It can get pretty confusing as to whether or not you’re getting real digital television in the UK. Having recently undergone the digital switch over, it should be straightforward for all TV viewing options, but there’s a lot more to it than that. For example, Freeview digital doesn’t actually generally provide the same service as a digital cable option. What you’re getting with Freeview is digital terrestrial television, or DTT. These programmes are broadcast over the radio waves, but take up less space as compressed files. The most significant difference between these formats is their storage capacities.
With Digital TV, or DTV, you either choose a satellite or cable service in order to send encrypted data. The frequencies the satellite uses are different and more information can be broadcast than that of its Freeview counterpart, but cable has the true advantage when it comes to space.
Is Cable or Satellite Better?
It’s not just the picture quality that’s makes cable Digital TV so much better than DTT. That space means that more On Demand is available, more HD alternatives exist, and you have more reliable service. Satellite DTV is still better than any DTT service, but On Demand is more limited and you don’t have the same reliability of service. Of course, there are some advantages to satellite, such as being able to take your satellite on a caravan holiday. Cable, however, is in the process of moving to a format where mobile streaming is available in some areas so, when that process is complete, Cable DTV will be the clear victor.
But Doesn’t Freeview Have HD?
Currently Freeview has only 4 HD channels, considerably less than any DTV service. What you may not know, however, is that you are still likely to get better HD with proper Digital TV. DTT doesn’t allow for anywhere near as much file compression as is possible with Cable DTV, meaning data can be limited.
With Digital TV you’ll also get the chance to view many more shows in better definition, including sports. The fight for higher quality can sometimes seem indistinguishable, but the quality jump between DTT and DTV on a good television is more than a little noticeable.
It’s also important to remember that you get all Freeview channels (in higher quality) with Digital TV.
What about On Demand?
Digital TV is the option for you if you happen to be an On Demand devotee. With services like Top Up, you often have to wait in order to watch your programme, but with digital cable, not only are you able to get your programmes instantly, but you have access to considerably more content at all times.
How Is Service More Reliable?
Any service you choose is going to have blackouts from time to time, but due to the air borne nature of a service like Freeview, you are more likely to get interruption due to the weather. Satellite also has these issues, as it can block their waves, but it’s very hard to knock out Digital Cable. This means that you’ll never miss a crucial moment in a football match or drama.
Whether you choose Satellite or Cable, Digital TV is leaps and bounds ahead of DTT, which is why so many households in the UK are switching over and never going back. Find out more about the reliable service, with better options, and higher quality which all make a huge difference when it comes to your television experience.
Written by: Nathan Morgan has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. In recent year his focus has been on IT Security which has gained importance as the Internet has grown and is an avid follower of the latest gadgets