Some thoughts: What HD needs to do to really succeed

October 30, 2008 by  

HD will take over as the de facto standard for TV broadcasting, but a few things still need to click for that to happen.
There are three critical factors that will support the successful migration to HDTV in the marketplace:
- Market penetration of HD-ready units (that’s happening as we speak, as prices plunge)
- Supply of HD content and HD channels increasing (getting better and will continue to get better as companies evolve and migrate), but this still needs to get better
- Availability of HD broadcast on a variety of television platforms, especially HD adoption by mainstream network stations like NBC, CBS, etc. which is steadily accelerating now
In the next five years, HDTV will primarily develop as a pay TV product in Europe, and mostly a satellite product. Cable will expand as well (Comcast’s On Demand now has over 1,000 HD choices available for viewing anytime of the day or night), but adding stations and bandwidth seems to be a little easier for satellite avenues.
After analog signals are completely shut off between 2010 and 2012 (and next year it’ll happen in February in the US, which has introduced a whole new set of issues), and digital free-to-air platforms are upgraded to better technologies, they will end-up with more bandwidth capacity and become more widely accessible to more users. Accessibility is the key to the adoption of any new technology, and that includes HD.
It’s been predicted that HD will be the standard form of television around the middle of next decade or so, and in 20 years, it will be mainstream and supported by 80-90% of broadcast channels, so people won’t even refer to HD any longer.

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