News briefing for Tuesday, April 1, 2008 Cable360’s team of fact-checkers is on retreat in Tottenville, Staten Island, making it difficult for us to verify the accuracy of today’s news briefing. Good day.

By the end of this year more than 47 million American households will be subscribing to a high-definition TV service, compared with 30 million households at the end of 2007, according to a report by Pike & Fischer’s Broadband Advisory Services. The report, “HDTV Service: Market Forecast for Multichannel Video Providers,” says hi-def subscriptions will generate up to $2.6 billion in revenue for providers by the end of 2012. The current economic slowdown could either lower these estimates or increase them—no one really knows. HD’s not a necessity, but it’s cheaper than jetting off to the exotic locations presented on your favorite adventure-oriented high-definition channel.  

A Washington Nationals fan and hi-def enthusiast, who also happens to be a subscriber to Verizon’s FiOS TV service, signed up for Comcast’s service to watch his team’s games in HD, and learned that in some cases, Comcast’s HD picture quality was markedly inferior to FiOS’. The New York Times’ “Bits” columnist talks to the Comcast/Verizon customer, who says Comcast’s compression of video signals degrades the visual quality of MTV and Discovery’s HD channels. [New York Times]

Briefly Noted
CableFAX Magazine‘s Seth Arenstein visits Eliot Spitzer’s favorite D.C. hotel, The Mayflower, for the Association of Cable Communicators’ annual forum. [On the Circuit]

InfoWorld’s Ed Foster writes about Comcast’s new CHARGES home energy service, but we weren’t fooled. [InfoWorld]

We also weren’t fooled by Light Reading’s report about Google’s nuclear capabilities. [Light Reading]

Woody Allen is suing American Apparel for using an image of him in billboard ads without his permission. We’re pretty sure this one’s for real. [New York Times]

This just in: Children of baby boomers aren’t as afraid of DVRs as their parents are. [eMarketer]

Jules Dassin, director of Night and the City (1950) and Rififi (1954), passed away. [New York Times]

The results of Cable360’s most recent poll question—How long will ousted HBO entertainment chief Carolyn Strauss remain with the company?—are in: 52% of our respondents think Strauss will leave HBO before the year is out or right after a new entertainment chief is named. Our new poll question on Cable360’s home page: What should the top priority be at the Association of Cable Communicators meeting this week in Washington? Got a tip? Contact sarenstein@accessintel.com and sgoldstein@accessintel.com.

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