I agree with 95% of this article. I think we have a writer that actually did his homework. He's accurate about what you have to go through in order to get HD in San Francisco. I know. I live here, too. And based on some of his comments probably not too far from him. It's a *****.
Currently, H/DTV is not plug and play. I think most everyone here would agree with that. Until it is, we are not going to see widespread adoption by the masses.
I think this a good article from the non-tech consumer's point of view. The process has been entirely too complicated and probably won't clear-up soon.
Consumers often have unrealistic expectations...reception in the Bay area is always iffy, and I have never depended on my TV to enable me to record broadcasts.
But the prospect of my gear being rendered obselete because of the fear of digital piracy... now that got my attention. Nobody wants to make an investment of hundreds or thousands of dollars on gear that they perceive may not work for more than a year. This fear works to Hollywood's advantage and the electonics industry will gladly step on board.
Yeah, but he also has misperceptions. Like you can guess turn on the tv and get signals. You have to hook it up to something. Then he points out that there are crazy expensive attenna solutions (talking about the TERK and an oscillator), which will scare off people. Of course, the top thing to scare people is the that their sets may obsolete (which the mother of all class action suits will happen if that is the case). It appears like balance article, but those thing throws off the balance. Does he say 1 good thing about HDTV? Hell, look at the title.
BTW, I have a friend that lives in San Francisco in an apartment (3rd floor of 10 story building) with a Sony KD-34XBR2 and he gets everything with old Rabbit ears.
Bob - I think that's the point of the article. People without a clue are going to be buying and installing HD sets. They will go through this same process and have the same problems. I think the author wanted to make these points in the article.
We can't lose sight of the fact that we early adopters are willing to spend many hours tweaking, enhancing, putting together all sorts of high-end equipment to get the best HD picture and sound possible. But, most TV watchers out there in TV-land don't want to do much more than buy a set (integrated HD, hopefully), bring it home, un-box it, plug in the power cord, attach their signal source (cable or satellite) and start surfing the channels.
Maybe they'd also like to hook up a recording device and be able to time-shift, but let's not open that ugly can of worms.
You have to admit that we just aren't at that stage of the game today. I'm hoping by the end of 2003.
I've been lurking here for some three months now and I finally registered so I can put in my two cents worth. Trying to figure out what took me so long...
I happen to be one of those "people without a clue" referenced by Mr. Couch, with the exception that I *have* taken the time and expense to do my RESEARCH before I had delivery persons standing at my door, unlike Mr. Edwards of BusinessWeek. I was not provided an expense account, either.
I relied on the vast amount of information (and misinformation, too) provided by all you troopers here in these forums to arrive at my carefully calculated decision to hop on the HDTV bandwagon. I knew exactly what equipment was going to be required and what the downside to every situation was BECAUSE I DID MY RESEARCH.
Believe me, I have trouble setting the clock on the VCR. This stuff doesn't come easy for me, but because I had the interest, I stuck with it. I doubt seriously if Mr. Edwards is even vaguely interested in HDTV.
I don't think the average Joe is that stupid. The average Joe really can figure out just what equipment is required before he lands down at GG or CC trying to purchase HD equipment. He certainly had it all figgered out when he signed that contract for his cell phone with the bazillion features he has committed to memory.
Frankly, I think my HD equipment is much more manageable than my cell phone.
Perhaps an appropriate analogy would be the relationship of the general public to computers. People have put up with the difficulties of personal computers because they perceive that the benefits outweigh the problems. The computer world has always been dogged by standards wars and such, yet lots of folks have bought them because they want what computers can do. OTOH, most expect their CE equipment to be plug n' play, and there aren't enough killer apps (content) to persuade vast numbers of people to make the plunge.
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