Will HDTV catch on? - AVS Forum
Local HDTV Info and Reception > Will HDTV catch on?
Chriscpm's Avatar Chriscpm 05:44 AM 03-24-2002
I'm starting to doubt it.

I look at it like the movie pay it forward. If everyone gets three people online, we're all set.

Well, I thought had two, but now it is only 1.5. This is the disappointment - one of my friends asked my advice a while back. He was willing to get a dish, which is good. I gave him all the stats, etc. I stopped by his house 3 weeks or so later to check it out and there were boxes of DTV stuff everywhere unopened. Two installers wouldn't go on his roof because it was too difficult. So I looked at his stuff and it was a bit wrong. No oval dish and all the HDTV details. So he gets that resolved and gets going.

I talked to him Friday to get an update. Supposedly, he really can't see the difference between HDTV and standard, because "everything" looks so good. I ask a few questions and find out that he installed an antenna and ran a wire, but didn't hook it up. Why I ask? Because he gets locals from DTV. Not in HDTV I say. No, but he says he can ONLY get HBO and 199 in HDTV. I say - that's over the dish, but we have 6 local digital stations here and you need an antenna. His response is that "other people" disagree with me on that. Huh? They disagree that local digital channels are there? That you need an antenna? I let this one go for now and will see what stations show up after a scan when I go over there.

So basically, this guy has a Sony 60 or 65 widescreen HDTV in Michigan with 6 OTA digital channels, but doesn't use them. He also has, but never watches HDNet. His total HDTV opinion is based on HBO-HD. He is also the FIRST to jump on the "lack of programming" bandwagon.

This is an engineer without any real financial constraints impeding HDTV. I mean, he has it, but doesn't use it. I can't imagine my Dad (or anyone his age) EVER getting HDTV.

So, Will HDTV catch on? I hope so, but I'm starting to doubt it.

DP1's Avatar DP1 10:08 AM 03-24-2002
Will it catch on? Well first of all, whats the definiton of "catch on"? Catch on like having a Model T in every driveway? Catch on like having a tv of any kind in every household eventually did?

I suppose if my dad would have been one of the first to buy into a color tv, he would have had the same experiences with his friends and neighbors wondering why they werent in any big rush to buy one. Perhaps due to cost, lack of content, the feeling of it's "only television", whatever.

But just as back then, theres still too many obstacles now, as your experiences with other people show. Even people that already have DBS systems arent going to go and upgrade them to the tune of 800.00 just for a couple channels. They're not going to go out and dick around with antennas when they've been used to cable tv for 20 years.

Which as usual means that cable tv *must* get on board before this has any chance of truly taking off. Network H/DTV signals must be made available from a connector on the wall. Once that happens in the 70 million or so cable tv homes, we can finally have a reasonable expectation that many more networks that we consider "cable" networks, will begin offering HD content. ESPN, CNN, Discovery, etc. What good would it do any of those 3 for example to start offering HD at this point when none of the multi channel providers could even get them into peoples homes efficently, if at all?

Be able to get a dozen or more HD channels into peoples living rooms without them having to do anything more than plug connectors onto the back of their new TV (without having to spend hundreds of extra dollars for a decoder box), and maybe within the next decade a majority homes will have at least one H/DTV. Between that and other factors like the cost having come way down, thered be no reason for them not to.
feldon23's Avatar feldon23 10:39 AM 03-24-2002
It's been 3 weeks.

Guess it's time for a nonbeliever to ask this again.
spwace's Avatar spwace 11:00 AM 03-24-2002
It's a valid question. Just believing isn't going to make it happen.
S. A. Moore's Avatar S. A. Moore 01:33 PM 03-24-2002
I know several people who went and bought an expensive HDTV
capable receiver, but not only show no interest in hooking it up for HDTV
use, but claim that there is no advantage over DVDs, which is most
of what they bought the set for.

What they all have in common is that they have never seen HDTV.
And keep in mind that when most people go down to the TV
store, they are watching DVDs on an HDTV, since that is how
most HDTVs are demonstrated.

I would say the right thing is to simply not be bothered by this.
If they want to see real HDTV, show them. Otherwise, just wait.
The quality of HDTV will speak for itself. It was not that long ago,
only a few years in fact, that most people I knew considered my
purchase of a DVD player as a waste, since "DVDs were rarely
available, more expensive and the quality no better than VHS".

Putting down new technologies that you don't understand is
an American pastime. I have noticed that the folks I have seen
who have the most to say about how stupid a particular new
technology is ramp up their words against it just before they
give up and adopt it.

"VHS tape recorders ? Why would I want one of those. I can
watch shows for free"

"A computer at home ? What a waste of money. What would
I do with it, calculate stock futures ?"

"DVDs ? I am happy with VHS, no thanks"
Chriscpm's Avatar Chriscpm 04:41 PM 03-24-2002
Don't get me wrong, I hope HDTV takes off. This incident introduces a whole new uncertainty that I didn't see before. This guy has an HDTV and all the stuff to get HDTV, yet doesn't have it set up nearly to its potential. The concerning thing is he doesn't really believe there are local digital channels, or is at least confused by what is available. This is an information thing common to the general public.

As far as what I mean by catching on, I mean CD/DVD/DBS type of popularity. I don't mean Laser disk. Ultimately Laser disks were reformulated as DVDs. I hope this doesn't happen to HDTV. What is odd to me is that DBS is totally inferior to cable as far as bandwidth, but DBS is leading in bandwidth hungy HDTV broadcasting.

Also, I sure had to "dick around with an antenna" as Dan put it, to get a good digital signal. If cable had offered HDTV before my tolerance for waiting, I would have done it that way.

On the bright side, one of my uncles had great luck with using the antenna that was pre-installed on the roof of his apartment. To get started, he twisted the shielding of a coax together (until he got a crimper) - and it worked! He is pretty close to the towers though.
seandudley's Avatar seandudley 08:41 PM 03-24-2002
Originally posted by Chriscpm
So basically, this guy has a Sony 60 or 65 widescreen HDTV in Michigan with 6 OTA digital channels, but doesn't use them.
This really agrovates me! I am in a dang market with 0 digital stations, and this guy has 6 and doesn't watch them. What I wouldn't give to have his digital stations! I'd watch them all the time.
flleger's Avatar flleger 09:40 PM 03-25-2002
I couldn't agree with DP1 more. In fact I posted a very similar message at a different message forum. Until HDTV is as easy as hooking up the common 19" to cable it won't be going anywhere very fast.

I've been messing with PCs since 1989. I was a tweeker who was always running utilities trying to get the most out of my 20 meg Tandy HD. I'd be willing to bet most of you were one of the first in your area with SOME sort of electronic gizmo. A great stereo perhaps. First guy with a 2400 baud modem. Something. We were on the cutting edge then and we're sitting there again. Just as someone mentioned about color TVs. There were only two in my neighborhood back in the 60's and we'd all flock over to watch cartoons there. Personally we couldn't afford one. Couldn't until we got a USED one when a motel closed down in town and we got one there.

Regular folks out there have 32" standard def sets with digital cable and they like it pretty well. Clean sharp picture. Easy to use. Sure, a 65" WS Hi-def ready would be nice but then not everyone has a spare room to set up a theater. In my area we're still waiting for the network stations besides PBS to get the digital equipment up and running. I'm waiting for them as well. I'm not taking a leap until I can get at least two national networks in hi-def. Then I'll add the oval dish and get HBO and HD-Net. I just can't justify the cost for two channels over Direct TV.

Meanwhile I really enjoy my home theater and DVDs. HDTV will come to us all in time. Sooner than later I hope.
Robby Cee's Avatar Robby Cee 07:13 AM 03-27-2002
I have been to the mountain top, and I have seen through the eyes of true 1080i resolution. There is no turning back. I am a 27 year old hard working guy and I have yet to make my fortune. I have, however, made a committment to myself and to the fact that I must have HDTV. I saved up and bought a Mitsubishi WS-55819 Widescreen HDTV upgradeable RPTV, I have swung a deal to get last year's Panasonic HDTV Satellite reciever (on layaway, no doubt) for an off the showroom wall discount, and I will somehow make the monthly payment to Direct TV. My point here is this: Once it has been seen, I think it is infectious. I dont think people that begin to watch high definition will be satisfied with regular cable television. I know I am a bit Obsessive Compulsive, and not the norm, but I do know the effect my enthusiasm has had on other people. I know we are in on the ground floor of something great, and a bad attitude towards it will do nothing but make it a longer uphill journey. If we continue to show our friends, and if we let our enthusiasm grow with each new step, and each new convert, then we will reap the benefits of our perserverance.... I could go on for days..

Fight the good fight, and dont get discouraged.:p
Ed Dixon's Avatar Ed Dixon 07:52 AM 03-27-2002
Will it catch on? Yes.

The only real questions are in what time frame and what form. The early concepts for HDTV were mostly OTA broadcast based from the FCC. Today it involves many more things including basic TV gear, DVD, cable, Sat service, PVR, VCR, and home theater.

The principal issues (not in any order) driving HDTV include:

1. Content
2. Cost
3. Transition
4. Compatibility

Content continues to improve, but it's still weak. Our Sat/Cable system gets 100+ channels, yet only 3 are HD. And of the 3, only about 50% of the material are shown in 16x9 format.

Cost is still quite high. The average consumer thinks of TVs in the $500 or less price range. Most HD sets start at 1-2K and up, before the cost of add-on gear like antennas, STB, or cabling. The cost to set up a home theater with A/V, HD RPTV, STB, etc is in the 3-5K range. Sales will be slow until good HD sets drop below $1000.

Transition to HD will be hard. Millions of folks have good TV sets they will not want to trash and replace with a new HD set. They will need a low cost STB to handle the conversion for some years to come. Such a STB has to handle OTA, cable, SAT, etc. Then there is the remote question. As many have already said, it must be simple to operate. Today STBs start at about $500, before the related issues are addressed (remote, antenna, cabling, etc). Until they reach the $100 price point range, it will be a hard sell to the masses.

Compatibility is still harder. The FCC schedule claims to mandate a full transition to HD in a few years. Most folks have no clue as to what this means. The FCC schedule has already slipped some, and most senior FCC folks think it will probably slip again. When it does occur, 10s of millions of TV sets will become worthless without an STB.

Then there is cable and Sat service. Neither have a schedule for a full transition. Neither have the bandwidth for such a transition or the budget to provide completely new STB gear to allow their customers to view HD.

The bottom line is that the transition to HD will be slow. It will grow mostly in improved picture quality as a result of HD-related gear, rather than true HD content.

flleger's Avatar flleger 02:48 PM 03-27-2002
Personally, I think the big hook will be sports. Imagine...Monday Night Football with 13 hidef cameras all around the stadium. NFL, MLB, NBA, all in hidef. College football...geez. I get the NFL Sunday Ticket from DirectTV and let me tell you the digital picture really makes a difference on a big screen.

If we ever get some good sports programs on we need to pack our buddies into the theater and give them a treat.
Chriscpm's Avatar Chriscpm 05:21 PM 03-27-2002
I think its really got to be simply, which it isn't right now. The good thing it that right now it really is somethng special. Everyone on this forum is certainly the only guy on the block with HDTV. I don't think there are any ladies here ever asking about Sat C or 720/1080 issues. Hmmm, maybe thats the missing link, HDTV for ladies?
DP1's Avatar DP1 07:26 PM 03-27-2002
Originally posted by Chriscpm
Hmmm, maybe thats the missing link, HDTV for ladies?
Sure! Thats why CBS does Young and the Restless in HD. ;)

But I dunno, I still think for most people it still comes down to "only television". I just had a couple visiting me from out of town for the past few days and they're successful 40 somethings that I know watch a good bit of TV. But ya know what, as much as I wanted to wow them with all the demo material I could find (and I get most all HD there is to get), it didnt matter whether it was HDNet or the PBS demo loop, after about 5 minutes he was already asking me if I was ready to turn the channel. Cause he's so used to surfin 100 channels of whatnot I guess. Sure, he thought the picture was lovely but couldnt help but wanna see what was on TVLand or USA or A&E or Fox, etc.
Linda Britt's Avatar Linda Britt 07:16 PM 03-28-2002

Uh, I've been here for over two years. There are other women here as well.


You disappoint me. Y&R is all women are interested in watching? Uh, no thank you. Oh, well.

Robby Cee's Avatar Robby Cee 08:00 PM 03-28-2002
You go girl!!:D
del's Avatar del 05:01 AM 03-29-2002
Your friend just might not want to get on the roof. I have a good friend that does audio video setups all over Detroit that will do it for him. Let me know if your interested. Invite him over to watch the Masters.
DP1's Avatar DP1 06:53 AM 03-29-2002
Originally posted by Linda Britt

You disappoint me. Y&R is all women are interested in watching? Uh, no thank you. Oh, well.

It was more of a tease aimed at Chris, Linda. I mean, what does "HDTV for ladies" mean to begin with? I should think you're already enjoying as much of the stuff on HDNet, and CBS and ABC and PBS etc, as any guy is. What does being a lady have to do with it?

IOW if you actually agree that womens views are being overlooked at this point, just what type of material thats otherwise geared towards you would you like to see in HD? You gals need Chippendale dancers to compete with the Beauty contests? If so, then you disappoint me. ;) Course thats from a guy who you've never seen make ga ga, OMG yes yes yes!, statements about that type of programming to begin with. If those type of images meant alot to me I'd just go down to the local strip joint and see them in 3D.
Chriscpm's Avatar Chriscpm 07:16 AM 03-29-2002
Geezzz. We are just goofing around here right? I mean, I know as much about the difference between a Thermidor and a Viking as my wife. Sure. The thermidor is easier to clean. I researched that, sure I did. I know all about Sub-Zeros too. And my wife, she knows all about brands like Klipsh, B&K, and Russound. Sure... Now that I think of it, she is always bugging me to get more HT equipment. :-)
Linda Britt's Avatar Linda Britt 03:52 PM 03-29-2002
Dan and Chris,

Touche! My apology is in order for failing to note your comments were made in jest. Dan, yes, I have noticed and appreciated your tact in the past. As for the Chippendale dancers, I've already seen them in 3-D. ;)

Ernie Smith's Avatar Ernie Smith 01:00 PM 03-30-2002
Well, this will be considered blasphemy by some on here but here goes nuttin'
I installed two systems about two months ago. My system upstairs is a Sharp 34" HDTV with a Sony Sat 100HD stb. I became an instant afficionado. I was stunned at the first movie I saw on HBOH with both the audio and video. I was also pleased with Fox's 480p presentation on The Super Bowl, although many on here weren't, but at that time I was awed at that presentation. albeit not true HDTV 1080i. I was enthralled by productions since then, esp the Olympics.
My system downstairs is a 100" Stewart Filmscreen, Runco 900A FP, Faroudja 100LD, also with a Sony Sat 100HD stb, but much more difficult to get HDTV on until I had installed a switcher since my Runco would only take RGB. I just got it up and running on Thurs nite and I havent really had a chance to analyze it yet. I am looking forward to viewing the NCAA this afternoon on this big screen. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.
Bottom line is that my upstairs was a piece of cake to set up; downstairs more difficult and just up and going.
But back to the topic. HDTV presentations are few and far between and it will take patience to be a "pioneer". Right now if I was discussing the vagaries of having HDTV with a potential user, I would have to describe to that person that (1)there is not a lot of programs at this time (2) that they would have a reduced picture on their 16:9 screen if they didnt have a 16:9 picture on, or didn't have a "stretch" or similar mode to fill up the screen(3)they might be better off waiting for a couple of years. I know this is not fortuituous for us HDTVphiles but if I was really truthful to a friend, this is what I would have to describe to them.
What would we do without Mark Cuban and HDNET? Although we are going to get the NCAA's and The Masters, we are at the whims of the broadcasting companies.
I am awed by HDTV and will always use the stellar picture that I am receiving by that medium as the paradigm for what I want in video. My dvd's pale in comparison and I used to think they were the living end.
I hope it catches on but unless the broadcasting companies have more HDTV production, it will just take longer than 2006 I am afraid, no matter what has been dictated.
Sincerely, Ernie :rolleyes:
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