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The Digital Age:
Opportunity for an
Evolutionary Leap

1982  Concept of ISDB advanced
2000 BS digital broadcasting (ISDB-S) begins
2003 Digital terrestrial broadcasting (ISDB-T) begins
2006 Introduction of "One-Seg"
2007 Brazil begins digital terrestrial broadcasting based on ISDB-T
2011 BS and terrestrial analog broadcasts conclude

Digital satellite broadcasting began on December 1, 2000, and digital terrestrial broadcasting began on December 1, 2003. That was the start of the "digital revolution". All TV-related-equipment is being converted to digital. Moreover, the Japanese digital television standard (ISDB-T) began the leap from Japan to the rest of the world.

2000 - "Digital" Opens the Door to a High Quality, High Performance World

Proposal for Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting

In the 1980s, organizations around the world were conducting research and development on digital broadcasting. In 1982, STRL set its sights on a highly functional form of digital broadcasting as a means of conveying programming more conveniently to households. This form of broadcasting eventually became known as Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB).

BS Digital Broadcasting

On December 1, 2000, NHK, private broadcasters and other broadcasting businesses began digital satellite broadcasting (ISDB-S). This was not just a simple replacement of analog satellite broadcasting. ISDB-S provides high-quality Hi-Vision as well as multiple standard signals, and 5.1 sound for a much more realistic experience. ISDB-S can also provide detailed information including an electronic program guide (EPG) via data broadcasts. It also includes various functions such as Conditional Access System (CAS) for paid broadcasting or protected content, downloaded software updates for receivers, and two-way telecommunications features. The broadcasting system can multiplex and broadcast any type of digitized data.

Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting and "One-Seg"

Digital terrestrial broadcasting began on December 1, 2003, three years after BS digital broadcasting. Besides the functions of BS digital broadcasting, it includes the Internet capability.

"One-Seg" mobile service started in April, 2006, and mobile phones equipped with this service became instantly popular. Having recognized the importance of mobile reception, countries in the west are now catching up with the developments in Japan.

The Japanese format for digital terrestrial broadcasting (ISDB-T) supports terrestrial digital as well as mobile reception. It has received international attention, and a number of countries in Central and South America have decided to adopt it; Brazil became the first in December 2007.

A major benefit of digital broadcasting is its efficient use of radio frequencies. There are plans to use the bandwidth freed up by the end of analog broadcasting for communications applications and broadcasting services for mobile devices.

Seamless Connection of Communications and Broadcasting

With the introduction of digital satellite and terrestrial broadcasting, television has taken on the role of an integrated information terminal with additional functions such as data broadcasting.

Since the advent of One-Seg, more and more mobile phones and computers are coming equipped with TV tuners, and now television can be watched on various devices. Digital broadcasting combines the merits of both broadcasting and telecommunications, and provides the technical infrastructure for convenient, seamless content distribution.