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Where HDTV now stands

Started by Gregg Lengling, Monday Jul 01, 2002, 01:41:00 PM

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Gregg Lengling

This is from the July 2002 issue of Audio/Video International a Trade Magazine I receive:

Joh Flaherty, known among broadcasting industry cognoscenti as "the godfather of HDTV", has seen more technological breakthroughs round the corner and enter the mainstream than most anybody.  He is senior vice-president of technology for CBS - the network at the forefront of HDTV inovation, and recently recognized with a 2002 CEA Acacdemy of DTV Pioneers Award.  As such, his soapbox for opinions about the progress of the format's percolation into Consumerland is as structurally sound as it gets.
At last month's New York City-held Home Entertainment Show, Flaherty backed up his enthusiasm for hi-def with hard stats - and with a little history.
"All new technology arrives to an incredulous audience," he told his listeners.  "In fact, I've learned over the years that new technology passes through three specific phases on its way to final acceptance.  In the first phase, a new technology is immoral, and against the Bible:  'If man was meant to fly, he'd have wings.'  The second phase is characterized by 'OK, but it'll never catch on.' The third and final phase that guarantees success is characterized by, 'You know, I thought of it myself a few years ago.'"
He pointed out that the three major networks are currently broadcasting 57 hours a week in HD, and PBS, five hours a week.  Cable networks, he said, are pitching in with 143 hours of HD fare Monday through Sunday.  Local stations are beginning to cover local news events in HD, he added, and most of the major sporting events are being broadcast that way.
Station conversion to digital, Flaherty said, is progressing to the point where 410 - 25 percent of the total - have taken the plunge, so that 86 percent of all U.S. households are within range of a HD signal.  Cable systems are the laggards, he admitted, but progress is being made.  And your suppliers - the companies making the integrated TV receivers and outboard decoder boxes - are building up digital SKU arsenals that, as they grow, are driving entry-level pricing to more and more affordable levels.  In fact, more than half of all premium TV displays sold now, said Flaherty, are in the 16:9 widescreen home-theater-friendly format.
"High-Definition TB has crossed that final barrier and now, it has a thousand inventors," continued Flaherty.  "The reaction is now irreversible, and HDTV is here to stay."
"When TV emerged after World War II," Flaherty reminded his audience, "we called it 'television.'  When color came along in the early 50's, we called it 'color TV'.  Now we just call it TV.  Today, we call HDTV 'high-definition TV.'  As it becomes part of everyday American life, we'll just call it TV again."

Thanks CBS for giving us some programming and CBS-58 big kudos also.

Gregg R. Lengling
RCA P61310 61" 16x9
Gregg R. Lengling, W9DHI
Living the life with a 65" Aquos
glengling at milwaukeehdtv dot org  {fart}