DirecTV's Hill Predicts U.S. HD Boom

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David Hill, DirecTV Entertainment Group president, told an audience at the IBC tech conference in Amsterdam that the U.S. market will have a “massive” increase in HD set sales this winter.

DirecTV is counting on it. The DBS company is expected to greatly expand its HD programming lineup by 2007,looking to capitalize on that anticipated growth.

The company is expected to use next-generation MPEG4 AVC (Advanced Video Codec) compression technology early next year to begin offering local station HD signals into local markets, as well as more national HD networks.

“By 2007 we’ll be delivering some 1,500 local HD channels and at least 150 network channels,” Hill said in his keynote speech. “We firmly believe people will buy HD sets, ergo they’ll want to watch HD programs on the sets.”

DirecTV will use Tandberg encoding technology to get content ready for distribution via MPEG4 AVC. MPEG4 AVC allows for twice as many channels to be offered as current MPEG2 compression methods.

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