The Transition to Digital TV: A Case Study of HDTV

  • John Carey
Part of the The Economics of Information, Communication and Entertainment book series (ECOINFORM)


HDTV in the United States has been widely accepted but the history of its creation, adoption, and use is not well understood. The development of HDTV began in Japan during the 1960s. The early-proposed standards for HDTV were analog, like the NTSC standard that HDTV would later replace, but after much planning and competition, a digital standard was finally adopted in the United States, Japan, and Europe. The launch of HDTV in the United States during the late 1990s was problematic due to the high cost of HDTV sets, uncertainty about what to do with the new service and lack of a viable business model for the television industry. Early adopters of HDTV sets often used them to play DVDs since little programming was available but this helped to bring the price of the sets down and paved the way for mass adoption, which began in the middle of the first decade of the new century. HDTV then became mainstream and affected consumer TV viewing behavior as well as content and production styles. The long-term impacts of HDTV are difficult to predict but they may include significant changes in production styles for TV programs, a new crop of actors and newscasters who come across well in HD and new style politicians who appeal to voters in the HD environment. Looking back, we may realize that Barack Obama was the first HD president just as we came to understand that John Kennedy was the first TV president.


Cable System Digital Service Broadcast Station Electronic Program Guide Cable Operator 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fordham Business SchoolNew YorkUSA

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