According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, HDTV stands for High Definition Television.
For now, many of the countries show limited interest in HDTV. The most common is EDTV using DVB. Although HDTV is still possible with DVB-T, most countries prefer “more channels in a single multiplex”, instead of “a single channel in HDTV”, more common in the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia. As a single HDTV channel would occupy up to four SDTV channels, HDTV is not suitable for terrestrial broadcasting needs in Europe.
Also, some governments want to go digital rather than reallocate VHF frequencies for other uses. A new version of DVB-S (DVB-S2), combined with the H.264 / AVC codec (MPEG-4 Part 10) may be the key to the future of HDTV success in Europe.
In January 2005, EICTA announced plans for an “HD ready” label for equipment that meets certain requirements, including support for 720p and 1080i at 50 and 60Hz. Displays must include YUV and DVI or HDMI interfaces and have a native vertical resolution of 720 lines or more.
The European Commission analyzed the status of 16: 9 broadcasts as well as HDTV in the document The contribution of wide-screen and high definition to the global roll-out of digital television. definition to the global expansion of digital television).
This document states that the previous objectives for the European introduction of HDTV in 1999 (or HD-MAC in 1992) were not achieved because the market focused on digital technologies and services that are easier to implement. Therefore, European consumers never had the opportunity to try HDTV.
Some causes of poor HDTV representation in the EU
- The dominators of the European market thought that HDTV would fail in Europe.
- Broadcasters preferred to focus on cheaper multi-channel SDTV.
- An SDTV screen resolution is better cost effective than an equivalent HDTV.
Commissioners later suggested that some coordination in the EU was required for HDTV services to make it available to all member states.
M6 and TF1 have expressed their intention to broadcast some programs in HD in the near future, however these are not available on the digital terrestrial television service that began in 2005.
TPS, a competitor of Canal Satellite Numérique, also intends to start broadcasting HD in 2005. Terrestrial pay-per-view channels will use H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC from September 2005, to allow premium HDTV content.
The Premiere pay platform will start broadcasting three HD channels in November 2005. These channels will present different content (movies, sports and documentaries). Unlike HD1 and HDe, they will use MPEG6 instead of MPEG2.
Cubans can access the country’s four unique HD channels from the box. The Caribbean Channel, an informative channel par excellence and the experimental HD channel that transmits movies and content in High Definition, as well as Cubavision +, Tele Rebelde (HD3) and Russia Today (HD4)
The BBC already produces some programs (mainly documentaries) in HD for foreign markets, such as the US and Japan. The Corporation intends to produce all of its programs in HD by 2010. The BBC is expected to approve 720p for its progressive scan technology.
There are no plans for HDTV versions of Freeview and Top Up TV for digital terrestrial television services, due to the fact that there is no free bandwidth available. This should change after analog television signals are disconnected, but the date for this disconnection is still being debated.
The payment platform Sky plans to launch its HD satellite services in 2006. It will be limited to some channels and special events. Sky has confirmed that both 720p and 1080i will be available.
Recent reports suggest that Sky will make top-of-the-line sporting events, such as soccer games, available for pubs before the launch of the domestic HD service.
You can almost guarantee that cable TV providers will upgrade to HD as soon as the channels are available.
Japan has pioneered HDTV for decades with an analog implementation. Your old system is not compatible with the new digital standards. In Japan, terrestrial HD broadcasting by ISDB-T started in December 2003. To date, two million HD receivers have already been sold in Japan.
After a long controversy between the government and the broadcasters, the ATSC format was chosen over DVB-T. In 2005, digital services will be available nationwide. They will need to broadcast at least 10 hours each week of HD content during the first year of commercial digital service.
Australia started broadcasting in HD in January 2002 but HD content was not mandatory until August 2003. Most cities in Australia with more than 40,000 inhabitants have at least one DTT channel (for example, in Albany, Western Australia, DTT has been available for almost a year as of May 2005). However, most Australian DTT broadcasters are still experimenting with HDTV broadcasts.
Brazilian universities and government and research institutions are debating the best policies to implement a DTV system in Brazil. Testing is expected in 2005.
The Mexican television company Televisa began making experimental broadcasts on HDTV in the early 1990s in collaboration with the Japanese company NHK. Today there are already some programs on HDTV, but their use is really limited.
During the first half of 2005, at least one cable provider in Mexico City (Cablevision) began offering five HDTV channels to subscribers who purchase a digital video recorder (DVR).