AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,816 Posts
I have mixed feelings on this. I really don't want to see government regulations hamper innovation and would prefer to let the market forces work. However, the CE manucturers have grossly underestimated the engineering complexities of these STBs so they are naturally trying to sell whatever they can to get some return on their large investments and help sell their very profitable HDTV displays. As a result, in my opinion (and that of many broadcasters) they have released some very poor performing receivers and some level of accountability may be justified.


------------------

Rich Peterson

DBS Consumer Guide Author
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,414 Posts
"...the Commission must recognize the critical element that is missing in the quest for public acceptance of digital television: an ample supply of high-quality, digitally originated programming."


And, when that happens, what will be their NEXT excuse http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/mad.gif ?


------------------

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV/-DT.

"Not a REAL Engineer, but I play one in TV"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
I can't for the life of me understand why they would want to include digital receivers in TV sets. It just desn't make sense when you look at the numbers:


1. 63% of TV viewers get their signal from Cable

2. 15% of TV viewers get their signal from Satellite


That leaves a total of 22%. Supposedly this is the market for OTA TV viewers.


By placing digital receivers capable of receiving digital signals in TV's that only 22% are going to use? Cable has its own STB as does Sat. Based on all of the discussion going on here at AVS, how many of the 22% will NOT be able to receive DTV signals?


This suggestion is the "chicken or the egg" syndrome. Broadcasters claim no one is watching DTV while CEA says they will when you provide something to watch.


I have to say one thing about DTV and the broadcasters; This is the first time in my 40 plus years of watching TV where one network dominates a marketplace while all the others seem to have no interest what so ever.


Who said "if you build it...they will come?"


What I see as an alternative to making the public into being forced into the DTV age is an incentive to the broadcasters for building the infrastructure.


Get some tax incentives going specifically for DTV spending; Faster depreciation and bring back the 10% Tax Credit. The government is going to reap the rewards of from the sale of the Analog Spectrum. Give up a little in the begining to receive a lot at the end.


Lee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,084 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by LeeAntin:
This is the first time in my 40 plus years of watching TV where one network dominates a marketplace while all the others seem to have no interest what so ever.
Yeah, and the most telling argument for the timely adoption of HDTV will be that network's next Fall lineup.

Quote:
Who said "if you build it...they will come?"



A movie script writer - the same category of professionals who brought you, "Let the Force be with you." If you have to depend on mass media popcorn philosophy to promote HD, it's probably a dead concept.

Quote:
Get some tax incentives going specifically for DTV spending...
Quote:
Horsepucky. Tax incentives are great for promoting the common good, but, I'll fight tooth and nail any porkbarrel scheme to use my money to further a frivolous indulgence of the well-heeled when school lunch programs are already under attack. If the CEA wants to get us all into HDTV, then they should be considering bringing receivers to market that are affordable in the first place. Instead their marketing philosophy seems to be to maximize corporate profit of companies in a Greater Pacific Rim Co-Prosperity Amalgam at the expense of North American consumers.


[This message has been edited by Ray H (edited 04-18-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,816 Posts
Quote:
I can't for the life of me understand why they would want to include digital receivers in TV sets. It just desn't make sense when you look at the numbers:

1. 63% of TV viewers get their signal from Cable

2. 15% of TV viewers get their signal from Satellite


That leaves a total of 22%. Supposedly this is the market for OTA TV viewers.
I am sick and tired of these statistics being thrown around and used inappropriately. The percents you quoted are for households with at least one cable or sat connection, not how many TVs actually get their signal from cable or sat. It turns out that even though the vast majority of American households have cable or sat, more TVs in these households get their signals from OTA than cable or sat today. In other words, most TVs are not connected and rely on their OTA tuners.


In my opinion, putting a digital tuner in every TV is about the only way to get the economies of scale required to get prices down to the level most will buy and motivate the program providers to carry more HDTV.


------------------

Rich Peterson

DBS Consumer Guide Author


[This message has been edited by Rich Peterson (edited 04-18-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,196 Posts
The cable box manufactures could either supply component analog outputs or an 8vsb RF output from their STB. The 8vsb RF link is unlike it's NTSC cousin. There is no quality loss.


Yeah, I know there are concerns about copy issues. But at least these are two proven and documented standards. There is plenty of public domain information on these interfaces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,019 Posts
I would add that those percentages include people/TV's that get reception from 2 or more - OTA, cable, sat. Personally, all 4 of my TV's can receive programming from both OTA or satellite, and I can't believe that I'm alone on this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
Rich,


You are going to have to go a long way to prove to me that a family with cable in their home and multiple TV sets doesn't have ALL of them hooked to the cable signal. With the advent of cable ready TV's, most of the time, all one does is split the cable and feed it to another TV. Yes some channels like preminum movie channels cannot be viewed this way but all local channels can and that would be the only reason to have both cable and OTA.


The first number to surface was $300 per TV. In many cases, that would double the cost of the TV set. Do you really think that Joe Public is going to pay twice the price for something he bought last year for half the price?


The numbers are real. When you start to cost in the factor of how many TV sets are in each dwelling...it gets worse...for the consumer. Plus how many stations are going to be up and running in the next 24 months when this "plan" is implemented?


Today, there are almost 1200 stations that are still not prepared for the first real deadline in the "adoption of Digital Television" which is May 2002. Two years from now how many will be on the "digital" air and how many won't? In three years less than 200 stations have made the addition of Digital TV.


So you are behind the idea of charging the consumer a lot of money in relation to the previous price...and he gets nothing for it. That doesn't sound like good business to me.


Lee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
Rich,

I find it difficult to believe that individuals who pay for Cable television lack the ability/intelligience/technology to split their incoming signal and distribute it throughout the household, but the do have the ability to split the OTA signal and distribute it to multiple sets.

You are aware that once the signal is brought to the house by cable television, that the consumer is free to split the signal as many times as he wishes inside the house. The only obligation the consumer has is to maintain the internal cabling of the home. If the cable company runs a seperate line to each Television they are entitled to charge a monthly fee for each set.

I could understand the scenario you describe if television did not come with a cable ready tuners, but this is not applicable in the current environment.


------------------

STOP HDCP on DVI

Don O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,638 Posts
The only OTA TVs I see in the homes of friends and family are tiny little portable units for use in the kitchen or out on a deck in the summer. And with TVs of this size (small) there is no benefit to receiving HDTV. Everything else is hooked up to cable.


Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,816 Posts
Quote:
You are going to have to go a long way to prove to me that a family with cable in their home and multiple TV sets doesn't have ALL of them hooked to the cable signal.
You can choose to believe whatever you want, but those in the industry know that not all are not connected. They don't share a lot of info for competitive reasons, but at the ITS Technology Retreat last month, Peter Fannon of Matsushita said that 2/3 of NTSC sets weren't connected, but he did go on to say that was in part because old TVs don't die and continue to be used forever.


Here are some stats that may convince you:


From Mark's Monday memo of Feb 05 this year at http://www.digitaltelevision.com/mondaymemo/mlist/

- In attempting to find the unconnected-set info for free, I came across

the following:

- From Nielsen: 2.43 televisions per household (HH), 102.2 million

television households in the United States.

- From the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) - from not very

recent data:

Number TVs/HH Cable Outlets/Cable HH

One -------- 28% ----------- 43%

Two -------- 36% ----------- 35%

Three ------ 22% ----------- 14%

More ------ 14% ----------- 8%


There are even more TVs in homes with satellite than cable that use OTA. Only about 1/4 to 1/3 of current sat subscribers get their locals from the sat (locals are available to about 2/3 of subscribers and less than one half of those subscribe). Some of them get their locals from cable (i.e. have both) and some qualify for distant networks, but the rest use OTA.

Quote:
The first number to surface was $300 per TV. In many cases, that would double the cost of the TV set. Do you really think that Joe Public is going to pay twice the price for something he bought last year for half the price?
From the latest Mark's Monday Memo:

- $200 to add DTV to NTSC TVs - Motorola joined Thomson in that

figure in an April 5 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing, but

"if DTV receivers and decoders were included in a large percentage of

all TV sets, economies of scale could reduce the retail cost

differential between NTSC sets and SDTV/EDTV sets to approximately $50

by 2006":

Quote:
So you are behind the idea of charging the consumer a lot of money in relation to the previous price...and he gets nothing for it. That doesn't sound like good business to me.
I only favor inclusion of the receivers in larger sets (say 36" or over). (That is the only serious proposals I have heard, anyway.) I believe the consumer gets something very significant for it at a price differential of (worst case) 30% increase and is the only hope for a rapid digital transition.


------------------

Rich Peterson

DBS Consumer Guide Author
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,658 Posts
I think the point that has to be made here is that old TV's really do last a long long time. We're all supposed to be transitioning to the digital era and if all goes according to plan at some point NTSC will cease to exist. At that point NTSC tuners becomes useless. Any TV bought today will only receive OTA for however long it takes to shut off NTSC. Is that doing the consumer any favors??


It may cost a bit more to include ATSC tuners in larger screen sets, and perhaps that tuner won't be used right away, but at least the set would operate in a stand alone fashion for the foreseable future - that's more than we can say about NTSC based sets...


------------------

Geof


[This message has been edited by Geof (edited 04-19-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
Rich,


You have offered compelling evidence...But the crux of the matter is that you advocate that the consumer is the one who has to by a DTV equipped TV BEFORE the broadcasters begin offering DTV. This is contary to what everyone else in the industry is looking for...That the broadcasters offer something to watch, then the consumer will want to buy a TV so that he/she can see this new programming.


The issue of "jump starting" the DTV revolution is what this thread is really about. If the consumer is forced to buy DTV equipped TV's how does that offer an incentative to the broadcasters to speed up their implemtation of DTV?


They still can't charge more fo their ad time. They still have to deal with the issues of antenna placement.


I noticed in your reply that you choose not to comment on the schedule for TV station transition to DTV capability. Less than 200 stations in 3 years is a very low number. At this rate is will take at least another 10 years to make the transition. And as you pointed out, and I agree with you 100%, TV's are made to last. Hell, I have one from 1976 that still works perfectly. There is no way in the world that America will replace all of its TV's during or after the DTV transition is finished.


The consumer was never consulted with the transition to DTV. No one represented the consumer at any of the meeting to establish DTV standards or the time table to accomplish the transition. But now people want the consumer to jump in with his/her wallet and buy it.


Sorry, I just don't agree with this plan.


The largest "surges" of DTV purchasing came when the Super Bowls were to be broadcast in HDTV. This proves that if the programming is there, the consumer will step up and buy. But to see their favorite show in HDTV versus normal NTSC...not enough of a compelling reason to make the buy. It has already been proven over and over again that people want content...not just pretty pictures.


Lee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
Personally I can live with TV's with all reception capability built in or with a single set top box to get subscription services.


What I can't see is why the FCC has legalized making TV's that receive one service and not another! They don't allow radios that tune 640KHZ to 900KHZ, and another kind for 900 KHZ to 1600. FM is considered separate, and it was almost killed off by this distinction. And then there was the AM stereo fiasco, with competing incompatible system.


If they make TV's that get DirectTV they should also receive cable and Dish network and Expressvu without any added boxes.


If a set top box is used, these services should also be forced to standardize, and have one box for all.


The FCC claims to support a free market, but the current system is designed specifically to minimize any competition in that market. It is a real hassle to change services, and have to have 4 set top boxes on each tv set.


Back in the old days when we had a real FCC, they did a lot to get UHF started, and a lot more than they have done for the current transition.

I remember, because I lived in a UHF only area, and it was great when we finally got TV's with UHF tuners, courtesy of the FCC, not the industry!


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
936 Posts
Regardless of the right and wrong about "chickens" and "eggs", I have to chime in on the cost issue. At the volumes we are discussing, the cost of adding DTV reception is basically nothing. By and large the TVs we are discussing are 480i devices. The chip to decode 480i would be dirt cheap (<$10) at the volumes we are discussing. The $300, $200, and even $50 by 2006 is the biggest crock I've heard for a long time. BTW, how much of a price hit did the VChip cost? If nothing else they could sell it as a picture improvement. All of the digital stations that I've seen have a MUCH better picture than the analog eqivalaent!!



Mike



[This message has been edited by MikeKO (edited 04-19-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
Rich,


At Last! A suggestion that meets halfway between the consumer paying for something with no real guarantee and the broadcasters providing programming to a non-existant audience.


The amount of programming should be proportionate to the number of DTV tuner equipped TV's. I am in favor of paying for services rendered. Each orginzation takes a step forward...add DTV tuners and programming AT THE SAME TIME.


Now, if we can get the FCC or whatever govt. org. to deal with the antenna placement problems, we might have the "problem" licked. If laws need to be changed...then change them. But we have got to get those antennas up and running. Or it is all for naught.


As far as any of the other opinions as far as TV's with tuners that are not used...the comparison of a $10 chip versus $200 or $300 worth of electronics...there is a big cost difference.


Lee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
Slightly off topic, but the other dilemma with building a DTV tuner into the set is the tube itself. Should it be 16:9 or 4:3?, if 16:9 then that is a significant cost factor. I can't see the consumer being happy with a 27" 4:3 set that shows downconverted versions of upconverted 4:3 programs with black bars on all 4 sides effectively giving him a 19" set.


If its true that these cheap digital TVs would be 480i devices, then the broadcasters are going to need to rethink how they transmit 4:3 material. Upconverting everything to 1080i and adding sidebars would be a significant problem for these sets.


Tony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
"It turns out that even though the vast majority of American households have cable or sat, more TVs in these households get their signals from OTA than cable or sat today. In other words, most TVs are not connected and rely on their OTA tuners."



This just does not make any sense to me. I don't see how the numbers you provide can be accurate. How can the cable company know how many sets are connected to their cable in a household(accurately)? You hardly ever see OTA antennas sticking out of houses anymore, other than the ones that have a sat dish installed! The initial cable vs OTA percentage quoted may not be right(although I don't think it's that far off) but the numbers you quoted later strikes me as more off base.


So what you are basically saying is that the vast majority of the cable paying public out there pays anywhere from a minimum of $12/$13 to in excess of $50 per month to have only one set connected to it while the other 2 or 3 sets are hooked up to rabbit ears? Yeah, right...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,220 Posts
NTSC analog television can only use every other channel because of adjacent channel interference (that is why cities have channels 5 7 9 or 6 8 10). ATSC digital television does not have this problem and all channels can be used. With NTSC analog half of the spectrum is wasted.


I believe that the federal government has a compelling interest in not wasting the spectrum and should mandate that receivers receive ATSC television. The budget surplus that is projected assumes the transition to digital so extra channels can be sold. I am the greatest believer in free markets but I believe the FCC should get off its duff and mandate the conversion. Receivers will be $50 or less, maybe much less if made in volume. Its only a chip or two and doesn't have the complex mechanics of a VCR.


Just my opinion.


Rick
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top