High-definition television in the United States

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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. In January 2013, Nielsen Media Research reported that 75% of American homes contain at least one HDTV.[1]

From proposals to introduction[edit]

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 (the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina) 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 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 broadcast locally on Fort Worth, Texas NBC affiliate KXAS channel 5. This telecast was also the first commercial HD broadcast in the state of Texas.[4] The first major sporting event broadcast nation wide in HD was Super Bowl XXXIV on January 30, 2000.

Satellite and cable[edit]

Satellite television companies in the United States, such as Dish Network and DirecTV, started to carry HD programming in 2002. 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.

List of current high-definition channels[edit]

Name HD Format Category Type HD Only
4SDHD 1080i Sports - Regional Cable No
A&EHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
ABCHD 720p Broadcast Broadcast No
ABC FamilyHD 720p Family & Kids Cable No
Al Jazeera AmericaHD 720p News & Information Cable No
AltitudeHD 1080i Sports Cable No
AMCHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
American Heroes ChannelHD 1080i Documentary & Educational Cable No
Animal PlanetHD 1080i Documentary & Educational Cable No
Audience NetworkHD 720p Entertainment Satellite No
AWEHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
AXS TV 1080i Entertainment Cable Yes
Azteca AmericaHD 1080i Broadcast - Spanish Broadcast No
BabyFirstTVHD 720p Family & Kids Cable No
BabyTVHD 1080i Family & Kids Cable No
BBC AmericaHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
BBC World NewsHD 1080i News & Information Cable No
BeIN SportHD 720p Sports Cable No
BeIN Sport en EspañolHD 720p Sports Cable No
BETHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Big Ten NetworkHD 720p Sports - College Cable No
Bloomberg TVHD 1080i Business Cable No
BravoHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Bright House Sports NetworkHD 1080i Sports - Regional Cable No
C-SPANHD (C-SPAN2, C-SPAN3) 1080i News & Information Cable No
Cartoon Network/Adult SwimHD 1080i Family & Kids Cable No
CBeebiesHD 1080i Family & Kids Cable No
CBSHD 1080i Broadcast Broadcast No
CBS Sports NetworkHD 1080i Sports Cable No
CinemaxHD (MoreMax, ActionMax, ThillerMax, 5starMax, MovieMax, OuterMax, MaxLatino) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium No
CMTHD 1080i Music & Entertainment Cable No
CNBCHD 1080i Business Cable No
CNNHD 1080i News & Information Cable No
CNN InternationalHD 1080i News & Information Cable No
Comcast SportsNetHD (All Networks) 1080i Sports - Regional Cable No
Comedy CentralHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Cooking ChannelHD 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable No
Crime & Investigation NetworkHD 720p Documentary & Educational Cable No
The CWHD 1080i Broadcast Broadcast No
Destination AmericaHD 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable No
Discovery ChannelHD 1080i Documentary & Educational Cable No
Disney ChannelHD 720p Family & Kids Cable No
Disney JuniorHD 720p Family & Kids Cable No
Disney XDHD 720p Family & Kids Cable No
DIYHD 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable No
E!HD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
El ReyHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
EncoreHD (Encore Action, Encore Black, Encore Classic, Encore Suspense) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium No
EpixHD (Epix 2, Epix 3) 1080i Movies Premium No
ESPNHD 720p Sports Cable No
ESPN2HD 720p Sports Cable No
ESPNewsHD 720p Sports Cable No
ESPNUHD 720p Sports - College Cable No
ESPN DeportesHD 720p Sports - Spanish Cable No
Esquire NetworkHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
EWTNHD 1080i Religious Cable No
FlixHD 1080i Movies Premium No
Food NetworkHD 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable No
FoxHD 720p Broadcast Broadcast No
Fox Business NetworkHD 720p Business Cable No
Fox College SportsHD 720p Sports - College Cable No
Fox DeportesHD 720p Sports - Spanish Cable No
Fox News ChannelHD 720p News & Information Cable No
Fox Soccer PlusHD 720p Sports Cable No
Fox Sports 1HD 720p Sports Cable No
Fox Sports 2HD 720p Sports Cable No
Fox Sports NetworksHD (All Networks) 720p Sports - Regional Cable No
fuseHD 1080i Music & Entertainment Cable No
FusionHD 1080i News & Information Cable No
FXHD 720p Entertainment Cable No
FX Movie ChannelHD 720p Movies Cable No
FXXHD 720p Entertainment Cable No
Fyi,HD 720p Documentary & Educational Cable No
G4HD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Gol TVHD 1080i Sports Cable No
Golf ChannelHD 1080i Sports Cable No
Great American CountryHD 1080i Music & Entertainment Cable No
GSNHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
H2HD 720p Documentary & Educational Cable No
Hallmark ChannelHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Hallmark Movie ChannelHD 1080i Movies Cable No
HBOHD (HBO2, HBO Comedy, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Signature, HBO Zone) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium No
HDNet Movies 1080i Movies Cable No
HGTVHD 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable No
HistoryHD 1080i Documentary & Educational Cable No
HLNHD 1080i News & Information Cable No
HSNHD 1080i Shopping Cable No
Hub NetworkHD 1080i Family & Kids Cable No
IFCHD 1080i Movies and Entertainment Cable No
INSPHD 1080i Religious Cable No
Investigation DiscoveryHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
IonHD 720p Broadcast Broadcast No
Jewelry TelevisionHD 1080i Shopping Cable No
LifetimeHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
LMNHD 1080i Movies Cable No
LogoHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
MASNHD (MASN2) 1080i Sports - Regional Cable No
MavTVHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Mega TVHD 1080i Broadcast - Spanish Cable No
MGM HD 1080i Movies Premium Yes
Midco SNHD 1080i Sports - Regional Cable No
MLB NetworkHD 720p Sports Cable No
MLB StrikeZoneHD 720p Sports Cable No
The Movie ChannelHD (The Movie Channel Xtra) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium No
MoviePlexHD (IndiePlex, RetroPlex) 1080i Movies Premium No
MSGHD (MSG Plus) 1080i Sports - Regional Cable No
MSNBCHD 1080i News & Information Cable No
MTVHD 1080i Music & Entertainment Cable No
MTV2HD 1080i Music & Entertainment Cable No
Music ChoiceHD  ??? Music & Entertainment Cable No
MyNetworkTVHD 720p Broadcast Broadcast No
Nat GeoHD 720p Documentary & Educational Cable No
Nat Geo WildHD 720p Documentary & Educational Cable No
NBA TVHD 1080i Sports Cable No
NBCHD 1080i Broadcast Broadcast No
NBCSNHD 1080i Sports Cable No
NESNHD 1080i Sports - Regional Cable No
NFL NetworkHD 1080i Sports Cable No
NFL RedZoneHD 1080i Sports Cable No
NHL NetworkHD 1080i Sports Cable No
Nickelodeon/Nick at NiteHD 1080i Family & Kids Cable No
NicktoonsHD 1080i Family & Kids Cable No
Nick Jr.HD 1080i Family & Kids Cable No
Outdoor ChannelHD 1080i Sports Cable No
OvationHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
OWNHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
OxygenHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Pac-12 NetworkHD 1080i Sports - College Cable No
Pac-12 Regional NetworksHD (All Networks) 1080i Sports - College Cable No
Palladia 1080i Music & Entertainment Cable Yes
PBSHD 1080i Broadcast Broadcast No
PivotHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Playboy TVHD 1080i Adult Cable No
QVCHD 1080i Shopping Cable No
ReelzHD 720p Entertainment Cable No
RFD-TVHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Root SportsHD (All Networks) 720p Sports - Regional Cable No
ScienceHD 1080i Documentary & Educational Cable No
ShopHQHD 1080i Shopping Cable No
Shorts 1080i Movies Cable No
ShowtimeHD (Showtime 2, Showcase, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Next, Showtime Women) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium No
Smithsonian ChannelHD 1080i Documentary & Educational Cable No
SNYHD 1080i Sports - Regional Cable No
Sony Movie Channel 1080i Movies Cable Yes
SpikeHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Sportsman ChannelHD 1080i Sports Cable No
SproutHD 1080i Kids & Family Cable No
StarzHD (Starz Comedy, Starz Edge, Starz Kids and Family, Starz InBlack, Starz Cinema) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium No
SundanceTVHD 1080i Movies and Entertainment Cable No
SyfyHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
TBNHD 1080i Religious Cable No
TBSHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
TCMHD 1080i Movies Cable No
TelemundoHD 1080i Broadcast - Spanish Broadcast No
Tennis ChannelHD 1080i Sports Cable No
Time Warner Cable DeportesHD 1080i Sports Cable No
Time Warner Cable SportsNetHD 1080i Sports Cable No
TLCHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
TNTHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Travel ChannelHD 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable No
TruTVHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
TVGNHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
TV LandHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
TV OneHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
UniMásHD 1080i Broadcast - Spanish Broadcast No
Universal HD 1080i Movies Cable Yes
Universal SportsHD 1080i Sports Cable No
UnivisionHD 1080i Broadcast - Spanish Broadcast No
UPHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
USA NetworkHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
Velocity 1080i Entertainment Cable Yes
VH1HD 1080i Music & Entertainment Cable No
We TVHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
The Weather ChannelHD 1080i News & Information Cable No
Weather Nation TVHD 1080i News & Information Cable No
WGN AmericaHD 1080i Entertainment Cable No
World Fishing NetworkHD 1080i Sports Cable No
YESHD 1080i Sports - Regional Cable No

Scheduled HD channel launches[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]