WBAY is still using channel 2 to broadcast our traditional signal, which is known as an NTSC signal. We're broadcasting our digital signal on channel 23.
Turn your TV to channel 23 off-the-air (this won't work for cable or satellite TV). To you, the static doesn't look any different from the static on other channels that don't have a broadcast TV station. But to your TV set, it's different. The static you see is your analog TV set trying to make sense of a digital signal.
TV signals are radio waves, which are a form of light that's invisible to the eye. If you could see the invisible, a conventional TV signal (NTSC) would look like a drawing of a mountain range zooming past you, with jagged peaks and valleys of varying heights and depths (see image below). Your TV set translates these jagged lines of varying intensity into electrical impulses, which then guide the electron beam that draws the image on your TV screen.
Digital TV uses the same analog signal as conventional TV. Only now, instead of jagged lines, you would see peaks and valleys of something akin to the bar codes on packages of products you buy (see image below). These "bar codes" represent digital information, a flow of ones and zeroes. Your digital TV set translates the order of ones and zeroes into electrical impulses, which then guide the electron beam that draws the image on your TV screen.
The picture it draws is perfect. There is no static, no ghosting, no poor reception. Wherever you live, as long as you can receive WBAY's signal, the picture is as perfect as if you wired your TV into our transmitter. How?
Glad you asked.
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