on a hard disk. Once hard disks big enough to store practical amount of video became available, the digital video recorder was born. A digital video recorder even more like a computer in the sense that it has the same processing and memory components of a digital TV receiver, but also has a hard disk on which video can be recorded directly off of the cable signal, satellite signal, or airwaves.
Now, more sophisticated home computer systems and higher end digital video recorders are blurring the boundaries between computers and television technology even more. Many PC's are able to download video off of the Internet and then play it on a TV- often in another room. In fact most PC's have been able to play DVD's on their screens for years. Digital video recorders are now able to burn recorded video onto DVD's and send it to portable video devices. Thanks to this blurring of TV and computer technology, the public is finally receptive to the idea of merging the two into one cohesive home entertainment unit.
Posted by larry dixon at 15:17:00. Filed under: General