2008 A Pivotal Year For HDTV

imageThere is getting to be more digital HDTV content all the time, and 2008 should usher in a host of additional channels and shows that will be available in the HDTV format. There are a number of reasons 2008 will be a breakout year for HDTV:

1) February 17, 2009 is the deadline date for all television programming to switch to digital. After this date, older, analog television sets will need to run through a special digital-to analog converter to work. There are still a lot of people unaware of this switchover. According to the Leichman Research Group, only 43 percent of adults know of the analog to digital TV transition that is now only about 14 months away.
2) About a quarter of U.S. households now have an HDTV-capable television, and that number is growing much faster thanks to lower prices for widescreen digital TVs in the 16:9 format. In most big consumer electronic stores, digital TVs are the only option you can now buy.
3) Quality. Most people who have a choice between high-resolution digital programming and the lesser quality of an old-style analog broadcast, will opt for the better quality HDTV format. Many of the 25 percent of homes that already have HDTVs are homes with a household income of $75,000 or more. That is an important market for advertisers. In addition, more commercials are now being produced in high-definition format, and part of the reason is that some studies have shown that high-def commercials have three times the recall of the old 4:3 analog format.

If you are looking for more information about HDTV there is a good source here. Even as the 2009 switchover approaches, there are options for people who don’t want to make the move to digital TV. As I mentioned above, you can buy a converter that will allow older style sets to receive HDTV programming albeit at the older analog resolution quality. For people who need help buying the converters so they can still use their old sets, the Department of Commerce even has a $40 coupon available that will help you buy the digital-to-analog converters you need.

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Only traditional, over-the-air broadcasts will be in high-definition; the move to HDTV is required only if you intend to receive broadcasts in the open using a HDTV antenna.  Cable and internet subscribers will still be able to use an analog standard-definition receiver to watch programming.  As of the moment there is no mandate by the FCC to convert all signals on the cable or internet spectrum to the advanced format.  But that could change if over-the-air broadcasters complain about the degradation of their signals.

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