Samsung and Panasonic are opening new doors for content providers to make HDTV more attractive in the future. Samsung for example will help broadcasters financially to convert content to the 1080i HDTV format and as a result many of the movies that will be aired during the 1999/2000 season on the CBS Sunday Night Movie and CBS Wednesday Night Movie telecasts will be alternatively available in HDTV format.
Panasonic on the other hand will help ABC to produce the Monday Night Football telecasts in the 720p HDTV format this season, and mentioned it will also produce and broadcast HDTV video coverage of the Panasonic Village Jazz Festival on August 30th, from 4-8 p.m. to its four markets.
Meanwhile, CBS is taking a strong position in HDTV broadcasting through its various underwriting deals with consumer electronics manufacturers. A compay spokesperson said the Samsung deal will cover feature films shot in 35mm film, but may not include certain made-for-TV movies that were produced prior to the agreement in formats that do not lend themselves easily to the HDTV conversion.
According to a statement released by CBS, come November 1, th ecompany expects to be transmitting digital programming across approximately 35 owned and affiliated stations, reaching more than 50% of the country.
While this is great news, there can be no doubt that full HDTV penetration is still years away, but like every great conquest, you have to take things one step at a time.