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Hi-def, low profile

The availability of a program in high-definition used to be big news, worthy
of press releases and excitement, but it looks like the networks are beginning
to "soft-launch" HD programming.

Home Box Office recently decided that next year's season of Six Feet Under will be
in HDTV, but don't look for HBO to make a big deal over it.

That came less than one week after NBC began broadcasting ER in HDTV in
a launch so soft stations learned about it from a memo the morning of the
broadcast. Even NBC executives couldn't confirm the next day that the broadcast
was in HD, although station executives could.