High definition channels explained

Q: Why do the new high definition channels have decimals in the channel numbers?

A: One of the reasons there is such a big push to go to digital or high definition television is because it allows television stations to broadcast several programs over one frequency in a process that is called multicasting.

This allows television stations to triple or even quadruple their television show offerings without having to worry about new frequency allocations from the FCC.

And because the high definition signals are broadcast digitally, the digital tuner in your high definition television is capable of separating each frequency into its separate programs.

That’s why you see the decimal numbers. So now instead of just having channel 8, you have channels 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3.

This post was originally broadcast Friday, March 16, 2007 on Tech Talk with Noobie, a weekly radio show on WCBK 102.3 FM in Martinsville, Indiana. Tech Talk with Noobie airs every Friday between 11:30 a.m. and noon. If you have a question you would like Noobie to answer on the air, simply e-mail your question to [email protected].