[opendtv] Re: Toward digital TV

  • From: Bob Miller <bob@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 19:39:06 -0500

Manfredi, Albert E wrote:

>Bob Miller wrote:
>>>I wouldn't underestimate what the European TV retailer has
>>>to do to get that signal in his store, at their lower power
>>>levels, or to get a useful in the customer premises.
>>>Professional TV antenna installations are the norm over
>>>there, *even* in downtown residences.
>>Where do you read that it is the norm?
>By going there?
Well I have gone there to and it is decidedly NOT the norm. People take 
advantage of the rooftop antennas they have inherited from their analog 
sets since they are there already and all they have to do is attach the 
new receiver. They also will use a professional antenna installer if 
they have a problem with reception using either their old antenna that 
was already there or an indoor antenna.

But they do not call for the installation of rooftop antennas as the 
*norm*. A good percentage of receivers are being sold for second TV sets 
that are also not connected to the rooftop antenna and it seems with a 
quick search of Ebay that a lot of mobile and portable receivers are 
being sold using simple omni antennas.

>>Even if it was the reality is that with an antenna they can
>>get rock solid reception. No if ands or buts. No store in
>>NYC can do that that I am aware of.
>I don't know about NYC, but it would certainly be no big
>shakes for a store in the Washington area to install an
>outdoor antenna and feed their display DTVs. In fact, they
>used to do this at first, in the bad old days of 1st gen
And they gave it up because later generations of receivers were not as 
good as those first gen ones??

>>I was in a Radio Shack store in Michigan recenlty. They
>>should be awash with DTV receivers. They had none. And they
>>could not get reception of nearby broadcasters. Such a
>>store in the UK this time of year would have receivers
>>stacked all over the place.
>I agree that stores this year should have lots of DTT
>receivers for sale, at a price I thought would have been about
>$130 this holiday season. Instead, prices you see are between
>$200 and $250. Last year, prices went from $200 to $300 and up,
>so there might be a slight reduction overall. (Then again,
>analog shutoff has been postponed to 2009 at least, so perhaps
>that's their excuse? Who knows.)
You don't but I do. Why you don't I have no idea. It is a complete mystery.

>I am simply saying that DVB-T would not change this. If there
>is no technical reason why this year and last year are not
>very different, then whatever reason there is would apply to
>any type of DTT receiver.
But I know that DVB-T receivers would make all the difference. Your 
argument about last year and this year is puzzling. What are you talking 
about? What has changed?

Maybe you can explain to me why the US is so different than the rest of 
the world. If both 8-VSB and COFDM receivers are the same market wise 
what makes every country that has COFDM and are going bonkers selling 
COFDM receivers so different than us?

Some mysterious conspiracy of retailers? In the UK retailers happily 
sell COFDM receivers when they could be selling SKY subscriptions as do. 
In fact in one discussion on an UK thread they talk about how a store 
tries to steer people away from TopUpTV to Freeview since they don't 
sell TopUpTV but if a customer persist they steer them to SKY. Freeview 
first, SKY second. And Freeview is out selling SKY 12 to 1.

I think they are trying to sell Freeview first because it is the easiest 
sale. Not so with 8-VSB.

>Remember: 5th gen LG STBs *are* *on* *sale* (oh, with DirecTV
>service). So let's not invent some ludicrous reasons why they,
>and other 4th/5th gen receivers, can't be on shelves.
Why don't you ask LG? They are still happily selling stand alone COFDM 
receivers in OZ while still not selling stand alone 8-VSB receivers in 
the US. They should have all the answers.

>I went to Circuit City. I found a decent assortment of ATSC
>STBs and of indoor antennas, right next to the STBs. Good
>for Circuit City. And these were not hidden away. They are
>right at the front of the store, along with DVD players,
>TiVos, and other such items.
>They had LG STBs. The one with DirecTV service, which is
>apparently the 5th gen box, had such a big discount that they
>would *pay* the customer 1 cent to take it off the shelf.
>They had the LG LST 3510A, which I understand is 3rd gen. It
>went for about $230.
>They had Samsung SRT451. I'm not positive about these, but
>believe they are also not Gemini chip boxes (the one tested
>by the CRC), because they were around last year too.
>They also had a no-name box. Who knows? Maybe it's a Humax,
>in which case it could be a good deal. But it too went for
>some $200.
>The funny thing is, *now* is the time when these ATSC
>products can still differentiate themselves. Soon, they will
>be commodity items like DVB-T receivers have become. So why
>aren't they out there strutting their stuff?
Soon?? When exactly are they going to become a commodity? I saw an 
infomercial on cable today selling a 20" or so LCD and informing the 
public at least five times in five minutes that this did not have an HD 
tuner, didn't need one because all you have to do is hook it up to cable 
and satellite. Save money they kept saying and don't waste it on an OTA 
tuner. I expect that will become a mantra in all retail outlets over the 
next year or so.

No commodity status for 8-VSB coming IMO.

Bob Miller


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