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Many HDTV owners watch in ‘low-def’

eHDMI
03-04-2007, 04:44 PM
I figured this was the case......

Anyone who thinks consumers understand high-definition television should consider a recent survey by Leichtman Research Group. It concluded that close to one-half of the 24 million households with HDTVs don’t actually watch high-definition programs because they haven’t obtained the necessary hardware from their cable, phone or satellite operators.

And about one half of those viewers — about six million — don’t even realize they’re not watching HDTV.

Bruce Leichtman, the market research firm’s president, figures the confusion is partly because the consumers spend so much money on the set they can’t believe they’re not getting what they paid for.

The forward march of consumer electronics, of course, is replete with examples of technology outpacing the ability of average users to understand it. Look no further than the success of the “For Dummies” series of how-to technology books.

The problem is bound to get worse as we near the February 2009 digital-transition deadline, when all broadcasters must transmit entirely in digital, rather than analog, signals. In the meantime, sales are rising as the price of flat-panel HDTV sets fall below $1,000. There were 13.6 million HDTVs sold last year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

The failure of so many HDTV owners to figure out what they’ve actually bought is bad for everyone. After years of dragging their feet, TV networks finally are investing heavily to produce shows in high definition. But these investments aren’t going to pay off anytime soon if 50 percent of the HDTV owners aren’t set up for HD viewing.

Consumer ignorance is understandable. It used to be buyers needed only to bring a new set home, plug it into a cable or satellite hookup and flop back on the couch. Now they first must choose either an HDTV set or a standard-definition digital set that has a lower price tag and inferior picture quality. (All HDTV sets are digital, but not vice versa.) Then, they must make sure they’re getting high-definition service from their cable or satellite operator, which typically costs more. After that, they have to lease a high-definition set-top box and make sure it’s set up right.

After all that preparation, viewers still can make the mistake of watching the wrong channel. Cable and satellite systems now carry both HDTV channels and regular channels for the same networks, such as ESPN and CBS.

Source (http://www.dailyherald.com/business/story.asp?id=287432)

richiephx1
03-04-2007, 06:10 PM
If consumers are that stupid, they deserve what get. It's no fault but their own.

GerryG
03-04-2007, 07:36 PM
I won't buy HD until I can watch more than stupid, boring sports shows and worthless reality TV shows. Most of what's out there is garbage, not worth more than 480 linesof resolution. Until BROADCAST offerings improve, why bother?

Type A
03-04-2007, 08:43 PM
Until BROADCAST offerings improve, why bother?

Because there is a hell of a lot more to HD than "BROADCAST." I cite my own "source" catagory of my signature as an example.

While what you say was true four years ago when I first went HD with a 55" rptv, today is a totally differnt story with streaming HD, downloadable HD content from the internet and Xbox live, HD DVD and BluRay players, upconverting dvd players, HD gaming from a pc and/or next gen console, and 31 channels of HD from providers like dish network. Dont forget the little things like viewing your digital pictures on an hdtv rather than just your computer monitor, and prices comming down on HD camcorders...Hell, if thats not good enough, looks like youll have a long wait ahead of you.

BTW, Ive never viewed 'broadcast' on my HD system:rolleyes:

rinardman
03-04-2007, 09:10 PM
BTW, Ive never viewed 'broadcast' on my HD system

Just curious, Type A. Why not? Seems you have a lot invested in your "HD system", why not go with a relatively small further investment, and add an antenna for OTA HD?
Are you too refined to watch "common" TV? ;)

Type A
03-04-2007, 09:15 PM
LOL, pretty much. No, Im just surrounded by big trees, and ota is pretty weak in such a small town like mine to begin with. Dish doesnt offer HD broadcasts (out of any city) in my area either. Only time I really miss it is football season, but with the 49ers sucking so bad in the last DECADE, I figured its for the best I dont have broadcast anyway:(

BobY
03-04-2007, 10:15 PM
One should also factor in that many consumers aren't "stupid", they just don't care and can't be bothered because it's not that important to them.

When I lived with my parents, they always wondered why I would reset the clock on the VCR when the power went out. The clock was of no relevance to their life. They couldn't imagine spending their time programming a VCR to tape a show when they weren't there (they were perfectly comfortable with the fact that if you missed a TV show, well, life went on), they had other clocks in the room to tell time with and the flashing display didn't bother them.

I know many people who bought HDTV's for no other reason than they wanted a widescreen display and/or a flat panel display. They don't care about HD and would never consider paying more money to get HD signals.

It is unfortunate that the manufacturers and content providers have made everything so confusing and the cable/satellite techs don't always know how to set things up, so I do feel sorry for those consumers who really did want HD and are paying for it, but still not getting what they think.

SLedford
03-05-2007, 07:34 AM
To reinforce what BobY said, there are many informed purchasers who are satisfied with the existing picture or bought the HD television to "future proof" themselves or for watching DVDs. My boss came over to my house when he was looking at replacing their aging television, and did a lot of research on-line.

The results:
- a bigscreen HD television hooked up to Direct TV (no HD)

His reasoning is that they do not watch enough network television to justify the small increase in price from DT for HD programming. They do watch a lot of DVDs, and thy look great on that television.

His second line of reasoning is that one of two things will eventually happen:
(1) competative pressures will eventually result in HD programming provided at no extra cost, or (more likely)
(2) the selection of HD programming, still fairly meager right now, will get large enough to justify the additional cost for HD.

fryet
03-08-2007, 11:25 AM
I wonder about their survey. If a person answered that they don't have a set-top box, did the survey then assume that they aren't getting HD? Some TVs have built in tuners, and coupled with a Cable Card (or unscrambled HD signal), they are getting HD. At my home, I have a DVR and an unscrambled HD signal. Now if I only had an HDTV instead of an EDTV. (:

360kid
03-08-2007, 11:34 AM
I know many people who bought HDTV's for no other reason than they wanted a widescreen display and/or a flat panel display. They don't care about HD and would never consider paying more money to get HD signals.

.


I bought my LCD mainly for the widescreen. I had the 360 for a month and really wanted the widescreen HD effect that I played at the kiosks, so I splurged for the LCD for gaming.

I went months before watching anything HD on my set other than the 360 games. For me HD set is for games and movies, everything else is just bonus. I have no urge to upgrade to HD DVD yet either. SD DVD look good and are widescreen, good enough for me.

I wouldn't call people stupid, they may just no care. And if they don't know to get HD cable box, is that there fault? We all know stuff, we just know different stuff. Grandma may not know about HD, but she can bake you a cake. It's like calling someone stupid becasue they they don't know how to make cookies from scratch.

Lee Stewart
03-08-2007, 12:04 PM
It has been over 40 years (1966) since people (general public) have been faced with a situation of a new television system.

In 1966 all programs were finally in color (birthed 1953) so since then, you plug it in, hook up a source and volia' . . . you get a picture. Many are not aware that the Analog channels are going away 2/09. I am sure many don't really know that you need an HD source to see HD.

And as stated . . . many don't want or care about HD.

This issue really orginates at the time of the sale of the display . . .will the salesman tell the consumer that you NEED an HD source to see HD (even OTA will do)? Or do they just accept the sale . . . and it's the consumers responsibility to "figure it out."

I WUV HD
03-08-2007, 12:18 PM
It has been over 40 years (1966) since people (general public) have been faced with a situation of a new television system.
What about cable? What about satellite? Those weren't new television systems?

What about the switch from analog to digital? My cable system went digital about a decade ago. Was that not a new system?

Lee Stewart
03-08-2007, 12:54 PM
What about cable? What about satellite? Those weren't new television systems?

Not really . . they were television delivery systems. When they started up both cable and Sat. provided NTSC pictures. . . again hook up a source (antenna, cable or sat . . .get a picture.

What about the switch from analog to digital? My cable system went digital about a decade ago. Was that not a new system?

I was referring to the millon(s) of people who get their TV from an antenna or rabbit ears. These signals will (according to FCC) be terminated in 2/09.

There is money being set aside (about a billion dollars) to buy digital to analog "decoders" to provide to those people who will lose TV signals in their homes when "the switch is turned off." How that will be done is still being discussed.

Lee Stewart
03-08-2007, 01:01 PM
Since the birth of television we have had three "television systems" (in USA):

1. Black and White Only

2. Color - NTSC

3. HDTV - ATSC

Does that clarify it?

invasive
03-17-2007, 06:58 PM
My parents just got themselves a Sony widescreen HDTV but they still don't really understand the technology. I had to explain to them how to get HD from their local cable. And I still have to tell them to use the HD channels, not the regular channels.

It isn't that expensive to get HD broadcast though. I pay an extra $6 a month, and I get HDNet, Universal HD, etc... I still wish there were more HD channels availalbe though. Watching 4:3 standard broadcasts is really annoying.

paulc
03-18-2007, 08:43 AM
I was referring to the millon(s) of people who get their TV from an antenna or rabbit ears. These signals will (according to FCC) be terminated in 2/09.

Not exactly... ATSC signaling can be delivered via an antenna. While it's true the vast majority of antennas are only for the analog system, there ARE lots of folks getting their HD via antenna, and will not be terminated on 09.