What is a channel?

What is a channel?
The channel will be the specific means by which we convey a communicative vehicle. It has to do with the sensors that has enabled our receiver to decode the set of instructions that are implicit in the vehicle. We can divide the channels as auditive channel, digital channel, visual channel, audio-visual channel, aromatic channel, tactile channel and thus a series of combinations that can generate a greater number of channels.

How it works?
The channel is closely related to the sensitive organ (in the case of living beings we talk about hearing, smell, touch and sight) that will be in contact with decoding the information or instructions it has in the communicative vehicle.

For example, speaking of communicative vehicules, lets take the newspapers (which by the way are clasified in the visual channel, more exactly in the printed one) in specific the column by Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, the column has certain criteria that classifies it as a column. The signs that can form meanings are the words, gaps, lines, shapes, colors and typefaces perhaps photographs. They can not use sounds, that is impossible (at least so far) as speakers cannot be brought to a printed newspaper, the news papers in its printed form cannot have moving images (if we refer to news that are in electronical papers then the medium will be the digital medium, not the print medium). And do not stop there, the column must have other characteristics such as frequency, a specific topic which will develop, and usually presents a personal view of the writer, hence, the meanings associated with this vehicle of communication must go in line with all the above characteristics in order to get the public to be waiting just as described.

What is it used?
Therefore, from the foregoing, we conclude that the channel is used to transport a communicative vehicle to take place specifically to sensory organs where it can be successfully decoded. We can not expect radio to let us see pictures, unless they are deconstructed and recoded with the guidelines of the radio.


We recommend:
RALPH LEWIS SMITH, Mass communication: Decision making in mass media channels.
MARVIN K. SIMON, et al., Digital over fading channels.