Article 15 - Digital vs Analog Telvision Signals

The decision to choose between digital and analog connectivity systems is the common problem of selecting between HDMI or VGA cables. We go on to discuss the differences of each type of signal and the quality of the resulting image.

A digital connection only transfers the signal in only two enumerations, either in an on or off state; otherwise, know as a high or low state. The television processor that streams and processes these signals does not need to map the signals to the displayed colour of each pixel because this is already transcoded in the signal itself. On the other hand, a television processor signal that receives an analog signal must convert this signal back into the most approximate binary form.

Of course, any approximate conversion can lead to errors. Does this mean that digital is better than analog? In the most case, yes. Why is this the case?

To determine the reason, we must understand how a modern television displays an image. A television consists of a set of pixel. Each pixel, regardless of how it is illuminated (LCD, LED, CRT), requires a binary representation of the colour. A colour can be represented in various forms: RGB, CYMB, and other proprietary formats. Because we live in a digital era, these pixels in a television system can only display up to some maximum distinct colours.

Digital signals operate in high and low frequencies while analog signals operate in infinite levels.

Our eyes can perceive an infinite number of distinct colours, but a television can only display a limited set. Therefore, each pixel is represented by a limited range of colours normally encoded in a bit system.

If we transfer our image in digital (binary) form, then we do not need to transcode and approximate the colour representation. This is more accurate.

Unless you have an incredibly old television that accepts an analog signal and can output an extremely wide range of colours, a digital signal is typically closest to the source representation of the image. In other words, consider using a digital source and signal.

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