The Dawn of Digital TV

Analog television prepares to meet its doom, vacating valuable real estate in the radio spectrum—and the band rush begins

12 min read
photo of PDF display

Playing Soon: The broadcast of video programs to PDAs and cellphones may be one new service to use the communications spectrum made available by the termination of analog TV broadcasting.

Photo: Randi Silberman; Inset: Discovery Channel

The end of analog television is at hand. Pundits have predicted the death of analog before, but such forecasts were couched in caveats. Now governments are setting firm dates and planning for life after analog, when vast amounts of bandwidth will become available for new uses and the broadcast TV scene will change.

Around the world, governments have begun the analog shutdown, and it will accelerate rapidly during the next five years. In Germany, Berlin killed off analog in 2003, Munich did it this year [see photo, "Getting Ready”], and the rest of the nation is scheduled to follow suit by 2010. In the United States, Congress likely will legislate January 2009 as the shutoff date. The end-of-analog date in France is 2010. In Japan, it’s 2011. The United Kingdom, which turned off analog broadcasts in one Welsh community this year as an experiment, is slated to phase out analog completely by the end of 2012.

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Video Friday: Such a Showoff

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

2 min read
An animated gif showing a humanoid robot stumble and recover after doing a backflip

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

IEEE RO-MAN 2023: 28–31 August 2023, BUSAN, KOREA
RoboCup 2023: 4–10 July 2023, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
CLAWAR 2023: 2–4 October 2023, FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL
RSS 2023: 10–14 July 2023, DAEGU, KOREA
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON
Robotics Summit & Expo: 10–11 May 2023, BOSTON

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Building the Future of Smart Home Security

Engineers must invent new technology to enhance security products’ abilities

4 min read
One engineer peers into a microscope to work on a small circuit while another engineer looks on

In this article, SimpliSafe’s VP of Software Engineering discusses his team’s focus on creating a safer future through enhanced technology.

SimpliSafe

This is a sponsored article brought to you by SimpliSafe.

It’s nearly impossible to find a household today that doesn’t have at least one connected smart home device installed. From video doorbells to robot vacuums, automated lighting, and voice assistants, smart home technology has invaded consumers’ homes and shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon. Indeed, according to a study conducted by consulting firm Parks Associates, smart home device adoption has increased by more than 64 percent in the past two years, with 23 percent of households owning three or more smart home devices. This is particularly true for devices that provide security with 38 percent of Americans owning a home security product. This percentage is likely to increase as 7 in 10 homebuyers claimed that safety and security was the primary reason, after convenience, that they would be seeking out smart homes, according to a report published by Security.org last year.

As the demand for smart home security grows, it’s pertinent that the engineers who build the products and services that keep millions of customers safe continue to experiment with new technologies that could enhance overall security and accessibility. At SimpliSafe, an award-winning home security company based in Boston, Mass., it is the pursuit of industry-leading protection that drives the entire organization to continue innovating.

In this article, Nate Wilfert, VP of Software Engineering at SimpliSafe, discusses the complex puzzles his team is solving on a daily basis—such as applying artificial intelligence (AI) technology into cameras and building load-balancing solutions to handle server traffic—to push forward the company’s mission to make every home secure and advance the home security industry as a whole.

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