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the TV part of HDTV



Let's see if I can walk this tightrope...asking questions of you as an
employee of CBS, without having you try to speculate on whether or not
I'm pronouncing policy...I am not.

Given #1) CBS' currently proposed delivery specification for High
Definition calls for shows produced on 35mm film to be delivered for
broadcast in 1080I, mastered on Panasonic D-5 recorders. 

Given #2) At least three of the networks have committed to having an
initial group of digital television stations on the air, with
programming, by November 1998 (as in, 'just around the corner'), and the
balance of the top-most markets by the end of the upcoming season.

Given #3) Going into this year's NAB, none of the equipment
manufacturers that we've come to know and love have yet demonstrated all
the pieces of a 'system' which would allow a facility to parallel or
match the services they now provide their episodic customers in standard
definition with similar services in High Definition.

Speculation #1) Sometime around the beginning of May, when the networks
announce the new Fall schedules, if not before, at least one of the
networks will announce their intentions for High Definition for the
coming season; which shows, what times, etc.

Speculation #2) That announcement may well be the first time your
clients, our vendors, give their first serious consideration to the
impact High Definition will have on their schedules of production, their
budgets, and their delivery requirements.

Speculation #3) Dramas and Movies of The Week will be first.

Observation #1) I've lurked around the TIG for a few months, now, and
while the discussions have been enlightening and educational on the
technical subjects of light sources, response curves, and the relative
advantages of Cintel vs. Spirit, I haven't yet heard any discussions
about how the facilities that now provide services to episodic
television producers will do so in the next few months in High
Definition, on what kind of schedules, and for what kind of additional
dollars. I realize that some of these issues may be competitive secrets,
and so I'm only asking for a public discussion of the things that you
think you can talk about without putting your companies at risk.
Anything said to me personally will be held in strict confidence. But,
I'm very interested in finding out how the vendors who will have to
deliver HD masters to us intend to do so. As I said, I'm sure that many
of THEM haven't thought about it yet. I'm just as sure that many of YOU
have.

Thank you in advance for your consideration, and your conversation.

-Steve Schifrin-
-CBS Television City-

---
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