[opendtv] Re: Nielsen stats on TV in US households

  • From: Barry Brown <barrysb@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 14:17:01 -0400

Mark,

This probably doesn't affect you in your work that much, but I've been very disappointed with many of the episodic network HD programs whose LDs seem to prefer to use all low key lighting in their work. These programs certainly don't look very good on current HD-LCD screens. I'm sure all of them are still using CRTs for conforming.

Barry Brown

On Mar 23, 2007, at 1:29 PM, Mark Schubin wrote:

There are also the shift to flat-panel (and other non-CRT displays), the shift to surround sound, and the shift to tapeless storage.

I am currently going through agony over production issues related to the first two.

TTFN,
Mark


Tom Barry wrote:
I believe there are at least 5 different related TV technology shifts going on simultaneously now and we tend to confuse them a bit.

1) A shift to digital TV.

2) A shift to HDTV, or at least higher resolution, highly related to digital but not the same thing as it is the part driven by newer (rapidly cheaper) display technology instead of delivery technology.

3) A shift to cable and satellite.

4) A shift to multiple tuner PVR type viewing, either guide driven timer recording or by waiting a few minutes once in awhile to generate some 'Tivo slack' around the commercials.

5) A shift to everybody needing broadband for other purposes, even if they have no desire to watch movies that way. (and the associated cable TV bundling)

So...

There are no analog broadcasts OTA or cable that look very good on the newer digital displays. People will notice digital (and specifically HD) generally looks better.

And I believe most people buying a DTT receiver will be able to find ways to make it mostly work for many channels if they tinker with it sufficiently. However they will mostly likely also notice ATSC DTT is never quite as convenient or reliable as cable or satellite so #2 above implies #1 which generally leads towards #3. This happened for me.

I also believe that once you go Tivo you never go back to only real time viewing. However Tivo DTT is no longer really competitive with cable since for the monthly cost of the guide you can instead rent a cable PVR most places. (Not even counting the purposely discouraging cost of Tivo cable cards most places also hurting Tivo). So this path also leads to cable or satellite and almost invariably includes HD reception capabilities, even if you can't display it that way. This also happened for me though I went back to PC PVR'ing after Comcast tried to force me into a higher tier to keep their stupid PVR.

Finally, the cable companies are pricing broadband so there is very little extra cost to include basic cable. Since this package also can give always-on Internet access I'm a little surprised there are not more (any?) QAM capable non-cablecard PVR's on the market that could use free services like Zap2it for the PVR guide and get only the basic cable tier without the cable box but in highdef for marginal cost. But of course once you own some sort of Internet connected DVR it also opens the door to getting movies as downloads, either real time or trickle.

It also means the better STB's have to compete with PVR's. For years now the only really standalone NTSC STB's were VCR's, and recently PVR's. That may be the only way you can effectively sell a TV tuner STB, either analog or digital.

I may be over generalizing from my own experience but it seems each rosy path above tends to lead away from DTT here in the USA.

- Tom





Bob Miller wrote:
On 3/22/07, Manfredi, Albert E <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Bob Miller wrote:

> This brings the percentage of German terrestrial households
> viewing DTT to 60%.

That includes PC cards and USB receiver sticks. I don't know that
Nielsen includes any of those stats. From how the Nielsen report reads, it's seems unlikely. They only looked at cable and DBS households, and
acknowledged that some DBS households have more complicated antenna
systems than just DBS. That seems to ignore these other devices.

> By the end of December the DTT coverage was 75% of the
> population.

That's not all that impressive. DTT coverage here might easily be
higher, since all markets have had to include DTT for several years.
Coverage does not mean usership.

Coverage does not mean viewership. If you believe the numbers they
have 60% DTT and 20% Satellite and some percentage digital cable. All
I was doing is pointing out that the US at 51% is probably does not
have the highest percentage of digital TV households. If you think USB
sticks and PCI card use in the US takes us over 77 or 80% OK.

On the other side of the coin, HDTV (lack thereof) is becoming an ever bigger issue. This article warns of major economic repercussions caused
vby the lack of Freeview HDTV.

http://www.dtg.org.uk/news/news.php? class=countries&subclass=0&id=2318

In the interest of equal time, how come you aren't wringing your hands
about that?

Maybe I am but the subject of this thread was percentage of digital TV viewers in various countries. And I don't see why I should be worrying over the plight of HDTV manufacturers whose imbicilic short term sales
policies has saddled the US with 8-VSB which has been no help,
actually a major hindrance, to unit HDTV sales IMO.

That is if we had allowed COFDM in 2000 the sales of HDTVs and the
percentage of their owners who used OTA and actually were watching
HDTV would be far higher. Maybe profit margins would also be higher.

> Wouldn't it be nice if the public in the US were freely
> buying DTV receivers like they are in the UK?

US buyers *are* buying up digital receivers "freely." It's just that the
US public largely seems to be happy to become impregnated by one
umbillical service or another, instead of buying these receivers with no
strings attached. Can't exactly call it rape when it's consentual.

Consentual ignorance is more like it. Consumers are not happy with
their current service necessarily, they don't have a choice as far as
they know.

How many 8-VSB receivers are being bought "freely" in your opinion?
That is bought by someone who knows they are buying one and plans on
using it. Someone who if given a choice of HDTV sets, one with an
8-VSB tuner and one without and told the difference would opt for the
8-VSB one even if it was $100 more.

Bob Miller

Bert


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