Publisher's Preface

With more than 100 stations on the air, digital television is a reality in the United States, but it hasn't been easy for broadcasters and manufacturers. The government-mandated transition from analog to digital television has been complicated with dozens of competing DTV transmission formats, as well as equipment and programming issues.

To viewers, DTV means better pictures and sound, plus the potential for interactivity, increased channels, personalized programming, and pay-per-view services. To broadcasters, advertisers, and manufacturers, DTV means an unprecedented opportunity for business growth and technological advancement.

Broadcast DTV is, however, just one facet of digital television, which has long been central to high-end commercial post production and--more recently--motion picture effects. The advent of compressed digital video has helped established nonlinear editing and QuickTime for desktop computers. And while broadcasters and cable industries work toward delivering DTV to the home, digitally encoded programming is already there via direct broadcast satellite receivers, DVD players, computer CD-ROMS, and the Internet.

In an effort to sort out these dramatic changes in the broadcast industry, Michael Silbergleid, former Editor-in-Chief of Television Broadcast and now President of The SilverKnight Group and Editor of Digital Television: The Site, produced the first edition of this book in 1998. Continued developments in the DTV industry, however, have prompted two updates of this text. Since the second edition, Michael has been joined by one of Television Broadcast's contributing editors and the ETV Field Editor for Government Video, Mark J. Pescatore. Together, they have assembled an impressive group of writing talents from different areas of the broadcast, video, and audio industries, including professionals from the Miller Freeman PSN family (including contributors to Television Broadcast, Pro Sound News, Videography, Government Video, and Digital Television: The Site). The result is another timely, important book that the broadcast and teleproduction industries can use as a resource in the often confusing world of DTV.

As we enter the new millennium, digital technology promises enormous potential for commerce and communication. I hope this book improves your understanding of the technology in ways that will be beneficial to your business.

-Paul G. Gallo,
President and Publisher, Miller Freeman PSN Inc.

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