Digital vs Analog? Analog vs Digital? What’s the big deal about the switch in signal to your TV?

There have been no bigger advancements in technology over the last 20 years then what is happening in the television industry.  Only 10 or so years ago the price of flat screen TVs were astronomical and were only affordable by wealthy individuals.  Fast forward to today’s retail economy and a quality flat screen TV can be found for well under $500.  With these new TVs comes the world of high definition that broadcasts sporting events, movies and television shows with a much clearer picture then televisions of the past.  With the broadcast of events  in high definition (HD) comes the need for a better broadcasting system, this is where digital TV service has come in and revolutionized the cable TV industry.

Let’s take a further look into the Digital vs Analog TV comparison

Advancements in Technologydigital vs analog tv

Up until the past few years, commercial televisions sets have all worked from receiving analog signals.  With analog, televisions receive radio frequencies that were sent out from a variety of TV stations.  Each TV station emits a frequency that corresponds to a channel number.  With this technology analog TV sets received a constant signal to their antenna that would change when they switched channels.

On the other hand, digital signals work much like computers.  Instead of using a radio frequency, the digital signal is sent out in a series of 1s and 0s.  Any television with a digital tuner will receive this information and will generate the picture and sound onto their TV.

Quality of Programming

Every one of us who are older than 30 can remember their analog signal from when they were young.  While some of the higher quality channels came in with good picture quality most of the time, there were many channels that had the snowy or fuzzy look on the TV screen.  This problem has to do with the type of signal transmitted from the different stations.  With the analog signal the quality of the signal was determined by the strength of the analog signal, the antenna’s proximity to the television station and possible obstructions depending on where your TV was located.   A weak analog signal constituted a poor picture for the viewer.

With the digital signal, things like proximity and obstructions will not have any effect on the picture.  With a binary signal, the broadcast is not only higher quality then the analog signal but the picture will not have has any of the graininess of the analog picture.  The only problem that a digital picture may get is a momentary freezing of the picture if the signal gets interrupted.  While this was more of a problem with the early digital ready TVs, this technology has been improved upon in the last couple of years to almost be non-existent.

High Definition (HD) TVs

One of the main reasons that the analog vs digital programming has become such a discussed technology is the recent availability of HD TVs to the general population.  Sporting events, movies and cable shows show the true value of digital programming as their HD channels are a clear upgrade from “regular” cable channels.  From their initial release to present day the pricing of high definition televisions has dropped tremendously.  For instance a 32” TV may have costs $2,000 dollars in 2003 and now the same size 32” LED TV with much better features can be found for under $400.  With these pricing changes businesses can now afford to add digital ready TVs at low costs.


Digital vs analog is something that will not even be debated 10 years from now as technology will keep pushing analog technology further and further back.  As of 2013, most satellite TV providers will no longer offer analog channels.  With this change more businesses will look to add the LED, commercial grade TVs to their businesses while sending the old analog TVs to the recycle bin.