Analog versus Digital

A very interesting concept I discovered today surrounded the ability to determine what makes an ICT an ICT. Simply put, an ICT is supported by digital technologies.  So what exactly does that mean?

I recall a few years ago we had advertisements on the television informing us that TV was going to concert to digital and that analog TVs would be rendered useless. No new digital TV, no TV viewing.  I understood the implications but had no real understanding of what the changes actually entailed.

The article written by Chris Woodford regarding Analog and Digital Technologies located at   succinctly explains the difference between the two technologies.  Analog uses objects to represent or measure the occurance of an activity.  For example, an analog watch represents the passing of time.  The watch measures time.  The watch is not time itself, rather a representation on time passing, an analogy of time. Old photographic film recorded an image and when developed with the assistance of a chemical process the image was recreated on paper. Digital  technology is not representing an event, item, sound or picture etc, it is where these items are converted into numbers.

Converted into numbers! Whatever does that mean? The image, information, sound etc is converted into digits or number and then able to be transferred to a new location, in most cases instantly.  Through the process of input (converting into numbers), processing (manipulating or make changes to the digital item) and output (transfer the image on the camera to a physical image).   No more waiting at the 1 hour photo shop for your prints to be developed.  The image on your digital camera is converted into numbers and sent from the camera through the cable to your printer for instant reproduction.  On the flip side, think how this digital technology is changing our behaviours, for example the way we record history.  We can now read about historical events on computers, mobile phones, tablets and even kindle…what will become of the physical book?  Consider the article   by Erik Kwakkel regarding medieval books and the changes technology is having on historical recording.

With the assistance of Analog to Digital Conversion (ADC), also referred to as ‘sampling’ a process which measures at regular interval the photo facilitates the strikingly accurate reproduction of the image. Although, with an conversion of, and reproduction of some degree of inaccuracy does occur.

The regularity of the intervals taking a measurement will determine the accuracy of the measurement.  The greater the intervals the greater the likelihood of accuracy.  An associated implication of the intervals will determine the digital ‘size’ of the item.  For example, the greater the intervals to capture and reproduce a sound, such as a song will determine its sound quality and also determine the digital size it will take to record and store on your iPod.

So, how does all this effect my new digital TV?  My television viewing should be sharper with digit technologies offering greater intervals or sampling, my sounds should be better quality and my interface abilities with other electronic devices should be enhanced.  In short watching TV should be a better experience.  Now all they have to do is produce better television programs.  Lets start by ridding our channels of reality TV as no amount of digital technologies will make that experience any more enjoyable.



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