[opendtv] Re: Content picture fuzzy for latest HDTVs

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 11:56:11 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> You need the cable card to access protected tiers that are sent
> in analog AND QAM. It looks like most sets are shipping with
> QAM/ATSC tuners, but only a handful of channels can be accessed
> without the cable card - typically the same broadcast stations
> you can access with an antenna - rendering these tuners mostly
> worthless.

Cable companies prefer to rent you their proprietary box, obviously,
because they can get more revenues that way. And they overprice
CableCards to try to dissuade consumers from buying equipment with
CableCard. And they may even have the type of "sweet deal" we saw wrt
highdef DVD equipment, to encourage CE manufacturers not to sell
equipment with CableCard. Possible, certainly, although I don't know if
it's the case.

None of this proves that consumers have to lie down and take it.

> Meanwhile the DBS and cable operators are starting a "real" HD
> war based on services that are built around an HD PVR box and
> on demand services...

Big deal, Craig. HD PVRs should be commodity items by now. Of course the
umbillical services prefer you to use their proprietary boxes. It gives
them a persistent revenue stream. And of course they'll try to introduce
features that are difficult for third party systems to implement, just
to keep people dependent on proprietary solutions.

But again, unless you are on their payroll, there's no reason to imply
that these tactics are objectively the best solution from the consumers'
point of view.

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