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Very large-scale integrated-circuit (VLSI) technology, thus far the province of scientific and military applications, is scheduled to enter consumer homes this year shortly after at least four manufacturers market their digital television sets. The sets are based on eight chips that contain five VLSI circuits. The chips, designed and produced by the International Telephone & Telegraph Corp., will replace most of the signal processing electronics used in present analog sets and will perform the work of about 300000 transistors. The author reviews the technology and capabilities of digital TV receivers including the video codec, audio codec, video and audio processor units, and a depletion control unit.