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Good News and Bad News on HDTV?

From the New York Times, an article on an HDTV compromise. At first the news looks good:

Soon purchasers of new high-definition, or HD, TV sets will be able to receive programming through their cable systems as easily as they now can with an analog set, by plugging a standard cable into the back of the television. Today most HDTV sets require a separate set-top box to receive digital cable programming, and the transmission standards differ from cable system to cable system.

Under an agreement between representatives of the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, new cable-ready HDTV's to be introduced in the next few years will be plug-and-play; they will no longer need a separate box to receive digital broadcasts, HDTV versions of pay services or any other available basic cable or pay-TV programming.

Up to now there has been no industry standard for how the cable companies transmit high-definition programming, so an HDTV-capable set-top box designed for one system may not work with another. The consumer electronics industry has long argued that consumers have delayed buying digital televisions because they did not know how to connect them to their cable services, did not know if they could record HDTV programs, did not want to use a separate converter box, or feared that the sets would become obsolete.

"This agreement breaks down the biggest obstacle to the transition to HDTV," said Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Association. The agreement must still be approved by the Federal Communications Commission.

Certain offerings like video-on-demand movies and interactive programming will still require a separate box under the accord, but that is expected to change as well once another agreement is reached between the two industries.

So far, so good, right? Keep reading:

While the agreement allows program providers to prevent any recording of pay-per-view or video-on-demand programs, users of hard-disk-based recorders like TiVo would be allowed to record and then watch such a program up to 90 minutes later.
So the broadcast industry is going to get its broadcast flag without legislation.

To the television industry, I just want to say this: today I watch a handful of television shows. With my work and travel schedules, my TiVo is the only way I can watch these shows consistently. If you flag 24, E.R., and Futurama so that I can't store them longer than 90 minutes, I simply won't watch them anymore. Do you hear that? My television watching will go down to near zero. This would probably be a good thing for my personal growth, but I'm sure it's not what you want. And by the way, I'm willing to bet there are many more like me.

Comments

Hdtv&digi-tv are incompleat prodacts.Companys wich are involt about finansing hd/digi-tv have horry to get mony out from costumers.Its not inouhg that resolution is increased from625lines to 1250.also frame spead must be increased fom25(50feald)to60 ful frame ps,that the movement in picture would be compleatly natural and smooth.Another"disability"about digital movie production is video slowmotion.Before HDTV can be reality we must have international standard,and tecnic which make tv expiriens significantly increased.That wos original idy about HDTV!Also high resoluted digital movie with 60 ful fps and 9/21picture shape conected to laser projector would make cinema motion picture expiriens significantly increased.

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