Super Bowl XL: ESPN Zone Goes HD in Four Cities
is in the midst of a technological conversion to install HD video and audio systems in its eight U.S. restaurants, with locations in New York City, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore scheduled to be upconverted in time for Super Bowl XL on ABC (720p) Sunday. The remaining locations (Chicago, Anaheim, Atlanta and Denver) will be outfitted with HD by the end of 2006.
The sports network said with the increasing number of sports events now broadcast in HD, the launch of ESPNHD and ESPN2HD, and breakthroughs in hardware (presumably including lower prices) -- all the right circumstances were in place to begin the conversion now.
Each restaurant-sports bar will replace SD monitors with Philips flat-screen plasma and LCD monitors. Also, each of the large projection screens has been converted to project up to 16-foot images in HD. In addition, each ESPN Zone will house up to eight HD satellite receivers, as many as eight HD cable receivers, HD-compatible routing and switching equipment, and 10,000 feet of CAT 6E skew-free network cable. The Walt Disney Company owns ABC and ESPN.