The transmission path of a broadcast signal is long and tenuous. On its way to the home TV screen it is subjected to a variety of amplification, noise reduction, modulation, demodulation, and digitizing processes. Many of the links are not under the direct control of the broadcaster. These and other factors, plus the real time constraints of broadcasting, generate an atmosphere which is conducive to faults and errors. The nature of the stereo audio signal is such that transmission defects are not easily quantified under operating conditions. Constant vigilance throughout the transmission chain is required if the promise of stereo sound is to be validated.:
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