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High-def TV's future clearer

By Kim Leonard
Sunday, November 5, 2006

Customers at Daniel's Hardware & Appliance Store still are buying old-style, standard-definition TV sets -- the smaller models, anyway.
"It's hard to bite the bullet for a 20-inch high-definition TV that costs $500," said Bob Fink, manager of the South Park store. But, he added, "If you go 27 inches or above, probably 90 percent now are buying HD."

Sales of high-definition screens nationwide now are surpassing those of conventional TVs, although viewers appear to be buying HD sets for what they expect to watch in the future, not just what's on now.

Cable and satellite providers say they're adding HD programming as it becomes available, while raising their networks' capacities for more. Still, HD channels represent well under 10 percent of typical lineups and often, those channels broadcast in true high-definition only a third or less of their time on air....

...... etc .........

...Comcast has spent more than $200 million to upgrade its cable network in the tri-state region, and it's flexible enough to accommodate more HD programming as demand for it increases, Sansom said.

EchoStar Communications' Dish Network -- with about 12.46 million subscribers nationwide -- offers 30 national HD channels and 15 others from former competitor Voom, spokeswoman Cory Jo Vasquez said, declining to discuss plans for more HD programming.

DirecTV, the nation's biggest satellite provider, with more than 15.5 million customers, has about 15 channels plus a variety of sports programming on HD and plans a "breakout year" in 2007 with launches of two more satellites to increase capacity.

With that, "We will have the ability to offer more than 150 national HD channels" plus local stations, spokesman Robert Mercer said.

About half of new satellite TV customers now are requesting high-definition dishes, up from almost none a year or two ago, some local installers say...

( The entire article is at the following source: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_477758.html )
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