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Confusion over HDTVs lingers

Posted at 26 November 2009 03:49 CEST by Jared Newman

A survey of U.S. consumers concluded that 8 percent described their televisions as widescreen LCD or plasma, but not high definition.

Because all widescreen plasma or LCD televisions are, in fact, HDTVs, the survey by Frank N. Magid and Associates underscores the confusion over what constitutes high definition and how to take full advantage. The survey, reported by CED Magazine, sought to answer a bigger question of how many HDTV owners are subscribing to a high definition video service.

sony-kdl-46v3000-lcd-hdtv

Magid found a representative sample of 1,373 HDTV owners in the United States, ages 21 and over, and using a survey determined that 66 percent of them get high definition programming, up 2 percent from the year before. Gradually, people are warming up to high definition, with 43 percent of new HDTV buyers signing up for high definition programming around the time of purchase, compared to 32 percent on average over the last five years.

At the beginning of last January, a different company, In-Stat, found that a larger number of people — 43.6 percent — were not watching in HD, not including packaged media and video games. Between the two surveys, I think you can safely say that the split of people using HD to its full potential is about 60/40.

For those who abstain, some of the old sticking points remain, with 42 percent saying the options aren’t worth the price. Interestingly enough, almost a third of respondents said they think the TV looks fine without HD programming, while only a quarter of respondents gave that reasoning last year.

Weirder still, a larger percentage of consumers than ever — 13 percent of the total surveyed, including standard definition TV owners — said they haven’t seen or heard anything about high definition televisions. You’d think there’s a marketing problem at hand, but maybe in the recession, manufacturers felt the money wasn’t well spent. If a subset of people know nothing about HDTVs, why introduce them to the expensive technology when they may not be ready to make the purchase?

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There are 10 comments

samlar
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 26 Nov 09 09:50
    who cares as long as they like what that see.
    One person fat lady is another person pretty woman.
    Zod
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 26 Nov 09 18:33
      8 percent really isn't that big. My parents don't seem to give a crap about HD (but my grandparents really like it, but don't want to shell out for it).

      To some people HDTV's are just big screen tv's, there not really care about HD. Seeing as you can't actually buy a big screen SD tv.
      brokenbuga
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 26 Nov 09 21:59
        I think US consumers in general are ignorant and don't want to be inconvenienced with the hassle of hooking up something other than a yellow wire and/or coax lead to their televisions. While a red/green/blue combo would give a lovely picture it's too much to ask to have two extra wires hanging off the back of their flat panels. And the allure of HDMI is a lovely one, all the connectivity issues resolved in one cable, alas it's an expensive cable and compatibility issues are still present.
        UTR
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 27 Nov 09 02:45
          I wonder how many people went out and bought a HDTV and still use a SD cable box not knowing they need to upgrade. Then they complain that HD isn't all that much better than SD.
          DrageMester
          Retired Moderator
          Posted on: 27 Nov 09 10:31
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by UTR
            I wonder how many people went out and bought a HDTV and still use a SD cable box not knowing they need to upgrade. Then they complain that HD isn't all that much better than SD.
            ...or they have only SD digital channels available that they think have now magically turned into HD, or they are still using analog SD channels from their cable provider, not realizing that they have to do something active to install digitial SD/HD channels on their tv.

            I bet the number is very high!
            HardwareHarry
            MyCE Senior Member
            Posted on: 05 Dec 09 19:56
              Over here In The Netherlands, we've justour National 1,2,3 in HD, and the Commercials are waiting, then I see that by my decoder DVR HDD combi channels like Nat.Geo/Discovery and some more, but not enough if you have a HDTV (FullHD)
              to get the extra costs for so few channels, so I understand that most of the people wait until the greater Commercial Channels are over to FULL HD(HDTV) too!

              HardwareHarry
              Dartman
              MyCE Resident
              Posted on: 06 Dec 09 08:54
                All of our OTA channels pretty much have mostly HD going on now, and Cable here is REQUIRED to carry only the locals in HD in the clear over their QAM HD service.
                My local cable co recently encrypted almost all digital channels so that you have to use some form of their box just to be able to watch them. The box they are required to give you free does not output HD at all even if the channel is HD. They still do let all the locals go out in the clear but try to tell you you need a A/B splitter if you want to use your own clear QAM HD tuner, I have a LG 4200a and it works great. I added a bi directional drop amp with 4 outputs so I can again either use their free box for all the extra scrambled channels, or my LG for the locals in full HD and 5.1 sound without having to use the A/B switch. It means I get about 6 channels in glorious HD without paying extra to my cable co and now I can't use any of my digital cable DVD recorders to record anything directly but the locals, when before I could do pretty much do all of the basic cable package I pay for without needing any kind of cable box.
                I love my HDTV but I could see how many might think they are getting HD that looks crappy when all they're really getting is SD digital, especially with all the new tricks at least many of the cable providers are pulling to make customers pay extra to get a HD capable box, or just watch the digital channels they used to get with their new HDTV's.
                HardwareHarry
                MyCE Senior Member
                Posted on: 25 Dec 09 20:07
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Dartman
                  All of our OTA channels pretty much have mostly HD going on now, and Cable here is REQUIRED to carry only the locals in HD in the clear over their QAM HD service.
                  My local cable co recently encrypted almost all digital channels so that you have to use some form of their box just to be able to watch them. The box they are required to give you free does not output HD at all even if the channel is HD. They still do let all the locals go out in the clear but try to tell you you need a A/B splitter if you want to use your own clear QAM HD tuner, I have a LG 4200a and it works great. I added a bi directional drop amp with 4 outputs so I can again either use their free box for all the extra scrambled channels, or my LG for the locals in full HD and 5.1 sound without having to use the A/B switch. It means I get about 6 channels in glorious HD without paying extra to my cable co and now I can't use any of my digital cable DVD recorders to record anything directly but the locals, when before I could do pretty much do all of the basic cable package I pay for without needing any kind of cable box.
                  I love my HDTV but I could see how many might think they are getting HD that looks crappy when all they're really getting is SD digital, especially with all the new tricks at least many of the cable providers are pulling to make customers pay extra to get a HD capable box, or just watch the digital channels they used to get with their new HDTV's.
                  Hi Dartman,
                  Sorry a little late, we don't have OTA channels in Holland anymore a long time,bcause it's relative asmall country and flat,90% of Holland is Fibre Cabled(under the ground like gas, electricity e.o) we don't have here so many earthqaukes(only from gaswinning in the north) and coalmines who aren't used anymore, so nowand then weget shakes.
                  About this HD signal this is also in Holland to usea box ofoneof the providers (My TV is FLATon the front, but CRT Cathode Ray Tube) but theimage issomewhere like FULLHD (without the HD signal) but with an digital DECODER wich gave us abettersignal then a normal Cable connection!
                  In Holland we have just 12 realHDTV channels, wich is not worth the money for a HD box.((In Holland theyuse a decoderupgraded to HD signal,butnoe Samsung was this monmth the first with their €199 HD TDunerwith CI+ CommonInterface with HDsmartcardbut still to get thissmartcardwe have to get with a HD provider)

                  greetings Harry
                  Dartman
                  MyCE Resident
                  Posted on: 25 Dec 09 20:29
                    Sounds similar to the cable out here with much less channels, including trying to get you to pay extra for a special card or box to receive the good stuff.
                    I heard that Comcast here was getting sued by the FCC or something for encrypting all the regular channels you normally get with a basic subscription but I haven't been able to verify it anywhere else so don't know if it's true or not, I'm hoping so becuase it may force them to open up the in the clear channels they used to have that nothing I have can now see without that box.
                    I pay 108 a month for basic digital cable and the internet so I'm thinking it's not the OK deal it used to be becuase all I had to do was turn on one of my Cable dvd/hard drive recorders or the tuner in the PC here and record whatever I wanted without using their box or paying extra.
                    Luckily most of the stuff I really want to record in HD is on the local channels but I have quite a few SD cable shows I like to get as well and now I have to set 2 or 3 devices to make it happen

                    My TV is a 34" 16x9 Toshiba 34HFX84 CRT set as well. It was the best set I could afford picture wise for the money in 2005 when I decided to get one.
                    HardwareHarry
                    MyCE Senior Member
                    Posted on: 25 Dec 09 21:19
                      I have a 32"CRT.
                      I have each mont a Magazine "MEDIA TOTAL" who was starting as Foto-Total/Video-Total/Computer-Totalafew yaers back and they are respectedeven by the Importers and CEO of Philips Nederland for their indepented critics, positive and negative, and I learn in that magazine a lot, wehave three major cable providers and a view smaller, but now SAMSUNG came very good out of their test, subject: CI+ (standard with + for HD signal) but one of the great providers (Ziggo) says our CI+ is with our specifications, PHILIPS has also a standar CI+ in their LCD TV's, now this provider Ziggo announced that a TV or digital tuner must have their specifications!
                      MEDIA-TOTAL head-editor stated that the providers must give us a good quality cable signal, and not making for us the decision wich TV we must buy conform the Ziggo specifications! I'm with UPC (LIBERTY GLOBAL) an American company wich have, lucky for me no such attitude....
                      I hope too that the FCC wins this battle, then it will be seen as an example for other contries! We have a similar WATCHDOG, wich operates over EUROPE companies, not too big, monopoly, technical stupidities, etc...

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