According to a recent survey by the Consumer Electronics Association or CEA a full twenty-nine percent of American households now have at least one high definition TV set in them. This came as quite a surprise, because it was not expected that high definition TV programming would surge in popularity to the degree that it has in such a short time.
The cable TV programming industry has been most caught off guard by the sudden rise in high definition TV viewers and after years of promising to overcome their high definition technological disadvantage they have been caught asleep at the wheel. This is because they completely misjudged the competition from satellite TV programming service providers who have recently made quantum leaps in the amount of high definition channels that they have to offer.DirecTV has gone from trailing Dish Network to the lead position with a full seventy-two channels compared to Dish Networks thirty-eight. The real losers in this competition is the cable service customers who have invested in new high definition TV sets and are still stuck waiting for their service providers to deliver the high definition channels that they have been told are on their way.They can however take solace in the fact that cable service providers are now and will into the future be adding even more features and options to compensate for their lacking in high definition programming. For instance, Comcast now offers two separate on demand pay per view options for their viewers. One being their standard on demand pay per view, while their new one is called Premiums On Demand that features more recent movie releases.You can also expect cable service provider such as Comcast to be carrying even more channels of standard format programming then the 250 that they already offer. What satellite and cable service providers are realizing is that it is hard to be everything to everybody and they are both focusing on what they can do best for their viewers.DirecTV has also announced that in the near future they will be offering up to one-hundred channels in high definition and after their recent incredible number jump who can doubt them? So it seems that the high definition horse race is over and satellite TV service providers are the clear victors. With home electronics manufacturers such as Sony announcing that they are developing a new generation of high definition TVs that have up to two-million pixels in their screens, service providers have to be there to answer the call when they hit the market. In final analysis what it boils down to is that for the foreseeable future it will be an “either or” decision when deciding between cable and satellite TV providers. If you are a high definition viewer that plans on watching high definition exclusively then your obvious choice is satellite, because now the channel numbers are there for you. If you are interested in on demand pay per view, are in the market for an extremely large quantity of standard format channels and can do without high definition then you may want to take the cable option.