The HDTV Debate

Essay by lambousUniversity, Bachelor'sC, May 2004

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Various aspects of High Definition Television (HDTV) and its introduction to Australians are discussed. The history of HDTV and the mixed reaction it has taken from various sectors of the Australian public are outlined. Some companies have invested heavily in this relatively new technology and are seeking returns. Others argue that the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining HDTV is not viable for a large portion of Australia's population. The benefits that are provided to users of HDTV are discussed from the viewpoint of those who stand to gain financially from the inception of this technology.

About HDTV

NHK, a Japanese broadcaster started working on the concept of digital television during the 1970s. Most broadcasters around the world showed little interest. Due to the high cost and prototype sets involved. (Given, J 1998)

HDTV is just one of the many aspects digital television has to offer. It brings a format of widescreen to the television along with a sharper picture.

HDTV provides a sharper picture as it has the ability to send an extended amount of pixels which create a picture. (, 2004)


Australian broadcasting networks have argued that digital television is not a revolution, it is actually evolution. Some have compared this situation with the introduction of colour television to Australia in 1975. They have stated that the future is digital and that they are simply making a necessary upgrade to broadcasting transmission systems already in existence. They also argued that digital television is important to Australians both socially and culturally as it provides the best source of news, information and entertainment. (Given, J, 1998)

Expressing concerns in relation to the introduction of HDTV in Australia is the Australian Film Commission. The AFC have a concern in relation to Australian content and the amount of airtime it...