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Why aren't better CECB's available, and why can't the coupon buy a better DTV tuner? - Page 6

post #151 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

If we were, and we protested, and the current administration was in power then, we would've just been disregarded as some "internet fringe nut astroturfers" and "industry plants".

And I wouldn't blame them for thinking that. Anybody suggesting the coupons should be used to subsidize DVR purchases should be laughed at.
post #152 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

If we were, and we protested, and the current administration was in power then, we would've just been disregarded as some "internet fringe nut astroturfers" and "industry plants".

So they would have hit the nail on the head?

The current administration probably would have given us $100 coupons instead of the measly $40, or given us a large rebate for our clunker TVs.

With $100 coupons, we could have purchased a box that was 2 1/2 times better.
post #153 of 169
I don't think it's insane to think that coupons could have been allowed to be applied towards DVRs and/or DVD recorders. My gripe with the coupon program all along is that it created a new breed of consumer electronic that has no track record and is completely throw away. I think my view is justified by the fact that now that the coupon program is coming to an end, manufacturers are not continuing to manufacture new boxes. It makes more sense to push people into other existing product lines.
post #154 of 169
Ideally the CECBs will last the remainder of the life time of the analog set used as a display, could be 6 to 10 years or longer for some. Even if the CECB will last 1 to 3 years they would have a benefit to landfills and the consumer.

Landfills are closing. TV sets can cost $10 to dispose of through recycling. So old sets can't just be quickly thrown into a hole anymore. If a TV set was taken to the dump for every CECB in the same time frame then it would possibly overload that system.

Also of benefit to the consumer is the delay to investing in a new TV. It gives a couple years for people to shop and save if needed. It also gives a time for the TV market to develop, name brand quality moderately priced moderately featured TV sets don't seem plentiful (I haven't done serious looking to buy myself so just my glancing impression). I think lots of people would want a brand name moderately priced set between 20 and 24 inches, could be SD and not lots of bells and whistles. Maybe that type of product will become more plentiful especially as people might want to spend less for a while.
post #155 of 169
Problem is, a lot of these boxes aren't even lasting people more a year.
post #156 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Problem is, a lot of these boxes aren't even lasting people more a year.

yes that is a real problem, still buying a year shopping time might be worth the $0 to $20 above coupon, though probably a smaller fraction of people started thinking ahead to replacement, most probably considered it a set-lifetime solution. hopefully most of those those that paid $30 to $40 above coupon will get better quality, even though their have been reports of even those biting the dust in smaller numbers. some of the premium priced units seemed to offer better quality for construction and interface so more effort seems to have been put into those.
post #157 of 169
Wow...This is the first I have heard about the longevity being so short...Any links??? I have a LG that I bought used 3 years ago that was already a few years old I think andit is doing just fine...Granted it wasn't one of these coupon eligible STB but still I would guess that what with the age the same thing could be manufactured today at a substantial savings while maintaining the build quality and reliability...
post #158 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

Wow...This is the first I have heard about the longevity being so short...Any links??? I have a LG that I bought used 3 years ago that was already a few years old I think andit is doing just fine...Granted it wasn't one of these coupon eligible STB but still I would guess that what with the age the same thing could be manufactured today at a substantial savings while maintaining the build quality and reliability...

Two different types of units.
post #159 of 169
Almost 34 million CECBs have been purchased through the coupon program, plus the ones people bought on their own. So I'm going to guestimate that there are at least 12 million boxes out there already a year old.

If there were a high failure rate, we would have heard about it. Reporters would be all over the story, one month past transition and the government box doesn't work. I'm sure there have been plenty of retail returns, since people were advised to try a CECB before they committed a coupon. But from everything I've read, I don't see anything I'd call a high mortality rate. Yet.

TV life expectancy is 7 years. In 4 years, all analog TVs will be past their life expectancy. And there are 20 million HDTV sales year. And incentive to replace early, once the economy recovers. By this time next year, there will be 20 million spare converter boxes, more than enough to replace any that died an early death.
post #160 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

TV life expectancy is 7 years. In 4 years, all analog TVs will be past their life expectancy.

The analog TV life expectancy was 15-17 years, not 7. There are a lot more TVs that need boxes than estimated.
post #161 of 169
The7 year life expectancy was based on research the NTIA did prior to establishing the program. It's been about 18 months since I read the report. But they did base their coupon calculations on the assumption of seven (7) years -- how long people keep a TV before replacing it.
post #162 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod7501 View Post

The analog TV life expectancy was 15-17 years, not 7. There are a lot more TVs that need boxes than estimated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

The7 year life expectancy was based on research the NTIA did prior to establishing the program. It's been about 18 months since I read the report. But they did base their coupon calculations on the assumption of seven (7) years -- how long people keep a TV before replacing it.

i recall having read that often a/v electronics (not just tv) in modern times is designed for a 6 year lifetime.

that said prior quality analog sets can go 10 to 15 years (though hours of operation is probably the issue). though i've also had major brand sets die just out of warranty so a 7 year average might be true.
post #163 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

The7 year life expectancy was based on research the NTIA did prior to establishing the program. It's been about 18 months since I read the report. But they did base their coupon calculations on the assumption of seven (7) years -- how long people keep a TV before replacing it.

most likely it's how often a person/family buys a new TV. If they are like me, they buy a new set, move the old set to a bedroom, if the bedroom already has a set then that much older & smaller set is trashed.
post #164 of 169
Hanging onto the old TV as a second set is less likely when the technology changes significantly. People want their other TV to have the added channels UHF brought ... or color .... or cable-ready features ... or Channels 59-70... or HDTV -- without having to wait. My neighbors said they were already paying for HD channels, they wanted to be able to watch HD on a second TV.

But I think the demand for the technology upgrade happens after the first set is purchased. I don't live day to day with the contrast of what I am missing without HD. But as soon as the first set goes in, I'll probably want two. That was even true of going digital; once the first CECB was purchased, nobody watched the unconverted TVs.

The NTIA calculations for the number of coupons needed assumed there would be some early upgrades to HDTV. In spite of the economy, the percentage of households with HDTV did increase.
post #165 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

So they would have hit the nail on the head?

The current administration probably would have given us $100 coupons instead of the measly $40, or given us a large rebate for our clunker TVs.

With $100 coupons, we could have purchased a box that was 2 1/2 times better.

And in fact - this last round of converter box coupon funding came from the so-called "economic stimulus" bill. Essentially paying the laziest of us (e.g., those who put off getting their coupons as long as they possibly could) to continue to sit on their rears to watch TV. Some stimulus, eh?
post #166 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

The7 year life expectancy was based on research the NTIA did prior to establishing the program. It's been about 18 months since I read the report. But they did base their coupon calculations on the assumption of seven (7) years -- how long people keep a TV before replacing it.

My old Sony Profeel monitor lasted about 20 years with fairly heavy use. The TV tuner portion is probably still going strong, at least as a video switcher, but I sold it on ebay a year or two ago.

I also know a fellow who is using a converter box with his grandmas old B+W vacuum tube set from the 1960s!

I guess the one good thing about the coupon program is that it did spur the production of 'affordable' converter boxes. Anything coupon eligible was designed to be sold for about $40. Prior to that, they were selling for way more than that. For example, my Samsung SIR-T451, a very early and full HD box, cost me around $250 six years ago. And at the time, the only TVs with digital tuners were very high end sets.
post #167 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

The7 year life expectancy was based on research the NTIA did prior to establishing the program. It's been about 18 months since I read the report. But they did base their coupon calculations on the assumption of seven (7) years -- how long people keep a TV before replacing it.

The original study (that all the lifespan estimates seem to be based upon) was done around 2000 - 2002. The results were that the average person buys a TV every 7 years. It was a very simple checkout survey done at big-box stores. I saw the results in trade magazines at the time. It did not specify the size, purpose, or intended location of the purchased set. It did not distinguish between adding or replacing a TV.

The "Industry" and Government (mis) interpreted the results to say that the average person replaces their TV every 7 years. That is not a correct statement from the raw results. The NTIA surveyed those Dealers and Manufacturers, not technicians or servicers (or even recycling centers). My Congressmen specifically rejected my efforts to comment on the NTIA study. (I have been a factory trained servicer for 35+ years) The NTIA did not do a purchase survey, they used the Dealer's and Manufacturer's statements, which were based on a false interpretation of the big-box survey.

Now, as "johnpost" point out, modern TVs do have a 5-6 year life expectancy. This applies to HD-Ready and HD sets generally built after 2004, although some HD-Ready products from the 1999-2003 era aslo have a very short life. This is due to construction methods and component selection for the digital circuitry boards. The panel may last 100,000 hours, but the power supply won't, nor will the scaling circuit and new circuit boards become unavailable after about 2 years.
post #168 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod7501 View Post

The original study (that all the lifespan estimates seem to be based upon) was done around 2000 - 2002. The results were that the average person buys a TV every 7 years. It was a very simple checkout survey done at big-box stores. I saw the results in trade magazines at the time. It did not specify the size, purpose, or intended location of the purchased set. It did not distinguish between adding or replacing a TV.

The "Industry" and Government (mis) interpreted the results to say that the average person replaces their TV every 7 years. That is not a correct statement from the raw results. The NTIA surveyed those Dealers and Manufacturers, not technicians or servicers (or even recycling centers). My Congressmen specifically rejected my efforts to comment on the NTIA study. (I have been a factory trained servicer for 35+ years) The NTIA did not do a purchase survey, they used the Dealer's and Manufacturer's statements, which were based on a false interpretation of the big-box survey.

Now, as "johnpost" point out, modern TVs do have a 5-6 year life expectancy. This applies to HD-Ready and HD sets generally built after 2004, although some HD-Ready products from the 1999-2003 era aslo have a very short life. This is due to construction methods and component selection for the digital circuitry boards. The panel may last 100,000 hours, but the power supply won't, nor will the scaling circuit and new circuit boards become unavailable after about 2 years.

Actually, the report I read was NTIA with Nielsen consulting, c. 2007, and it explained how they arrived at the 33.5 coupon estimate. The discussion went beyond the 7 year statistic -- they commented how 20 million in HDTV sales did not translate to 20 million retired analog TVs; only 20% ended up in recycling or landfill. The other 16 million became spares or were gifted to someone starting a new household.

The discussion included expectations about how the transition might change the current TV-saving behavior. The thought the net result would be one less analog TV -- i.e., that the 'extra' tv would no longer get passed on. They also anticipated accelerated replacement of analog TVs, based on the attraction of HDTV, lower prices, and the increased availability of HD channels.

But even by the lowball estimate of analog TVs, Congress did not fund the program. The estimates were 2.6 per analog OTA house, and ~1.2 VCRs. Some argued that there were as many as 140 million analog TVs around.

But I do think they got it right, assuming people would rethink their spare TV situation. I didn't buy a new TV, and still I thought carefully about whether I needed my oldest TV.
post #169 of 169
I would argue that they came to the 33.5 million coupon number due to influences from the manufacturing side more than anything else. There had to be enough of a "guaranteed" market for these boxes in order for manufacturers to even throw any effort behind it. Designing a box, accellerating testing and production schedules, etc for a $40-$60 retail priced box would not be worth it if there wasn't enough gov't money behind the program and if they couldn't hit certain quantities. This is especially true when you factor in that $8+ per box go to pay patent royalties.
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