Defining the appeal of HDTV

It is hard to avoid all the publicity currently surrounding high-definition TV (HDTV). It has been somewhat of a consumer phenomenon over the past 12 months, an occurrence all the more puzzling since there is actually very little in the way of HD content. This shows how the marketing blitz has succeeded and people want HDTVs whether they fully understand what that means or not. It has become the most desirable home accessory since DVD players and, hype aside, HDTVs really look to be the future of TV and movie viewing.

Darren Lewitt, divisional director for audiovisual (AV) at distributor Midwich, says: “Once you’ve seen HD content on an HDTV and you go back to standard TV, you can really see the difference. For instance, going back to watching football on a standard TV is shocking. You ask yourself ‘what is this rubbish I’m watching?’.”

However, there is more to HDTV than just amazing pictures, and the combined factors have captured the attention of a growing number of businesses. HDTVs are now popping up in a wide range of locations, from boardrooms and sports stadiums to schools and call centres. Thanks to the hype, clever marketing and plummeting prices, HDTVs are no longer just a consumer luxury.

Darren Ambridge, group product manager for TV and home video at Sony UK, says: “Prices are making HDTVs more of a viable business option. For many businesses, professional displays were seen as the first flat-panel option, but now the wider variety of HDTVs and better pricing are making them a more suitable choice for many.”

Full story here.

I have HDTV at home - I’ve actually had it for 2 years now, and think it’s a great improvement over standard tv feed.

I noticed that the article is from the UK, where the uptake of HDTV has been slower - I wonder if this is because PAL is at higher resolution to start with compared to NTSC?
It could also be because of the historical issues with tv development in the UK, people don’t expect to pay for program services (other than a license fee collected by the Government).
In North America for e.g. people don’t have such a problem with paying for tv programming - I only pay about C$10 per month for HDTV. I’m in Canada where I’ve got about 25 HDTV channels - including our national broadcaster CBC which hosts some of the highest rating shows in the country. I can also get all major sports events, Discovery, movie channels, networks etc on HDTV, so there isn’t a shortage of feed.
Without a doubt, the driver for HDTV in N. America has been the NFL, and the advertising revenues it generates. :iagree: