High-definition television in the United States

High-definition television (HDTV) in the United States was introduced in 1998 and has since become increasingly popular and dominant in the television market. Hundreds of HD channels are available in millions of homes and businesses both terrestrially and via subscription services such as satellite, cable and IPTV. HDTV has quickly become the standard, with about 85% of all TVs used being HD as of 2018.[1] In the US, the 720p and 1080i formats are used for linear channels, while 1080p is available on a limited basis, mainly for pay-per-view and video on demand content.

From proposals to introduction

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began soliciting proposals for a new television standard for the U.S. in the late 1980s and later decided to ask companies competing to create the standard to pool their resources and work together, forming what was known as the Grand Alliance in 1993.

On July 23, 1996, WRAL-TV (then the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina; now affiliated with NBC) became the first television station in the United States to broadcast a digital television signal.[2]

HDTV sets became available in the U.S. in 1998 and broadcasts began around November 1998. The first public HDTV broadcast was of the launch of the space shuttle Discovery and John Glenn's return to space; that broadcast was made possible in part by the Harris Corporation.[3] The first commercial broadcast of a local sporting event in HD was during Major League Baseball's Opening Day on March 31, 1998, the Texas Rangers against the Chicago White Sox from The Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, TX. The telecast was produced by LIN Productions, and overseen by LIN Productions president and Texas Rangers television executive producer Lee Spieckerman. The game was also the inaugural telecast on the digital channel of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas NBC affiliate KXAS channel 5. The historic event was simultaneously shown via satellite at a reception attended by members of congress, the FCC and other luminaries in Washington, DC. This telecast was also the first commercial HD broadcast in the state of Texas.[4] The first major sporting event broadcast nationwide in HD was Super Bowl XXXIV, broadcast by ABC on January 30, 2000. By the 2014–15 season every network show producing new episodes had transitioned to high definition.[5]

Satellite and cable

Satellite television companies in the United States, such as Dish Network and DirecTV, started to carry HD programming in 2003. Satellite transmissions in the U.S. use various forms of PSK modulation. A separate tuner is required to receive HD satellite broadcasts.

Cable television companies in the U.S. generally prefer to use 256-QAM to transmit HDTV. Many of the newer HDTVs with integrated digital tuners include support for decoding 256-QAM in addition to 8VSB for OTA digital. Cable television companies started carrying HDTV in 2003.

Currently, HD programming is carried by all major television networks in nearly all DMAs, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, The CW, MyNetworkTV and Telemundo; and on many independent stations. All but a select few of cable networks offer an HD broadcast to cable and satellite companies.

List of current American high-definition channels

Name HD Format Category Type
A&E1080iEntertainmentCable
ABC720pBroadcast
AccuWeather Network1080iNewsCable
Adult SwimEntertainment
AltitudeSports - Regional
AMCEntertainment
American Heroes Channel
Animal PlanetLifestyle
AT&T SportsNet720pSports – Regional
ASPiRE1080iEntertainment
Audience720p
AWE1080iLifestyle
AXS TVEntertainment
AztecaBroadcast – SpanishBroadcast
BBC AmericaEntertainmentCable
BBC World NewsNews
beIN Sports720pSports
beIN Sports en EspañolSports – Spanish
BET1080iEntertainment
BET Her
Big Ten Network720pSports - College
Bloomberg TV1080iNews
BravoLifestyle
Cars.TVSports
Cartoon NetworkFamily
CBSBroadcast
CBS Sports NetworkSportsCable
Cinemax (MoreMax, ActionMax, ThrillerMax, 5starMax, MovieMax, OuterMax, MaxLatino)Premium MoviesPremium
CMTEntertainmentCable
CNBCNews
CNN
Comedy CentralEntertainment
Comedy.TV
Cooking ChannelLifestyle
Crime & Investigation Network720pEntertainment
The CW1080iBroadcast
Daystar720pReligionCable
Destination America1080iLifestyle
Discovery ChannelEntertainment
Discovery FamilyFamily
Discovery LifeLifestyle
Disney XD720pFamily
Disney Junior
Disney Channel
DIY1080iLifestyle
E!
El Rey NetworkSpanish
Epix (Epix 2, Epix Hits)Premium MoviesPremium
ES.TVEntertainmentCable
ESPN720pSports
ESPN2
ESPNews
ESPNU
ESPN DeportesSports – Spanish
ESPN Goal Line/Buzz Beater/Bases LoadedSports
EVINE Live1080iShopping
FlixPremium MoviesPremium
FMMusicCable
Food NetworkLifestyle
Fox720pBroadcast
Fox Business NetworkNewsCable
Fox DeportesSports – Spanish
Fox News ChannelNews
FS1Sports
FS2
Fox Soccer Plus
Fox Sports Networks (All Networks)Sports – Regional
FreeformFamily
Fuse1080iMusic
FusionNews
FX720pEntertainment
FXMMovies
FXXEntertainment
FYILifestyle
Galavisión1080iSpanish
Gol TVSports – Spanish
Golf ChannelSports
Great American CountryMusic
GSNEntertainment
Hallmark ChannelFamily
Hallmark Movies & MysteriesMovies
HBO (HBO2, HBO Comedy, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Signature, HBO Zone)Premium MoviesPremium
HDNet MoviesMoviesCable
HGTVLifestyle
HistoryEntertainment
HLNNews
HSNShopping
HSN 2
IFCMovies
Investigation DiscoveryEntertainment
Ion720pBroadcast
Justice Central1080iNewsCable
LifetimeLifestyle
LMN
Logo TV
MASN (MASN2) Sports – Regional
MAVTVSports
Mega TVBroadcast – Spanish
MGM HDMoviesPremium
Midco SNSports – RegionalCable
Minnesota ChannelEntertainmentBroadcast
MLB Network720pSportsCable
MLB StrikeZone
Motor Trend1080i
The Movie Channel (The Movie Channel Xtra)Premium MoviesPremium
MoviePlex (IndiePlex, RetroPlex)
MSG (MSG Plus, MSG Western New York)Sports – RegionalCable
MSNBCNews
MTVEntertainment
MTV2
MTV LiveMusic
MyDestination.TVLifestyle
MyNetworkTV720pBroadcast
Nat Geo WildLifestyleCable
National GeographicEntertainment
NBA TV1080iSports
NBCBroadcast
NBC Sports Regional NetworksSports – RegionalCable
NBC UniversoSpanish
NBCSNSports
NESNSports – Regional
Newsmax TVNews
NFL NetworkSports
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Nick at NiteFamily
Nickelodeon
Nicktoons
Nick Jr.
One America News NetworkNews
Outdoor ChannelSports
OvationLifestyle
OWN
Olympic ChannelSports
OxygenLifestyle
Pac-12 NetworkSports – College
Paramount NetworkEntertainment
PBSBroadcast
Pets.TVLifestyleCable
Playboy TVAdult
PopLifestyle
QVCShopping
Recipe.TVLifestyle
Reelz720pEntertainment
Revolt1080iMusic
RFD-TV Lifestyle
ScienceLifestyle
SEC Network720pSports - College
ShortsTV1080iMovies
Showtime (Showtime 2, Showcase, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Next, Showtime Women)Premium MoviesPremium
Smithsonian ChannelLifestyleCable
SNYSports – Regional
Sony Movie ChannelMovies
Spectrum SportsNet LASports – Regional
Spectrum SportsNet
Sportsman ChannelSports
Starz (Starz Comedy, Starz Edge, Starz Kids and Family, Starz InBlack, Starz Cinema)Premium MoviesPremium
Starz Encore (Starz Encore, Starz Encore Action, Starz Encore Black, Starz Encore Classic, Starz Encore Suspense)
SundanceTVMoviesCable
SyfyEntertainment
TBS
TCMMovies
TelemundoBroadcast – SpanishBroadcast
TeenNickFamilyCable
Tennis ChannelSports
TLCLifestyle
TNTEntertainment
Travel ChannelLifestyle
truTVEntertainment
TUDNSports – Spanish
TV LandFamily
TV OneEntertainment
UniMásBroadcast – SpanishBroadcast
Universal KidsFamilyCable
UnivisionBroadcast – SpanishBroadcast
UpFamilyCable
USA NetworkEntertainment
VicelandLifestyle
VH1Entertainment
WE tvLifestyle
The Weather ChannelNews
WeatherNation TV
WGN AmericaEntertainment
World Fishing NetworkSports
YESSports – Regional

See also

References

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