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10.21.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
New HD Web sites offer answers, raise questions


CheckHD.com answers consumer questions about HD.
Three new Web sites designed to promote HDTV and DTV to consumers have launched operations but, like most things surrounding high definition, there’s controversy involved.

Digital Television – Get It!

The FCC, which launched its www.dtv.gov Oct. 4, has come under fire from Commercial Alert, a self-described “anti-commercialism group” and children’s advocates in a letter sent to 160 members of Congress.

The FCC site, which offers information to consumers about DTV sets, programming and the technology, raised the ire of the group, whose letter said in part: “Do you really believe that with all the troubles facing our nation, the federal government should be on a crusade to encourage people to buy costly new television sets?”

CheckHD

Far less controversial is the new www.CheckHD.com Web site. It also seeks to answer consumer questions about the technology. It delivers a high degree of interactivity by allowing visitors to enter their zip code to find HD program schedules and retail outlets customized to their needs.

My Free DTV

Sinclair Broadcast has launched its own HD Web effort to promote the concept that viewers can actually get HD for free if they tune in over the air.

The site www.myfreehdtv.org, which doesn’t identify Sinclair, offers a PSA reminding consumers that over-the-air television broadcast is a viable alternative to cable and satellite. Stations also may request a Beta or DVC copy of the PSA for use on their airwaves.

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