March 28, 2005 11:48 AM PST

HDTV market to boom, study says

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Clearing up the HDTV picture

March 11, 2005
As many as 10 million homes worldwide currently have high-definition TV sets, and that number will grow more than 50 percent to reach 15.5 million by the end of the year, according to a new study.

The study released Monday by market researcher In-Stat showed that the boom will continue in coming years and that by 2009, the total number of households that watch TV programs from an HDTV set will soar to 52 million.

But several stumbling blocks could slow the spread, including the need for more content and public confusion about the technology, In-Stat analyst Mike Paxton said in a statement. The lack of adequate HDTV content has disappointed many consumers, even prompting some to go so far as to return the TV sets.

The In-Stat study also noted that the United States is one of the fastest-growing HDTV markets; the number of households with high-definition TV sets in the country went up 150 percent to 4 million in just one year. Other major markets are Australia, Japan, South Korea and Canada.

According to the researcher, nearly 45 percent of HDTV households receive their service from a satellite TV service provider, with terrestrial broadcasters and cable TV operators accounting for the rest of the market share.

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Biggest Hurdle: Cost
I was at the electronics store yesterday, and spent time looking at the HDTV choices. The biggest problem I see is that the sets are way too expensive still, ranging from $1500 (for a tiny one) to nearly $10k! For anything reasonably sized, we're talking $3000!

If the manufacturers want a higher adoption rate, they need to get the costs down substantially.
Posted by (274 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I Agree . . .
... that cost is the biggest hurdle, especially when one can't be certain if that expense will work with next week's digital standards. that is, there's an incredible amount of consumer confusion over standards. there are differing audio formats for the sound, differing line/interlace standards for the video, and continually evolving capacity standards for dvd media. this technology must get its collective act together before the consumer will commit the big bucks.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
Biggest Hurdle: Congress and Studios
The problem of demand isn't necessarily the cost of the sets themselves (which goes down as soon as HDTV becomes the defacto standard) - but in getting HDTV programming itself.

If you look at the choices for HDTV programming, the selection is pretty grim:

* ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox have a very limited array of HDTV programming - less than 10%
* Zoom is the only satellite provider that broadcasts in HDTV, but that is only a about 20 or so channels - and even those aren't always HDTV. Overall HDTV content for entire service, maybe 20%
* The Networks claim that they cannot broadcast in HDTV because of "poor demand", yet they drag their feet at every "deadline" set by Congress for conversion to HDTV.
* Congress (like the U.N.) drags their feet on everything, especially HDTV. Their "mandates" for HDTV program and spectrum conversions have been pushed back so many times that nobody really takes them seriously anymore.
* Unrealistic metrics for triggering HDTV mandates will never be achieved, because it expects an unrealistic level of HDTV penetration for TERRESTRIAL users (which has a very low penetration rate), and doesn't take into account Cable and Satellite users who tend to adop the technologies at a faster rate.

Unrealistic metrics. Unenforced "Mandates". Lazy Network executives. All of these factors result in the lack of any HDTV programming, which results in low demand. Low demand = low volume of shipment = high prices.

Hey, I like the Discover channel's HDTV quality, but I'm realistically not going to be sitting down and watching nature shows ALL the time!
Posted by Tex Murphy PI (165 comments )
Link Flag
Biggest Hurdle: Cost
I was at the electronics store yesterday, and spent time looking at the HDTV choices. The biggest problem I see is that the sets are way too expensive still, ranging from $1500 (for a tiny one) to nearly $10k! For anything reasonably sized, we're talking $3000!

If the manufacturers want a higher adoption rate, they need to get the costs down substantially.
Posted by (274 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I Agree . . .
... that cost is the biggest hurdle, especially when one can't be certain if that expense will work with next week's digital standards. that is, there's an incredible amount of consumer confusion over standards. there are differing audio formats for the sound, differing line/interlace standards for the video, and continually evolving capacity standards for dvd media. this technology must get its collective act together before the consumer will commit the big bucks.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
Biggest Hurdle: Congress and Studios
The problem of demand isn't necessarily the cost of the sets themselves (which goes down as soon as HDTV becomes the defacto standard) - but in getting HDTV programming itself.

If you look at the choices for HDTV programming, the selection is pretty grim:

* ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox have a very limited array of HDTV programming - less than 10%
* Zoom is the only satellite provider that broadcasts in HDTV, but that is only a about 20 or so channels - and even those aren't always HDTV. Overall HDTV content for entire service, maybe 20%
* The Networks claim that they cannot broadcast in HDTV because of "poor demand", yet they drag their feet at every "deadline" set by Congress for conversion to HDTV.
* Congress (like the U.N.) drags their feet on everything, especially HDTV. Their "mandates" for HDTV program and spectrum conversions have been pushed back so many times that nobody really takes them seriously anymore.
* Unrealistic metrics for triggering HDTV mandates will never be achieved, because it expects an unrealistic level of HDTV penetration for TERRESTRIAL users (which has a very low penetration rate), and doesn't take into account Cable and Satellite users who tend to adop the technologies at a faster rate.

Unrealistic metrics. Unenforced "Mandates". Lazy Network executives. All of these factors result in the lack of any HDTV programming, which results in low demand. Low demand = low volume of shipment = high prices.

Hey, I like the Discover channel's HDTV quality, but I'm realistically not going to be sitting down and watching nature shows ALL the time!
Posted by Tex Murphy PI (165 comments )
Link Flag
Tiny?
I dont know what your term tiny is implying buddy! Last time I checked 44 inches was good enough for most people. Also where is this electronics store you went too? I need to know so that I never go there to buy anything! I bought a Toshiba DLP and I think its great, especially in HD. Maybe ou should check another store and get back to me, or maybe you shouldnt shop at a drugstopre for your HD tvs.
Posted by baggyguy1218 (155 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Tiny?
I dont know what your term tiny is implying buddy! Last time I checked 44 inches was good enough for most people. Also where is this electronics store you went too? I need to know so that I never go there to buy anything! I bought a Toshiba DLP and I think its great, especially in HD. Maybe ou should check another store and get back to me, or maybe you shouldnt shop at a drugstopre for your HD tvs.
Posted by baggyguy1218 (155 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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