Originally Posted by dovercat
Most European nations have many TV channels with part or full state funding. The move to digital and high definition is therefore being state sponsored. The governments hope to make vast amounts of money by auctioning off the spectrum freed up by closing down analogue terrestrial services. Satellite is generally used as a filler to give 100% national coverage cheaper than relying on terrestrial transmitters alone. The satellite packages, epgs, and in some nations encryption systems are supported by the state backed TV stations. Some times in competition with purely commercial ventures, some times in effect giving them support by increasing their channel line up. So satellite services are also in effect part state funded.
High Definition is not a rip roaring success in the UK. The analogue switch off will force people to buy a new set top box and with DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 both promising better quality via High Definition and the simple unavailability of standard definiton TV sets. I can see that being a major boost.
Blu-ray will succeed if player and disc prices continue to fall, it has to be a no-brainer choice not a more expensive premium option.
Only if 3D ready comes at no additional cost to the consumer. It is a chicken and egg situation. Program makers will not spend the extra money to shoot in 3D if not enough viewers will be able to see it in 3D. Viewers will not pay extra for 3D displays if there is too little to watch on them. If and when 3D becomes the defacto standard for film production rather than mostly childrens cgi and specticle event movies like Avatar, I can see it naturally progressing to home displays.
Dovercat, I agree about most of the stuff and in Germany it's even worse.
In fact it's so worse that I get really aggressive about the whole stuff.
However, I don't think that the costly auctioning of licences or frequencies is the major reason behind the analog to digital switch. IMHO it's corruption as in Germany it's well known that politicians have ties to the content & license industry.
The one suffering from this is Joe Average who has to pay lots of money to nurture the content industry (whether license holders of Hollywood stuff or soccer rights).
Without delving too deep into history or presenting statistics the following situation is the net result until now:
- No HD-TV free OTA in the forseeable future (DVB-T2 won't be available at all thanks to a botched launch of DVB-T).
- The major public stations, who remain "free" as one already pays a fee of 18 Euros a month for them ("GEZ"), will launch their HD program in Feb. 2010 in 720p via satellite (most Germans aren't allowed to install a dish) and cable. They literally played the waiting game for years until most households had a HD-ready TV (and nearly too long as IP-TV seems to take off now). Their shift to HD will take years, though, as much content will be upscaled SD (even including some of their own studio productions like the news). It's the same game as with the 16:9 format which also took about 10 years to get accepted. I bet that we won't have 3D public channels in Germany until 2020...
- The free private stations tested HD two years ago but then switched off everything within a month. Now they re-launched vial satellite but with a standard called "HD+", requiring new (certified) receivers with CI+ slot and forbidding most hard disk convenience features like skipping commercials. Yes, one can record the program but has to watch in real-time, even when no commercials are running. While they broadcast in 1080i (mostly US series and movies) it is even suckier than recording with VCRs. No TiVo for Germans...
So while the subscriber has to endure the commercials he also has to pay 50 Euros/year flat for "service" (not for the "free" program itself). This is a major debate right now in the internet community as you would expect but there's no solution in sight (except hacking receivers...).
- The biggest cable-company in Germany (Kabel Deutschland GmbH) forces it's subscribers to use separate receivers as TVs with built-in HD cable receivers (most new TVs) aren't supported. This company also expects the TV stations to pay more for their HD content, even if the bandwith isn't broader than with analog channels which get switched off 2012.
- There's only one large pay-TV provider: Sky (who bought "Premiere") and guess what: You need another certified receiver to be able to watch the channels. Until they have an agreement with the cable and satellite providers one has to use two different receivers for all major stations.
The list goes on and on...
Nope, we won't see 3D here until 2020 - at least not until Sky provides a 3D channel - for an additional 30 Euros in 2015 or something like that.
Remember the phrase "Stupid German Money" in Hollywood?
Well, us Germans are the dumbest & richest people in Europe - we deserve to pay!