Printer Friendly

YOU GOT HDTV? NOW WHAT?

Byline: TOM HOFFARTH Media

Boy, that new big-screen TV in the corner of the den, the one Santa somehow wedged down the chimney the other night, looks mighty impressive. And it's high-definition ready, eh?

Great. So now where are you supposed to find all the HDTV stuff to watch?

Live sporting events, according to all the media experts, will be the driving force behind bringing this amazing crystal-clear picture technology into most folks' viewing rooms by the end of this decade.

Accordingly, each network continues to send out more and more alternate versions of all their major sporting events - one in standard analog

transmission, the other digitally that's up to 10 times sharper because of more lines on the screen - as the demand presumably becomes greater.

If you believe Mark Cuban - the Dallas Mavericks owner co-founded the only all high-definition network, HDNet, that's available by subscription on DirecTV satellite - HDTV will be as commonplace as his team winning NBA titles.

Cuban, as he was making his billions by figuring out how to stream audio on the Internet through his Broadcast.com company and then selling it to Yahoo, is far ahead of the HDTV curve already.

HDNet (Channel 199 on DirecTV) throws out more than 80 Major League Baseball games, almost as many NHL contests, plus Arena Football, auto racing and extreme sports in a lineup that has attracted nearly 200,000 viewers who don't have to pay extra for the service on DirecTV. It runs 16 hours of HDTV programming a day, with listings updated daily on its Web site (www.hd.net).

Cuban will also be a valuable asset for the NBA as it plans to launch its own all-sports network sometime next year, focusing on HDTV broadcasts.

CBS was the first network to get HD-ready when it broadcast the Final Four and the Masters. It will also do the AFC Divisional and Championship games next month. Anyone who saw NBC's 2002 Winter Games from Salt Lake City in HDTV had to be amazed. And ABC announced last September all major sports events on its network will be available in HDTV, including the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup finals and the entire season of ``Monday Night Football.'' Fox also has been experimenting with its own version of high definition called ``Fox Widescreen.''

The top 10 cable companies have pledged to add as many as five high-definition channels on their digital systems by 2003, but most of them will be dedicated to movies.

Sports, meanwhile, is the place to experience the full benefit of what HDTV has to offer, Cuban said.

``As people replace their TVs, they will want and expect HD, and when we reach 20 million households with HDTV tuners, we'll see ratings skew toward networks with HD programming,'' Cuban said. ``Then all of a sudden, everything will go HD because no one will want to be at a ratings disadvantage.

``If you're buying a big-screen TV, you're crazy if you don't buy an HDTV-ready set.''

CAPTION(S):

box

Box:

SOUND BYTES
COPYRIGHT 2002 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 27, 2002
Words:506
Previous Article:MORE LEBRON JAMES FOR ESPN2.
Next Article:50/50 BUDGET CONCEPT WILL NO LONGER COMPUTE.


Related Articles
HDTV on world stage.
ONLINE EPIC '405' OPENS NEW PATHS FOR FILMS.
MISSION CONTROL FOR STAPLES; FUTURE HAS ARRIVED FOR TV PRODUCTION AT SPORTING VENUES.
THE BIG PICTURE; HDTV WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, BUT NOT JUST YET ...
24-HOUR SPORTS TV REDEFINED.
NETWORKS LOOK AHEAD TO 3-D SPORTS.
Coming to a TV near you: changes in technology give viewers more options than ever.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters