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Digital TV: Why do we have to have it?

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by Chasing Kate, Mar 25, 2005.

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  1. Ironically the UK has just done its first cutover and (perhaps wisely) have
    done it in some tiny Welsh villages (460 households). They were "provided
    with" STBs, which implies they were given to them, although some may have
    had already bought boxes for Freeview anyway (and others might have had
    digital payTV).

    As for how much longer the simulcast will run than currently legislated is
    anyone's guess. If the government comes up with some cunning plan to
    actually make digital TV attractive to the masses then there won't be any
    need to extend it at all.
  2. Who_tat_me

    Who_tat_me Guest

    Of course that's the hard part isn't it? The only way to do it, IMO, is to
    supply people with subsidised STBs and I don't mean ones of the quality that
    they sell in Woolies. A friend of mine gotone and it's here at the moment. I
    used it for two nights and then put it back in its box. I like the
    widescreen but that's the only thing the box can give me that I don't have
  3. Who_tat_me

    Who_tat_me Guest

    Even if you revoke that part of the legislation, in order for it to work the
    networks have to come on board and seeing that they argued for that part of
    the legislation, I don't see it happening.
  4. Ten argues that if just one of them starts multi-channelling, then they will
    all have no choice but to follow suit. They know that Seven will probably be
    first to do it given the opportunity, of course, and they're running scared.
    Shame they see it as such a threat and not as an opportunity. If they
    targeted their secondary channels at a new audience they wouldn't risk
    decimating their primary ratings channel, would they?

    What we need is more carefully-targetted channels, like a news channel,
    music channel, youth channel, etc... not more watered-down facsimiles of
    what we already have. Why not retransmit BBC World with locally-inserted
    ads, or MTV or whatever? Does Foxtel have the FTA rights sewn up for these
    as well? The cost to the networks would be minimal and ads would cover them
    and more, surely. Freeview in the UK carries a number of international
    channels usually carried by pay TV so I don't see why it couldn't be done

    Alternatively, how about a music channel where people call a 190 number to
    request clips (a la TMF)? That would surely pay for itself. Virtually no
    staff involvement, just a paying jukebox.

    The encumbants simply don't want to make any extra effort and insist on
    retaining their nice little oligopoly. Funny that.
  5. dewatf

    dewatf Guest

    And when you carefully target channels you end up with small niche
    audiences. Those small fragmented audiences aren't very appealing to
    large budget mass advertising campaigns. So then you have to charge
    people a fee for the the channel to pay for it. And lo and behold you
    have just reinvented Pay TV.

    FTA survives in the US with 50% of the market, but that is because
    there are 4 major networks that are networked across a market of 280m
    people, supported by some small local stations (which are also now
    moving to networked News and Sport to survive).

    Some actual competition between Pay TV channels (and an efficent
    delivery system e.g. not an analogue based cable system owned by a
    phone monopoly) would have been the way to go about that.

    What Seven wanted to do is run Pay TV sports and movies against Foxtel
    using terrestrial TV. They were prepared to take that gamble because
    they aren't making any money. Channel 9 and Channel 10 are hugely
    profitable so want the keep the status quo.

  6. dewatf

    dewatf Guest

    You don't get it do you. You can't give away STBs to everyone (and
    even if you could you are just taxing the system somewhere else to pay
    for it).

    STBs are the major problem anyway. There is a reason why all TVs and
    VCRs have had turners built into them, it makes them much easier to
    use all you have to do is plug a power cord and an aerial into them,
    and the connect them with an RF cable. Then you have the ability to
    watch, tape and timeshift TV.

    A system that requires Pay TV STBs, TV STBs and VCR STBs is going to
    have problems.
    There is no cunning plan, which is why they went with forced switching
    of analogue.

  7. dewatf

    dewatf Guest

    The intentions of those who framed the legislation was not to make the
    simulcast period longer if necessary.

    It was to empower the Government to prescribe a period that suited
    them, with eight years being the minimum they thought they could push
    it off into the future to get the networks to agree. And that is what
    they did.
    The simulcast period is eight years from the start of digital, and for
    remote areas the ABA gets to precribe the period. That is who seperate
    issue, one the Government didn't give a damn about. They only cared
    about making billions out of reselling the spectrum in capital cities
    (it was the time of ridiculous prices for spectrum auctions remember).

    I too believe that the analogue system will still be running in 2008.
    That is not because it was intended or allowed for however, it is
    because what was intended has failed.

  8. I don't expect them to "give away STBs to everyone". I would think, however,
    that some sort of subsidy might be required to get the last stragglers on
    board. Given that STBs have dropped to a lowest price of $60, they'll
    probably be coming free in cereal packs by 2008, anyway.
    That's exactly why TVs VCRs and DVD recorders should have digital tuners in
    them by now.
    Of course. STBs are only the interim step between the existing technology
    and the future when they eventually stop making gear with analogue tuners in
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T Guest

    That's the point.
    But even more appealing to smaller advertisers that cater for that niche.
    Especially if the rates are lower.
    The bigger advertisers can still pay for the main channels. The federal
    government (ie. taxpayers) is now the biggest advertiser anyway.
    Not at all. They just shift the same content they are already screening, and
    keep showing some of the stuff they currently drop so readily. And repeat
    some of the stuff they don't bother with at the moment.
    And after you have paid up front for TV channels, what do you get, more
    bloody ads!
    I find it far better and cheaper to rent DVD's from the local shop.

  10. And the beauty of it is they could target audiences outside their normal
    demograph, e.g. if Ten ran a news channel they'd hardly decimate their main
    channel, would they?
    I don't really agree with that because that is where they risk splitting
    their existing audience, which is, after all, their main argument against
    multichannelling. Multichannels would have to be carefully targetted away
    from their main chanel's audience to be successful. Watered-down copies of
    Seven/Nine/Ten would be a disaster for everyone concerned. that's why they
    need to think outside the box, and provide something more innovative.
  11. Mr.T

    Mr.T Guest

    Why? It's extra channels were talking about, NOT replacement of existing
    They are not going to spend too much extra money, because the advertising
    revenue won't grow significantly.
    However let's say they had a sci fi channel, they could show all the
    programs they now drop, for not much extra cost. A niche market definitely,
    but I see no reason why it would not be profitable. Similarly an MTV channel
    is easy, a comedy channel etc. The idea is to attract an extra audience that
    would not be watching at that time. During the peak viewing times the
    majority would still be watching the main channels.
    It would surely keep a few people from pay TV or hiring DVD's.

    A 24 hour news channel though would have to be sourced from OS, or it would
    not be viable though.

    Unfortunately the most likely starter would be 24 hours of Big Brother :-(
    Or 24 hours of Backyard Makeovers :-( :-(

  12. Say Nine has a second channel in a similar format/content to their main one.
    What happens? Nine's audience gets fragmented between the two channels,
    ratings drop and Nine has no choice but to cut advertising rates because
    they can't deliver the audience they used to. We already have three very
    similar commercial channels offering similar content, six channels all doing
    the same thing would be ridiculous.
    This is the kind of approach I mean.
    This would be my approach, just buy in a ready made channel and insert local
    ads. Or a music channel where people call in or SMS to request videos (i.e.
    totally automated with no user intervention on the network's part).
    They could do that, but again, this would pose a risk to ratings on their
    main channel.
    I thought we already had that??? Admittedly Seven has reduced their
    lifestyle/makeover shows significantly this year compared to last.
  13. Mr.T

    Mr.T Guest

    Exactly, but is made up by the extra revenue from the new channels, plus a
    little extra hopefully.
    Not at all, you would prefer one?
    It's about having a choice when you want to watch. Otherwise you're better
    off with a DVD.
    You are missing the point, who cares which of their channels it's on. If it
    rates there will be advertising revenue.
    The total revenue minus the total costs may increase (more profit) if the
    extra costs are not too high.
    As usual people will be paid to balance the costs Vs revenue breakdown.

    Unfortunately the big channels are happy with the status quo, so would
    rather spend money to prevent extra channels.

  14. Who_tat_me

    Who_tat_me Guest

    There wasn't much choice when Foxtel started. It was analogue cable or
    nothing. In any case that will be gone in less than 18 months now that
    Foxtel is digital on cable.
    Who else would own a cable system or had the resources to install one?
  15. Who_tat_me

    Who_tat_me Guest

    You don't seem to get it. There is no alternative to that. You can't expect
    everybody to go out and buy a new digital TV and throw their existing TVs
    away. STBs are necessary.
  16. Who_tat_me

    Who_tat_me Guest

    If it wasn't, then why is the provision in the Act? I'm sure it wasn't to
    use toner.
    Correction: "The simulcast period is eight years from the start of digital
    It was allowed for though.
  17. Mr.T

    Mr.T Guest

    How can Foxtel AND Optus cable TV both be a monopoly?
    A duopoly maybe!

  18. Who_tat_me

    Who_tat_me Guest

  19. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    While I wasn't able to have both Ch9 and Ch10 AFL on screen at the
    same time my impression is that both channels give a very good display
    on SD. However, I prefer the Ch9 presentation because they don't keep
    the scoreline on the screen all the time like 10 does. Ten's solid
    black scoreline permanently at the bottom of the screen blocks off
    approx 1/8th of the viewable screen height.
  20. dewatf

    dewatf Guest

    Foxtel in this country, and cable in the US even with a 50% share have
    struggled to attract much advertising. SBS also struggles and it has
    nearly 5% of the FTA market.

    FTA in the US has managed to remain profitable, becasue as their
    audience share has gone the cost of reaching large numbers of people
    has gone up/viewer.

    Advertisers like getting to large numbers of people at once.
    Stufft that appeals to the masses will always be regarded as shit by
    those at the edges.

    Foxtel tends to show a lot of the same junk that FTA does these days
    on Fox 8, Arena and TV 1, just repeats of it.

    Though my local DVD store now only stocks mostly new releases in the
    top 20.

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