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Television Businesses

Alfred Poor Says HDTV Manufacturers are Hurting (Video) 307

Posted by Roblimo
from the buy-buy-buy-consume-consume-consume dept.
The last time we talked with Dr. Poor (who is now a Senior Editor at aNewDomain.net), we ran out of time and didn't get around to discussing 3-D and ultra-high-def TV and whether they're worth buying. So here he is again on the Slashdot TV screen (which is *not* high-definition), talking about the TV marketplace. This is a perfect time for that discussion, since Dark Friday is only a few weeks away, and after that we move into the month during which TVs and a lot of other items sell at a lot higher rate than they do during the rest of the year. If you're thinking about buying a new TV for yourself or as a gift this holiday season, you might want to listen to what Dr. Poor has to say on the subject before you do.

Robin: Today we are on the line once again with Alfred: Poor who is the master of display technology – in fact, he has a doctorate, well not in that, but in something. So it is Dr. Poor to you people. And today we are asking Dr. Alfred Poor: Why is this a good time to buy a new TV?

Alfred: Well this is a whole lot better time to be buying a TV than selling one – I will tell you that. We’ve had maybe four or five years in a row where TV prices have dropped anywhere from 15, 20, 25% year to year, and so the revenues for the manufacturers have been dropping. But the real problem though is in the past two years the actual unit volume has also been dropping. So not only are they making less money on each set that they are selling, but they are selling fewer of them.

And the forecast for this holiday season is no different. They are going to be expected to sell far fewer televisions this year than they did even last year. And that is with the economic recovery coming. So there are televisions that are stacked up in the pipeline, retailers have them sitting in their warehouse and come Black Friday and the weeks after that, it is a shorter Christmas shopping season this year, we are going to see some anxious retailers who are going to be looking to move a lot of product and we will probably see some very aggressive price cuts in order to get them out of the warehouses and into consumers’ homes in time to get the sales on the books for this year.

Robin: Okay. So good time to buy, because they are going to be, in fact I noticed one of my local TV stations in the Tampa Florida region is giving away 3D TVs as a promo with a retailer, a national chain retailer, so 3D, will there ever be a good time to buy 3D TV?

Alfred: Well actually now is a perfectly good time to buy. One of the things about 3D is that the consumers have shown that they are not particularly interested in spending a whole lot more money in order to get 3D. And the installed base is growing but it is not growing fast enough to support the development projects by the broadcasters and the content producers. ESPN was singular for being way out in front on developing 3D content especially for live sports coverage. And they have actually pulled the plug on a lot of that activity now because I think, in part, they are just not getting the viewership for it. The fact is though, they still have that technology, that skill and experience already in the hand.

And it is just a matter of time in my opinion for the installed base to get to the point where people are going to be able to take advantage of it and will want to take advantage of it, just like they do every weekend at the cinemas throughout the country. So I don’t think 3D is dead, I think it just hasn’t had the overnight success that the manufacturers were hoping for, and the higher profit margins that they were hoping to get. So what’s happening now is just like the TV promotion, the extra cost of adding 3D is so low that a lot of consumers are going to end up with it, whether they are shopping for a 3D TV or not - it is just going to be baked in to the price much like the anti-motion blur or some of the other features that LCD TVs have now.

Robin: Okay, here is an unfair question: How much extra is 3D worth in a 50” TV?

Alfred: Well, for me, I wouldn’t spend more than a hundred bucks, I wouldn’t even spend a hundred bucks more for it probably, maybe fifty. But I think that a lot of people probably feel much the same way. They are spending a lot more than that for a ticket in the movie theaters to get 3D. But we just don’t have that much content available yet through broadcast or over the internet. More and more is becoming available on Blu-ray high definition video discs, but again the consumers aren’t flocking to those in quite the numbers that they do for the movies on the weekends.

Robin: I want to tell you something about the way I do market research: I loiter, and I ask people questions. So I hang around at Redbox kiosks, outdoor ones and I ask people: What are you doing? And I watch them. Not many of them seem to be getting Blu-rays.

Alfred: Almost none. Blu-ray, well the problem is this is a perfect example of good enough technology being the enemy of better. A lot of people don’t realize this. Most of the people watching this video probably do, but your average consumer doesn’t know that your standard DVD is just standard resolution, the same old resolution we had before HDTV came along. It is just that the digital image of it on a big screen look so sharp and clear that it is good enough. People are perfectly happy watching DVDs on their big HD TVs, even though the image doesn’t have the resolution that a Blu-ray movie would have. So I don’t think that the added resolution of a Blu-ray disc is compelling enough for your average consumer to want to buy it or even wanting in the case of Redbox.

Robin: So you are saying it is only a quarter or something 20 cents or something and most of us I think have Blu-ray players because you can go down to Wal Mart and you can watch the people, they are picking them off the shelf and buying them. But you are telling me that I don’t need to trade in my standard definition doggie and get a Blu-ray dog.

Alfred: The average American consumer isn’t going to bother doing that. Because they are happy with the image quality that they get.

Robin: Okay, how does this bode for another thing that we were all going to buy now to really improve the TV and producers bottom line – 4K.

Alfred: 4K to me is going to follow the exact same trajectory as 3D and the 120 Hz motion blur reduction features and a bunch of other technologies the smart TV, the kinds of things that they have added to televisions to try to increase the profit margin for them. I just don’t see 4K as being a money maker for the manufacturers – I do believe it is coming. I do believe that it is going to happen. But it is only going to happen because it doesn’t cost any more than regular HDTV. People will figure well, what the heck, for fifty bucks or a hundred bucks more I will get the higher resolution. Because as Americans we all know that bigger numbers are better whether we can see the difference or not.

So as the prices come down, we are definitely going to see 4K take off. There is some question as to how we are going to get the content – they are already working on the next version of the broadcast standard which will support 4K transmission. Now keep in mind it took them 20 or 30 years to get the ATSC standard that we use now for broadcasting HDTV signals for digital broadcast of TV. So it could be quite a while before we have a standard in place. Already though, Sony and others are providing over the internet support for 4K, but the content is limited and it takes a lot of bandwidth. So it is going to be a while before that comes along. But the installed base is going to grow simply because the sets will have it, and it is not going to cost any more than buying a set with just standard HDTV 1080 p resolution. So I don’t see it as being a big money maker for the manufacturers.

Robin: But what you are telling me is that it is tail fins,it is enhanced built-in obsolescence.

Alfred: Well, part of the problem is that Americans tend not to buy a big enough television to see the full 1080p resolution from the distance that they sit from it. If you are going to watch a 1080p set, that is 47” diagonal you need to sit about six or seven feet away from it. If you are much further than that, you won’t be able to tell the difference between that image and a lower resolution. So if you are going to be sitting six feet away, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between a 1080p and a 4K display.

Robin: Here is the _____9:31 on that. The way our living rooms are set up – we place furniture, you can go to a furniture store, Rooms to Vent and go look at them, and look at their display living rooms, they have the TV ten feet away from the sofa.

Alfred: Right. And so if it is going to be ten feet away, you need to 50” to 60” screen for a HDTV just for a standard 1080p; if you are going to be ten feet away, and you want to see the extra detail on a 4K, it is going to have to be, I don’t know what the numbers are but it is going to have to be 80” or 90” diagonal before you will be able to tell the difference at that distance. And that’s with good eyesight.

Robin: And those are some expensive monsters too.

Alfred: Well they are. They are. So the point is people will be buying a 50” LCD now it costs you around $1000 or less.

Robin: You can buy them from I see them here in Dead Beat, I live in a non-fancy part of Florida and I see them running $500 to $600.

Alfred: Yeah, especially some of the offerings, I should say not first class, first level brand but the Insignia brand which is the Best Buy house brand, which incidentally they have some very excellent quality televisions in the Insignia line. But it blows hot and cold. You can’t count on all of them being great but some of them can be very very good. Best Buy now is running a 50” LCD for $550. Which isn’t bad. But the point is when the 4K gets down to $600, $700, or $800 for a 50” people will buy them but they are still going to sit too far away from them to be able to see the extra detail.

Robin: So basically we buy what we buy, we watch the sales, and with the house brands, Insignias and even the Vizios, I do Vizio, I like it, but still we watch the little stars and we read the ratings, consumer ratings on Best Buy and on Amazon and all before we buy. And this is a good time to buy, but is this a better time to buy than next year will be, or do we know?

Alfred: Again we’ve been in a steady years and years of steady price decline for televisions. And now that we are in also a period of declining sales volumes which is significant which is worldwide the volumes dropping not just US but they are dropping in the US especially for the larger sizes, manufacturers are going to be fighting harder and harder to get the sales because they’ve got billions and billions dollars invested in these manufacturing plants. And they’ve got to pay the debt surplus on that. So they’ve got to get some way to cash out of these factories before the price of a big television drops to zero. So we are going to see them fighting each other fairly aggressively in order to get the sales.

Robin: So this is a good time to buy if you need one, if you are buying a gift, if your old TV is starting to look stupid, but otherwise what I think you are telling me is let’s wait till after Christmas to next year.

Alfred: I don’t think there will be a whole lot to gain waiting till January, I don’t think we are going to see prices come down a lot between the end of December and say the Super Bowl which is the next big marketing event for televisions. I think that if you are in the market I would recommend planning on buying before New Year, or if not, you’ll probably be waiting until next summer when they start announcing the new lines and they will start dropping the prices on the current lines to move them out of the inventory.

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Alfred Poor Says HDTV Manufacturers are Hurting (Video)

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  • pointless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xicor (2738029) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @02:29PM (#45424414)
    theres no point in buying a 3dtv or a 4k ultra resolution tv when you cant watch anything on it with either... televesion is at best 1080p, and you can only get fake 3d tv. if you want to watch a 3d movie, you have to pay extra. if you want to stream movies, dont even think you will get 4k resolution any time soon. even if you could find something online with 4k resolution, you wouldnt be able to stream it without a gigabit internet connection.
    • Re:pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

      by neurojab (15737) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @02:55PM (#45424676)

      4k is indeed pointless, unless you literally have a full size movie theater in your house. How in the world can anyone make out individual pixels at 1080p on a reasonable screen size without getting right up to the screen? It's physically impossible.

      And as for streaming being able to provide 4k before disc-based formats - HD streaming is good, but not close to blu-ray quality today at 1080p/24. This is due to bandwidth constraints. How is increasing the resolution going to help improve the bandwidth?

      I would rather like to have a 4k desktop monitor (because I do sit right next to it), but I would not pay more for a living room TV that has 4k (because I don't).

      • Re:pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:09PM (#45424854)

        who do people like you fail to realize that when you look at a TV picture you're not seeing pixels, you're seeing light emitted from those pixels, and that light interacts with all the light from the surrounding pixels to project an image on your retina. just because you can't see an individual pixel does not mean that more, smaller pixels don't produce a more pleasing/realistic image. there are a lot of other important physical phenomena and interactions happening at tiny scales between all the photons that you're not aware of. it's the same with people who argue that a 44.1kHz is the best sample rate for audio because you can't hear frequencies above 22kHz. there are interactions and harmonics beyond just the audible range that shape the overall sound of music. do you really think that 100 years from now we're still going to be watching 1080p video with 16-bit 44.1kHz audio?

        • by alen (225700)

          this is true, but there is no 4K media yet

          a lot of movies are shot with 4K cameras but blu ray is still meant for 1080p at 30-40 Mbps. streaming is 1080p but 5-10 mbps.
          sure they can do 4K streaming but the bit rate won't be better than it is now so there would be no point.

          and even then people aren't going to replace their blu rays with the new disks

          • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:36PM (#45425186)

            this is true, but there is no 4K media yet

            Nonsense.

            My TRS-80 was displaying images exceeding 6K back in 1978.

          • this is true, but there is no 4K media yet

            There is no 4k media shot in the real world. Any decent contemporary rendering engine should happily enough render 4k output of whatever virtual world strikes your fancy. Even in real time, if you have the cash for a good GPU.

            • by omnichad (1198475)

              35mm film is greater than 4K. What we don't have is playback media.

              • by 0123456 (636235)

                35mm film is greater than 4K

                [citation needed]

                Besides which, many movies over the last few decade or so have been shot digitally at much lower resolutions than 4k, or scanned from film for compositing at 2k, or use CGI rendered at 2k or less. So, while recent movies might look better, many old ones won't.

              • Cibachrome?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by lgw (121541)

          just because you can't see an individual pixel does not mean that more, smaller pixels don't produce a more pleasing/realistic image

          Yes, that's precisely what it means. (An "individual pixel is a set of lights already.)

          it's the same with people who argue that a 44.1kHz is the best sample rate for audio because you can't hear frequencies above 22kHz. there are interactions and harmonics beyond just the audible range that shape the overall sound of music

          No, you can't hear those. If you can't hear a sine-wave tone above 20 kHz you can't hear any waveform steeper than that either. That's just how it works - the math and physics are very clear here.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            However once we reach around 2000 pixels per millimetre the pixels will can create an interference pattern which may be used to create holographic images.

            However I have seen 8K demos that will blow you socks off, it isn't even in the realm of HDTV. You can watch a football match from a static camera angle for example; you can read the face of the players while you see the complete pitch.

            But more interesting than 4K or 8K, is high frame rate video. I've seen a demo from the BBC showing a 300 fps system. That

          • by Anonymous Coward

            No, you can't hear those. If you can't hear a sine-wave tone above 20 kHz you can't hear any waveform steeper than that either. That's just how it works - the math and physics are very clear here.

            The engineering is pretty clear, too: amplifier and speaker roll-offs are generally 50 kHz and 20 kHz, respectively. If your speaker isn't kicking out harmonics higher than 20 kHz, a 44.1 kHz sample rate should be enough to reproduce almost all audible music to the point where your ear cannot tell the difference.

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          do you really think that 100 years from now we're still going to be watching 1080p video with 16-bit 44.1kHz audio?

          Broadcast TV ATSC standard is 48KHz already. What I don't understand is why music is mastered in 96KHz or 192KHz and we're not even getting 48KHz digital distribution yet. Even if that's not a big jump from 44.1, it's at least an even divisor. This is why I still buy all my music on CD. I lose nothing and I gain a tiny physical backup once I dispose of the case.

          • Re:pointless (Score:5, Informative)

            by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @04:19PM (#45425688) Journal

            >What I don't understand is why music is mastered in 96KHz or 192KHz and we're not even getting 48KHz digital distribution yet

            So that a low phase distortion rc filter can be used to remove the super-nyquist components before sub sampling.
            You don't need more that 48KHz for playback. There is no benefit.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        IT is even pointless at that point unless you are sitting 5 feet from a 102" screen.

        I have a 92" screen in my full blown theater and the front row seating at 10 feet from the screen I am at the edge of the human eyeball from being able to resolve that resolution. The back row can barely tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

        You cant get around physics no matter how hard "videophiles" want to.

        • I am at the edge of the human eyeball from being able to resolve that resolution.

          Your eyes might just suck, I assure you that some of us can easily see the improvement. Not all eyes are the same, and your idea of physics is completely wrong, the pixels have a LOT smaller to go before physics enters into it.

          4K will be a nice upgrade over 1080P once the content arrives.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Have you actually seen a 4k TV in real life? I have seen a few and can see the difference with 1080p on a 55" screen from 3m away. It's not dramatic but definitely visible. Then again some people claim they can't see the difference between SD and 1080p either.

        I'm in no hurry to upgrade, I just refute the notion that 4k can't be seen.

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          Most of the 4K demo TV's I've seen in stores show video that's so compressed, the artifacts would be large even for 1080p. So it's quite possible that it's hard to tell the difference when the content is that bad.

        • >I have seen a few and can see the difference with 1080p on a 55" screen from 3m away.

          So I'm better off not seeing that, because right now I'm perfectly happy with my 720p TV. I don't want to have to want a better one.

      • by Ichijo (607641)

        How in the world can anyone make out individual pixels at 1080p on a reasonable screen size...

        Why would you want to? Remember, the purpose of retina displays is so you won't see the individual pixels.

      • How in the world can anyone make out individual pixels at 1080p on a reasonable screen size without getting right up to the screen? It's physically impossible.

        Why do people like you continue to insist the above is true.

        You are completely and totally wrong.

        *You* might not be able to see the pixels, but plenty of us can. I have a 60" 1080P HDTV that I sit about 10 feet away from, and I can see the pixels just fine.

        4K will be a huge improvement, time will tell if that is enough, or if 8K will be required to finally get beyond pixels.

    • Re:pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wooferhound (546132) <tim@@@wooferhound...com> on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:18PM (#45424962) Homepage

      theres no point in buying a 3dtv or a 4k ultra resolution tv when you cant watch anything on it with either... television is at best 1080p, and you can only get fake 3d tv. if you want to watch a 3d movie, you have to pay extra. if you want to stream movies, dont even think you will get 4k resolution any time soon. even if you could find something online with 4k resolution, you wouldnt be able to stream it without a gigabit internet connection.

      You already own content that can be viewed on a 4k TV. I'm sure that your Photo Camera pictures are much higher resolution than 4k and would come alive on a 4k television.

    • Agreed. Chicken and Egg.

      Consumer: not enough 4K native content to justify 4K TV.
      Content makers: Not enough 4K TVs to justify making 4K content.

      • All we need is someone to start releasing porn in 4K format, and the 4K TVs will start flying off the shelves. :)
        • All we need is someone to start releasing porn in 4K format, and the 4K TVs will start flying off the shelves. :)

          Nope, sorry, but there are NO porn stars that are that pretty. I don't want to actually SEE all those human flaws.

          • by St.Creed (853824)

            I was thinking more along the lines of "now they can fit more bodies on the screen in decent resolution" when I read that :)

      • Great, so they can stop already.

    • Re:pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TWiTfan (2887093) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:49PM (#45425378)

      The problem is that too many manufacturers got addicted to the phat cash they made during the transition from SDTV to HDTV, and thought the gravy train was going to last forever. So the last few years have been one attempt after another (120Hz, "Smart" TV's, 3D, 4K, etc.) to recapture that magic (and those profits). They're not satisfied making the modest money they made during the later SD era, with people occasionally replacing worn-out or broken TV's. They want the BIG MONEY they made in the early-mid oughts when everybody was running out to buy a new big-screen HDTV.

    • theres no point in buying a 3dtv or a 4k ultra resolution tv when you cant watch anything on it with either... televesion is at best 1080p, and you can only get fake 3d tv. if you want to watch a 3d movie, you have to pay extra. if you want to stream movies, dont even think you will get 4k resolution any time soon. even if you could find something online with 4k resolution, you wouldnt be able to stream it without a gigabit internet connection.

      I'm 100% with you on '3d TV' being total bullshit (barring substantial advances in technology, to the point where no goofy glasses are required, and anywhere in the room I sit I can't tell that I'm not looking out some creepy window to another dimension).

      However, I couldn't agree less about resolution: Yes, as you say, there is absolutely nothing except a couple of tech demos to watch at greater than 1080p, and more pixels aren't even visible at social TV viewing distances. This much is true. However, TV

    • by Ichijo (607641)

      You won't need a gigabit connection. Netflix says 4k is around 15 megabits per second [ispreview.co.uk].

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I have no interest in a "3D" TV, and until I saw this I didn't have any interest in a new TV, since the old one works fine.

      That said, maybe I will, since I can get a 60 inch set $200 cheaper than the 42 inch 720p I bought in 2002... even though it still works fine.

      But then again, maybe they'll go down more? Electronics have been getting cheaper all my life. In 1976 I paid $600 for a 25 inch set.

      Nah, I'll wait until this one breaks.


  • The article mentions "Dark Friday" but links to a wiki page called "Black Friday". What is that about? (I know about Black Friday in the US, just not sure why the Dark Friday bit)
    • by djdanlib (732853)

      It's like your sig says.

      Trolling is a art.

    • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex.project-retrograde@com> on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:21PM (#45425004)

      The article mentions "Dark Friday" but links to a wiki page called "Black Friday". What is that about?

      Many people refused to support the shopping event "Black Friday" on the grounds that it is racist towards people of other skin tones. The pollitically correct term is "Dark Friday", which is on the eve of "Darkie Weekend" during which most people don't have to work and can just laze about on their porches like monkies.

      • Great. That means that in English cities you'll soon have to hail a "dark" taxi rather than a black one.

      • by Havokmon (89874)

        The article mentions "Dark Friday" but links to a wiki page called "Black Friday". What is that about?

        Many people refused to support the shopping event "Black Friday" on the grounds that it is racist towards people of other skin tones. The politically correct term is "Dark Friday", which is on the eve of "Darkie Weekend" during which most people don't have to work and can just laze about on their porches like monkies.

        ROFL. That's most appropriate explanation I've ever seen.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LurkerXXX (667952)

        Dumbest thing I ever heard. The name is in reference to black vs red ink in accounting books showing positive or negative numbers. Black is a positive thing in accounting. Some people go out of their way to be offended by things that aren't relevant.

        • Re:"Dark Friday"? (Score:4, Informative)

          by stdarg (456557) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:58PM (#45425472)

          From the Wiki:

          The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term started before 1961 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation was made: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss from January through November, and "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or "in the black". For large retail chains like Walmart, their net income is positive starting from January 1, and Black Friday can boost their year to date net profit from $14 billion to $19 billion.

        • Amen, a thousand mod points to you my good man...

          Anyone who takes offense to "Black Friday" is just looking for something to take offense at.

      • That was fucking beautiful. Funniest thing I've seen on slashdot in a long time. Thank you.
  • by gadget junkie (618542) <gbponz@libero.it> on Thursday November 14, 2013 @02:49PM (#45424616) Journal
    Here in Italy, the only form of broadcast HDTV content is via pay channels. I see them stealing a page out of the mobile phone companies, and include the TV in their contract, so that the early exit penalty would be paying off the TV. they get more consistent revenues, and the HDTV producers "Eat" the retailing margin, or they split.
    Only problem, as a consumer, would be if they get the producers to include the ability "brick" the TV remotely (for non payment, for instance) and/or include some proprietary encryption.
  • I used to have TVs all over the house. Now I only have two. The reason for this is the $15/mth rental on the cable box that is needed at each TV. Over three or four years the cost of this box rental exceeds the cost of the TV.

    • by alen (225700)

      time warner rents cable card at $2.50 per month now, other companies more. the box will cost you $140 from samsung
      depending on your company you can now stream your TV. FIOS/Time warner and AT&T will let you stream live TV on x-box and roku and maybe some other devices. samsung smart TV's now have time warner streaming as well

    • by alen (225700)

      and you can stream a lot of channels now so you don't need a cable box for say the kids. HBO, disney channel and others can be streamed via apple TV, roku, x-box and other devices

    • by lgw (121541)

      There are geeks who still have cable?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TWiTfan (2887093)

        I'm a geek who has tried cutting the cord several times now. And it's still just not there. It's better than it once was, but there is still a lot more that you CAN'T get than you can. And even the stuff you can get still comes with a lot of caveats, costs, and weird compromises.

        Cutting the cord right now is fine if you're okay with accepting whatever content happens to be there. But it sucks if you're the kind of person who hears about a specific show and wants to watch *that* show (and not wait a year or

        • by Ichijo (607641)

          There are just too many shows that I like that either aren't available at all or would cost me $3 an episode to watch.

          $3 per episode comes to about $6 per month ($3/episode * 24 episodes/year / 12 months/year). At that price, you can afford to buy a lot of TV shows online for the cost of cable TV.

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        Not all are senseless pirates.

        • by lgw (121541)

          I don't have cable and I don't pirate. Between streaming and Netflix's DVDs-by-mail I always have something to watch. Some shows I don't get to see for a while, but that doesn't bother me because I have the shows that I'm just now getting to see. Patience.

    • I have TVs all over my house and they receive free antenna TV. I run the antenna into the cable wires on the side of the house through a signal amplifier and can get 15 channels here in North Alabama.
    • I simply refused to install the damn cable box, and use the built-in QAM tuner instead. Of course, Comcrap* has started encrypting a couple of broadcast channels now, so I have angry letters to the franchisor, public service commission, BBB, FCC and FTC to write and an antenna to buy...

      (*I only have cable TV to begin with against my will -- Comcast is the only high-speed ISP that works at my house, and internet+TV is cheaper than internet by itself. But if they're going to count me as a subscriber, then I d

      • RE: if it doesn't work with a standard QAM tuner, it shouldn't count as cable TV!

        Call it "Encrypted Cable TV"

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        They will encrypt all of them soon. Every single channel will be encrypted and they will force you to go to their craptastic box.

        • No, they will force me to install an antenna, demand a bill credit for the fact that they're failing to render the service, and sue them in small claims court when they refuse to give the bill credit.

          This shit they're pulling should literally be illegal (as in, against FCC rules -- namely, the ones that were done away with a little while ago due to regulatory capture).

    • Just wait a year. 1000 Gpbs internet is rolling to all locations within 10 miles of a top tier research university nationwide. For only $10 a month.

      It's part of the Internet 2 initiative.

      • citation? I live 2.5 miles from a top tier research university in a big city and have heard nothing about this. "all locations within 10 miles" is pretty much the entire city. I'm not sure who would pay for the infrastructure.

  • I've love to watch this video, but the 2-minute IBM advert is too much for me to handle...

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @02:56PM (#45424690)

    Why is there no summary or transcript? Watching a video to hear a few words is a completely wasteful use of bandwidth and time.

  • I'm thinking of buying an ultra-high def TV so I can hook up my old Atari 2600. Hopefully it'll look sharp.

  • what is this doing hear
  • by not creating products nobody wants

    • HDTV was a once in a generation thing. Once everybody's upgraded, you're not going to maintain sales levels like that. Too bad for you if you didn't figure that into you depreciation model for your billion-dollar factory.

      They've tried gimmicks to bolster sales. 3D, actually at least requires they purchase a new set. "smart" TV is just plugging a common computer into their existing display, Samsung's come that realization and now sells an upgrade box for their sets.
      • by omnichad (1198475)

        Nobody needs a smaller 4K TV, but nobody wants their computer monitor stuck at 1080p forever. This will hopefully trickle back down to computer monitors.

        3D is something that's been successful in theaters and even if it's not something everyone wants, that market is no longer going away like it did for the red/blue glasses. And it just so happens, I watched a film in 3D (Hugo) that I liked so much that I bought the 3D Blu-Ray. This despite not yet owning a 3D TV or 3D Blu-Ray player. There was a time whe

  • i have a 3 year old Panny 42" LCD TV. no LED backlit and no smart TV, just a cheapo LCD
    night time its awesome. in the day time the screen is too dark

    will going to LED or some other model fix this?

    • by lgw (121541)

      You can still buy plasma TVs. I love the tech - bright, great blacks, better color accuracy, wider color gamut. The only downside these days is higher power consumption (and thus heat). Samsung still makes a full line, and until OLED reaches mainstream I'd go with plasma (you can check them out side-by-side with LCD at a Best Buy or higher-end store).

      • The brightest plasma screens are far darker than the brightest LCD screens (which are so bright you have to turn them down in a dim room otherwise they're uncomfortable to watch).

        Plasma has better colours, better viewing angle, better blacks, etc. But it's not brighter.

    • The most realistic graphical reproductions I've seen are quite expensive displays by thesbians performed live in my living room*. There are many issues with this new technology; Primarily the anti-time shifting DRM which prohibits replay without additional fees.

      *If your parents own a theater, their basement is under the stage.

    • Buying dark curtains would fix it.

  • by JoeyRox (2711699) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:31PM (#45425122)
    If I'm going to suffer through a 2 minute commercial lead-in for a "doctor" video it better be a doctor that can cure heart disease or cancer instead of one telling me I should buy a 3-D television.
  • 3d (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Antipater (2053064) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @03:37PM (#45425208)

    One of the things about 3D is that the consumers have shown that they are not particularly interested in spending a whole lot more money in order to get 3D. And the installed base is growing but it is not growing fast enough to support the development projects by the broadcasters and the content producers. ESPN was singular for being way out in front on developing 3D content especially for live sports coverage. And they have actually pulled the plug on a lot of that activity now because I think, in part, they are just not getting the viewership for it.

    Smart observation. But then...

    And it is just a matter of time in my opinion for the installed base to get to the point where people are going to be able to take advantage of it and will want to take advantage of it,

    WRONG CONCLUSION.

    People do not want 3dtv. The market research shows this clearly, as he himself states. Then he does a 180 and starts pushing 3d. The fact that it's baked into every TV on Best Buy's shelves (for a significant markup, of course) is NOT A GOOD THING. Maybe TV sales wouldn't be so damn bad if TV manufacturers didn't keep trying to shove every damn bell and whistle in our faces for an extra $100. Just give us a big, pretty screen. That's all we want. No cameras in our TVs, no 3d, no internet bullshit. If I want internet on my TV I'll plug my computer into the HDMI port. If I want a camera I'll plug in a camera. If I want 3d I'll...wait, I'll never want 3d, because it's retarded.

    • I recently had to replace my old Bluray player, and the $60 Samsung I got came with both wifi and all the internet Netflix/Hulu stuff. I'm having a hard time justifying ever replacing my old plasma until if/when it ever breaks.
    • by ewibble (1655195)

      I would like a general purpose computer built into my TV, that can record, and browse the internet (as long as it comes with a standard browser and a keyboard). I have a media PC that does this, but it is a bit of a hassle. Just give me a media PC built into my TV, I could run games on it as well. not this propriety locked down nonsense.

      Currently the only thing I can see 3d is good for is possibly games, but frankly I can live without all the other features.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @04:02PM (#45425506) Homepage

    Sales spiked up during the HD transition because everyone was upgrading from SD to HD. The benefits were obvious and easily viewable.

    Those days are over. I don't want fake 3d with stupid glasses. I don't need a TV with a camera that can Skype, my phone already does it (better). There's simply no reason why I'd need to buy another new TV, unless my current one dies.

    Sorry TV makers, but this is the new normal. If you set up expecting things to stay in transition sales mode forever, than it sucks to be you.

  • If you're thinking about buying a new TV for yourself or as a gift this holiday season, you might want to listen to what Dr. Poor has to say on the subject before you do.

    Well, that was a piss-poor tie-in. Why would someone who's buying a TV possibly care what some pundit has to say? I don't care how sure he is that 3D is the future, I'm still not buying a 3D TV at any price.

    And just what does he have to say? He's mostly giving us his take on what consumers are buying... So how should we use his projecti

  • This is obvious as a post digital transition impact (predictable
    if your eyes are open).

    In a time period that was 5% of the life of a TV virtually all
    TVs were made obsolete. More interesting to me is this
    made moot a lot of tube technology patents and vastly
    increased the value of current flat TV patents, sort of.
    I should note that when I finally replace my big flat panel
    many of the interesting patents will have expired or been
    cross licensed.

    The result of that is virtually all households replaced their olde

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