European high definition TV is 25 years old this week


ebu_uer_logo.gifWould you believe that, in Europe, high definition TV is officially 25 years old this week?

Between 25-28 June 1982, demonstrations were given to the European Broadcasting Union in Killarney, Ireland, raising awareness of the potential of HDTV to provide a significantly improved viewing experience.

The development of HDTV began in the 1970s with the pioneers at the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation NHK, an Associate Member of the EBU, and the inventors of HDTV. Many individuals and organisations made the first demonstrations of HDTV possible in 1982. There was great help from NHK and CBS, together with the companies Sony, Ikegami, Panasonic, and Hitachi, who made equipment available. Delegates saw HDTV on a 100-inch projection screen with stereo sound, also a new feature. Hitachi and Panasonic provided a 65-inch projection display and 24- and 28-inch monitors. Ikegami provided an HDTV camera, and NHK an HDTV digital video tape recorder.

Where other technologies have been developed and adopted far quicker, it seems as if high definition TV is still very much at the fledgling stage. Many consumers still don’t know about it, or are just beginning to understand it, and there’s still only a very small amount of high definition programming available, mainly from Sky, with some programming from the BBC.

Where Japan has been enjoying significant high definition programming for a number of years, and the US is far ahead of Europe, we’ve only really seen high definition advertising appearing in the UK in the last year or so.

And we’re all battling (or baffling) with competing HD disc formats.

Still, happy birthday HDTV. Can we move a bit faster now, please?

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Andy Merrett
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