Who's Holding Back Digital TV? Well, Everyone, For Starters…

from the moving-forward... dept

The move to digital TV is a big deal, but it’s just not happening in the US. The reason? Where do you start? Basically, the simplest answer is that everyone is to blame. Right now everyone is pointing fingers, and to some extent they’re all right. No one really sees the benefits — and there don’t seem to be any one to explain them. It’s a huge chicken and egg problem. Consumers don’t see why they should go digital because they already get the content they want. Also, it seems likely that many consumers are confused about digital TV and HDTV and whether or not they’re different. Broadcasters don’t see why they should upgrade to go digital when viewers aren’t going digital and so everyone sits around going nowhere. Of course, maybe this means the whole broadcast flag thing will get denied before everyone’s forced to move to digital TV and your TiVo stops working.

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Comments on “Who's Holding Back Digital TV? Well, Everyone, For Starters…”

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knight37 (user link) says:

Yeah I don't Get It Either

Count me as one of the ones who just “doesn’t get” HDTV. I mean, who really cares? TV right now is just fine for what I want it for. I don’t NEED HDTV. First of all, I don’t have and don’t want a big-screen TV, and to me, I don’t see a lot of benefit of high definition on a small screen. What pisses me off is that they want to try and FORCE everyone to get HDTV because a minority have these big ass TV’s that look like crap at standard resolutions and HDTV would look so much better on their 60′ home theater setups. So why does the guy working the night shift at Mickey-D’s have to subsidize these people?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Yeah I don't Get It Either

Ah, see there you go… confusing digital TV and HDTV again. They’re different things.

The issue with moving to digital TV is actually a VERY big deal, because it will free up a TON of wasted spectrum that the broadcasters hold onto that can be put to much better use by other industries. It’s a real waste right now.

knight37 (user link) says:

Re: Re: Yeah I don't Get It Either

It’s still forcing people to pay a lot of money for nothing. Aren’t those converters like $250? So is Johnny the Fry Guy going to drop $250 just so he can STILL WATCH THE SAME STUFF HE’S BEEN WATCHING FOR YEARS?

If it’s freeing up so much stuff for these broadcasters let them frickin’ pay for it.

TJ says:

Oh come on

The push to DTV is to free up broadcast spectrum, which means this issue boils down to people who don’t get TV via cable or satellite. Satellite already sends broadcasts in digital, and cable only keeps basic channels on analog-over-wire to keep from investing in convertor boxes for non-premium-tier customers. If they needed to they could be all digital, but they don’t need to be.

Consumers of Over-The-Air TV will be motivated when periodic commercials and/or crawls tell them the date they will no longer be able to receive with virtually all existing TVs. So long as the date keeps getting moved back, who is going to buy a new TV or a box?

Digital quality is somewhat better yes, but since digital video is compressed to save bandwidth, snow and hiss are traded for pixelation and fast-motion artifacts. HDTV that isn’t compressed too aggressively looks great though, and as prices on those sets fall, much more content is really offered in HDTV, and my 5-10 year old TVs show signs of giving out, I’ll jump on digital HDTV. But as a cable customer, until then I’ll ignore DTV completely thank you. That isn’t because I’m ignorant about DTV; it is because I’m not.

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