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Television Technology Demystified > Exchanging Program Material as Bitstreams - Pg. 123

Exchanging Program Material as Bitstreams 8 The introduction of digital techniques culminated with the adoption of ITU-R Recommendation 601, which provided the basis for an orderly transformation of analog signals into digital bitstreams. Along with that, Recommendation 656 defined the serial digital interface (SDI) as the most rational way to convey bit- streams from one point to another. The transition to digital certainly represented a huge step forward in the area of making television programs. Initially the dig- itization offered a possibility of improving audio and video signal quality and of giving considerably larger latitude for creative expression to program makers. But the conversion to digital left practically unchanged the basic flow of televi- sion operations. One form of signal (digital) replaced the other (analog), and a digital videotape recorder or production mixer replaced a similar analog piece of equipment. By the end of the 1990s, broadcasters became conscious of the fact that new digital technologies could offer something more than the preservation of signal quality and the enhancement of creative flexibility. They realized that information technologies (IT) offered new functionalities, initiated a proliferation of distribu- tion channels, enlarged the distributed content beyond the conventional audio