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Meaning of DIGITAL

Pronunciation:  'dijitl

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Video Dictionary
 Definition: A method of signal representation by a set of discrete numerical values, as opposed to a continuously fluctuating current or voltage or where information is transferred by electrical "on-off" or "high-low" pulses, instead of continuously varying ("analog") signals. An analog signal is converted to digital by the use of an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter chip by taking samples of the signal at a fixed time interval (sampling frequency). Assigning a binary number to these samples, this digital stream is then recorded onto magnetic tape. Upon playback, a digital-to-analog (D/A) converter chip reads the binary data and reconstructs the original analog signal. This process virtually eliminates generation loss as every digital-to-digital copy is theoretically an exact duplicate of the original allowing multi-generational dubs to be made without degradation. In actuality of course, digital systems are not perfect and specialized hardware/software is used to correct all but the most severe data loss. Digital signals are virtually immune to noise, distortion, crosstalk, and other quality problems. In addition, digitally based equipment often offers advantages in cost, features, performance and reliability when compared to analog equipment. Digital communications technology generally permits higher speeds of transmission with a lower error rate than can be achieved with analog technology. As an analog signal is received and amplified at each repeater station, any noise is also amplified. A digital signal, however, is detected and regenerated (not amplified) and any noise is lost unless it corresponds to a value which the regenerator interprets as a digital signal.
Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: algorismic, algorithmic, aliquot, cardinal, clawed, decimal, dentate, differential, digitate, digitated, even, exponential, fanged, figural, figurate, figurative, fingered, finite, fractional, imaginary, impair, impossible, infinite, integral, irrational, jawed, logarithmic, logometric, negative, numeral, numerary, numerative, numeric, odd, ordinal, pair, positive, possible, prehensile, prime, radical, raptorial, rational, real, reciprocal, submultiple, surd, taloned, toothed, transcendental