Friday, February 29, 2008

Misc. Ramblings on DTV/HDTV

It frustrates me that folks often only associate HDTV with DTV. HDTV is only one of 18 formats of is the highest quality format...but it is not the only advantage of DTV. Oh, and by the way, HDTV is not mandated by the Federal Government only DTV is.

DTV offers ghost & snow-free reception, more channels (multicasting), and an electronic program guide. Interactive and data services are also being explored. That said, HDTV has the WOW factor. I've read studies that indicate homes with HDTV watch more TV, the TV's in those homes generally seek out HDTV programs before standard definition or analog programs, and those viewers crave more HDTV channels.

I'm a electronic gadget wife is not. There are only 2 devices I've seen her impressed with ... a Bose Wave table-top radio and HDTV. Like most guys I've always wanted a big screen most women she thought they took up too much room. (Our first HDTV set was only 26", but it's HDTV display still impresses her.) Like many women, her stance has changed now that flat-panel LCD or Plasma TV's are available and more affordable.

DTV does have a WOW factor too... One of the main purposes of this blog was to educate viewers on the analog cutoff and the need to prepare for it, especially if an over-the-air viewer. Recently I acquired a DTV to analog converter box...the kind which is eligible for the $40 coupon. This converter box's sole purpose is to extend the life of a viewers analog TV and it provides a relatively low-cost conversion to DTV. The WOW factor comes from the fact that in our cement & steel studio location I can receive 7 free channels of DTV from the 3 Watertown broadcasters...on a set of rabbit ears. Even channel 7's strong analog signal can't deliver a picture close to the quality of these DTV pictures. The box also provides an electronic program guide.

I've received a number of e-mail and calls asking why they should apply for a coupon to get a box now....can't they wait until 2009. First off there is a limited supply of coupons and they are being made available on a first come first serve basis. And...why wait...the advantages of DTV are available now. 2009 is the end of a transition, not the start of something new.

Nielsen: 13M Homes Not Ready for Digital TV

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