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HDTV Availability

With conventional analog broadcasting set to be phased out by 2006, HDTV will not only become widely available, it will also eventually become the standard. As more broadcasters switch to HDTV and more viewers take advantage of this superior television viewing experience, HDTV is becoming more accessible with each passing year.

However, access to this technology is not equal. While HDTV is available to every consumer, it is like every other consumer product in that the more central the area a person lives in, the more selection they will usually have.

Getting It
People who live in remote areas and in deep valleys may have trouble receiving certain forms of HDTV. But there are a few different methods by which to receive this television innovation. However, before you decide on one, take the time to consider which is the most convenient avenue for you. The methods by which to receive HDTV include:

  • HD satellite systems
  • Over the air HDTV
  • HDTV from local cable companies

The Differences
The great thing about HD satellite systems is that they make HDTV available to just about everyone, no matter where they live. These systems do tend to get a little costly, though, but most people are willing to deal with the price to experience HDTV via satellite.

In order to take full advantage of HD satellite TV, it is important to purchase a subscription from a satellite company that includes HDTV programming. People interested in HD satellite systems will also need a specialized HDTV set or an HDTV monitor along with a set-top HD receiver that is compatible with the satellite dish that they have chosen. Before purchasing an HDTV satalite dish, you should make sure that the dish you are looking at is capable of receiving signals from the HDTV provider that offers service in your area.

It is important to keep in mind that with most HDTV satellite systems, local channels will cost extra to receive. So anyone who decides on this sort of system will either have to pay out or give them up. On the bright side, satellite makes available some of the most coveted channels around. HDTV satellite channels typically include:

  • HD Net
  • ESPN
  • The Discovery Channel
  • Pay Per View
  • HBO
  • CBS
  • Showtime

With all of these viewing options satellite can be hard to resist, but many people find it's a little out of their price range. For these more frugal consumers HDTV is also available over the air (OTA).

Air Time
In order to receive OTA broadcasts, it is necessary to have an antenna that will receive signals from a local tower. The type of antenna that each person requires will differ depending on how close their house is to the tower from which they wish to receive broadcasts. As with HD satellite TV, an HD receiver and HDTV set or monitor is also necessary in order to receive OTA HDTV properly.

OTA HDTV is quite cost effective because it rules out the necessity of having to pay subscription and monthly fees to cable and satellite providers. On the other hand, this method does limit the number of HDTV channels that will be available. For this reason, most people who choose to install an antenna to receive OTA broadcasts will also opt to pay for cable or satellite service as well.

Cable
HDTV services offered by different local cable companies can be a great option. These services can eliminate the need for installation of a large antenna or dish outside the home. Many people find that this is the most attractive option when it comes to HDTV through cable. The only problem is that not all local cable companies provide this service yet.

People who do live in areas where HDTV is available from the local cable company will need to equip themselves with an HDTV set or an HDTV monitor and receiver. If the proper HDTV equipment is set up inside the home, usually all the cable company will have to do is stop by and install a coaxial cable into the house and hook up the service.

Each and every avid television viewer should be looking over HDTV options that are available in their area and assessing which will be the best suited to their home and financial situation.

Soon analog TVs will be as outdated as acid wash jeans and there really won't be any area that doesn't have some sort of HDTV availability. So beat the crowd and get your HDTV set today.

Hammer Wondering about the different methods of HDTV? Visit our Satellite forum to ask others about their HDTV experiences.