Why are there No Name Brand OTA DVRs? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I have nothing against TiVo. I don't know much about the company but if I were an invester in TiVo I'm sure I'd be overjoyed - especially with their legal department which, from all accounts, are very good at what they do.

 

My saying they have a "monopoly" is obviously an over-simplification to make a point - and the point remains that due to a variety of factors there is a notable lack of competition on this continent - as evidenced by the fact the e-majors have been scared off.

 

Having said that, as a consumer I feel I have the right not to give TiVo my money if I don't want to. The OTA broadcast is free - why can't I buy a name-brand machine to record it for my own use? And I'm not talking about a do-it-yourself PC hobby such as present company loves to play with. I'm talking about a stand-alone plug-and-play box, same as what joe public's wife wants.


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post #62 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 01:02 PM
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Laridae's point is well-taken. There are a lot of US-centric folks who think the way it is here in the US is the way it just has to be. If they look across our borders at all, they tend to look down their noses at those "socialists" in Canada or the UK (or even worse, continental Europe)!

I should point out that Canada, the UK, and the European continent all have intellectual-property laws. There's a solid international consensus that inventors and content creators deserve to be compensated for their work. It's just that the US goes a lot further in how strictly they interpret these laws, and so we've ended up with a market where you're pretty much forced to apply for a bunch of defensive patents for trivial or obvious "inventions," just so you'll have a counterclaim in the likely case you inadvertently infringe on someone else's trivial or obvious inventions.

In that kind of market, videobruce is right: access to capital is indeed hugely important. Somebody has to pay for all the IP lawyers, court costs, defensive engineering, etc.! And no, SBA loans aren't nearly enough to level the playing field, laissez-fairyland fantasies aside.

Although I deplore the result, I actually don't blame TiVo for playing that game. If they hadn't, someone else would have, and we'd be all bashing that company instead; but the end-result would be the same.
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post #63 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by laridae View Post

My saying they have a "monopoly" is obviously an over-simplification to make a point - and the point remains that due to a variety of factors there is a notable lack of competition on this continent - as evidenced by the fact the e-majors have been scared off.
A more accurate term could be "oligopoly," but if you'd said that, not many folks would even know what you meant!
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post #64 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 01:07 PM
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Laridae isn't actually in the USA is he?

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider THIS
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post #65 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by laridae View Post
 

My saying they have a "monopoly" is obviously an over-simplification to make a point - and the point remains that due to a variety of factors there is a notable lack of competition on this continent - as evidenced by the fact the e-majors have been scared off.

 

Evidence? I have seen zero.

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post #66 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by laridae View Post

I don't know much about the company but if I were an invester in TiVo I'm sure I'd be overjoyed - especially with their legal department which, from all accounts, are very good at what they do.

There isn't much joy for TiVo investors, because TiVo's stock price is always low. TiVo is barely able to turn a profit (and many quarters operates at a loss) even with all its patent litigation. This just further reinforces the fact that there isn't a big enough DVR market in the US to support competition. If the major player was making money hand-over-fist, then you could argue that competition is necessary to reduce prices. If there isn't enough money in the DVR business for even one company that charges the kind of prices that TiVo does to be profitable, then there certainly isn't enough money in the DVR business for multiple companies to be profitable.
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post #67 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by laridae View Post

as a consumer I feel I have the right not to give TiVo my money if I don't want to. The OTA broadcast is free - why can't I buy a name-brand machine to record it for my own use? And I'm not talking about a do-it-yourself PC hobby such as present company loves to play with. I'm talking about a stand-alone plug-and-play box, same as what joe public's wife wants.
I gave you two standalone options for around $300 in my post above, but somehow you're convinced that if it doesn't have a 'name' brand it's irrelevant.

Nothing could be further from the truth, so my only conclusion is that you want something for nothing. This, in a nutshell, is why the name brands want nothing to do with this market.
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post #68 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Laridae isn't actually in the USA is he?

 

Yes, I happen to live in Ontario, Canada, but the N. American market is pretty much one as far as this stuff goes.

It wouldn't pay a big company to make PVR's just for our market even if the climate were more favourable (and I don't know that it is)

As in most things, we just tag along with the US market, adding an extra 10% to the market.

 

I hope you're not implying that if I don't live in the US I have no right to observe and comment. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that.

I don't claim any particular familiarity or inside knowledge with the situation there. Most of what I've learned has been on here - posted here by, presumably, your fellow Americans.


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post #69 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post


TiVo is barely able to turn a profit (and many quarters operates at a loss) even with all its patent litigation. This just further reinforces the fact that there isn't a big enough DVR market in the US to support competition.


I think you have made much too large of a leap to say that TiVo's lack of profitability is a result of too small a market for DVRs in the US.  First, TiVos haven't just been sold in the US but also in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Taiwan, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

 

Second, you assume that TiVo's primary business model is to profit from the sale of DVRs but according to Wikipedia "TiVo, Inc. is an American corporation whose primary product is the marketing and subscription services for its Tivo branded digital video recorder".  To me, that is a completely different business model than what you have been assuming.

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post #70 of 106 Old 12-24-2013, 08:12 PM
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DVR sales and sub/ad revenue go together for TiVo. This is obvious.
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post #71 of 106 Old 12-25-2013, 07:58 AM
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you have this fake moral compass that prevents you from actually buying a tivo and enjoying the things about it that you wont ever see on competing products. You should be more genuine and realize that you hatred is that you don't want to spend the money on a good DVR and expect to have it all in a cheap, korean version.
1. I own two TiVo's (which I have stated numerous times),
2. I have no issue spending more for function and quality with a decent UI for any electronic product. You are dead wrong on both.
3. There is nothing "fake" about my "moral compass".

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Pathetic? You must be kidding. I have been DVRing since 2000 and have always been very happy using numerous satellite, cable and OTA devices.
Pathetic, absolutely, Kidding absolutely not. Glad your happy, judging by most of the other threads here others don't feel that way.

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Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way. If you like Wi-Fi so much, OTA fits right in. After all, it is wireless.
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post #72 of 106 Old 12-25-2013, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Glad your happy, judging by most of the other threads here others don't feel that way.

Of course people who are happy with their current setups aren't here posting. And the vast majority of consumers don't know or care about a place like AVSForum, they are happy to continue renting their hardware from their service provider.

All of this again points to the reality of the situation - there isn't a market for these devices that is enticing enough for any company, much less the "name brand" companies to go after.
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post #73 of 106 Old 12-25-2013, 08:05 AM
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people want a TiVo; they want all the features TiVo offers; they want the continuous software support TiVo provides. They just don't want to pay the going rate for it so they bash it. OTA users can be especially amusing -- OTA is free so why should we pay anything to watch it on our terms. You had to buy a TV, didn't you?
If that was the case, then why are there any threads on alternatives? The number one issue is paying for the Guide to use the product.
As far as OTA being "free", not if you count the numerous commercials contained within each program slot.
No one expects receiving a "free" TV. Really stretching things aren't you?

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Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way. If you like Wi-Fi so much, OTA fits right in. After all, it is wireless.
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post #74 of 106 Old 12-25-2013, 11:40 AM
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This thread made me do a little digging.

First off, only around 7% of television-viewing Americans use an antenna. That's not a large segment of the population to market to. That's a niche. A niche that's made it clear it either can't or won't pay for television. "Can't" is probably the bigger chunk of that. You don't see a lot of roof antennas in affluent neighborhoods. So now you're looking at a small segment of the population that isn't likely to spend money. That's gonna be a tough place to sell a box that's going to be expensive.. and has to be to make the small number of sales worthwhile.

Now, from what I can glean from UK websites, the over-the-air segment of the population is higher. I can't find any precise figures, but cable/satellite/iptv penetration is only 54%. Unless I'm missing something, that leaves a LOT larger slice than 7%.

Conspiracy and patent theories notwithstanding, it appears to me to be simple economics. Given the number of companies already making OTA DVRs, it's not worth it to try to split that 7% any further.
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post #75 of 106 Old 12-25-2013, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Now, from what I can glean from UK websites, the over-the-air segment of the population is higher. I can't find any precise figures, but cable/satellite/iptv penetration is only 54%. Unless I'm missing something, that leaves a LOT larger slice than 7%.

 

I'm not going to argue with your percentages although I have seen other estimates which say it is closer to 10% for the OTA market in the US but why don't we look at actual numbers rather than percentages.  Using your percentages, with a total population in the UK of approximately 63M that would mean an OTA population of 29M verses the total population in the US of approximately 315M resulting in an OTA population of 22M. Now the difference isn't so dramatic.

 

And I would argue that the current trend in the US is "cord cutting" or dropping cable or satellite TV subscriptions in favor of internet streaming solutions AND OTA reception.  The following article says that one analyst thinks that "most cord-cutters don’t have broadband at all, but are so cash-strapped they are simply making do with rabbit-ear TV".  I would argue that many of those aren't so "cash-strapped" that they couldn't justify, for example, the cost of a DVR+ which may only be the equivalent of 3 or 4 months of cable fees, at the current rates, which only seem to keep going up.

 

http://allthingsd.com/20130604/cord-cutting-is-real-and-the-cable-guys-are-still-in-great-shape-for-now/

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post #76 of 106 Old 12-25-2013, 02:10 PM
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Because reaching 63 million spread out in this country is a lot more expensive than marketing to 24 million there. Plus, the ota population there, since it's a larger percentage of the whole, is statistically less likely to be that way due to financial concerns. I don't think the UK is quite as wired as we are.

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post #77 of 106 Old 12-28-2013, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

First off, only around 7% of television-viewing Americans use an antenna. That's not a large segment of the population to market to. That's a niche.

Where do you get the 7% from?

The most credible source that I've found suggests that it is closer to 10% (9.7%, to be exact). To see for yourself, go to the TVB national ADS & cable penetration page: http://www.tvb.org/media_comparisons/4729/72512

While you're there, you can also find some cool breakdowns by market, which may not be relevant to this discussion, but are still significant.

Yes, OTA is definitely a niche in this country -- but I'll note that 9.7% of the US is still quite a significant market.
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post #78 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 01:06 AM
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Yes, OTA is definitely a niche in this country -- but I'll note that 9.7% of the US is still quite a significant market.
Size is only part of the business equation. Growth potential for a proposed product is just as important and together, along with other factors, they help define the actual market. A business contemplating a product in a target market will look at both factors and evaluate them against the players already established. They will make estimates of the market share they can capture then compute the "final" numbers -- what is their potential profitability vs. their internal "cost of capital" hurdle rate. No company will consider a product if their business analysis shows they can't meet their hurdle rate -- well at least no company run by someone competent in business management. They will terminate the project, or never start it, and redeploy their assets and resources to projects with higher value.

Larger companies have higher hurdle rates because their corporate overhead is larger. They are less likely to get into niche markets that are already saturated with players barely able to make a profit. I strongly suspect such is the case with the niche market for OTA DVR's in the US -- it is simply not profitable for the larger companies (the name brands) to launch a product in that space.
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post #79 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 07:18 AM
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Well, put, Kelson.

Yeah, I've seen figures of between 6 and 12%, but the key, as Kelson points out, is profitability. No business is going to put out a product unless there is a good chance of profit potential.

Let's use 10%. Now, WHY is that 10% not using some form of cable or satellite television? I can't find a true breakdown of that, but I would suspect the majority of OTA-only viewers do so mostly because of budget concerns. They either don't want to or cannot afford to spend money on television. Hard to tell your shareholders you're going to chase after people who have no money. Same reason there's not a Bloomingdale's in Arkansas.

Now, granted, there's a segment of that 10% that has the discretionary income and the desire to pay for an OTA DVR. But it's not nearly the full 10%. Probably closer to 1%. Most likely less than that. The vast majority of the OTA-only group simply doesn't have the money. Pretty sure the market research departments at all of these companies have already found that out. Which is WHY the number of companies turning out these devices is so small here. Anybody getting into the market now would be going after only a small sliver of an already too-small market.

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post #80 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Larger companies have higher hurdle rates because their corporate overhead is larger. They are less likely to get into niche markets that are already saturated with players barely able to make a profit. I strongly suspect such is the case with the niche market for OTA DVR's in the US -- it is simply not profitable for the larger companies (the name brands) to launch a product in that space.

This seems like an entirely reasonable analysis -- and one thing that frustrates me is the unwillingness of customers to pay a reasonable price for a high end video recorder. That problem isn't limited to the OTA market, by any means -- the aftermarket for video recorders that would go into pay TV households has been similarly decimated by the unwillingness of those customers to pay *any* money up front for a recorder, as opposed to just leasing whatever piece of junk is available through the pay TV provider. Convenience of a single bill and no up front cost ends up winning out.

Through most of the eighties and nineties, I bought a steady stream of high end VCRs featuring whatever the then new features were of the time (Hi-Fi stereo with built in MTS audio, S-VHS, flying erase heads and jog shuttle dials), and enough other customers were willing to do the same that Panasonic, Sony, and JVC were able to supply a steady stream of $1K VCRs to the market, even as the mainstream mass market price points dropped steadily lower. Today, the number of people willing to pay $200 for a high end video recorder seems to be pretty small, let alone $1K.

That said, I do take disagreement with DrDon's comments regarding discretionary income of OTA viewers. I think there are very limited studies on this issue (and the broader issue of cord cutting), so solid numbers are hard to come by. My suspicion is that it is a factor that varies significantly by market -- in, say, Boston, where OTA penetration is 3.4% (per TVB), DrDon's opinion is likely on target. In markets with higher OTA penetration such as Dallas (16.2%), Minneapolis (17.7%), Milwaukee (22.2%) and Boise (25.4%), I suspect that there are many OTA viewers who do indeed have discretionary income. How many of us will spend that money on video gear might be another question...but to dismiss OTA as being a poverty market is probably not correct.

The unknown in all this is what ongoing trends are going to be regarding cord cutting. I seriously doubt that the trend will reverse, but it is entirely possible that it may stall out. If it stalls out at 10%, what remains is small and marginal niche market. If it keeps going to 15%, 20%, 25% or higher, there could eventually be a very solid market to be pursued. Right now, I think it is safe to say that no one knows where (if anywhere) cord cutting will lead.

I wonder what the size of the market was for fully loaded $1K VCRs twenty years ago? Judging by the relatively small market penetration for S-VHS, it was apparently pretty small -- but whatever it was, it was big enough for Panasonic, Sony, and JVC to keep serving that market. The question is this -- how many people here would be willing to spend $1K for a really sophisticated DVR that featured multiple tuners, built in editing capability (for deleting commercials and trimming recordings), and the ability to burn to Blu-ray and DVD? Now, let's add component video inputs and maybe cable card capability to serve those markets...now how many people will spend the money? Sadly, I think that the answer is "not many". Which is why I ultimately do agree with Kelson's analysis.
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Now, granted, there's a segment of that 10% that has the discretionary income and the desire to pay for an OTA DVR. But it's not nearly the full 10%. Probably closer to 1%. Most likely less than that. The vast majority of the OTA-only group simply doesn't have the money.

That is a complete guess on your part.  You make it sound like almost everyone who doesn't have cable or satellite would be taking food out of their kids mouths in order to scrape up enough money to buy a DVR. If that is really the case then why do TV stations continue to add digital sub-channels (at least in my viewing area) when the only audience for some of them is an OTA audience which has no discretionary income?  If that is really the case television stations would be foolish to waste all the money they spend on electricity required to power their transmitters sending a signal to such an audience.

 

And you seem to be implying that anyone who has enough money to afford cable or satellite would be a fool not to want to spend $80 or more per month of their hard earned money to watch it.  You don't seem to be able to recognize that there can be a significant part of the population who easily have enough income to be able to afford cable but who just don't want it because they simply refuse, on principle, to be tied to an unending monthly bill which continues to go up while the vast majority of what they would be paying for they aren't interested in and wouldn't watch.

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post #82 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 10:52 AM
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No, it's not a complete guess. Call it an educated and experienced guess. I work in the field. Plus, perception IS reality. Even if half of OTA users had boatloads of discretionary income, because the marketing and advertising people THINK they don't, they won't target them.

(Also, if they were that wealthy, then why did the government spend billions putting ATSC converters in their hands? I imagine the OTA users in your sphere of reference are normal, dual income families. Go drive around outside your city and look at the age of the cars parked in the driveways of houses with antennas on top of them. I guarantee you market research people already have, in a sense, done that)


As for those subchannels:
1. Have you SEEN the commercials on those channels? Lexus? Bloomingdales? Maybe you're seeing those in YOUR market, but in the cities I've recently visited, the subs are full of Alex Trabek and Anthony Sullivan. They're aimed at a less-than-affluent population. There are companies who make money targeting that audience. High-end electronics manufacturers are not on that list. The subchannels cost nothing to add. They're barter. The local station gets a few minutes an hour they can sell, but that's often used as a value-added sell on the main channel. They don't actually see any significant income from the subchannel alone.

(In fact, look at the programming on the successful subchannels. What's the demographic of THOSE target audieces?)

2. Every network affiliate in my market has placed its subchannels on most - if not all - cable systems. And some of the non-network broadcasters also have subchannels on the cable system. More every year as it becomes part of their carriage agreements.


But the answer to the original question remains unchanged. The reason there aren't a lot of OTA DVR devices in the market is because there aren't enough people to buy them to make it worth the gamble.

Remember, to make money on a product you have to sell enough to cover research, development, manufacturing, marketing, product support ...and profit. To do that, you have to either move a lot of product at a low price point or a little product at a high price point. Neither scenario works here, especially with a few companies already in the market none of which is setting the world on fire with their product.

Tell me how to make an ATSC recorder that's subscription-free, idiot-proof, needs little tech support or an internet connection and that'll sell for under a hundred dollars and we'll talk.
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post #83 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas Desmond View Post

The unknown in all this is what ongoing trends are going to be regarding cord cutting. I seriously doubt that the trend will reverse, but it is entirely possible that it may stall out. If it stalls out at 10%, what remains is small and marginal niche market. If it keeps going to 15%, 20%, 25% or higher, there could eventually be a very solid market to be pursued. Right now, I think it is safe to say that no one knows where (if anywhere) cord cutting will lead.

 

I think it's easy to see the future. Online viewing will continue to grow (even faster) if and when subscription TV falls off. During the holidays discussion of several shows came up and virtually all of them were streaming based. This being the under 30 crowd... Like cafeteries OTA might not become extinct but its days are long gone.

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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

As for those subchannels:
1. Have you SEEN the commercials on those channels? Lexus? Bloomingdales? Maybe you're seeing those in YOUR market, but in the cities I've recently visited, the subs are full of Alex Trabek and Anthony Sullivan. They're aimed at a less-than-affluent population. There are companies who make money targeting that audience. High-end electronics manufacturers are not on that list. The subchannels cost nothing to add. They're barter. The local station gets a few minutes an hour they can sell, but that's often used as a value-added sell on the main channel. They don't actually see any significant income from the subchannel alone.

(In fact, look at the programming on the successful subchannels. What's the demographic of THOSE target audieces?)

2. Every network affiliate in my market has placed its subchannels on most - if not all - cable systems. And some of the non-network broadcasters also have subchannels on the cable system. More every year as it becomes part of their carriage agreements.


But the answer to the original question remains unchanged. The reason there aren't a lot of OTA DVR devices in the market is because there aren't enough people to buy them to make it worth the gamble.

Remember, to make money on a product you have to sell enough to cover research, development, manufacturing, marketing, product support ...and profit. To do that, you have to either move a lot of product at a low price point or a little product at a high price point. Neither scenario works here, especially with a few companies already in the market none of which is setting the world on fire with their product.

Tell me how to make an ATSC recorder that's subscription-free, idiot-proof, needs little tech support or an internet connection and that'll sell for under a hundred dollars and we'll talk.

 

I haven't been arguing that there aren't differences in demographics between the OTA audience and everyone else, but you have been trying to make the extreme argument that it's "most likely less" than 1% of the whole population who are OTA and who can afford a DVR.  To me, an extreme argument like that requires more proof than just a guess, or even an "educated guess".

 

When you talk about all of the associated manufacturing costs of a DVR (e.g. research, development, etc.) and why that prevents sales of DVRs in the US, you are ignoring the fact that most of the big name electronics manufacturers already produce DVRs in the UK and other countries which would only require minor design changes to their hardware and very few changes to their software for them to work in the US.  Not only has most of the research and development been done already but they have the advantage of having had their products in the field for years so errors can be corrected and improvements made.  All of these companies also have existing marketing and product support organizations in the US.  So this part of you argument really doesn't make much sense.

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post #85 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DD24 View Post
 

 

I haven't been arguing that there aren't differences in demographics between the OTA audience and everyone else, but you have been trying to make the extreme argument that it's "most likely less" than 1% of the whole population who are OTA and who can afford a DVR.


To a large degree afford means is it desired enough to purchase... in the worse case forgoing something else. Take the same demographics and how many of them are without smart phones? I'm guessing very few... outside of the old fart dying off group (I'm almost one of them :)). In the case of OTA the demand isn't there. As far as proof what market hasn't been addressed when there was demand. If down the road demand exists it will be addressed by any number of manufacturers.

 

How many months has it been since the previous Channel Master DVR was discontinued? If there was any real money to be made the newer model would have been shipping way before the previous one was dropped.

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post #86 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DD24 View Post

I haven't been arguing that there aren't differences in demographics between the OTA audience and everyone else, but you have been trying to make the extreme argument that it's "most likely less" than 1% of the whole population who are OTA and who can afford a DVR.  To me, an extreme argument like that requires more proof than just a guess, or even an "educated guess".

Maybe I should have said, "are going to spend money on a DVR." Can they afford it? Maybe. But they have bigger priorities. I kid you not, the number of consumers who would gladly dole out what such a box would cost is m i n i s c u l e. Here are the reasons I can think of for going strictly OTA (in no particular order)
1. Can't afford cable = no money
2. Don't have time to watch much television = not interested in a television recording device
3. Get my television from the internet = not interested/no need for a DVR
4. Better ways to spend money; i.e college for the kids, remodeling the house, etc = no money
5. No access to cable, southern sky blocked, dialup internet. Now THIS might be a market, but it's less than one percent of the 10% of OTA viewing.

Which one of those scenarios TO A MARKET RESEARCH FIRM says "fertile market for an expensive device to record over-the-air television?"

A television general manager once said to me that he wished he didn't have to run a transmitter at all. He already fibered his signal to Dish, DirecTV and every cable company that was in his metro area. He said, "The only people still using an antenna don't have the money to spend with my advertisers, so it costs me more to run the transmitter than I make from it. It's an unnecessary expense." I asked him about people who simply lived beyond the reach of cable and he said, "That's so far out, the odds of them driving in for a one-day sale at (local) furniture store are nil. They live out there to save money, not spend it. They're of no use to me."
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When you talk about all of the associated manufacturing costs of a DVR (e.g. research, development, etc.) and why that prevents sales of DVRs in the US, you are ignoring the fact that most of the big name electronics manufacturers already produce DVRs in the UK and other countries which would only require minor design changes to their hardware and very few changes to their software for them to work in the US.  Not only has most of the research and development been done already but they have the advantage of having had their products in the field for years so errors can be corrected and improvements made.  All of these companies also have existing marketing and product support organizations in the US.  So this part of you argument really doesn't make much sense.
Sure it does. Changing the design might seem easy to you, but that involves retooling the manufacturing chain or starting a new one. It'll add to the cost of the box. How much peer box depends on over how many boxes they can sell. And, since there are already companies doing that, they know it's not gonna be a lot of boxes.

But forget that for a second. And pardon me for restating my point... any additional companies getting into the US OTA DVR market are going to be chasing a fraction of the existing ***potential*** market. It's not that they CAN'T, my friend, it's that it isn't worth it. They simply will not sell enough to make it worth the time and effort.

It does not matter if you and I see it as profitable or not. The people running the market research departments are looking at it just the way I laid out... one fifth of 7% divided by five ...isn't a lot.

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post #87 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 03:22 PM
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Regarding the perception of OTA viewers on the part of advertisers and CE manufacturers, I would say they are probably perceived not just as poor but also as apathetic. Pay TV has become so ubiquitous in the US that anyone who uses an antenna is assumed to be someone who doesn't really care about TV, because any TV enthusiast is expected to show interest in programming that is only available on cable. Such viewers hardly constitute an appealing market for a new CE device, when most of them are probably still content to sit down at 8 pm on Tuesdays to watch their favourite program.
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I agree with DrDon, while it may not necessarily be the truth, if it's what advertisers or CE mfgs. believe(and I don't doubt him) the OTA demographic will never really be treated seriously.

Personally I'm one of the demo that that doesn't pay for TV, I watch lots of it with my Tivo HD hooked to an antenna but really feel no need to pay for more(I have a hard time watching what I record now).

Sure I'd love it if mfgs. like Panasonic sold dual tuner HD BD recorders here like they do in the UK but they don't and I feel the reason is more because of what DrDon said than anything else. In regards to optical disc recorders Panasonic used to make some very nice SD units for the N. American market and for the most part they were a complete failure, people refused to pay what they cost to make and often ended up returning them when they couldn't figure them out. The only manufacturer still really selling DVDRs in N. America is Funai and their various brands(Magnavox, Toshiba, etc.). They are all for the most part very low cost units because thats all that people want to spend :(

It doesn't matter if the people making the decisions are wrong or not in their belief that the OTA market could not support more quality DVRs, if they feel it wouldn't be profitable they won't even try.

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post #89 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

But forget that for a second. And pardon me for restating my point... any additional companies getting into the US OTA DVR market are going to be chasing a fraction of the existing ***potential*** market. It's not that they CAN'T, my friend, it's that it isn't worth it. They simply will not sell enough to make it worth the time and effort.

 

Well I think it's safe to say with that kind of attitude and myopic approach to the market you won't be getting any offers to be the product manager for any new OTA DVRs coming into the US. ;)  You assume that any new DVR would be "chasing" and not smashing the competition but let's take a look at the real competition in the US.

 

I imagine first and foremost there is the TiVo OTA DVR.  It is an excellent DVR with 4 tuners and lots of cool features (I actually owned an early TiVo over 10 years ago which was integrated into a DirecTV STB and I liked it very much).  But the problem is that TiVo doesn't really want to sell you a DVR, they want to sell you the monthly guide subscription (this can be seen by the $650-$700 cost of the DVR with a lifetime subscription). So for many true "cord cutters" who refuse to be tied to yet another monthly subscription, this is really not an option. And it is not really serious competition at this combined total cost (how much should guide service cost when 2 weeks of guide data is available on the internet for free right now?).

 

So after TiVo, what competition is left?  We have just a handful of DVRs manufactured by small companies which are greatly lacking in features and capabilities compared to the TiVo, some of which can't record reliably or can't keep time accurately, or require an AVS geek just to keep them functioning at all (please forgive me if I just trashed your favorite DVR ). :)

 

If a big name electronics manufacturer can't smash that kind of "competition" something is drastically wrong.

 

Quote:
It does not matter if you and I see it as profitable or not. The people running the market research departments are looking at it just the way I laid out... one fifth of 7% divided by five ...isn't a lot.

 

I guess they haven't seen the data presented by Thomas Desmond which showed Dallas with 16.2% OTA, Minneapolis 17.7%, and Milwaukee 22.2%.  And why do you think that OTA DVRs can't capitalize on the cord cutting trend and actually pull current cable and satellite customers away from them with a full featured OTA DVR at a reasonable cost? That is what is called creating demand with a great product, not relying on some perceived market that exists with the products that are currently available.

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post #90 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 05:47 PM
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But the problem is that TiVo doesn't really want to sell you a DVR, they want to sell you the monthly guide subscription (this can be seen by the $650-$700 cost of the DVR with a lifetime subscription). So for many true "cord cutters" who refuse to be tied to yet another monthly subscription, this is really not an option. And it is not really serious competition at this combined total cost (how much should guide service cost when 2 weeks of guide data is available on the internet for free right now?).

 

So after TiVo, what competition is left?  We have just a handful of DVRs manufactured by small companies which are greatly lacking in features and capabilities compared to the TiVo, some of which can't record reliably or can't keep time accurately, or require an AVS geek just to keep them functioning at all (please forgive me if I just trashed your favorite DVR ). :)

 

Actually TiVo wants to make a profit and prices the box and service accordingly. How it sells best after many years of experience in the market. And today you can purchase such for $500 ($550 if you don't count the included gift card)... of which I did a week ago or so (as a new customer). Serious competition... what is their market share? The cost of the guide/schedule is always used as a straw man. The cost to use a DVR is the total cost and how is it obtained is irrelevant.

 

Competition... heck I'm not even in the market and I know Philips, Channel Master, Simple.tv and others are fighting. You don't get much more mainstream than Best Buy...

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/philips-digital-video-recorder/2750445.p?id=1219077228427&skuId=2750445

 

What doesn't exist is a 100% custom designed solution for every person that feels something should cost what they feel it should and should feature whatever they feel it should. Except for perhaps those who are willing to "spend" the few hours to configure WMC or one of the other easy solutions readily available.

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