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Does China Have the Best Digital Television Standard on the Planet?

China's new digital television broadcasts deliver a high-definition picture to the living room--and the reception won't break up on moving trains and buses, either

8 min read

The United States established its national standard for terrestrial broadcasts of high-definition digital television, known as ATSC (for Advanced Television Systems Committee), in 1996. The European Union settled on its standard, Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestrial, or DVB-T, in 1997. Japan developed its Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) in the 1980s and adopted it in 2003. But China just finalized its digital television standard in late 2006, beginning transmission with last summer’s Beijing Olympics.

Being late in this particular game is not necessarily a bad thing. It allowed China to take advantage of advances in information-coding technologies that make digital television in China—unlike that in the rest of the world—work well even in bad weather. These technologies mean that China’s digital television can be viewed on the go; it won’t break up even at 200 kilometers per hour—you can watch a broadcast on a cellphone while sitting on a high-speed train. (The United States is only now trying to retrofit its digital-television standard for mobile reception.)

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How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

These tiny mechanical ID tags are unclonable, cheap, and invisible

10 min read
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Close up of a finger with a clear square on it.
University of Florida
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What's the largest criminal enterprise in the world? Narcotics? Gambling? Human trafficking?

Nope. The biggest racket is the production and trade of counterfeit goods, which is expected to exceed US $1 trillion next year. You've probably suffered from it more than once yourself, purchasing on Amazon or eBay what you thought was a brand-name item only to discover that it was an inferior-quality counterfeit.

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