[opendtv] Re: PR: I want my DTV

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 08:30:22 -0400

At 1:37 PM -0400 6/30/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
>Craig Birkmaier wrote:
>>  According to the following report, it is DVD, NOT
>>  HDTV that is driving the adoption of new digital
>>  television displays in most areas of the world...
>I think you seriously misinterpreted what the article
>is saying. As in:
>"High-definition television (HDTV) - a subset of
>the overall DTV market - will eventually have a
>dramatic impact on consumer education and
>adoption of digital TV in certain parts of the

What misinterpretation?

Note the use of the term "eventually."

The reality is that even here in the U.S., TODAY, DVD is a stronger 
driver of purchases of HD capable displays than HD receivers and/or 
program services.

I agree that HD will be a strong driver in the future as it becomes 
more pervasive, ESPECIALLY in non-entertainment applications of 
digital media.

I do not agree that HD entertainment is going to cause any 
significant shift in the mass market for TV displays in the next few 
years. Perhaps in a decade we may see HD become commonplace. For the 
rest of this decade it is going to remain a market niche, closely 
coupled with home theater systems.
>"At this point, HDTV content delivery, and therefore
>set adoption, is essentially limited to Australia,
>Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the United States for
>the foreseeable future. Digital TV in other parts of
>the world will continue to be driven by advances in
>flat-panel displays and the red-hot DVD market, ..."

Yup. In the countries listed above there is some HD content 
available. Korea may be the most advanced in terms of peo0ple buying 
HD capable displays and actually watching HD programming. In 
Austrailia there is VERY LITTLE HD content available today, as is the 
case in Japan. Canada is mostly getting its HD content from the U.S. 
In all of these countries, DVD is the dominant driver of sales of HD 
capable displays today.

>Bottom line is that only in those parts of the world
>where HDTV is unavailable will DVD *alone* drive the
>adoption of so-called digital TV, according to this

Nobody said anything about "alone." The dominant driver in my 
purchase of an HD capable display was the desire for a "watchable" 
big screen image. The integration of a deinterlacer for SDTV was the 
dominant driver of my purchase. DVD was second. HD is now on the 
horizon, but still mostly unimportant to my family.

Ther are other drivers as well. Perhaps the most significant is the 
appeal of flat or very thin cabinets that take up less space in the 
room. For others, it is the ability to display the progressive scan 
output of a PC, which can act as a DVR, source of content (tuners and 
libraries of images and music), and a portal to IP based services. HD 
is just one of many factors that are causing people to buy HD capable 

>So when you say "in most areas of the world," it's
>only true because "most areas" won't see HDTV for
>some time!

We even disagree here.

Because of the success of HD as a niche service in the U.S. and a few 
other countries, and especially because a significant amount of 
premium content is now being made available in HD, it is likely that 
HD services will be available in virtually all developed countries in 
the next 2-3 years. The most likely form of distribution for this 
content will be satellite. Cable will also be a factor in some areas. 
And HD-DVD is just around the corner, IF the major content providers 
elect to support the new standard.

The reality is the same around the world. HD is now, and will become 
an important driver of premium television services in the near 
future. This should not be confused with the continuing mass market 
for SDTV. As Mark Schubin pointed out in this week's memo:

>- NPD Intelect, which measures sales to consumers (except Wal-Mart, 
>catalogs, and Internet) reported 404,660 CRT-based projection TVs in 
>the first quarter and 56,623 microdisplay-based (DLP and different 
>forms of LCD) projection TVs. LCD 27-inch and up exceeded plasma. 
>But CRT still has a roughly 11 times more units sold than non-CRT:

The mass market is not going HD anytime soon.

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