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TEXT FROM - http://www.pusateri.org/cruft/docs/hdtvhistory.html


A Brief History of HDTV


For those interested in a brief history of HDTV, here it is:


Here's how it went:


Broadcast Industry asks for bandwidth for HDTV

FCC says "OK, we'll set aside bandwidth for HDTV"

FCC says "What standards?"

Industry says 'No Standards Please' and come up with EIGHTEEN recommended formats for HDTV. I am not ****ting you.

FCC says "Isn't 18 different standards a bit much?"

Industry says "Shut the **** up FCC, we know what we are doing. The 'market' will handle this!"

Consumer Electronics dudes whine "18 formats make every thing cost more, you are ****ing us!"

FCC says "OK, it's your call on standards, 18 formats is fine, infact there are NO STANDARDS AT ALL, 'cause we are letting the 'market decide', but you start broadcasting HDTV now or we take back the FREE bandwidth."

Industry says "What? We really just want the free bandwidth. You really want us to do HDTV??

Congress says "**** you Industry. Broadcast HDTV or we'll legislate your asses back to Sun-day!"

Industry says "We're ****ed. 18 formats? Why the hell did we do that? Let's change it."

Consumer Electronics dudes say "You ain't changing ****. We are already building the boxes you said you wanted built."

FCC says "Yah, ya boneheads we told you 18 was too many, now you gotta live with it."

Industry says "Well FCC, will you at least make the cable companies carry the HDTV at no charge?"

Cable companies say "**** you! You gotta pay! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!"

FCC says "Yep, no federal mandated on HDTV must carry, we are letting 'the market' handle that"

Industry says "We are so ****ed. We are spending 5-10 million per TV station in hardware alone and have 1000 HDTV viewers per city, even in LA!"

Consumer at home says "Where is my HDTV? Why does it cost so much? **** it, I'm sticking with cable/DirecTV."


Consumer electronics dudes, broadcast industry, FCC, and congress all cry. Cable companies laugh and make even bigger profits.
 

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And yet it still looks so good.


Nearly all of my local channels are now HDTV.

I can watch HDTV 24/7 if I felt like it.

HDTV can be had for a reasonable price.

There are only two HDTV standards that currently matter.


I don't see what the big deal is.
 

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don't blame the broadcasters for 18 formats, blame the "grand alliance" (GI, MIT, AT&T, Zenith, Sarnoff, Phillips - who am i missing?) and the FCC for not being able to make a decision. The whole mess really was the result of a government sponsed committee of interlectual property holders, as if you couldn't guess :)


by the way, in case you're wondering, 720p was the correct answer (not that i'm biased)
 

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Heh, HDTV has been in the works since the mid 80's (at least). I expect all the original patents are expiring for the Grand Alliance.


I don't think this 'history' was supposed to be anything other than entertaining.


Sooke
 
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