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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Heeeere's HDTV!

They're trumpeting the arrival of HDTV over in the Netherlands, at the International Broadcast Conference. But this time it's really here, saith the speakers.

From David Benjamin's excellent dispatch:

    Keynote speaker David Hill, chairman of Fox Sports Inc. and president of the DirecTV Entertainment Group, said that because an array of HDTV equipment, especially flat-screen 16:9 displays are finally becoming “mainstream affordable,” there will occur a “massive uptake at Christmas [2005] for HD” by consumers.

    But an even stronger catalyst for HD adoption worldwide is that governments from the U.S. to Japan to Australia and Germany are mandating the phase-out of analog television broadcast, to be replaced by digital broadcast, which is increasingly high-definition capable.

    Stating the case bluntly, panelist Peter Wilson of High Definition & Digital Cinema Ltd. (U.K.) said, “Regardless of what the market says, the government says that sales are going to increase.”

Wilson later observed that the average price of an HDTV set has dropped from $3,147 in 1998 to $1,216 in 2005. An ESPN exec predicts that there would be 100 million HDTV sets in the U.S. by the end of 2008.

And Fox Sports chair Hill was looking even further out: "There is no doubt that HDTV will revitalize the television audience. But as great as HD is, the true excitement is when every set in the world is capable of receiving 3D television. And we are capable of providing 3-D TV!”