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European Parliament on the HDTV strategy of the European Community

The European Parliament has adopted a Resolution stating that it does not accept a radical revision of the Community HDTV strategy without a proper formal reconsultation of Parliament. The Resolution also contain's Parliament's serious doubts about an HDTV strategy that makes ...

The European Parliament has adopted a Resolution stating that it does not accept a radical revision of the Community HDTV strategy without a proper formal reconsultation of Parliament. The Resolution also contain's Parliament's serious doubts about an HDTV strategy that makes a 16:9 widescreen format the stepping stone on the road to digital HDTV. Parliament is of the opinion that a widescreen format might have its own merit, but has no relation with HDTV and calls therefore for a reworking of the HD-MAC Directive with the aim of making it independent of D2-MAC and HD-MAC. Fears were also expressed that an enhanced definition strategy based solely on a common format means a continuation, and even further proliferation, of the existing broadcasting norms and therefore of market divisions within the Community. Parliament is seriously worried that neither Pal-plus nor Secam-plus, nor D2-MAC, could develop into digital HDTV and is equally worried that standard digital, which could be enhanced and developed further into HD-digital, will be adopted by satellite companies for reasons (bandwidth) that run completely counter to further development towards HD-digital. In addition, the free market approach does not meet with the approval of Parliament because it denies the role of the public authorities in setting standards and in preventing market splintering. Parliament has reiterated its request for a communication on the state of progress of high definition television and on the role of the 16:9 format as a way of achieving digital television and demands from the Commission proposals for a real digital HDTV strategy.

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