Originally Posted by dieselrat
Also the switch required in law to HD tv was never about giving consumers a better tv picture, again another industry spun lie. No conspiracy here but a fact, the push to require digital TV was about the industry being able to add a copy guard signal to all tv to prevent consumer recording.
Not quite. The push toward digital HD broadcasts in USA was part political reaction to being left behind by Japan and Europe, who were ahead of us, and part insane delusions by American TV brands that they could stem their death throes if we came up with our own proprietary DTV system instead of letting Asian mfrs get a cost advantage by adopting the already-evolving EU/NZ/Aus standard. You would not believe the degree of Machiavellian lobbying applied by the likes of Zenith et al. At the time DTV was in development, no one was giving a thought to future recording devices (VCRs ruled, recordable DVD wasn't even on the radar). The primary concerns were that we come up with a superior system of our own to crow about (which was a complete total waste in hindsight, given how hopeless DTV reception issues are compared to analog), and again the demented fantasy that TV market share could be recaptured by American brands. The die was cast when Clinton realized he could plug a huge hole in his budget and take credit for balancing it by selling off the analog airwaves to private investors before engineers were halfway finished with the ATSC compromise spec, a bastard stepchild designed by committee that no one liked except Washington lobbyists.
The current recently announced plan to remove analog outputs from satellite & cable receivers was part of the plan all along when the industry pushed for the switch. Many don't remember but one of the things the industry told congress to get the switch passed was that they would never make it impossible for consumers to record. But fast forward to today, suddenly that is exactly what they are planning to do!
Cable and satellite are a universe and law unto themselves: when ATSC was in development, they weren't nearly the force that they are now because the many independent cable systems hadn't yet swallowed each other up to form vast monopolies like the banks did. Their pushes toward ever more control and power are a whole other issue from the broadcast DTV fiasco. The same applies to BluRay, which was indeed created by Sony with every DRM interference they could conceive of. Same with HDMI. But the success of these record-hostile solutions didn't happen in a vacuum: consumers didn't simply roll over and play dead. As much as it pains us here on AVS to admit it, the fact is most consumers just didn't care
. Don't think for one second that if cable began to hemorrhage subscribers as they became less hospitable to recording, that they wouldn't have reversed that trend in a heartbeat.
These companies get away with it because most consumers find the tradeoff appealing.
"Oooh: HDMI is a single wire for video and surround sound that can only be plugged in the correct way? Where do I sign up!!!"
"Whats that? It isn't recordable to removable media? Ask me if a give a $#@&" was the majority reaction.
Ditto with cable and satellite subscription PVRs:
"Ooooh! Its integrated with the cable guide grid for idiot-proof timer setting? Records two channels while watching a third? Records the Super Bowl and Grey's Anatomy in HiDef? For $15/mo and if it breaks you give me another one? Where do I sign up for one in each room!!!"
"What's that? It's a closed system that's outright hostile to VCRs and DVD recorders unless you're an unhinged geek on a mission? Well, once again: ask me if I give a $#@&"
I have a friend that worked for Sony for years that I have discussed all of this at length. And the issue of americans not being offered these recorders with US needed options is political not a cost issue. What she has told me was that without the restrictions in law here today the costs of making the current world wide offered today available models spec'ed for sale here with US tuners and to US spec options is minimal above current production costs. And from the US/Canada being a added as a market it would not be the money loser claimed but would make the products more viable.
Sony is notorious for internal politics where divisions and executives lie to each other and obfuscate daily. Your friend may sincerely believe this, but if it was true Sony would still be selling DVD and DVD/HDD recorders in EU. They don't: they wound down mfrg of disc recorders in 2010, because profits were thin and sales were declining even in the hot UK market. And they never even *tried* to sell BluRay recorders outside of Japan at all: they knew it would be an uphill slog, so they conned poor Panasonic into buying exclusive rights to make and market them instead.
You know people at Sony, I knew people at Pioneer: when Sony was the most popular DVD/HDD recorder in the world from 2005-2009 they were actually co-produced with Pioneer. When the ATSC ruling came down from Washington, Sony and Pioneer together
decided "we're outta here" and dropped DVD/HDD recorders from USA distribution rather than update the tuners. The reason given point-blank to the wholesale electronics industry trade press was "you tell us you can't sell them at $449, well adding ATSC will up the price to $649, so it makes no sense for us or you to bother." Toshiba and Panasonic agreed: all four bailed between late 2005 and early 2007. All these brands welcomed the ATSC ruling as an excuse to get out of the money-losing premium recorder market in USA that had been dogging their balance sheets for years: the ruling just let them save face doing it. Its easy to forget now, but the price difference between analog and ATSC dvd recorders and dvd/vhs combos was $100+ in 2007. Panasonic was selling their ATSC dvd/vhs for $399. It took a couple years for the price to drop, and it was still so much that "tunerless" recorders began to proliferate (invented exclusively for the decoder-box-dependent USA market).
Japan Inc. does not leave money on the table: if there were the slightest chance of profit in USA/Canada you would see BD/HDD recorders on the shelves of Best Buy. The reason we don't have them is our dependence on cable boxes: the machines would have to be modified to add an analog HDTV line input, or HDMI input, which is not available (or necessary) in any other country and would cause problems with Hollywood. The stupid decoder box would still make the damn things as annoying to use as existing DVD/HDD recorders: timer programming would be a nightmare. This cable mess had already started in VCR era, and it killed DVD/HDD recorders dead in USA. We here on AVS would buy an equally crippled BD/HDD version of the EH59, but nobody else in their right mind would. Panasonic only manages to sell them in EU/NZ/Aus because all the programming in those countries can be captured by their internal generic OTA / satellite tuners. Sales are declining anyway regardless of capability: all over the world, people are migrating to video files instead of discs.
I'm really not arguing with you, and I don't dispute that Hollywood loves this and did/does all it can to frustrate easy video recording, or that Sony's hands are are unclean from its incestuous involvement. But Hollywood's power only goes so far: they tried to derail the VCR, and failed because consumers loved the product and mfrs made money on them. If enough consumers wanted to buy BD recorders at a realistic price, we'd have them. But its unlikely, esp now that the product is nearing the end of its cultural relevance globally. The ever-increasing cable box dependency renders them moot, anyway: if your'e gonna be stuck with a DRM-infested line-input-only recorder with no ability to change its own channels in timer mode, what's the point? It makes more sense to go cheap with a USB PVR for your PC, or spend the same money for a lifetime TiVO package that can dump HDTV recordings to your PC. Either can be had with a CableCard tuner, BD recorders cannot.
Has anyone heard anything about the "DMR-XW390 DVD Digital Recorder with 500GB HDD" that just went on sale or is about to.It looks like it could be the current model to replace the 59/69. It might mean you need to act soon if you want a 59 or 69..........
Its just a facelift of the same model they've been selling in EU/NZ/Aus for the past several years. Its unlikely to replace the EH59/69 as the "grey market king" here or in the Middle East, because it includes the DVB-T tuner not needed in those regions. Also bear in mind, the models with DVB-T tuners are dependent on the electronic program guide transmitted in those broadcasts to set timer recordings. That EPG isn't some lame half-assed poorly-supported commercial service like it was in USA/Canada: it is mandated in DVB-T broadcasts. So those models assume the guide signal will always be there. The afterthought manual timer override would not be appealing to the Middle Eastern target consumer, nor would a timer screen cluttered up with dead empty guide windows.
The design of the EH59/69 has barely changed going back seven or more years: other than a few added convenience features its the same as the previous EH57 and EH58. They seem to have frozen the design at EH59 three years ago, since the unit hasn't been updated since. They'll likely keep it going until the tooling wears out, like they did with the Technics SL1200MkII turntableEdited by CitiBear - 9/14/13 at 11:19am