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CBS TV Programming Broadcast In HDTV On DISH Network Print E-mail
Friday, 13 July 2001
HDTV received a huge boost this week thanks to a partnership between CBS Television and EchoStar Communications Corporation. The two companies have inked a deal to provide select DISH Network subscribers with East and West Coast HDTV feeds of CBS Television’s programming. CBS has been at the forefront of providing programming in HDTV and are currently, broadcasting 17 out of 18 (94%) of its primetime dramas and comedies in high definition. High-profile sporting events such as the U.S. Open Tennis tournament, The Masters Golf tournament as well as the Thanksgiving Day NFL game, four post-season AFC/NFL playoff games, The Super Bowl, the Hawaiian Golf Open and the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four are all broadcast in HDTV by CBS. In late June, CBS added the highest rated daytime drama, The Young And The Restless, to its high definition program schedule.

CBS, on average, will be offering 24 hours per week of HDTV programming. Forty of CBS's owned and affiliated stations currently broadcast in digital television, covering more than 50 percent of the nation. By the end of 2001, CBS is projecting 75 stations will be on the air with HDTV, covering potentially 68 million homes. The new DISH Network service will first be demonstrated at the annual 2001 Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association convention in Nashville, Tennessee on August 2-4th and will be available to the public in September but no exact launch date has been announced yet. CBS joins HBO, Showtime and Pay-Per-View bringing the total number of networks broadcasting HDTV through DISH network to four.

DISH Network and CBS will use the highest form of HDTV, which contains 1080 lines of resolution with a data rate of up to 19.37 million bits per second. This will ensure that the satellite TV signals have the same high quality as the land-based high definition broadcasts from the CBS Television Network. This form of HDTV contains over 2 million individual picture elements that create pictures that are over six times "sharper" than regular television.

In order to receive the HDTV feeds, DISH network subscribers must use the DISH Network Model 6000 ($499) integrated satellite television receiver. This unit is capable of receiving satellite TV delivered HDTV programming in addition to a full complement of standard definition digital satellite TV channels. The Model 6000 also is capable of receiving local off-air HDTV signals through an optional off-air tuner cartridge which eliminates the need for a terrestrial HDTV antennae. Two separate satellite dishes, one for standard channels and one for the HD signal must be installed. The two dishes and the Model 6000 receiver are available as a package for $699.

DISH Network customers will be offered one of the CBS HD feeds as long as they meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

• They live within a market served by a CBS Owned and Operated Television station, which includes: New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Boston; Detroit; Dallas; Miami; Minneapolis; Denver; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Baltimore; Salt Lake City; Austin, Texas; and Green Bay, Wis. CBS has granted DISH Network blanket authority to deliver the HDTV feeds into the markets that are served by CBS O&Os, which cover nearly 35 percent of U.S. TV households. DISH Network customers subscribing to a local channel package from one of these cities will receive the CBS HD signal at no additional charge.

• They live in a 'white area', which is defined by the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act as an area unserved by a local CBS Television Network analog signal delivered over the air. Eligible DISH Network customers in a white area subscribing to a local channel package will also receive the CBS HD signal at no additional charge.

• They are 'served' by a CBS affiliate that is not owned and operated by CBS but elects to allow the satellite-delivered HDTV feed into their coverage area. DISH Network customers subscribing to a local channel package from one of these cities can receive the CBS HD signal at no additional charge or for a nominal monthly fee in cities where local channels are not offered by DISH Network.

AudioRevolution.com will bring you more about this story and other HDTV news as it unfolds.

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