Delivering HDTV into U.S. households has been a long journey.
First there was no HDTV content so big screen producers came out with HDTV “Ready” TV’s. These are sets that have the ability to display the high resolution broadcast, but don’t actually include the essential HDTV tuner to receive the digital broadcast signal. Manufactures and retailers initially justified this because there wasn’t much HDTV content to receive.
Now that there are more than 1,525 TV stations broadcasting HDTV content in over 122 markets across the U.S. The content side of delivering HDTV to America’s households is not the problem!
Most people would like to receive HDTV in their homes but believe they must subscribe to digital cable or satellite TV services. Most consumers aren’t aware that HDTV is out there â€“ IN THE AIR â€“ and FREE! Free Over-the-Air HDTV broadcasts reach more than 93% of U.S. households. 91% of the more than 100 million households in the U.S. are in markets with five or more broadcasters airing HDTV. More than 71% of households are in markets with eight or more HDTV broadcasting stations.
It is clear that TV broadcasters have fulfilled their part of the bargain.
Unfortunately, clouded TV product information and misinformation only confuses consumers since they are told the only solution to enjoying HDTV quality is with a new TV set.
The second major barrier to HDTV adoption has been the fact that most people cannot afford to invest in a new HDTV capable TV set. In fact, the federal government has seriously considered subsidizing the cost of HDTV’s for consumers. When you visit most retailers today you will find a strange mix of television product. You will find some HDTV’s with integrated HDTV tuners much of this spurred by mandates from the FCC. You’ll find a wide array of HDTV “Ready” product. One loophole in the FCC ruling is that only HDTV’s that include an analog tuner are required to also include a HDTV tuner. As a result, many TV manufacturers simply offer the HDTV monitor– a set that includes no TV tuner at all!
The high cost of HDTV sets and the myriad of tuner configuration options have resulted in slightly more than 16 million HDTV “ready” sets being sold but less than one million HDTV set-top receivers. Once you see the crystal clear HDTV image with absolutely no interlacing, ghosting or noise, you are sold. The problem is that while the cost of HDTV’s has dropped they are still too expensive for most people in today’s tight, uncertain economy. If they take the financial plunge it is usually only for one set even though we are accustomed to a set in nearly every room. To meet that need, PC add-in cards have been introduced that make it easy and affordable to add HDTV reception to any and every PC in the house. For just over $100 you can purchase a HDTV tuner for your computer. Products such as ADS Tech’s Instant HDTV PCI allows anyone to receive Free Over-the-Air HDTV on their home computer.
The Instant HDTV card includes full PVR capabilities just like you would have when paying a monthly subscription to your cable or satellite provider. The only difference is that you never pay a subscription fee! The PVR software allows you to pause live TV, schedule recordings via a robust electronic program guide (EPG) so you can schedule recordings up to three (3) days in advance. Then you can watch the recorded shows at a later time and even output the show in crystal clear high-def quality to a standard DVD disk for viewing on your present DVD player. And, by adding a HDTV card to your PC you can also enjoy your shows in rich Dolby 5.1 surround audio.
Since most homeowners still have analog cable TV service, the ADS Tech Instant HDTV card includes a tuner that will receive both analog and digital broadcast signals and switches instantly from analog to digital . The EPG displays both HDTV channels and regular analog programming, giving you complete TV viewing flexibility across all channels..
Roughly 21 million homes in America are totally reliant on an over-the-air signal according to Mr. Eddie Fritts, NAB CEO. These homeowners/viewers can simply install an HDTV card in their PC and use their existing TV antenna There are even helpful websites such as www.checkHD.com that make it easy to determine what type of antenna is best for your location and which direction you should aim the antenna. All of this makes it economical and easy for you to receive and enjoy superior high definition television.
In no time at all, you can add HDTV capabilities to any computer and begin enjoying high definition showsâ€¦ in your family room, den, bedroom, dorm room or anyplace you have a PC installed. The ADS Tech Instant HDTV card breaks the price barrier that has kept most people from making the leap from analog to digital quality HDTV.
In fact, many computers today already include digital video interface (DVI) connectors that will allow you to quickly connect the PC to one of the HDTV monitors. This means that your PC with the Instant HDTV can become your primary Over-the-Air receiver for large screen TV family entertainment.
Today’s economic, easy-to-install/use HDTV PC cards put quality television enjoyment into the hands of any family. The solution is proving to be so popular that by early 2006, ADS Tech plans to introduce a USB-based HDTV tuner device for notebooks so you can enjoy high definition television programs anywhere you can get a broadcast signal.