High-definition television always has been viewed as a nice benefit of new TV delivery technologies, but 2008 may prove to be the year HDTV becomes a significant battlefield in the competitive war between telco IPTV players and their cable TV foes. The race to supply consumers with the most HDTV channels and hours of on-demand HD programming may have been sparked by Verizon Communications, which announced late last year it would deliver 150 linear HDTV channels by the end of this year. However, Verizon may have been responding to more subtle HTDV upticks from cable TV and satellite TV firms.
While providers continue to pile on the HD channels and programming hours, it is worth wondering how an abundance of HDTV could affect network bandwidth and provider set-top box offerings. With its FiOS network, Verizon claims to be built for high volumes of HD programming, though it also primarily has MPEG-2 set-top boxes in circulation, much less efficient than MPEG-4 boxes at handling that programming. Cable TV companies are in the midst of rolling out network upgrades to better support growing HD traffic, and the analog-to-digital transition will help.
- read this report at Multichannel News