High Definition Television:

The Effects of Standards on U.S. Entertainment Industries

IMTEC-90-33: Published: Mar 16, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the effects of high definition television (HDTV) on domestic television transmission standards.

GAO found that: (1) the U.S. motion picture industry could convert 35-millimeter film movies and television programs to accommodate HDTV standards; (2) production equipment manufacturers would likely manufacture multiple lines of HDTV equipment to meet different standards; (3) production equipment managers believed that the lack of a single standard would not greatly affect their business; (4) the U.S. entertainment industry's efforts to adopt a single worldwide HDTV production standard had been unsuccessful, but the lack of a standard did not negatively affect movie and television marketing; (5) U.S. broadcasters and television manufacturers believed that it was imperative to adopt an over-the-air transmission standard, since that was the U.S. primary transmission medium; (6) successful HDTV transmission technology had not been fully developed; (7) the lack of a standard could place broadcasters at a competitive disadvantage with respect to cable and satellite companies; (8) even with a standard, broadcasters might not be able to transmit an acceptable television picture because of regulatory and technical constraints; and (9) because of the closely linked transmission system, television manufacturers needed to know what transmission system would be used in order to manufacture the appropriate equipment.

Nov 24, 2020

Oct 30, 2020

Sep 16, 2020

Jun 29, 2020

Jun 25, 2020

Jun 1, 2020

Apr 7, 2020

Mar 4, 2020

Feb 6, 2020

Jan 27, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here