Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania


High Definition Television

Pennsylvania's cable industry has played an important role by aggressively rolling out and marketing High Definition Television (HDTV) to the vast majority of the state's households. The result is an increasing variety of programming choices.

HDTV is a digital television format offering broadband cable subscribers up to ten times the resolution of analog television, delivering theater-quality pictures and CD-quality sound. The nation's cable networks have been at the forefront of providing programming available in high definition. In addition to providing improved picture quality, with more visible detail, HDTV offers a widescreen format with many programs also featuring digital surround sound. HDTV has been described as the most dramatic change for viewers since the introduction of color television.

Cable companies began delivering HDTV service in earnest to customers in 2002, and deployment has been on an upward arc ever since. From the inception of high definition, the cable industry has worked closely with television manufacturers to ensure that consumers receive HDTV in the most convenient and user-friendly ways possible. The deployment of HDTV service and programming represents one of the most rapid rollouts launched by the broadband cable industry. Today, consumers continue to enjoy a growing choice of creative and innovative high definition programs and features.

Video-on-Demand is a method of delivering video to customers upon request and is unique to broadband cable because of the industry's robust two-way network. Programming is ordered with the push of a remote button and the content plays with pause, rewind and fast-forward functionality. The content is stored on servers at the cable system headend.

Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) capture video programming onto a hard drive located in the set-top box for viewing at a later time. DVRs also allow the viewer to pause, fast forward and manage other functions and applications.

With the introduction of digital, HD and interactivity, video offerings have changed dramatically since the mid-1990s and consumers now have more choice than ever before. With hundreds of programming options, better picture and sound quality and the proliferation of exciting new interactive services, today's video service hardly resembles the service available not that long ago.