HDTV is finally getting another push from the cable industry, according to the announcement from <A HREF="http://www.comcast.com">Comcast Cable Communications</A> last week that it will soon launch HDTV services. Comcast estimates that the HDTV service will reach more than 1.3 million customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, providing access to high definition broadcasts of ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO, and Showtime in November.
Last week, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) reported that it has successfully developed what it describes as the world's first system for delivering 1.5 Gbps volume uncompressed HDTV video data in real time over the Internet. NTT says it will exhibit the Linux-based system during the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (InterBEE 2001) at the Nippon Convention Center from November 14 to 16, 2001.
<A HREF="http://www.sonicblue.com">SonicBlue, Inc.</A> has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit over its new ReplayTV 4000. The device is a personal video recorder (PVR) that allows users to skip past commercials and send copies of recorded television programs over the Internet to other Replay-equipped viewers. The Silicon Valley company plans to introduce the ReplayTV 4000 early in November.
General Motors has agreed to sell <A HREF="http://www.directv.com">DirecTV</A> parent Hughes Electronics, but upstart buyer <A HREF="http://www.echostar.com">EchoStar</A> may face opposition in Washington. The unanswered question: Is direct broadcast satellite (DBS) cable's competitor or an industry unto itself? How this issue is resolved will determine the fate of the merger.