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. HDTV has quickly become the standard, with about 70% of all TVs used being HD as of 2015.[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 (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 nationwide in HD was Super Bowl XXXIV on January 30, 2000.

Satellite and cable

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. 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
Antenna TV 1080i Sports – Regional Broadcast
A&E 1080i Entertainment Cable
ABC 720p Broadcast Broadcast
Animax (German TV Channel) 720p Entertainment Cable
Animax Eastern Europe 1080p News Cable
Adult Swim 1080i Entertainment Cable
Al Jazeera Documentary Channel 720p News Cable
Altitude 1080i Sports Cable
AMC 1080i Entertainment Cable
American Heroes Channel 1080i Entertainment Cable
Animal Planet 1080i Entertainment Cable
Audience Network 720p Entertainment Satellite
AWE 1080i Entertainment Cable
AXS TV 1080i Entertainment Cable
Azteca 1080i Broadcast – Spanish Broadcast
BBC Knowledge (International) 1080i Entertainment Cable
Bedroom TV 1080i News Cable
beIN Sport 720p Sports Cable
beIN Sport en Español 720p Sports Cable
Business (TV Channel) 1080i Entertainment Cable
Big Ten Network 720p Sports – College Cable
Bloomberg TV 1080i News Cable
BravaNL 1080i Entertainment Cable
BYU Televsion International 1080i Sports – Regional Cable
Cartoon Network 1080i Family & Kids Cable
The CW 1080i Broadcast Broadcast
CBS Sports Network 1080i Sports Cable
Cinemax(MoreMax, ActionMax, ThillerMax, 5starMax, MovieMax, OuterMax, MaxLatino) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium
C Music TV 1080i Entertainment Cable
TVN CNBC Africa 1080i News Cable
CNN 1080i News Cable
CNN International 1080i News Cable
Comcast SportsNet (All Networks) 1080i Sports – Regional Cable
Cooking Channel 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable
Crime & Investigation Network (South East Asia) 720p Entertainment Cable
Comedy Central (Netherlands Germany and Italy) 1080i Broadcast Broadcast
Daystar 720i Religion Cable
Destination America 1080i Entertainment Cable
Discovery Channel Finland 1080i Entertainment Cable
Discovery Family 1080i Family & Kids Cable
Disney Junior (English Canada) 720p Family & Kids Cable
Disney XD 720p Family & Kids Cable
Diva TV 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable
Disney Channel (Turkey) 1080i Family & Kids Cable
E2 (TV Channel) 1080i Entertainment Cable
El Rey 1080i Entertainment Cable
Encore (Encore Action, Encore Black, Encore Classic, Encore Suspense) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium
Epix (Epix 2, Epix 3) 1080i Movies Premium
ESPN 720p Sports Cable
ESPN2 720p Sports Cable
ESPNews 720p Newsw Cable
ESPNU 720p Sports – College Cable
ESPN Deportes 720p Sports – Spanish Cable
Esquire Network 1080i Entertainment Cable
EVINE Live 1080i Shopping Cable
Food Network 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable
Fox 720p Broadcast Broadcast
Fox Business Network 720p News Cable
Fox College Sports 720p Sports – College Cable
Fox Deportes 720p Sports – Spanish Cable
Fox News Channel 720p News Cable
Fox Soccer Plus 720p Sports Cable
Fox Sports 1 720p Sports Cable
Fox Sports 2 720p Sports Cable
Fox Sports Networks (All Networks) 720p Sports – Regional Cable
fuse 1080i Music Cable
Fusion 1080i News Cable
Fox (Turkey) 720p Entertainment Cable
Fox Movies (Middle East 720p Movies Cable
Fox Sports Wisconsin 720p Entertainment Cable
FYI 720p Entertainment Cable
GAC 1080i Music Cable
Gol TV 1080i Sports Cable
Golf Channel 1080i Sports Cable
GSN 1080i Entertainment Cable
H2 1080i Entertainment Cable
Hallmark Channel 1080i Entertainment Cable
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries 1080i Movies & Entertainment Cable
HBO (HBO2, HBO Comedy, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Signature, HBO Zone) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium
HDNet Movies 1080i Movies Cable
HGTV 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable
History (Southeast Asian TV Channel) 1080i Entertainment Cable
HLN 1080i News Cable
HSN 1080i Shopping Cable
IFC 1080i Movies and Entertainment Cable
Ion Life 1080i Entertainment Cable
Ion 720p Broadcast Broadcast
JewIsh Life Television 1080i Shopping Cable
Kidsco Central and Eastern Europe, Western Asia NBCUniversal Corus Entertainment Lifetime 1080i Entertainment Cable
LMN 1080i Movies and Entertainment Cable
MASN (MASN2) 1080i Sports – Regional Cable
MavTV 1080i Entertainment Cable
Mega TV 1080i Broadcast – Spanish Cable
MGM HD 1080i Movies Premium
Midco SN 1080i Sports – Regional Cable
MLB Network 720p Sports Cable
MLB StrikeZone 720p Sports Cable
The Movie Channel (The Movie Channel Xtra) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium
MoviePlex (IndiePlex, RetroPlex) 1080i Movies Premium
MSG (MSG Plus) 1080i Sports – Regional Cable
MSNBC 1080i News Cable
MTV Hits New Zealand 1080i Entertainment Cable
MTV Shows 1080i Entertainment Cable
Music Choice  ??? Music Cable
MyNetworkTV 720p Broadcast Broadcast
Nat Geo Music 720p Entertainment Cable
Nat Geo Wild (Europe) 720p Entertainment Cable
NBA TV 1080i Sports Cable
NBC 1080i Broadcast Broadcast
NBCSN 1080i Sports Cable
NESN 1080i Sports – Regional Cable
NFL Network 1080i Sports Cable
NFL RedZone 1080i Sports Cable
NHL Network 1080i Sports Cable
Nick at Nite 1080i Entertainment Cable
Nickelodeon 1080i Family & Kids Cable
Nicktoons (Germeny And Netherlands & Flanders) 1080i Family & Kids Cable
Nick Hits (Netherlands & Flanders) 1080i Family & Kids Cable
Outdoor Channel 1080i Sports Cable
Ovation 1080i Entertainment Cable
OWN 1080i Entertainment Cable
Omusic TV 1080i Entertainment Cable
Pac-12 Network 1080i Sports – College Cable
Palladia 1080i Entertainment Cable
PRime HD 1080i Broadcast Broadcast
PTV News 1080i Entertainment Cable
Playboy TV 1080i Adult Cable
Pop 1080i Entertainment Cable
Qubo 1080i Shopping Cable
Reelz 720p Entertainment Cable
RTL 8 1080i Entertainment Cable
Retro jams 720p Sports – Regional Cable
Science 1080i Entertainment Cable
SEC Network 720p Sports – College Cable
Shorts 1080i Movies Cable
Showtime (Showtime 2, Showcase, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Next, Showtime Women) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium
Smithsonian Channel 1080i Entertainment Cable
SNY 1080i Sports – Regional Cable
Sony Movie Channel 1080i Movies Cable
Spike 1080i Entertainment Cable
Sportsman Channel 1080i Sports Cable
Sprout 1080i Family & Kids Cable
Starz (Starz Comedy, Starz Edge, Starz Kids and Family, Starz InBlack, Starz Cinema) 1080i Movies and Entertainment Premium
Seven HD 1080i Movies and Entertainment Cable
Syfy Universal (Poland, Romania, Benelux, and America 1080i Entertainment Cable
Ten HD 1080i Religious Cable
Teletoon retro 1080i Entertainment Cable
TCM 1080i Movies Cable
Telemundo 1080i Broadcast – Spanish Broadcast
Tennis Channel 1080i Sports Cable
TWC Deportes 1080i Sports Cable
TWC SportsNet 1080i Sports Cable
TLC 1080i Entertainment Cable
TNT 1080i Entertainment Cable
Travel Channel 1080i Lifestyle & Home Cable
truTV 1080i Entertainment Cable
TV Land 1080i Entertainment Cable
TV One 1080i Entertainment Cable
UniMás 1080i Broadcast – Spanish Broadcast
Universal HD 1080i Entertainment Cable
Universal Sports 1080i Sports Cable
Univision 1080i Broadcast – Spanish Broadcast
Univision Deportes 1080i Sports - Spanish Cable
UP 1080i Entertainment Cable
USA Network 1080i Entertainment Cable
Velocity 1080i Entertainment Cable
V-me 1080i Entertainment Cable
We TV 1080i Entertainment Cable
The Weather Channel 1080i News Cable
WeatherNation TV 1080i News Cable
WGN America 1080i Entertainment Cable
World Fishing Network 1080i Sports Cable
YES 1080i Sports – Regional Cable

See also