China: Okay given for 'National Day' Military Parade in HD

When it comes to exceptional HD events, America may have its Super Bowl and World Series, and Europe (and the rest of the world) its World Cup — but the most populated nation on Earth has its own annual pride and joy, the National Day Military Parade.

For the first time, China has "granted approval" for several government-controlled Chinese broadcasters (CCTV 1, BTV, Dragon TV, Jiangsu TV and HNTV) to air the country's annual National Day military parade on Sept. 28 in both HD and SD — marking one of the very few times since the Beijing Olympics that audiences across this Asian country of 1.3 billion people will be able to watch a nationally momentous event in HD.

Still, while the potential is great, the real-world audience for HD inside China is still quite small but growing. According to the government-approved People's Daily, subscriptions for "cable digital television" in the communist nation (only some of whom can view HD) is quickly approaching about 60 million dwellings. Assuming an average of about three viewers per subscription, those 180 million DTV viewers represent nearly 14 percent of the population. (But how many of that number has access to HD content has not been published.)

According to the People's Daily Web site, "It is understood that in regions where the transformation to cable digital television has been completed, subscribers need only buy a HD cable set-top box and an HD television (or an integrated digital television) to receive free, comprehensive HD channels. This means that there will no longer be a market for paid HD channel subscriptions."