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Digital terrestrial television (DTT or DTTV) is television signals broadcast over the air to be picked up over the air using an antenna rather than over cable or satellite. In several countries, DTT has replaced analog television, with analog broadcasting discontinued. Digital terrestrial television typically offers HDTV signals as well as more efficient use of the radio spectrum.
Digital terrestrial television broadcasts have become widely available in most developed countries. In several places, analog broadcasts have been discontinued. In the U.S., analog TV stations left the air in 2009.
There are several standards for digital terrestrial television used throughout the world. In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the ATSC standard is used. DVB-T is used in Europe, Australia and most of Africa and Asia. Japan and most of South America use ISDB-T. China uses its own DTMB-T/H, including Hong Kong as well as Cuba.
Digital terrestrial television’s main advantage is its more efficient use of the radio spectrum, which allows regulators to reclaim bandwidth for things like emergency response. The efficient bandwidth also allows operators to offer digital sub-channels. The main advantage to viewers is the ability to access HD content without paying subscription fees for cable or satellite.