There are several weapons being used in the current skirmish and high definition television is one of the most important. DirecTV has made significant investments in this area. This will appeal to people who have splashed out on a HD-ready set, that they have yet to use to its full potential. Its original crop of 20 HD stations was decent, but after it announced that it would be increasing its high-def output to include 100 channels, it was clear that rivals would have to follow suit soon.
Comcast deals also include HD offerings and this cable company is facing off against its satellite rivals by spending almost six billion dollars on improving its network infrastructure. This will lead to more high-resolution broadcasts. HD content is necessarily more bandwidth-intensive than standard definition, so to avoid customers experiencing quality reduction and traffic issues, a great deal of cash needs to be spent.
The fellow cable provider, Verizon, is going even further in its efforts to win over more viewers, spending a reported $23 billion in the process. This is needed to extend the reach of its networks so that more households across the U.S are able to sign up should they wish to do so. Almost 50 million Americans can get Comcast deals and Verizon is hoping that it will be able to reach a similar level of availability. It is worth noting that only half of this number is actually signed up to a Comcast cable TV package, so just being accessible does not necessarily guarantee that consumers will sign a contract.
For the satellite providers, it is not as simple as sending out teams to lay new cabling across wider areas and update the existing infrastructure to handle the increased traffic necessitated by HD channels. DirecTV is launching a pair of new satellites into the atmosphere to orbit the Earth and beam high definition images to its millions of subscribers. This will also allow up to 97 percent of U.S households to access digital satellite transmissions, with 70 percent of this proportion also getting access to high definition programming from local broadcasters.
The set top technology is another battleground for the industry, ever since the introduction of digital recording of real time shows and on demand content became an important asset. Lawsuits filed against Dish TV by TiVo for allegedly copying its recording technology have indicated how aggressively the companies are willing to defend unique features that could gain them the upper hand when it comes to viewership.
As with any TV-related rivalry, the central concerns are improving levels of viewership to net more monthly subscriptions and also to increase the amount of advertising revenue that it is possible to gain. For the users, this also means that prices will be competitive and the technology constantly improving, as various firms court consumers.
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