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News | 11/28/2003 5:00 am EST

HD predicted to take hold by early 2005: Switzer
The head of CHUM Ltd. says that the broadcaster is now able to acquire more high-definition (HD) TV programming, and he thinks it will really take hold with consumers by 2005. "The high-definition experience is clearly the real deal. We have our own projections, and our own team has done their own curves, and if you look at the price points and the price points continue to drop," CHUM president and CEO Jay Switzer says. "The price point will come down after this Christmas to what will be about $1,800 and we think $1,300 or $1,400 next year. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but it’s not a lot of money for your main set. …We think January or February 2005 will be the turning point where it will move from the early adopters into many, many homes." He adds that CitytvHD is now able to acquire more strands of HD programming. At the Canadian Satellite Users Association (CSUA) conference earlier this year, Elaine Baine, director of programming at CHUM Television’s Citytv, Star!, FashionTelevisionChannel and SexTV: The Channel complained about the difficulties in securing HD programming (CCR, Feb. 28/03). But Switzer notes that it is becoming easier to acquire HD shows. "Our friends, the distributors, are making it easier and more effective in terms of their offerings. But the programming strands are increasing in Toronto on Citytv," he states. "We started with one or two hours a week (of HD programming on CitytvHD), and now we’re up to several movies a week, and some key shows like Star Trek and so on. …And you can’t go back. It’s not as much a technology as it is an experience with viewers. It will become the norm. And we have to be ready for it."

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