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Making sense out of complex Pro A/V and Broadcast technologies.



An educational resource published by Communications Specialties, Inc..

HDTV Standards and Practices for Digital Broadcasting
A look at the SMPTE standards that de ne SD, HD and Fiber Optic Signal Distribution, what the standards mean, and why they are important to you.



Making sense out of complex Pro A/V and Broadcast technologies.

Communications Specialties, Inc. is committed to increased education and knowledge in the Pro A/V and Broadcast industries. We hope that you enjoy reading – and learning! – with our eduGuide series of educational resources. For additional information on these and other industry related technologies, please visit us atcommspecial.com today!

©2009 Communications Specialties, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Speci cations, claims or other product information contained in this document are subject to change without notice. This document may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express written consent of Communications Specialties, Inc., Fiberlink, Pure Digital Fiberlink, the starburst logo, Scan Do and Deuceare registered trademarks of Communications Specialties, Inc. CSI and the triangle designs are trademarks of Communications Specialties, Inc. October 8, 2009

Introduction This eduGuide is intended for the video professional that is starting to become involved with designing, specifying, operating or maintaining digital video broadcast and distribution systems for HDTV. For over 50 years ourindustry has used television technology of a primarily analog nature. True, some digital technology has been used in broadcast facilities for standard de nition or NTSC and PAL systems, but its deployment has been limited and ultimately converted back to an analog signal for distribution and broadcast. Today, HDTV is the rst broadcast technology designed to be exclusively digital from image captureto display on the consumer’s TV set. Many di erent technologies are used where the video, and audio, undergoes many transformations from start to nish. This eduGuide will help you to understand the chain of technologies used, the industry standards behind them, for both copper and ber optic distribution, and the practices video professionals are developing for the new world of HDTV. The Role ofTechnical Standards The broadcast industry, unlike the A/V and computer industries, has historically been a proponent and practitioner of technical standards for video and audio processing and distribution. The reason is simple: interoperability. The broadcaster, and those in related professional video industries, need to be able to select the best equipment for the task at hand. Since all theequipment in a distribution or edit suite will need to process the same video and audio, there is a need to de ne and adhere to interface standards between the various pieces of equipment. There are several technical standards organizations in the world that develop and promote these standards but perhaps the most noted is SMPTE. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) hasmembership and participation from individuals, broadcasters and equipment manufacturers from around the world. The expertise and experience brought to bear by this group creates a forum for developing very powerful and lasting standards. The buyer and user of broadcast equipment is the ultimate bene ciary of this process. He can be assured that products compliant with a particular set of standards willallow video and audio signals to be communicated between them in a recognizable way without requiring additional processing or interfacing. The bene t to the user is lower design and operational costs and a wider selection of equipment to choose from for a particular application without being locked in to any one equipment manufacturer employing proprietary interfaces and protocols.

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