HD1080i De-mystify HDTV 1080i ::: know why before you buy

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Digital TV is an Entitlement for every American


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate approved legislation on Wednesday that would complete the country’s transition to new, higher-quality digital television by February 17, 2009.
Up to $1.5 billion would be available to help some consumers buy converter boxes so existing analog televisions do not go dark when broadcasters air only digital signals.
The digital television measure was part of a bill aimed at cutting government spending over five years which narrowly cleared the Senate after Vice President Dick Cheney, in his role as president of the Senate, voted for the cuts and broke a 50-50 tie.
The U.S. House of Representatives backed the measure on Monday but it must go back to the House because of other changes to the bill before being sent to President George W. Bush for signature into law.
But that may not happen this year. A House spokeswoman said the chamber currently had no plans to bring members back to Washington before late January.
Current law requires stations to switch to airing only digital broadcasts when 85 percent of the country can receive the new signals, or by December 31, 2006, whichever comes later. Experts have said that could take a long time, prompting lawmakers to seek a more certain date.
Congress is eager for broadcasters to give up the analog airwaves, some of which will be sold for commercial wireless services. Congress has earmarked almost $7.4 billion of the likely proceeds to go toward deficit reduction.
Broadcasters estimate there are 73 million television sets in American homes not hooked up to cable or satellite services and that rely on over-the-air broadcasts. Boxes that would convert digital signals back into analog could cost roughly $50, according to industry estimates

You just have to love your elected officials.

A.P.: WASHINGTON Nov 18, 2005 — The House on Friday backed a plan to require television broadcasters to switch to all-digital transmissions by December 2008, three months earlier than they would have to under provisions of a Senate bill.
House lawmakers also voted to set aside $830 million to help millions of Americans with older, analog TV sets pay for converter boxes so they'll continue to get service in the digital era.

--"House Republicans have said they don't expect wealthier Americans to request coupons for the boxes, and they expect the $830 million would cover those homes that really need help. "

Yikes... people in high places making massive changes to bring "The Upgrade to Digital Living" momentum into full swing. ( DSMJ is not complaining, we plan to be doing some of the PSA's you will see on that ) and this paves the way for High Definition TV to have a strong foothold in the finest of entertainment delivery.

HOW big is all this? Cisco Systems just started a deal to BUY Scientific Altanta, one of the largest and best suppliers of digital cable set-top converters... for a measly 6 billion, in cash and stock. Cisco knows exactly how to build nice quality low-cost digital transmission equipment, and it is likely that this webpage you see now, went through several Cisco routers and switchers before making its way to your computer screen. Verizon and others are quietly laying down thousands of miles of fiber optic right now ( there is a bundle on my street and i live in southern NH, way up north where cows still graze )... the infrastructure for Over-the-air high speed wireless and optical cable digital is surrounding us and will meet and exceed that of Cell Phone ubiquity.

Right now plants are being constructed in the pacific rim and pan-asia in final build-out for manufacturing large low-cost digital HDTV and wide screen monitors... some are capable of making many thousands of new digital TV's per day.

If you are in digital broadcasting then you will soon see the FCC auction off new broadcast spectrum ( think gigahertz ) for billions, so a measly 830 million is a pittance compared to what the FCC expects to collect in the near future.

If all this chatter seems like mumbo-jargonized big-word baloney that goes over your head...
then thats ok, because literally it will be overhead and made so simple that you dont need to know all that much to get the benefits.

However/ and there always is a "however" to consider...
this new digital TV era will need a push, so expect to see evidence of that quite soon, and keep in mind that for you to use it, new terms will creep into your vocabulary, new opportunity is right in your face.

It is important to know that 100's of billions in profits exist for billions in up-front investment, so this is in the hands of those that have that much money and resource, but all you probably will care about is that you can get a Coupon to get a free digital tuner for your current TV set, whatever type that may be. Much of what you want to see will be a subscriber-based access control for much of what is available, and probably 1000 channels to choose from in a totally chaotic overload of stuff that caters to every niche market there is. I'm so loving it. Watch channel 134 (adelphia digital) Fine Living network. All this is full of little gems of new stuff to dicsover, advertizers get a much better bang for the buck in targeted marketing value.

This will come at the cost of some of your privacy, since in the new digital paradigm, each end-point has a physical address that allows for two-way information passage. This is good, lets you buy stuff and selectively choose to pay for only what you desire, but it means they can monitor your viewing behavior when such features are engaged, much in the way a website can determine that you came and saw a page and then chose a link with a click of the mouse.
In my opinion the cost-benefits for the consumer are enormous, and content producers have to improve what they offer to capture and retain your attention.


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