Happy Birthday HDTV in Europe, 25 years old

European
Broadcasting
Union

Twenty five years ago European public service broadcasters realized that ‘High
Definition Television’, HDTV, would have a major impact on the future of the
media and society.

Demonstrations,
the first ever in Europe, given to the EBU General Assembly on 25-28 June 1982,
in Killarney, Ireland, were a major milestone in the development of HDTV. They
raised European awareness of the potential of HDTV to provide a significantly
improved viewing experience.

The
demonstrations were arranged with great foresight by the Director General of
the EBU’s Irish Member RTE, George T Waters. They were seen in Killarney
by several hundred program makers and engineers from across
Europe
and beyond.

Mr Jean
Reveillon, Secretary General of the EBU, points out that: “My
forbears in the EBU understood what was going to change the world and thanks to
our Members we have remained at the forefront of innovation throughout the
years. We are proud to have hosted the first HDTV demonstrations in
Europe.”

The
development of HDTV began in the 1970s with the pioneers at the Japanese
Broadcasting Corporation NHK, an Associate Member of the EBU, and the inventors
of HDTV. Many individuals and organizations made the first demonstrations
of HDTV possible in 1982. There was great help from NHK and CBS,
Associate Members of the EBU, together with the companies Sony, Ikegami,
Panasonic, and

Hitachi,
who made equipment available. Delegates in Killarney saw HDTV on a
100″ Projection Screen with stereo sound, a new feature at that time
also.

Hitachi
and Panasonic provided a 65″ projection display and 24″ and 28″
monitors. Ikegami provided an HDTV camera, and NHK an HDTV digital video
tape recorder.

“Today
there are a variety of HDTV services on air in
Europe,
and many more are planned. In this new age, the EBU is actively
encouraging HDTV program services.” stated Mr Reveillon.

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