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This paper is a survey of the transmission techniques used in digital television (TV) standards worldwide. With the increase in the demand for High-Definition (HD) TV, video-on-demand and mobile TV services, there was a real need for more bandwidth-efficient, flawless and crisp video quality, which motivated the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting. In this paper we present a brief history of the development of TV and then we survey the transmission technology used in different digital terrestrial, satellite, cable and mobile TV standards in different parts of the world. First, we present the Digital Video Broadcasting standards developed in Europe for terrestrial (DVB-T/T2), for satellite (DVB-S/S2), for cable (DVB-C) and for hand-held transmission (DVB-H). We then describe the Advanced Television System Committee standards developed in the USA both for terrestrial (ATSC) and for hand-held transmission (ATSC-M/H). We continue by describing the Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting standards developed in Japan for Terrestrial (ISDB-T) and Satellite (ISDB-S) transmission and then present the International System for Digital Television (ISDTV), which was developed in Brazil by adopteding the ISDB-T physical layer architecture. Following the ISDTV, we describe the Digital Terrestrial television Multimedia Broadcast (DTMB) standard developed in China. Finally, as a design example, we highlight the physical layer implementation of the DVB-T2 standard.