AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cable readies for HDTV
By Mike Snider, Gannett News Service


Seven out of 10 TV-watching households get their programming from cable. Rick McKinstry's New Albany, Ind., home is not one of them.


McKinstry, 44, lives in one of the 3.5 million households with a television that can handle new high-definition signals coming from broadcasters. When he got the set a year ago, he had a rooftop antenna and a DirecTV satellite dish installed to get as much HD as possible.


But during the past few months, cable systems -- fearing satellite competition for their most affluent customers, and under pressure from the Federal Communications Commission -- have gotten aggressive about HD. Today, 103 markets have cable systems offering some HD content, an increase of 20 percent just since the start of the year.


If Insight Cable, his local provider, provides a package of HD offerings, says McKinstry, "I will be very tempted to switch."


Cable companies are counting on HD to lure customers like McKinstry. "We were playing catch-up (to satellite) for a long time," National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Robert Sachs said at a recent digital TV summit. Now, "we think it will be a competitive advantage to be offering those broadcasts."


How cable is catching up:


More HD channels. Latest is ESPN-HD, currently available only on cable, though satellite services Dish Network and DirecTV are in discussions about carrying it. It started March 30 with a baseball season-opener and will broadcast two to three high-definition game broadcasts each week.


The rest of the network's programming for now will be enhanced-quality from standard broadcasts. But next year, ESPN will begin producing all of its studio content such as SportsCenter in high-definition.


"Cable operators are asking for high-definition products," says George Bodenheimer, president of ABC Sports and ESPN.


Cinemax and Bravo are planning HD channels by year's end, too.


Easier connections. Eight major cable firms and 14 TV makers agreed to make their systems and equipment compatible so consumers can have plug-and-play high-definition and other digital TV services.


More marketing. As cable systems have expanded digital services, they're starting to use HD as a selling point in ads and other promos. "It was very important for us to be able to say to our customers that they could get (ESPN HD) from us, ahead of any other delivery method," says Stephanie Stallworth of Cox Cable in Las Vegas.


Overall, cable systems serving about 45 million of the nation's 110 million TV households are offering some sort of HD service, from local broadcasts to HBO, Showtime, Discovery and others. Most HDTV tiers at an additional $10 monthly.


A note: Digital cable is not the same as HDTV, or even digital TV, a point of confusion among customers. Cable systems' digital services are simply digitized versions of standard channels, and may or may not include HDTV's cinema-quality, wide-screen digital format.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
I think they have caught up. The article should have been, "Can sat providers catch up with cable HD content?" Until Sat providers can deliver national HD feeds, they will continue to lose significant ground to cable as more and more people move to HD capable TV's. As we all know, once you have any HD programming at all, you will do anything to get more. I know that once Comcast starts rolling out HD in the SF Bay Area, I will switch the next day. Even if I have to keep DirecTV for another 4 months until my programming commitment expires.


By the way this article had some great stats on the number of households that can receive HD via cable. Once the cable companies pick up ESPNHD, HDNet and maybe discovery, I believe they will see a huge number of converts from Satellite.


Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by KGD_007


By the way this article had some great stats on the number of households that can receive HD via cable. Once the cable companies pick up ESPNHD, HDNet and maybe discovery, I believe they will see a huge number of converts from Satellite.


Kris
I think this is true, but you are assuming that the Satelite boys will continue at their glacial pace. Sometimes the race does go to the quick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
They completely failed to mention the one thing that cable has that E* and D* dont and that is the big 3 networks. Luckily for me I qualify to get the CBS-HD feed but for most DBS subscribers, the only chance of getting the Super Bowl and all the other premium HD events provided by CBS, NBC and ABC is with an antenna. the fact that they cant get it OTA is the reason why many went to DBS in the first place. If Adelphia ever rolls out HD service, and I can be sure to see Monday Night Football every week in HD, it's sayonara Dish Network.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,220 Posts
Satellite will always compete because it is the low cost provider. When I left cable 3 years ago they were charging $48 for 40 cable channels plus local channels. Dish NOW charges $29 for that. For an OTA antenna and a satellite dish you get lots of HD plus a much lower monthly cost. Up until 15 months ago there were NO locals on DBS and they did just fine because they had lower prices, better quality, and more channels even though you had to add a local antenna.


Rick R
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top