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Every day tens of millions of Americans switch on radio and television sets for news, weather, and entertainment. Radio and television are a part of our daily routines and a staple of our culture. Today these media services are being transformed by the same digital revolution that is bringing us new media choices via the Internet.

Digital Television Service

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 authorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to license part of the public's electromagnetic spectrum to thousands analog television licensees for the transition to digital television services.

Digital television can provide sharp images that rival the movie theater experience if used in its high definition mode. DTV can also offer CD-quality sound. It can provide new uses such as multiple video programs or other services on a single television channel, including data services, and interactive capability. NTIA has played an active role in the development of digital television and public policy. NTIA's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) developed the signal propagation models used by the FCC to establish the digital table of allocations. It also developed new techniques to measure the quality of digital video pictures on television monitors, among other devices (press release). The Administration will continue to monitor developments in digital television and encourage its successful deployment, which will result in reclaimed radio spectrum for other important services, including public safety.

Pursuant to the Digital Television and Public Safety Act of 2005, full power television stations will cease analog broadcasting and return their analog channels so those channels can be put to other uses.

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For more information contact:

Cable, Broadcasting & DTV: Tim Sloan, tsloan@ntia.doc.gov
DTV: Alfred Lee, alee@ntia.doc.gov

Office of Policy Analysis and Development
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Voice: (202) 482-1880 · Fax: (202) 482-6173

Digital TV Transition & Public Safety

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