Digital Television (DTV) is a new standard established in both Canada and the U.S.A. for the broadcast of television pictures, sound, and data.

In November 1997, Industry Canada adopted the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standard for DTV. The ATSC standard includes 18 DTV broadcast formats, all of which fall under one of two categories: High-Definition Television (HDTV) or Standard-Definition Television (SDTV). In the Fall of 2000, the U.S. Consumer Electronics Association issued more detailed terminology for the various classes of reception and display for digital televisions, and introduced a third category, “Enhanced Definition Television”, (EDTV), which fits in between SDTV and HDTV. These definitions also apply to the Canadian market.

It is very important to recognize the differences between the two sets of standards. The ATSC’s 12 Standard Definition and 6 High Definition formats relate to the broadcast of Digital TV.  The CEA terminology for Standard Definition, Enhanced Definition and High Definition relate specifically to hardware reception and display capabilities.

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