[opendtv] Re: Freeview realities

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2006 10:54:53 -0500

Barry Wilkins wrote:

> If, as you say Bob, "the reality in the US is virtually no
> one is even interested in OTA. Retailers, consumers and
> broadcasters are all showing little to no interest in OTA."
> then what is the point of this discussion? Who IS
> interested?

I wouldn't automatically take the word of the disgruntled as gospel,
however, Barry. The percentage of OTA TV users in the US is almost
positively higher than that of, for example, Germany. And yet "the
disgruntled" will tell you that Germany is a huge success story.
Granted, I'm talking percentage that use analog or digital OTA. Still,
OTA TV has a respectable following in the Colonies.

> Of course this is all regrettable from the view of informed
> consumers in many countries because had the USA embraced a
> very attractive technology from a global perspective, it
> would have benefited us all in economies of scale, the USA
> included.

But that's no problem. Economies of scale can be achieved. I showed a
few weeks ago where global DTV sets are already marketed, I think from
the UK, in fact. The differences between these schemes are very small.

The problem here is mostly one of promotion, lack thereof. Look, digital
radio took a long time to take off here. But now, at long last, FOTA
radio broadcasters are promoting IBOC, and are doing an *infinitely*
better job at it than the DTT broadcasters have ever done. For a long
time, the IBOC CE vendors were passively waiting in the sidelines. But
in short order, the effect of the recent promotion is showing.

What I quote below is a press release by a vendor of IBOC digital radio.
I fully acknowledge that it's a press release. But can anyone show me a
similar press release from DTT vendors in the US? Promotion does work.
People hear about digital radio, and the broadcasters make the system
desirable to have. It gives more content than analog radio, and can give
satellite radio a run for its money.

In fact, with all their bean-counter jitters, Sangean delayed so long
that they probably missed the holiday season. If you put in an order
today at Amazon, for their new AM/FM tuner, they claim it won't be
shipped until 18 December. Which means unlikely to be delivered before
Christmas. So far, other retailers aren't even giving an estimate.

Radio broadcasters seem capable of promoting their product. TV
broadcasters apparently cannot, because the cable and DBS folk won't let
them. Amazing. I just don't buy that ATSC is the reason.


2006-11-07 -Sangean America

For several weeks now Sangean has been taking pre-orders in preparation
for the holiday season and has been experiencing a dramatic surge in
sales as a result of peaked interest in the prospects for HD Radio

Selwyn Winstock, VP of Sales & Marketing says that, "Two months ago if
you had asked us how we felt about HD Radio we would have told you we
were getting scared, but today we can say that we have never seen such
an interest in a product we have released. We are seeing such an
interest that we have had to focus our entire approach to this product

HD Radio is coming, and in a fast way. Sangean is currently in
negotiations to have a retail launch date of Nov. 24th, the infamous
"Black Friday." In the next few weeks before the release Sangean will
announce all the places you can buy these radios at, but for now they
have reached agreements with Amazon.com, Fry's Electronics, J&R Music
World in Manhattan, and Crutchfield. More are on the way and will be
announced as they happen.
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