Term of the Moment

iPhone 7


Look Up Another Term


Definition: digital


(1) Data in binary form. See digital format and binary.

(2) Years ago, Digital Equipment Corporation was commonly referred to as simply "Digital." See Digital Equipment.

(3) For centuries, digital meant the use of numbers, the term coming from digit, or finger. Today, digital is synonymous with computer and Internet activities. See virtual.

Digital Also Means Perfect
Digital methods have caused a worldwide revolution in every facet of life. The 0s and 1s of digital data mean more than just on and off. They mean perfect copying. When information, music, voice and video are turned into binary digital form, they can be electronically manipulated, preserved and regenerated perfectly at high speed. The millionth copy of a computer file is identical to the original. While this has driven software and content publishers to distraction protecting their copyrights, it is nevertheless a significant advantage of digital processing.

Every day, petabytes of data are uploaded to and downloaded from the Internet. Although errors do occur in transmission, they are detected and corrective measures are taken automatically by the communications systems. The exceptions are audio and videoconferencing, whereby errors are accepted because retransmitting packets would alter the real-time experience. See petabyte, binary and error checking.