TS News - Digital TV Planned By Most Broadcasters

TELE-satellit News, 12 November 1996

Digital TV Planned By Most Broadcasters
  NEW YORK, New York, USA, 96/11/12 (TS) -- An independant survey of
television broadcasters has found a majority hope digital TV becomes a
reality within five years. The same broadcasters are planning to begin
digital TV services within the same period, according to survey results from
Harris Corporation. Also revealed was that several stations have already
signed agreements to purchase digital transmitters and other equipment once
the standard is accepted.

  The study of 400 broadcasting executives, representing 479 stations
nationwide, shows that a vast majority support the Grand Alliance Standard
for DTV, which is currently being reviewed by the FCC. The standard enables
broadcasters to transmit free over the air DTV signals that have twice the
visual detail of current systems, compact disc-quality sound, and services -
all within today's single television channel.
  Study Findings:
  -- 72% hope DTV becomes a reality.
  -- 83% prefer the Grand Alliance standard.
  -- 79% plan to convert to DTV within five years once the government sets
         a timeline and standard.  Of that total, 28% expect to convert within
         two years; 51% between two and five years.  17% say it'll take them
         more than five years.
  -- 72% say the main reason they'll convert is to stay competitive with
         other stations and other services in the market.
  -- 91% say auctioning off the digital spectrum would delay the
         roll out of DTV.
  -- 45% feel DTV receivers will be on the market within three years.  Of
         that, 29% felt it could be as fast as two years.
  -- 69% feel a mandated conversion timeline should be 10 years or
         less; 31% feel there should be no mandated conversion timeline.
  The study also showed that stations in large markets (top 25) plan to
convert considerably faster than those in smaller markets (100-plus).  87%
of the large market stations plan to convert to DTV within five years after
a standard is set, while 68% of the stations in smaller cities plan to
convert within the same time period.

  In terms of the expense, 65% of the station executives felt that on the
average, conversion to DTV will cost each of their operations $5 million or
less. 63% of station executives from the top 50 markets felt they could
afford the cost of the conversion.

  The phone survey was conducted during the past two months by Systems
Research Corporation of Rochelle Park, New Jersey. SRC asked 400 television
executives, representing 479 of the 1,551 stations in the US, their feelings
on the planned conversion to DTV from the current standard.  The survey,
which has a potential error rate of +/-4%, was commissioned by Harris

(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

[Other mailing list archives]