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Just a hypothetical thought. NTSC being a analog system and being somewhat fixed in it's abilities probably accounted in some way to the format's long lifespan. Now that television has moved beyond the scope of analog, it is now becoming clear that HD video technology will advance extremely rapidly as has every other form of digital video reproduction. So why fight to make something like 1080i or 720p the absolute standard when even three to five years from now the technology will (in theory and according to past indications) be in place to double the quality possible with today's HD spec. Just something to think about.


This may sound strange, but I see the future being 'everything over one wire' with extremely high bandwidth internet connections carrying everything into our homes, with broadcasts beyond HD quality included.


In any case, I think it is a good idea not to expect your $3000+ HDTV set to last you for 10 years anymore. I expect TV and Video technology to become obsolete as rapidly as computers, and video GPU boards, and digital cameras do today. Such is the nature with anything digital. While this may be a pain for most to keep up with, not to mention a financial strain ...I do believe that technology SHOULD always be pushed forward, and do not think that the technological progress of HD Video should be hindered by congress mandating an absolute set standard on US broadcasters. Those of you advocating HDTV's mandation today, may be lamenting that same mandation five years from now.

 

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That would be nice (having access to super-fidelity HDTV). It appears that most HDTV programming now reaches our screens with just over 1000 lines of horizontal resolution. Some sets can't even display this. Suspect that'll gradually evolve closer to 1080i's(or progressive) full resolution.


But in many cities optical fibers are now shuttling video between satellite links and broadcasters or producers at huge bandwidths and fantastic quality. Unfortunately this quality must be enormously diminished to shoehorn signals into standard FCC-established 6-MHz channels and cable channels. Cable companies aren't necessarily limited to 6-MHz per channel, but coaxial-cable systems in most fiber-upgraded system are limited to about 750 MHz for all channels. With 10:1 or so digital compression, that's a lot of channels. But those are narrow-bandwidth channels not suitable for good HDTV.


Hollywood, from all the news and threads here, looks like it's going to war to restrict higher-resolution HDTV--unless it can rigidly control access to it. But, if the MPAA won't cooperate, perhaps some of the many independent movie producers will cut deals with cable companies and networks to distribute their films scanned at, say, 3000-line full-width horizontal resolution (still short of film's full range). To get such high-bandwidth signals into homes, cable companies must overcome that 'last mile' of bandwidth-limited coaxial-cable hardware separating their fiber-optic systems and customers with fiber-to-the-home. (Glass fiber capacity can be boosted to virtually unlimited bandwidths by multiplexing additional wavelengths or colors.) Also, to appreciate such super-HDTV, we'll need wall-size home-theater screens and suitable display technology, perhaps such as Sony's upcoming laser projector. -- John




[This message has been edited by John Mason (edited 08-04-2001).]
 
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