Here’s Why Digital TV Is Better Than Analog TV

Here’s Why Digital TV Is Better Than Analog TV

On June 12, 2009, TV broadcasting in the United States changed from analog to digital. Since then, digital TV has taken over analog’s role as the primary signal when new TV models are being produced and viewers watch and consume more TV.

While the US government has required that all analog low-power TV stations and transmitters must be converted to digital by July 13, 2021, analog TV is still present today through VHS viewers and other analog sources.

Why is there a battle between analog vs. digital TV? What makes digital TV so special? Read below to see the differences between analog vs. digital TV explained.

What Is Analog vs. Digital TV?

When trying to compare the differences between analog TV vs. digital TV, it is important to see what features set them apart. Here are some of the features of an analog vs. digital TV signal.


Analog signals are primarily created using radio signals — AM radio for video and FM radio for audio. Analog TV sets use cathode ray tubes and use more power than digital.

The main transmission standard for analog is NTSC, which runs on a 525-line, 60 fields or 30 frames-per-second at 60 Hz system for transmitting and displaying video images.

Because these analog TVs only use analog signals, the transmission can be affected by problems such as noise (also known as ghosting and snow), interference, and distorted displays based on the TV’s distance and geographical location in relation to the signal. On top of this, the amount of bandwidth received would lend itself to the resolution and overall quality of the image being restricted.

In addition, analog TV is especially prone to broadcast signal intrusions where the cable signals or broadcast feeds can be hijacked. Many infamous incidents have come from this, such as the Max Headroom incident.


Digital TV, unlike analog, is transmitted like a computer program by using bits of information in ones and zeros. Because of this, it can accommodate high definition (HD) images digitally. Though digital TVs can still be affected by the same problems that analog signals face, it is less likely and has been almost eliminated.

Digital signals have 18 transmission formats, with 480p (SD), 720p, and 1080i (HD) being the most common.

Also, unlike analog TV which did not incorporate color in its transmission until 1953, digital TV transmissions take all the main factors of the signal into consideration, including black and white, color, audio (i.e. surround sound), and text captioning.

How to Watch Digital TV

In order to get digital TV, you need to have a digital tuner attached to your TV. Many TV sets sold since the mandatory switch in 2009 have these tuners to help them watch it effortlessly. Unfortunately, many older TV sets that still mainly use analog do not have this.

If you have an older TV set that uses analog, you can use a digital-to-analog converter box, such as an upgrade Foxtel box, to get digital TV. The tuner box has its own digital tuner that converts digital signals to analog signals and feeds it to your TV’s analog tuner.

Ditch Analog and Make Digital TV the Way To Go

With analog TV on its way out in the next few years, it is time to look at analog vs. digital TV and see whether it is worth keeping TV sets that may soon become obsolete. An analog vs. digital TV signal can do different things, but you may find there are more advantages to digital than analog.

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