U.S. Broadcasters Expect to Meet Milestone for Digital Over-The-Air Transmission

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Plan to Expand HDTV and Other Services

Last Updated: February 21, 2008 3:54 pm GMT
(Melbourne, Florida--February 21, 2008) One year before the nationwide mandatory sign-off of analog television transmission, scheduled for February 17, 2009, U.S. broadcasters said they expect to meet this major milestone as part of their ongoing transition to the adoption of digital TV (DTV).

The findings resulted from a survey released by Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS), an international communications and information technology company.

In addition to meeting the deadline to convert over-the-air transmission from analog to digital, the survey showed that most broadcasters plan to upgrade their facilities to provide consumers with local programming and news that originates in high definition (HD), while also providing local TV content via the Internet and mobile devices, including cell phones, PDAs and laptop computers.

“The survey shows that U.S. broadcasters are fully embracing the conversion to digital and high-definition TV (HDTV) and the additional revenue opportunities it will provide,” said Tim Thorsteinson, president of Harris Broadcast Communications. “The transition to digital equipment and supporting software systems is not only allowing broadcasters to offer expanded services, but also to create a seamless workflow and reduce costs.”

The survey showed:
  • 66 percent of broadcasters plan to provide consumers with more programming in HD, with its significantly superior picture and sound quality;
  • 55 percent said they will use the additional channels resulting from DTV’s superior spectrum efficiency to multicast more local news, sports, weather, traffic and other community interest programs;
  • 50 percent expect to broadcast live programming over the Internet and derive additional revenue from their station’s Web site; and
  • 28 percent of broadcasters expect to provide programming over mobile handheld devices including cellular phones, PDAs and laptop computers.

Harris Broadcast Communications provides products, systems, and services that deliver interoperable workflow solutions that span the entire broadcast delivery chain. The Harris ONE approach brings together highly integrated products that are ideal for customers upgrading media operations to digital and high-definition services and for emerging media business models such as mobile TV and IPTV. Harris will be demonstrating how broadcasters can make the move to becoming multiservice providers for their markets in April at the 2008 National Association of Broadcasters conference.

About the DTV Transition
Television programming has been transmitted over the air using analog signals since it was first commercially launched in 1947. The digital TV format was introduced in 1996 to increase the signal efficiency and provide enhanced capabilities, such as HDTV, which are impossible using analog technology. The U.S. Congress has mandated that all 1700-plus TV stations nationwide transition to digital television and discontinue broadcasting analog signals by February 17, 2009. As a result, broadcasters will become more spectrum efficient, allowing the spectrum above CH 51 to be auctioned off for public safety and new media delivery services.

About the Survey
The scientific survey of more than 100 television stations was conducted for Harris by In-Stat in December 2007 and January 2008. The survey has a margin of error of 9.3 percent. For further information, contact Harris Corporation at david.glidden@harris.com.

About In-Stat
In-Stat is a strategic segment of the $9 billion Reed Elsevier global information network, with access to an expansive worldwide electronic network, extensive technology databases and well-informed personnel. As a member of Reed Business Information, In-Stat is a division of the largest business-to-business publisher in the U.S. For more information on In-Stat’s research pertaining to potential consumer uptake in the wake of the analog cut off: http://www.instat.com/r/consumervideo.

About Harris Corporation
Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual revenue of almost $5 billion and 16,000 employees — including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications™ products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at http://www.harris.com.

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