[opendtv] Re: Toward digital TV

  • From: Mark Schubin <tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 16:41:24 -0500

Manfredi, Albert E wrote:

> <>The issue now
> is something else, and is exemplified ever so clearly
> by LG's lack of up-to-date ATSC product for FOTA
> application. Not even an up to date DVR, for heaven's
> sake.
> In light of this, in light of completely clueless
> salespeople at high end stores, in light of almost
> total lack of ATSC STBs in big box stores (I'll check
> Circuit City this weekend), lack of latest generation
> STBs anywhere, lack of advertizing of these by
> broadcasters and retail stores alike, is it possible
> anyone can still think that DVB-T would have made a
> difference?


As I've mentioned before, LG's lack of set-top action could conceivably 
be attributed to the "face" issue associated with their having developed 
8-VSB and not wanting to look like the only ones who can make it work.

Salespeople are probably comparably clueless elsewhere in the world, yet 
Freeview boxes are flying off the shelves in the UK.  STBs are also 
selling much better in Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, 
Norway, and even Spain than they are here.  In all of those countries, 
they are regularly updated and repriced; look at the new A$299 price for 
an unsubsidized HD STB in Australia.

I haven't been to the other countries recently, but both UK stores and 
the BBC veritably scream Freeview.

So, does this have anything to do with the modulation technique?  In 
terms of technology, I don't think so.  But in many other terms, I do.

Broadcasters can promote DVB-T STBs because they were comfortable that 
they worked from the outset.  Even CEA effectively said first-generation 
U.S. STBs were essentially useless.  STBs were cheap, perhaps because of 
the multiple markets or perhaps because they didn't have HDTV.  Either 
way, the $50 STB we keep hearing about but never seeing in  the U.S. is 
on sale in Europe today.  And salespeople know that when they stick an 
antenna feed into a TV in their city-based stores, they get pictures, 
whatever else they may or may not know.  It is still very rare to find a 
U.S. retailer with a DTT feed, and, frankly, I don't blame them.


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