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The New Four Letter Word: “Full” HD Broadcasting Confusion Continues

by David Mercer | Sep 12, 2008

Following on from my previous discussion of Blu-ray quality broadcasting claims, here is a further sign that confusion reigns when it comes to discussing what is and what isn't "Full HD" video. On September 1st Motorola issued a press release about a deal to provide Deutsche Telekom (T-Home) with IPTV set-top boxes which included the following statement: "Within the scope of the contract, Motorola will provide T-Home with its VIP1616E set-top -- known to T-Home customers as Media Receiver 300 Typ A. With the device, subscribers to T-Home's Entertain service will be able to view premium sporting content in full HD." Now my ears are obviously attuned, given the attention the Blu-ray/DirecTV/Dish saga has attracted, to any mention of the phrase "Full HD". I was particularly impressed with the suggestion that sports content would be available in 1080p, since I know of no regular capture of live sporting events in this format. With less than 2% of European homes watching (720p/1080i) HDTV today, the industry desperately needs to make its message clear. And major TV manufacturers like Samsung are using terms like "Full HD" to market the 1080p-capability of their large screen TVs. So what are consumers supposed to make of suggestions that Deutsche Telekom is now offering sports content in "full HD"? I would not blame them for thinking that football matches would be available in 1080p, and it has taken a week for Motorola to confirm to me that this is indeed not the case. The company admits that it was wrong in using the words "full HD", and its press release has now been amended. I don't believe Motorola was trying to mislead anyone. What is concerning is that this market-leading technology provider can use terms which can be so easily misinterpreted, and is apparently unaware of the confusion that surrounds HDTV marketing. Motorola’s service provider partners will not find it easy to upsell their subscribers to HDTV services unless they and their technology partners can show consistency in communicating exactly what it is television viewers are supposed to be getting from HDTV. Visit us at IBC: Web TV and Virtual Worlds Analyst Presentations Add to Technorati Favorites
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