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More HDTV thoughts...

I agree with much of what Howard and Jeff have been saying. Except for   
the part of the $500-$600 range for TV's. It used to be if you walked   
into your local consumer outlet that the smaller 17" - 25" TV were the   
big market item. Nowadays most of the floor is dedicated to the 32" and   
over "Home Theater" system anywhere from the $1200 to $5000 range and   
they sell like hotcakes. The trend seems to be "Bigger is better." If you   
add widescreen and increased resolution to the formula then the slogan   
can be "Bigger and better is BEST." Don't under estimate the marketing   
power of the manufacturers to sell their products to a public that is   
always looking for something new.

On another note, there has been very little discussions about the   
advantages of HDTV apart from the consumer potential. What I mean is the   
advantages for the entertainment industry in a broader spectrum.   
Electronic cinema and special venue sporting events have been on the   
drawing board for a long time but now everything seems to be falling in   
place with the FCC approval of (loose) standards and projection   
technology about to explode onto the big screen.

The ATV format is more that HDTV. It is a door to a new way of producing   
entertainment product that includes everything from 525 4:3 and 16:9 (I   
or P) to 1280x720 to 1920 x 1080. What are we going to do, Re-transfer   
the film 18 times for 18 formats?  The power of HDTV (at least in the   
immediate term) is that it allows one transfer of film product (which is   
where most content comes from) in a higher resolution that can service   
ALL delivery formats!  Telecine will provide the archival master that can   
be reformatted to any ATV standard and frame rate. That to me means that   
the consumer market can to whatever the wallets of the people want and   
the production community is covered!

HDTV should become the production high ground that safeguards all lower   
domains. I think that makes sense.

What do you think?

Ron Martin
Universal HDTV / DVD Center

rlmarti at unistudios.com