USDTV Launch USA’s First Over-the-Air Digital TV Service

It’s a broadcast model that’s been available in the UK for a while, but US Digital Television (USDTV) have introduced a digital TV service employing unused digital spectrum leased from its broadcast partners.

The subscription to the service is US$19.95 and includes channels from Fox, Disney and ABC. The set-top box to receive the broadcasts are made by Chinese manufacturer Hisense, and will set viewers back a reasonable US$99.

USDTV promise better picture and sound over analogue cable – and many of the broadcasts will be in HDTV too.

The service is currently available in Las Vegas, Albuquerque and the Salt Lake City Metro Area but is set to expand into an additional 30 areas by the end of 2004.

USDTV recently arranged US$8.5 million in private equity funding from NexGen Investments and Stonebridge Capital – and if they deliver on a number of prerequisites investors say they’re in line for an additional $12 million in funding.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?