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One thing that interests me here is that everyone seems to take for granted

that SDTV will continue to have a place indefinantely.


Consider a post-HDTV revolution world. The people who have the most

reason to hang on to STDV channels are cable and satellite, because they

want to offer those 500 channel line ups. But after people get used to

movies in HDTV, the're not going to want to see cut down SDTV movies

any more -- especially if they have to pay for them in the form of

pay per view and premium channels. So there goes a huge chunk of the

channels that commonly suck up space, PPV and premium.


For the local channels, HDTV is going to be a creeping thing. Prime time is

going to eventually spill into daytime soap operas, as has already started.

So again, sat and cable are going to be in a position of cutting the

resolution of local channels way down. Whatever anyone feels about

the difference between SDTV and HDTV theres no argument that people

can tell the difference, if only because of widescreen vs. 4:3.


So what is really left as an SDTV candidate ? I would say shopping, news,

and some of the special interest channels like the cat fancy channel.

And there are not dozens of those channels. Perhaps a dozen.


Mind you I am talking 10-20 years out, but I think a case can be made that

the providers will simply say the hell with trying to maintain the old

standard and just go full to HDTV.
 

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I think that eventually it will be just like color TV. What programs are currently in black and white?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by trafter
I think that eventually it will be just like color TV. What programs are currently in black and white?
If we are lucky, the next Ted Turner, will remaster all those old films in HD. Think of the potential: most old shows were shot on film, which allows for a new HD transfer. There is a rumor that Hogan's Heroes might be out on HDNET. Not that I would run home for Gilligan's Island, but there were many older shows that could do well in HD.


For an anachronism, imagine black and white, mono, 4x3 High Def TV!


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr.Poindexter
There is a rumor that Hogan's Heroes might be out on HDNET. Not that I would run home for Gilligan's Island ...
I would watch them both if the laugh track were eliminated. :cool:
 

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I don't know that cable necessarily would fight all HD. Keep in mind that 1 analog channel takes up the space of 2 HD channels. We all do 80-90 Analog channels. Why wouldn't we love to dump those for 160-180 HD channels?


You've just got to get the people who will cling to analog to let it go... and that's going to be VERY hard.
 

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Greg,


If you guys can move 100% of the customers to a STB or digital cable ready TV the public won't know they lost analog and cable would gain huge bandwidth.


I just read your explanation of the costs involved in the TWC thread so I see why you are not moving forward quickly with a full digital conversion.


Does the cable industry in general support a consumer digital TV with built in QAM decoding ability to help with the conversion costs?
 

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The built in QAM decoding has been a contentious issue between the CEA and the NCTA, over a standard known as Open Cable. Unfortunately, different cable systems use different standards for modulation (64QAM, 256QAM, 8VSB). Some systems have upgrades to 860mhz, some 750mhz, and some are stuck at 550 and refusing to budge. What happens when John Q Public buys a set top that works on his LA system, them moves to Florida where it's incompatible?


The other issue, frankly, is the dirty word theft. Go on Yahoo and search for "cable descrambler" and look at the sheer volume of hits (most of these things don't even work, but who's going to call the cops?). Every day our auditors find plenty of folks who think its no big deal to steal cable (satellite is probably even worse). I'm sure there are those reading this who agree. We change their minds pretty quickly, and the local authorities are eager to help. Look at the taxes on the bottom of your cable bill -- if you're stealing from us, you're ripping off the city/county/state as well. And they're the guys with the handcuffs and flashing lights.


As we move away from analog settops (fairly vulnerable to theft) to digital cable, our ability to encrypt has been greatly strengthened. Losing control over our product, and opening the most valuable programming to theft is likely cable's biggest concern. If the engineers can mature the PODS concept to ensure security (it isn't), that might be a solution. We'd give you a decryption card that you'd put into your personal settop. It would reduce our costs, and the CEA would be happy. But it hasn't worked to secure DBS signals very well, has it?


Unfortunately, this is a lot like the "... I don't have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you" joke. The harder we make it to steal from us, the more people will steal it from DirectTV or Dish. And we still lose.


The NCTA has proposed a compromise where local cable operators would "buy back" boxes from people who move out of the area. I think that's probably where this will lead, especially the FCC is beginning to take an interest in this issue.
 
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