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When the coupon program ends in March/April, what do you think will happen to the dtv converter box market? Manufacturers would be free to add extra features like SPDIF output. OTOH, demand will drop considerably, manufacturers would not reengineer their products for a the tiny OTA market and will either simply continue using existing designs, or drop out of the market entirely. Retailers are another story. Will they continue to stock the boxes or completely drop them?


I would predict the most of the el-cheapo low quality box makers will exit the market entirely. No more Apex, Magnavox, RCA, GE and their ilk. Best Buy and Circuit City will drop set top boxes from their stores like a hot potato the day after coupon program ends because it cuts into their television/satellite sales. LG/Zenith will no longer have a major outlet to sell their boxes in massive quantities, so they will reluctantly exit the market.


As for the survivors...


Channel Master is already a niche brand and has distributors dedicated to OTA, so the boxes will remain. DTV Pal will remain available at independent dish network dealers and online. It might even get a S-video and SPDIF upgrade. Radio shack will continue to sell STB's so Digital Stream will continue to survive. However given typical Radio Shack prices, the box will now have a $100 - 120 price tag. Hardware/retail stores that sell outdoor TV antennas will begin selling STBs along side them. However the brand they sell will be limited to the vendor they selected for TV antennas, splitters, cables and other antenna hardware. The box will be low quality (think Phillips) unless they selected channel master as their antenna vendor!


One final possibility is the DTV transition and coupon program will become such a fiasco after Feb 2009 that congress will pass an emergency measure extending the coupon program. However, by then box manufacturers have already eliminated most of their tooling and will be unable to produce a new surge of boxes, so the CECB's would be unobtainable regardless.
 

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or maybe every thing will be back before the start of the program.


Best Buy, CC et Cie had only HDTV OTA converter box to sale with 1 or 2 different model disponnible on the market and expensive to buy - think 175-200$-.


I had mine for close 2 years now.


That
 

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As there will be little demand remaining for the boxes, I'll predict that production would cease and the remaining stock would end up at the various close-out discounters.
 

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What will be interesting to watch, and which I have no way to predict, is whether as the market saturates around the time of conversion, whether there will be a glut of unsold converter boxes in the retail pipeline, or whether the manufacturers have underestimated production (deliberately or accidentally) and there is a shortage of converter boxes to buy.


It will be very hard to get the production just right, so that the last converter boxes are sold to the last customer. Over time after that the market should fall to zero as older televisions wear out or are replaced. And eventually the converter boxes will find their way into land fills or recycling.
 

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Once retailers stop selling 600K a week, these boxes are going to fade away. Nobody wants to be stuck with inventory. They don't expect to sell us another generation of boxes in 5 years. With 35 million converted tvs, there should be used tuners available as tvs die. If they are available used, stores won't waste space on them. But I would expect cheap boxes to be available again when Canada transitions.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBiker /forum/post/14178367


As there will be little demand remaining for the boxes, I'll predict that production would cease and the remaining stock would end up at the various close-out discounters.

The average lifespan of your typical analog TV is 15 years, that means that there will be sets needing converters until 2015 -2020. The Manufacturers deliberately misinterpreted a study that said people buy a new set every 7 years to mean that they replaced their sets, which was not the result of the check-out lane survey at a big-box retailer.


The owner of an older HD-Ready set (2000 - 2005) will probably be happy with the picture quality from a converter, and not purchase a $200 true HD receiver. The difference between the two is only obvious at "Optimal" viewing distances, but the typical watcher is 12' to 15' away from a 50" set. (way too far away for HD detail to be apparent)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod7501 /forum/post/14178934



The owner of an older HD-Ready set (2000 - 2005) will probably be happy with the picture quality from a converter, and not purchase a $200 true HD receiver.

Sounds plausible. If anyone with those sets hasn't bought an HD tuner by now, they probably never will, and $200 for one is probably better put towards a new TV. Lots of the widescreen geeks just bought them to watch DVDs in 480p anyway. At least, those are the posts I remember on multiple forums back then.
 

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You also forget the cost of flat screens is pretty high add that with the cost of fuel and food them analog TVs will remain for awhile at lest until spare parts dry up. On the other hand the high cost of fuel and food should bring the prices down since disposable income will be dry up as well. What we will see is a major fall in cable and satellite subscribes and more content come to OTA TV. We already been told kerosene in PA will be $5.00 a gallon this winter.
 

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I think all the boxes we paid premium prices for, will be offered for $20-40 less than their "base" price.


So the Solid Signal Lasonic for $89 ($55 reported by Consumer Reports), will be available for less than $35. (There are vendors offering it for $47 right now, but they don't take coupons and it is not in stock yet.)


Don't forget, eventually, these converters will be worth ZERO $
 

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I think we over estimate the average person. I don't think most people are jumping right out their and purchasing converter boxes like most on AVS. I'd guess their will be a mad rush towards the end, and even weeks or months after the cutoff. Also don't forget about all the old VCRs and DVDRs. People may not realize right away that they will need a box for each of those as well, if they want to record OTA.

My guess is after the coupon program is over mfgs. will start adding cheap "non" coupon eligible options like: Component outputs,, Digital audio out, etc.. The boxes may still be SD to cut costs or more than likely give a reason to spend more for a box with HD out, and of course their will still be the Funia type of bare bones box, for those who cost is #1. My guess is the boxes in some form will be around for years to come, just not selling at the rate they're selling now.

As far as price I doubt they will be selling for much less than they are now, well maybe $39.99 without a coupon sounds good for a nice box. Funia would probably be able to make money at $29.99 or even $19.99 in a pinch. Heck they can currently make money on DVD players in that range. Seems like converter boxes could be even cheaper. Only time will tell.
 

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Quote:
As far as price I doubt they will be selling for much less than they are now, well maybe $39.99 without a coupon sounds good for a nice box. Funia would probably be able to make money at $29.99 or even $19.99 in a pinch. Heck they can currently make money on DVD players in that range. Seems like converter boxes could be even cheaper. Only time will tell.

Yeah, looking at the guts of my Insignia box and the pictures of the internals of other boxes and comparing to other electronic products, $20 - $30 seems like the right price range and still have a profit.


The chip, tuner and transformer are the priciest things in the box.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyager /forum/post/14178178


When the coupon program ends in March/April, what do you think will happen to the dtv converter box market?

My prediction: after 02/17/09, the remaining CECB-type DTV Converter Boxes will be sold in Canada - which is converting on 08/31/11 and not offering a coupon program.


Most US companies and retailers will cease offering converter boxes unless there is a very strong market demand for these.
 

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Toward the end of next decade Mexico is eliminating analog. There will be huge demand for converter boxes there, unless the Mexican government requires new sets to have digital tuners for many years before analog broadcasts end.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk /forum/post/14181063


Toward the end of next decade Mexico is eliminating analog. There will be huge demand for converter boxes there, unless the Mexican government requires new sets to have digital tuners for many years before analog broadcasts end.

Given that Mexico's population is vastly poorer than their North American counterparts, I don't think eliminating analog TV is going to be the government's #1 priority. Poor people watch a lot more TV per week than wealthy folks.


Come to think of it, recycling agencies could ship millions of disposed but working US TV sets to Mexico and other Latin American counties which will be using NTSC for a few more years.
 
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