[opendtv] Re: Bob, where are the tunerless monitors?

  • From: "johnwillkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 14:37:58 -0700

I, of course, concede that the vast majority of folks pay for, and use DBS
or cable.  

However, that's an incomplete analysis.  Cable/DBS folk spend about half of
their time watching three or four channels (terrestrial sources) that
present the highest-value content available in the U.S., and they spend the
other half of their viewing time watching a hundred or other channels.

Weren't tunerless monitors widely available in the HE segment before the
tuner mandate?  I saw them everywhere, so it appears that the tuner mandate
had the anticipated result.

Also, I need to take back something I said in this thread:  the "tuner
mandate" did apply to STBs, in that if they are sold to dealers in
interstate commerce after March of this year, they must handle 8-VSB
demodulation.  Nothing in the regs, however, forces anyone to make them.

John Willkie

-----Mensaje original-----
De: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] En
nombre de Eory Frank-p22212
Enviado el: Sunday, July 15, 2007 2:00 PM
Para: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Asunto: [opendtv] Bob, where are the tunerless monitors?

John Willkie wrote:

>I think Frank Eory owned a piece of that too; now, he's talking about
TV sets with 8-VSB tuners for sale at a grocery store.

>I think the tenet still stands: people don't watch modulation or
technology, they watch content.

Yes, I expected to see tunerless monitors in response to a government
mandate that adds cost but little value for most consumers. I also
predicted "dirt" 8-VSB, as in dirt-cheap -- at whatever level of
performance comes at that low price -- so as to minimize the added cost
of the ATSC IRD.

Tunerless monitors are few and far between in the "home entertainment"
category, but of course they still dominate the PC category. But
dirt-cheap 8-VSB has come to pass, more as a result of Moore's Law than
any revolutionary signal processing or architectural advancements. 8-VSB
performance has improved, and whether broadcasters or ATSC advocates
think it's good enough or not, it is what it is and consumers don't know
whether or not it could be or should be better. Dirt-cheap tuners have
also come to pass, due to the maturation of silicon tuners and the price
pressure those have put on the traditional tin-can tuners. Again,
whether some of you believe the tuners are good enough or not, they are
as good as they can be at that very low price point.

Consumers who are in the market for a new TV set go to Best Buy, Circuit
City, WalMart or wherever -- maybe they even grab a cheap one at the
grocery store on impulse -- and they must make a selection based on what
is offered. Obviously if no tunerless monitors are offered, they don't
even know to ask about those. They buy based on screen size and video
format capability, they buy based on display technology, they buy based
on A/V IO capability and so on. For the most part, they don't
particularly care whether their new TV has a "digital tuner" or not,
since most of them will never connect it to an antenna anyway.

So the CE industry has responded to the mandate by adding the lowest
cost ATSC IRD possible to their low & midrange sets, perhaps something a
little better to their high-end sets, rather than removing NTSC tuners
and selling tunerless monitors. But to the consumer who has no use for
an antenna and maybe a dozen 'free' TV channels, the point is moot.

You're absolutely right John -- they don't watch modulation or
technology, they watch content. And the overwhelming majority get that
content from cable or DBS.

-- Frank Eory

You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: