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DTV is a more flexible and efficient technology than the current analog system. For example, rather than being limited to providing one “analog” programming channel, a broadcaster will be able to provide a super sharp “high definition” (HDTV) program or multiple “standard definition” DTV programs simultaneously. Providing several program streams on one broadcast channel is called “multicasting.” The number of programs a station can send on one digital channel depends on the level of picture detail, also known as “resolution,” desired in each programming stream. DTV can provide interactive video and data services that are not possible with “analog” technology.
Converting to DTV will also free up parts of the scarce and valuable broadcast airwaves. Those portions of the airwaves can then be used for other important services, such as advanced wireless and public safety services (for example, police, fire departments, and rescue squads).