HDTV: The Emergence of a New Generation in Television

1-23-98

Abstract
High definition television is proving itself to be a leader as a new innovation of television. The impact HDTV will have on consumers, the laws surrounding this new medium, and it\'s attributes and in differences to analog television will be looked at first in this paper. Also, my research question, "How will HDTV influence consumerism in the 21st century," will be defined and explained. Second, a look at the methods involved in writing this research report. Which primary methods were attempted and why they didn\'t work? Finally, the future is taken into consideration, using suggestions for how this operating system will run more smoothly. How long will it take for consumers to catch on to the "digital" trend? Who are the major players involved, and what are their goals concerning the switch over to digital television and why? The conclusion is that digital television will be up and running this year, until every television station in the United States switches over to the digital signal, analog signals and television sets will still be in use, it will be hard for consumers to bow down and purchase 600 million new high definition television sets.









HDTV: The Emergence of a New Generation in Television
HDTV, is known in the television industry as high definition television. HDTV is paving the way as a new medium waiting to emerge as the greatest thing to hit television since color. However it\'s not the 1950\'s and HDTV is already up and running in other markets. Japan\'s NHK broadcasting group used 1125/60 equipment and European ZDF broadcasters used 1250/50 equipment to cover the 1996 Atlanta games using the HDTV signal (Hitchen, 1997). Although no one could receive the signal except experimental digital televisions, a converter was used to broadcast the higher standards of digital television to a European 625/50 PAL format with an aspect ratio of 16:9 (Hitchen, 1997). In the U.S. the NTSC 525/60 standards are just a tad obfuscate than that of the European 625/50 PAL format due to Europe\'s extra one hundred scan lines (Brown, 1992). NTSC, PAL and Secam are the standard analog technical systems now in use throughout the world, all provide a highly successful color television service to home viewers within the VHF and UHF bandwidth using a process known as interlacing (Benson, and Fink, 1991). The digital wide screen format creates luminance detail or pixels, by employing a video bandwidth five times as large as the conventional analog methods listed above (Benson,1991).

The HDTV Set and it\'s Attributes
To broadcast digitally in North America would require the emergence of the high definition television set. Right now the only high definition television sets being produced are 60 plus inch models (Rubin, 1998). Rubin goes on to state that some prototypes were displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas two weeks ago, prices were in the ten thousand dollar range. These new high definition television sets will deliver the clearest possible picture

and CD quality sound (Rubin, 1998). In the Rubin article (1998) Jim Topping, general manager at KGO had an appropriate quote related to the visual experience of an HDTV set, his comment
was this, "There is no doubt in my mind that if we work to the limits of the new technology, it will provide television at it\'s best, which is experiential." He went on to say, "Watching a movie on a
high definition television set will be very close to the movie experience in a movie theater."(p.D5) Although I for one am not about to stop going to the movies as soon as an HDTV set is in my livingroom. The key to the improvement of HDTV is the broadcast image that is produced to create the picture (Brown, 1992). HDTV will offer 1080 scan lines, more than twice the amount of the current NTSC system we have now in North America (Brown, 1992). This results in a larger aspect ratio, or ratio of width to height, 16:9 compared to the NTSC\'s aspect ratio of 4:3, nearly 4 times larger than the current analog system (Rubin, 1998). Rubin also suggests that the digital resolution will be extremely vivid and the number of pixels will increase from 300 thousand to 2 million comparatively. With these