At 10:08 AM -0400 7/12/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote: > >Is this the argument that says you lose some on each item, but volume >makes up for it? No. It is an argument that says that when you make hundreds of thousands or millions of something, versus a few thousand, that the improved manufacturing efficiency, and volume component purchases will enable you to make the product cheaper...much cheaper. > >I don't understand your point. If that cheap TV you're talking about >were built as two separate boxes, one tuner with audio and video >jacks, and one monitor with video inputs and perhaps a built-in audio >system, how much would it cost? Never mind if the audio system has >to be another set of separate enclosures. My point was that this set was "over stuffed" with connectors, which you seem to believe make the manufacturing cost much higher. I do not contest the notion that - ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL - two boxes with connectors will cost more than one integrated unit. That is just logical. BUT. All things ARE NOT equal. There are several considerations in play here. 1. The coupling of services with receivers optimized for those services. Separate receivers tend to help multi-channel distributors by reducing churn, and by differentiating their service from others based on the features of the boxes (receivers) that they offer. The cost of a STB to a multi-channel distributor is not viewed the same as when a consumer buys a component; they often subsidize boxes, and they almost always charge monthly fees for them. The truth is that in the long haul, these boxes are a profit center for most multi-channel distributors. 2. We live in a world with both integrated products and component systems. Integration is critical for portability, but much less important for fixed installations. It is VERY COMMON for the biggest screen in the home to have a bunch of components connected; VCR, DVD player, cable or DBS boxes, component audio system, etc. So you can't leave off all of the connectors, even if the TV has one or more integrated receivers. 3. Consumers are not excited about buying stuff they don't need. Forcing the integration of receivers that will not be used can be a major negative. This is the reason that people are buying monitors instead of receivers - they can choose the right components (including receivers) for the system they want. 4. The problems with integration of components are beginning to disappear, as software controlled user interfaces become common. Thus it is now possible to offer the same levels of functionality as an integrated product...maybe even more. The CE guys are bringing up the rear in terms of the User Interface to home entertainment systems. For example, it is very easy to build a music library and create playlists via a PC, while it is difficult to do this with most existing CE industry audio components. Bottom line, this issue is NOT about economics, especially NOT about the cost of integration versus separate components. The issue is services, ease-of-use, and maintaining ongoing cash flows from subscribers. >If you're saying that the $129 could not possibly have incorporated >an ATSC front end today, I'd say sure. But it does incorporate an >NTSC tuner, right? Who in his right mind would have insisted on >keeping the NTSC front end as a separate box, if he were interested >in producing a low-cost product? We may learn about this soon. I expect that those "free" NTSC tuners are going to disappear from DTV monitors soon because of the FCC tuner requirements. This is not to say that cheap integrated sets like the one I described are going to go away any time soon; they will still be making them up to the day that the FCC requires an ATSC tuner in sets of that size. And then, as Mark keeps pointing out, there will be a big increase in the price of cheap sets > >The only hope of ever getting back to $129 TV sets with digital will >be to package it in a similar way, *NOT* to create a product >category that must only come as a high-end separates. We've been over >this many many times. Hifi stereo separates are great, but that >doesn't preclude the existence of cheaper all-in-one radios. Sorry, but I don't buy this argument. Yes there will be integrated digital TV sets. But most people will buy monitors for fixed installations. > >And, I won't repeat myself, don't forget that the digital front >end has to exist *somewhere*. Exactly what is the digital "front end?" This depends very much on the "network" to which a TV is connected. In a digital home, that front end may only need to be a NIC and the decoders needed to turn bits into audio and video. It is quite possible that the home will access bits from multiple networks (OTA, cable or DBS, Internet, etc.). So if an ATSC receiver is essential, perhaps a full Internet implementation with browser etc should also be integrated into every set... RIGHT? Regards Craig ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.