[opendtv] Re: Delay

  • From: "John Willkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 17:24:55 -0800

You are still off-base.  You assume that people without tuners cannot watch
DTV or HDTV.  (Once again, you use these terms to your benefit, not

Percentage of hh in France with HDTV: 0%.  Percentage of homes in the UK
with HDTV: 0%.  Percentage of homes in the U.S. with HDTV: something north
of 4%, by what I'm told.  DTV availability is even North of that.  And, in
the next 806 or so days, it will approach 100%.

HDTV in the U.S. is available via OTA, via Cable, and satellite.  Kind of
funny, given your premise, that HDTV isn't driving anything.  In the last
few days, I've seen newspaper and TV advertisements from DirecTV and Dish
Network promoting their availability of HDTV channels.  DirecTv is promising
an HDTV tier for an introductory price $39.95 per month.  Dish is promoting
a wider tier of HDTV for $34.95 per month.  Cox cable also promotes heavily
their HDTV line up, as does Time-Warner cable among locally available cable
systems.  Oddly enough, when you get the HDTV tier, you also get the SDTV
tier, and in some cases, even analog signals.

These companies must be wasting their promotional money, don't you think,
promoting a service that nobody wants?

More than 85% percent of the U.S. households, you see, get a wider variety
of programming than over the air via cable and satellite.  

San Diego HDTV penetration, by the way is still the highest in the U.S.,
somewhere between 11 and 15%.  And, it will continue to go up in the next
few months.

John Willkie

> -----Original Message-----
> From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
> On Behalf Of Bob Miller
> Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2006 4:23 PM
> To: opendtv
> Subject: [opendtv] Delay
> The whole argument over 8-VSB/COFDM back in 199/2000 revolved around
> the word "delay". Even talking about the problems of 8-VSB was termed
> a "delaying tactic". The horror of missing the numbers for one quarter
> for the CEA crowd crowded out any possibility of honest discourse.
> Congressman Dingel told the DoD to but out, stop talking about
> homeland security issues and COFDM because selling HDTV sets is the
> most important thing and we can broach no "DELAY". Sinclair was tarred
> with the same term. Sinclair would delay the sale of high margin HDTV
> sets.
> OTA DTV and 8-VSB with no delay was going to drive the sale of HDTV
> sets and make billions for CEA companies.
> Well six or seven years later we can look back and see that OTA DTV
> with 8-VSB did not drive sales of HDTV sets. If 50 to 60% of those who
> have purchased an HDTV set have NO HD service of any kind including
> OTA then why did they buy their HDTV?
> If we know that 88% of households (J.D. Powers) have cable and
> satellite, that 2% have no TV at all and that another 3% steals cable
> or satellite, we have around 7% who still depend on OTA for TV.
> And we know....
> "While high-def sets are in nearly 25 million U.S. homes, industry
> officials estimate that less than 10 million actually have the tuners
> necessary to watch high-def signals."
> http://www.tvpredictions.com/directvsubs110806.htm
> That's 40% of HD households that have actual HD when all they
> supposedly have to do is buy an STB and antenna or maybe just the
> antenna to get HD. Obviously something other than OTA DTV drove at
> least 60% of sales. Obviously at least 60% of HD buyers don't even
> know of OTA HDTV or don't want it for some reason.
> Of the 40% who have HD service I would expect, they being the most
> affluent part of our society, that most have cable or satellite.
> Who then is getting their HD fix from OTA? How many of those 10 million or
> 40%?
> How many of the seven percent who still depend on OTA are getting HDTV
> OTA?
> How many are going to stick with OTA HD of those who have it now?
> How many cable or satellite subscribers will switch to or add OTA?
> How many satellite subscribers now use OTA because they have to?
> How many of the seven percent who depend on OTA analog will switch to
> OTA digital at analog shut down?
> How many of those seven percent OTA dependent will be wooed away by
> cable and satellite around analog shut down?
> I suggest that OTA HDTV represents from 1 to 2 percent now and will
> climb to 3 to 4 percent after analog shut down max.
> Not many IMO. Not enough to justify maintaining free OTA broadcasting
> on all that spectrum.
> What if we had talked about doing a multicast DTV like the UK but with
> HD interspersed with the SD unlike OZ where multicast was outlawed?
> What if we had a modulation that worked well mobile and fixed?
> I would bet that OTA would have driven HD far more than it has. That
> there would be more OTA receivers in the US today than households, and
> that all thing OTA including HD would be in the ascendant instead of
> the gutter.
> As it is HD is still being driven by DVDs. More HD sets will be sold
> this Christmas than HD services. And I mean that for every 100 HDTV
> sets sold less than 40 new HD services will be sold. So the percentage
> of HD owners who have some kind of HD service, 40%, is going down.
> In the end virtually all of us will have HDTV sets, we will all have
> HD service, I take that as a given.
> But will any of us have free OTA HD and does it matter? I don't know.
> One thing I do know, 8-VSB has DELAYED HDTV sales.
> Bob Miller
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