Oct 2, 2007

Swann sees intensifying HD competition

HD will be the battle cry for cable nets and competing satellite TV operators during the next year, said Phillip Swann of yesterday, issuing his annual 10 HD predictions for '08 at Iowa PTV's DTV Symposium. DirecTV will offer 100 HD channels, he foretold, but consumers will remain confused about what equipment they'd need to receive true HD, and many will buy $300 standard-def DTV receivers. Iowa Public Radio programmer Todd Mundt reacts to Swann at the symposium, confiding that, since installing an HD set, he has "grown to dislike watching" standard-def programs, and feels little allure from multicast SD channels. "When it comes to video," Mundt summarizes, "more isn’t better; better is better."

Philly mag flays WHYY

Philadelphia magazine runs a long, occasionally snide piece on WHYY and its well-compensated CEO, Bill Marrazzo. The writer takes aim at the station's perceived "lack of ambition to do public television" as well as Marrazzo's $400,000+ salary, and outlines mostly anonymous employees' concerns about both issues. The WHYY Board defended Marrazzo's performance and compensation in August in response to another local writer's criticism.

Website helps stations share materials about analog shutoff

What can stations do to smooth the transition when analog TV transmission ends? PubTV's Affinity Group Coalition has started a new website, The Analog Shutoff: A Repository, offering examples of on-air spots, web pages and other material to help educate viewers about new digital services and their reception options. The coalition's project is led by Larry Smith, g.m. of KUED in Salt Lake City, and the site was built by his staff. It features a ticker counting down to shutoff, 504 days away.