High Definition Television (HDTV), which dates from the early 1970s, is the evident technical innovation of this era. As canonically defined, it is little more than a scaling of the basic parameters of existing television by a factor of two. If anything, it is the last incarnation of the first generation of television rather than the first embodiment of the next. This time, however, we may be able to break the mold of successive changes in use and technology and progress to a new generation of television systems that implies new quality as well as new program styles. What is it that allows us to do better now? What are the real opportunities? Why is a new generation of television possible or even inevitable now?
by Andrew Lippman