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Switch to HDTV went quicker than to color TV

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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Kevin Collins

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Posted June 13 2013 - 07:02 PM

In the 60 years that television watching has dominated Americans' leisurely pursuits, the picture has twice been transformed: first from black and white to color; then from dull resolution to high definition. Significantly, the change from conventional to HD resolution was accompanied by the switch from analog to digital delivery.


According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the first year that household penetration rates reached more than 50% was 1973 for color television and 2009 for HDTV. If you consider that color standards were agreed to and limited color broadcasting began in the mid-1950s and HDTV standards and limited broadcasts began in the late 1990s, it appears that Americans' embrace of color was a slow dance that took roughly two decades vs. just one for HDTV.

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#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted June 14 2013 - 05:10 AM

Hi Kevin

I dont think this is a valid comparison. Switching to color was a choice. Switching to digital with HDMI has been forced onto us.

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#3 of 7 OFFLINE   schan1269


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Posted June 14 2013 - 07:14 AM

That and the fact that, by now, TV is ubiquitous. Tracking of television ownership vs car ownership...now there is a relevant discussion.

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted June 14 2013 - 09:50 AM

What passes for HD content is pretty weak.   In my opinion "limited broadcasts beginning in the late 1990s" is still very much a reality today.

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#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted June 14 2013 - 01:27 PM

What Gregg said.


color debuted in 1953.  It didn't work very well at all and there was very little color broadcasting until the early 60s.


HD debuted in 1998, in a few markets only, and initially only one HD channel on satellite (HBO HD on DirecTV).  The government had mandated a transition from analog to digital broadcast, to be completed in all markets by 2006 or so.  They did not mandate HD, only digital, but HD was the carrot on the stick to get the public to accept the necessary hardware updates to enable the digital switchover (remember those coupon subsidized converter boxes).


The quality of HD has deteriorated a lot since 2001 due to trying to cram too many HD channels onto sat and cable systems and the proliferation of sub-channels on OTA stations.  If you want to see what HD is really capable of these days you need to have a BD player.

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#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Harry-N



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Posted July 14 2013 - 04:43 AM

Broadcasters were quicker to adopt HDTV than they were to color, so that has a factor too. In the dawn of color TV, CBS was bitter about the RCA system being picked for a standard rather than its own, so they deliberately held off on providing much in the way of color broadcasts. ABC was the poor-relation network in those days, and most local stations on ANY network couldn't afford the major outlay for color equipment. Thus it was a slow climb to get most all shows in prime time in color, which finally occured in the fall of 1966.


With HDTV, broadcasters were given an extra channel to work with alongside their main analog channel. They used these to provide digital signals with some HD programming, and within just a few years, just about all primetime filmed shows were in HD. I remember getting our first HDTV sometime in 2005 and the HD version of some of the channels were quite different from the analog versions. I was shocked to not have to endure squished credits, and I could even hear closing theme music! The HD logo bug on most stations was placed in the far lower right of the 16:9 screen, and was often a slight variation of the main logo, emphasizing the HD.


I believe it was the fall of 2005 that all of that changed. The logo bugs were moved to the 4:3 safe area, and the credit-squish was on. That was apparently when the HD signal became the norm and the old analog signal had become the stepchild.



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#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted July 14 2013 - 02:26 PM

I cancelled Dish about 6 years ago, and put up our antenna. I will never pay for sat. or cable again. Between our library system and Netflix streaming, we are all set.

Edited by Jim Mcc, July 14 2013 - 02:27 PM.

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