Fox is going all high-def in the first quarter of next year, and it’s using Motorola to make the transition. From the press release:
Motorola has been selected to provide the satellite transmission equipment, including compression systems, multiplexors, and radios to enable Fox to transition all its satellite program distribution to 100% High Definition (HD) delivery… [The deal includes] the company’s broadcast network, national cable channels, regional sports networks, Fox News Channel, and Fox Business Network.
The fact that Fox is going all-HD doesn’t mean that consumers can’t get the Fox content in standard definition (SD) as needed. The Motorola DSR-6000 digital satellite radios will render SD versions of programming based on information embedded in the HD content. The embedded information will follow the Active Format Descriptor (AFD) standard, which was designed to help networks determine how best to convert and display HD signals on SD TVs.
The transition to all-HD will help Fox save on storage and distribution costs. I’d wager the timing is also reflective of next February’s broadcast DTV transition deadline. Lots of folks will be getting high-def TVs this holiday season as their households go all-digital.