Thursday, May 2, 2013

[OOTD] Do You Know How TV Works?

Today's prompt from the Blog Every Day in May challenge is right up my alley: Day 1, Thursday: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. Well then. You may or may not know, but I'm a technical trainer by trade. This is what I do all day - teach. So let me give you a little glimpse of my daily world.

I'm in the TV industry. No, not the glamorous world of celebrities and on-air personalities, but the stuff no one thinks about. I mean, really. Have you ever thought about how TV gets to your television set?  No. No one does. Unless you're me. My company makes computer equipment so that TV gets out in the world. We own a very large percentage of the market, so I'm guessing that no matter who you get your television service though, they probably own/use some of our equipment. I teach customers how to use it. But I also teach customers exactly how television and it's surrounding technology works. So let's have a little lesson.

So, what is television? Or even more specific, what is video? It's a series of still frames presented at a pace that is so rapid that our eyes perceive the pictures to flow into each other, or move. It's this thing our brain does, called persistence of vision. We hold on to still images for 1/24 of a second. So video, and in turn, television, is simply a series of still pictures moving at a rate of 24 still pictures per second or faster.

The other thing our brain does that makes television work is to blur things when we get far enough away. If you think about an electronic image on a screen - what's it made of? Pixels, right? These little square or rectangular (did you know pixels don't have to be square??!!) blocks side by side all across the screen. If you get super close - or if you project your computer monitor or television onto a much larger space - you can see the individual pixels. But what happens when you walk farther away? The edges blur.

If our eyes and brain didn't do that, we'd have no way to represent video on a screen that would look true to life. This is a really cool example of what I just explained. If you pay close enough attention when you're watching tv, you can see the individual pixels at the edges of things on screen. For instance, a jagged edge on someone's shoulder, or little blocks in a fast moving scene.

What am I?

Ok. So, we basically capture these still frames and make them into digital pictures made of pixels. But in order to get them to your television, they have to travel there. How? Well, there are currently 4 ways of doing this: terrestrial, satellite, cable, or IPTV. Very few of us have terrestrial any more, because interactive tv (including on demand!) doesn't play well over terrestrial. Terrestrial is over-the-air, kind of like cellular networks. Satellite beams television content up to a satellite in the sky and then back down again to a large group of customers. Cable travels over coaxial cables that run through the ground. IPTV utilizes fiber or copper cabling to transport television. If you have Dish or DIRECTV, you have satellite. If you're a Comcast, Cox, Charter, or other "cable" company customer, you have cable. If you're a user of Verizon FIOS or AT&T Uverse, you have IPTV. Most IPTV television providers are phone companies (or telecoms) because their telephone networks can carry IPTV signals. 

And I could go on. But hopefully you learned a lil something. Onwards to the outfit today. Sorry the pics aren't very clear - this was me playing with my manual settings. The lighting was also pretty crappy.

Tweed Blazer: Goodwill | Mint tank, Shoes: Target | Polka Dot Tank: Old Navy | Jeans: Charlotte Russe | Sunnies: New York & Company | Necklace: Gifted from SIL

And a Lexi-Bomb...featuring my work badge!


  1. That is pretty interesting! Thank you, you def taught me something new! I always wonder if dogs can see TV like people can...I swear Oliver watches it :)

    The Tiny Heart

  2. thanks for the turtorial. I learned something today. and I too love the jacket.


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