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Secrets of how TV works! - the most important part of a broadcasting tower

" Tokyo Sky Tree® was built as a new broadcasting tower for transmitting radio waves for TV broadcasts in Japan! .And a system called the "digital terrestrial TV transmitter" is what delivers digital images and audio produced by TV broadcasters to TV receivers in our homes.

Did you know that NEC makes these digital terrestrial TV transmitters? NEC is a global manufacturer of digital transmitters with systems installed not only in Japan but also in more than 40 countries around the world. A little surprised, right? Several digital terrestrial TV transmitters made by NEC are also installed in the transmitter room inside the Tokyo Sky Tree®.

What on earth is a digital terrestrial TV transmitter? Today, I visited the Broadcast and Video Equipment Division of NEC and asked loads of questions about the little known TV broadcasting systems!

Picture: Interviewee Mr. Ryo Hidaka

Member of the Broadcast and Video Equipment Division of NEC. He is a specialist in transmitters and is engaged in proposing and designing various transmission systems for TV and radio globally.

  • MitaHello, Mr. Hidaka. Thank you for your time today. I'd like to jump right in to today's topic and ask you what a digital terrestrial TV transmitter is and how it functions within TV broadcasts. Could you tell us in simple terms?
  • HidakaOK. Well, first of all, let me explain the flow by which radio waves reach broadcasting towers and then onto your homes from TV broadcasters. First, TV broadcasters produce programs, but you already know that, don't you Ms. Mita.
  • MitaYes. I know this all too well.
  • HidakaNext, the video, audio and other signals of programs produced by the TV broadcaster are sent to the broadcasting tower. And, finally, these signals are converted to radio waves and sent to the TV receivers in everyone's home. The device that performs this role is the "TV transmitter."

Picture: Flow of TV radio waves[Larger view]Larger viewFlow of TV radio waves

  • MitaSo the "digital broadcast version" of that transmitter is...
  • Hidaka... the "digital terrestrial TV transmitter."
  • MitaI see. I roughly understand the flow in which TV is viewed. Now, could you tell me about how a digital terrestrial TV transmitter itself works?
  • HidakaYes. First off, a digital terrestrial TV transmitter has two functions. One of these is to convert digital signals that arrive from the TV broadcaster to radio wave type signals. And the other is to amplify those radio waves to have a larger power so that they can be sent over a wide area. Thanks to these two functions, digital data of TV station programs can reach the TV receivers in our homes.

Tokyo Skytree® is a registered trademark of Tobu Railway Co., Ltd. and Tobu Tower Skytree Co., Ltd.

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