Online presentation relies on sports, entertainment to help demystify HD

It’s long been held that sports programming and movies would help propel consumer acceptance of high-definition television.

However, as compelling as an NFL or NBA game can be on a widescreen display or as fascinating as a MLB game can be when viewers can see the seams on the baseball, many consumers are reluctant to bring HD into their living rooms as long as they have rudimentary questions about the new television standard and how best to enjoy it.

Scientific-Atlanta's Explorer 2200 digital set-top

Scientific-Atlanta has taken the most recent step in attempting to educate consumers with an informative – if somewhat commercial - Web presentation about high-definition television. Scientific-Atlanta’s effort follows in the footsteps of broadcasters like PBS with a highly informative Web presentation on HD, and sportscaster ESPN with its ESPN the Truck 2, where viewers could experience a full HD theater presentation complete with surround sound.

At, the company offers consumers a step-by-step guide to getting started with HD. A streamed video presentation with a female narrator walks viewers through an easy-to-understand overview of HD.

Some of the topics covered at the site include:

  • The difference between DTV and HDTV
  • Wide-screen versus standard aspect ratio screens
  • An explanation of 720p and 1080i
  • How to determine if your TV is HD ready or capable
  • Using stretch and zoom to eliminate on-screen black bars
  • The availability of sports and entertainment programming in HD

While the site clearly touts the company’s HD cable box and new HD STB with DVR during one segment of the presentation, the commercial pitch for the company’s cable hardware is kept to a minimum and does not interfere with the usefulness of the site in delivering basic HD information.

Additionally, the site makes reference to the heightened viewing experience sports fans will enjoy watching in HD and uses a few sports action clips during the presentation.

A consumer how-to guide in HTML is also available on the company’s Web site.

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