Equipment Maker Says Satellite Will Offer 1080p HD Content
Written by Video Savant   
Monday, 14 April 2008

If there's anything I've learned from more than 25 years of experience with broadcast (one-way) networks, you never have enough bandwidth to deliver all of the information you'd like to provide or that your customers expect. And while it's true that satellite operators such as DirecTV and DISH currently appear better positioned than cable in the bandwidth capacity stakes, I'd need more than rose-colored glasses to see that as anything other than a short-term aberration against the historical trend.

That's why I'm a bit skeptical about suggestions that satellite TV operators will begin be offering 1080p programming within the next 3 years. But that's what Eric Cooney, CEO of broadcast equipment manufacturer Tandberg, sees when he looks in his crystal ball, as reported by TV Predictions:

Cooney, whose company provides picture compression services, says satcasters are most likely to introduce 1080p because they have more system space than the cable operators.

"Today’s broadcasters have concentrated on 1080i or 720p and this will change. The Holy Grail is to shift to 1080p at 50/60 Hertz. Our current partners are asking us for this additional functionality in order to deliver a superb customer experience and operational advantage," he told Rapid TV News.

Make no mistake, I'm ready for DirecTV to start sending me 1080p programming. I hate interlaced video, regardless of the resolution, and I truly believe the biggest mistake made in the creation of the US ATSC system was to burden it with the tortured legacy of interlaced video formats. I also recognize the potential the competitive advantage here -- just look at the relatively new and growing focus on image quality that both satellite and cable competitors are making central to their advertising messages.

Still, I think this story is more about an equipment manufacturer talking up a market for future sales than meeting any near-term need by its clients. But this is one time I'd truly enjoy being proven wrong.

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