In data communication, Information comes in different forms such as text, numbers, images, audio, and video through which devices can communicate.
- Text: In data communications, the text is represented as a bit pattern, a sequence of bits (0’s or 1’s). Different sets of bit patterns have been designed to represent text symbols. Each set is called a code, and the process of representing symbols is called coding. Today, the prevalent coding system is called Unicode, which uses 32 bits to represent a symbol or character used in any language in the world. The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), developed some decades ago in the United States, now constitutes the first 127 characters in Unicode and is also referred to as Basic Latin.
- Numbers: Numbers are also represented by bit patterns. However, a code such as ASCII is not used to represent numbers; the number is directly converted to a binary number to simplify mathematical operations.
- Images: Images are also represented by bit patterns. In its simplest form, an image is composed of a matrix of pixels (picture elements), where each pixel is a small dot. The size of the pixel depends on the resolution. For example, an image can be divided into 1000 pixels or 10,000 pixels. In the second case, there is a better representation of the image (better resolution), but more memory is needed to store the image.
- Audio: Audio refers to the recording or broadcasting of sound or music. Audio is, by nature, different from text, numbers, or images. It is continuous, not discrete.
- Video : Video refers to the recording or broadcasting of a picture or movie. Video can either be produced as a continuous entity (e.g., by a TV camera), or it can be a combination of images, each a discrete entity, arranged to convey the idea of motion.