[opendtv] Re: Way ON topic

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 11:32:40 -0500

Barry Wilkins wrote:

> While you folks are at it over there you might as well
> have the railroad companies invest a whole mess of money
> in electrification of all trunks to improve efficiency
> but don't promote it. On the contrary, why not have the
> oil companies subsidize the railways to avoid (by
> agreement) them actually having passengers, so ensuring
> that there will always be more automobiles to consume
> more gas.
> The above may appear a little exaggerated but I think
> your DTV transition sounds like something out of a novel
> that may have the title "Alice in Blunderland".

That sums it up nicely. And, as you say, this is not in the consumers'
best interest.

But what leads to this state of affairs? It is the consumers. In
countries where consumers willingly embrace the umbillical media, I
don't see how things could turn out differently. And the US is not the
worst in this regard.

If, in New Zealand, the combination of cable and DBS does not account
for a huge majority of the viewing public, then DTT should be
successful. In countries where cable and DBS already offer a large
assortment of TV channels, as well as HDTV, the gains DTT offers over
analog OTA are just not going to create a big stir. It's really not
surprising at all, I don't think.

But I also think that there are a lot of people out there who benefit
from being negative about this transition. There are still many 10s of
millions of OTA households in the US, and these will all go to DTT (give
*and* take a few). If enough negative articles can be written about OTA
TV, though, investors, as well as the more gullible and go-with-the-flow
consumers, will buy into the subscription TV frenzy, and cable/DBS
companies, retailers, and even broadcasters, will likely benefit.

Another aspect of this is that there is a knee-jerk reaction among many
journalists to make whatever the FCC mandates or encourages sound bad.
So, for example, it becomes automatically bad to have TVs with
CableCard, and consequently good to rent a cable company's proprietary
STB. And again, gullible consumers will salute and march in lock step.

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