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Development of High Definition Television Technology Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 14th, 2021


Today High Definition Television (HDTV) has made a reasonable share in the consumer market. Its future market prospects are even higher than those of today. The reasons for the success of HDTV are a good many. Starting in the late twentieth century, HDTVs have mesmerized the general viewer due to their high-resolution picture quality, lightweight, and state-of-the-art outlook. Proponents of HDTV are now up to manage to innovate the technology that can belong to the twenty-first century.

“With hyperbole minimized, their claims state that HDTV will save the American electronics industry and produce whole new forms of programming as yet undreamed of” (Goeller, 1991). Therefore, the display market is supposed to carve out ways (such as the present HDTV development) by which the general consumer is provided with the best of technology when it comes to entertainment and animated or motion medium.

The present paper examines in detail the development process of high definition television, its growth into a modern contribution to animated media, and its future prospects. As such the present paper carefully reviews available literature with regard to the development of high definition televisions.


It was around the year 1987 that the Japanese came up to the horizon of innovative leadership in the international market with the development of HDTV. It was one blow on the face of the United States of America when it comes to developing innovative technology; the reason is simply that the US consumer market underwent a huge loss of billions of dollars and “thousands of jobs in consumer electronics” (Hickey, p. 39, 1996). As a reaction to the electronic revolt by the Japanese in HDTV development, the US also set groups that worked for the development of the same technology so that the US prestige was not left behind.

A team comprising members from different electronic giants of US electronic market came into play and “The team worked feverishly to create a prototype system, and on November 28 last year delivered the fruits of its labors to the [Federal Communications Commission]” (Hickey, 1996, p. 39). The FCC had planned to transfer to every TV station an additional TV channel that would simulcast the HDTV version and this practice would continue for fifteen years so that the consumer has enough time to replace the old TV with the new one.

However, looking at the present state of the US electronic consumer market, it is a surprise to note that in the twenty-first century, the availability of the HDTV is not at par with the set standards by the FCC. Today, “While limited HDTV service is available in most U.S. television markets, few people can see it” Sterling, p. 146, 2003). The reason is the high cost of receivers which has created a problem for the TV station owners. There is a hitch between the cable operation and the HDTV signals also. As such there are still far too many problems that were planned to be eradicated back in times while the US authorities determined to make this new invention known in the consumer market.

HDTV and Europe

While looking at the state of Europe, we come to know that the Europeans did not see any attraction in this invention and firmly opposed the idea of this high technological advance to be a worldwide pick of the day.

“The reasons for this are complex, but in essence, they sprang from European concern that its consumer electronics, film, and television production firms would lose out to the United States and Japanese producers by the acceptance of a Japanese standard for HDTV” (Hart, p. 213, 1994).

The Europeans had a belief that although the International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) was merely asked to conform to the production of the hi-vision. They thought that such a decision on their part would eventually let the Japanese invention enter their territories and their own conventional transmission systems (PAL and SECAM) would undergo a derogatory change. What was really happening was that they did not want the Japanese to pick their consumer market like an easy bone. This made them put off the decision of letting HDTV come into their market (Hart, p. 213, 1994).

HDTV in the US

In the development of HDTV, the first issue that rose to be a major speed-cracker was that “how to deal with the existing park of NTSC equipment and whether to allocate new spectrum for HDTV over-the-air broadcasts” (Hart, p. 213, 1994). This Hi-Vision (as Hart, 1994 calls it) system expelled a requirement of more bandwidth (8.1 megahertz) than “was available to existing local terrestrial broadcasters (6 megahertz)” (Hart, p. 213, 1994).

Moreover, the Japanese system was not compatible with the 140 to 160 receivers in the US. What was to come was that the consumer had to buy high-cost satellite dishes or other equipment of this kind so that they watch hi-vision programs on NTSC sets. So what the FCC ruled on HDTV was that it would protect the owners of NTSC by allowing the NTSC service to continue. With such complex issues with signals and up-gradation of the old systems, there were left only two options: either “the augmentation approach”, or to simulcast for both the systems.

In the beginning, Thomson, and Philips, the two biggest Europe-based consumer electronic manufacturers, gave consent for the augmentation approach for their systems operating in the United States. However, a good number of engineers like NHK opted for the simulating approach which required 6 megahertz. Eventually, an advocate of the HDTV in the systems operating in the United States, Zenith, came up with a system called Spectrum Compatible television which had a requisition of only 6 megahertz for the high definition television because “part of the HDTV signal was to be transmitted in compressed digital form” (Hart, p. 213, 1994).

Moreover, the Zenith engineers maintained that use of “taboo” channels (which lay empty between channels) possible so that cross-channel intrusion was halted. Ahead the Zenith engineers were successful in convincing the chairman of FCC that the simulcasting was a better approach as compared to that of the augmentation approach. Henceforward, “in March 1990 the FCC directed the ACATS to discontinue its consideration of augmentation systems and to consider only those proposals for United States HDTV systems that used a simulcasting approach” (Hart, p. 213, 1994).

IN this way, today, the American system is making a smooth transition to the digital age which is aimed at winning over the Japanese and European systems. There has still been some ambiguity as to whether it “would be possible to devise practical means for delivering digital HDTV via terrestrial antennas, especially in noisy urban markets”; however, thee FCC Chairman, Sikes, showed strong conviction for this track “in hopes that an all-digital HDTV would be something the United States electronics firms could do better than the Japanese and the European firms” (Hart, p. 213, 1994).

HDTV in Educational Development

With the development and strength of high definition television and its transmission channels in the United States of America and elsewhere, the HDTV development has also taken roots in the domain of education and instructional procedures.

This shows that this new hi-vision technology is making a smooth glide toward development. In recent times, as is shown by the computer-aided studies, those educational and instructional technologies must also incorporate “not only what public broadcasters have provided in the past but also another dimension: interactivity that allows users the opportunity to control and direst the experience”: the HDTV (Connet, & Fellows, p. 30, 2001).

The incorporation of HDTV with educational instruction is because it gives a high-quality picture and the smoothness of signals which can be better exploited for better teaching. HDTV’s screen shape is like the ones in most theatres. The sound quality has also been improved to a very impressive degree providing the students and teacher avenues for better academic development through video-conferencing on modern equipment. As such inclusion and availability of HDTV in education is “a potentially remarkable resource for students and teachers to advance educational achievement” (Connet, & Fellows, p. 30, 2001).


Pioneered by the Japanese innovator, the development process of HDTV has spread all over the world making the fact known that this new fruit of technological advance and high-tech vision is impressive with its impact on as diverse areas as business to education. The development of HDTV has undergone a number of experiments and political hitches and conflicts. However, it is in the twenty-first century that the world has realized the importance of this digital equipment.

With a number of positive features, the development process of HDTV, the smooth glide toward its stability, is still stalled by a number of problems that need to be rigorously worked out as soon as possible. For instance, “The biggest problem plaguing the move to HDTV is the “set-top box” (STB) problem. Nearly all of today’s HDTVs are “HDTV ready.” In reality, they are just display devices that do not have a channel tuner, so you have to buy an external one that costs from $200 to $500 if you want to watch network television” (Horn, p. 7, 2003).

As such, there are still areas to work on, to improve the hi-vision that has almost become the digital reality making the people of this global village highly entertained and smoothly informed with a high-quality picture, dynamically jingling sound bites, and attractive outlook.


Goeller, L. (1991). Will HDTV Be the ISDN of the 1990s? Business Communications Review. Volume: 21. Issue: 6. Page Number: 61+. COPYRIGHT 1991 MediaLive International/BCR Events, Inc.; COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.

Hickey, N. (1996). What’s at Stake in the Spectrum War? Only Billions of Dollars and the Future of Television. Columbia Journalism Review. Volume: 35. Issue: 2. Page Number: 39+. COPYRIGHT 1996 Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism; COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.

Sterling, C. H. (2003). High-Definition Television as Policy Failure. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. Volume: 47. Issue: 1. Page Number: 146+. COPYRIGHT 2003 Broadcast Education Association; COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.

Hart, J. A. (1994). The Politics of HDTV in the United States. Policy Studies Journal. Volume: 22. Issue: 2. Page Number: 213+. COPYRIGHT 1994 Policy Studies Organization; COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.

Connet, M., & Fellows, J. (2001). Together Again? the New Case for Public Telecommunications and Education Partnerships. Technos: Quarterly for Education and Technology. Volume: 10. Issue: 3. Page Number: 30+. COPYRIGHT 2001 Agency for Instructional Technology; COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.

Horn, R. V. (2003). TECHNOLOGY: A Primer on the New Television. Phi Delta Kappan. Volume: 85. Issue: 1. Page Number: 7. COPYRIGHT 2003 Phi Delta Kappa, Inc.; COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.

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