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NBC's Zucker: "Who Needs HDTV?"

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by Nick, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Hound,

    You are missing my earlier point.... HD viewers are very much the minority. There just aren't that many of us to where if we all turned off our TVs and refused to watch SD, the network really wouldn't notice our loss at this point!

    There is an overwhelming majority of SD-only households in the US such that until HDTV has more penetration into the market, the "they are losing viewers" argument just doesn't wash as it is only a very small portion of the viewers they will lose.

    Like I said... I do watch HD more than SD... and I want more... but I realize this is going to take a few years more to get more HD TVs out there before the networks will have a situation to be of concern.
     
  2. ebaltz

    ebaltz Hall Of Fame

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    I think the numbers are turning. Where do you get your facts on how much in the minority HD viewers are. Total # of TV's sold? That doesn't work, because I have 3 TVs, but only one is HD. But I only watch the HD one, or at least 99% of the time. So in my house the ratio is 33%, the minority, however the viewing time is 99%. The only person I know that doesn't have an HDTV is my 75 year old mom. So that ratio is probably 99.5% have HD.
     
  3. Hound

    Hound Icon

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    HDME,

    You have to be kidding me of course. There are about 25 million HDTV homes in the
    US and it is growing by leaps and bounds. The entire market is about 100 to 110 million homes. So HDTV penetration may be as high as 25 percent. The HDTV homes are generally more affluent then the SD homes. The HDTV homes are the market place many advertisers are trying to reach. Gone are the days of two years ago when you would read on this forum that HD subscribers first go to the HD channels and see what is on and then they
    go to the SD channels. Many HD subscribers never go to the SD channels now.
    The SD channels are useless to many subscribers. Any new scripted network show
    that is not in HD is going to fail. It will be off the air after a few episodes. If NBC is
    going to introduce new reality shows in SD, the audience is much smaller and less
    affluent than the audience for shows produced in HD.
     
  4. ebaltz

    ebaltz Hall Of Fame

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    Exactly and expected to be around 65% by the end of next year. And like you said, the point is, if something is in SD, I won't watch it. Networks who think HDTV viewers will still watch their SD shows are going to be in for a big letdown. If I were an advertiser (and I work for a marketing agency) I would make sure I was advertising during HD shows or on HD networks (if I would do TV advertising at all). WHo are you going to market a Hummer or Mercedes too? Some poor slob who can't even afford an HDTV, or to Joe Uppercrust who owns 3 flat panel plasmas?
     
  5. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Even if you estimate as high as 25%... that's still only 1/4 of the market... and while I don't have numbers in front of me, 25% would surprise me at this point.

    Bottom line, however, is that no matter how much you or I watch HD and want more... there simply isn't enough of us yet to make a difference. Yes, the numbers are climbing... and I figure in a few more years we might be in a better position.

    Also, for the record, I would rather watch a good SD show than a bad HD one. I don't care for the "reality" shows at all, and I don't know why those get so high of ratings... but when shows like Survivor are pulling in the big numbers week after week, that also tells me that there aren't an overwhelming majority of folks out there who want quality HD scripted shows.

    Sadly :(
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    All too many programmers go for the numbers by targeting the lowest common
    denominator -- that is where the masses reside, intellectually speaking, that is.
     
  7. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    We newly added HD a couple of months ago.
    I would say 90% of the viewing in my household is still SD. I personally am responsible for 75% of the HD viewing.
    My wife agrees that HD looks incredible and sees the difference easily. So does my daughter. We love to watch the HD travel programs together.

    But most of their favorite shows are not in HD, or at least not on a channel that D* carries in HD. So 90% of the viewing in my household is still SD.

    Some of us are quality-driven, and some of us are content-driven. And I think there are a lot more content-driven people.
    As far as penetration of HD TV sets is concerned, with the prices dropping as they are, just wait till after this Christmas...
     
  8. TNGTony

    TNGTony Hall Of Fame

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    Let's put it this way....
    Networks CANNOT convince the advertisers or the advertising agencies to produce all their commercials in HD. The Adverstisers do not see the advantage in converting. :) Since many commercials are shot on film, the conversion would be much easier. But they just wont do it for a variety of reasons beside cost.

    See ya
    Tony
     
  9. Hound

    Hound Icon

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    Tony,

    Advertising in HD vs SD is apples and oranges to the basic question of how many
    of the 25 million HDTV homes are actually tuning in to new SD programming.
     
  10. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Indian...
    Just to muddy the waters -- remember the TV Broadcast terminology.
    Analog television that we all know, although it is commonly referred to as SDTV, is properly called NTSC or 525i.
    Digital television in the USA is commonly called ATSC . There are 18 TV formats defined under the ATSC standard. Those currently used in the USA are as follows:
    SDTV is 480i digital, not analog, and has an 4:3 aspect ratio. (By definition, SD =480/24p,480/30p,480/60p or 480/30i in 4:3 format)
    EDTV is 480p digital, with 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio (The standard includes 480/24p,480/30p,480/60p or 480/30i in 4:3 and 16:9 format)
    HD is 720p or 1080i digital and aspect ratio is 16:9. (The ATSC standard includes 180/24p, 1080/30p, 1080/30i, 720/24p, 720/30p and 720/60p -- all in 16:9 format).

    That being said, new TV's on the market 27" diagonal and larger having integrated tuners are required to have ATSC (digital) tuners. They may be anything from SD to HD sets. (Then, too, there are EDTV and HDTV monitors, which lack tuners).
    A lot of people , not knowing what they are getting, purchase EDTV receivers (many lowr cost plasmas, for example), thinking they are HDTV receivers. The picture quality certainly is better than standard TV -- actually, it's DVD quality.
     
  11. ebaltz

    ebaltz Hall Of Fame

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    I think might show my point. Here is a list of the season's top shows, and the format they are in. Notice something?

    1 GREY'S ANATOMY HDTV
    2 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES HDTV
    3 CSI HDTV
    4 DANCING WITH THE STARS HDTV
    5 CSI: MIAMI HDTV
    6 DANCING W/STARS RESULTS HDTV
    7 CSI: NY HDTV
    7 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL HDTV
    9 CRIMINAL MINDS HDTV
    10 LOST HDTV
    11 TWO AND A HALF MEN HDTV
    12 WITHOUT A TRACE HDTV
    13 HOUSE HDTV
    14 UGLY BETTY HDTV
    15 COLD CASE HDTV
    15 DEAL OR NO DEAL SD
    17 60 MINUTES SD?
    17 LAW AND ORDER:SVU HDTV
    17 SURVIVOR: COOK ISLANDS SD
    20 NCIS HDTV


    And of sydicated shows at least 3 of the top 4 are now in HD.
     
  12. robert koerner

    robert koerner Icon

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    It could be that the investment to set up HD broadcast is considered a fixed cost. The cost to operate the set up is "variable?" But, since bcast stations tend to bcast a fixed amount of time, variable starts to look like a fixed cost.

    One can look at the cost to bcast over fixed time of SD vrs HD, excluding the fixed cost.

    It could be that bcast stations look at the additional cost of gaining the additional revenue they gain by switching to HD (marginal cost and marginal revenue), but the FCC seems to have a say in how things will be broadcasted.

    Since I don't have an HDTV, and I don't watch any "live" bcasts, I'm gathering info about recording the local OTA HDTV, and converting it to DVD quality.

    Looks as if it will be less expensive than setting up a HD sat recording system, which wouldn't provide local stations.

    These sure are interesting times!

    I'm still waiting for the time when I can just down load whatever "show" I'm interested in. But, it sorta looks like the USA internet is too "third-world" to free us from having to snag RF signals.

    Bob

    PS: downloading software, and free downloaded updates still AMAZE me!
     
  13. Hound

    Hound Icon

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    Cholly,

    My first flat panel TV purchased in November 2003 was EDTV 480P (840 x 480). I
    thought it was HDTV. I did not know the difference. Then in February 2004, I purchased a true HDTV 1080i (1365 x 780). Before I purchased the second TV, I did research on the internet including this forum and understood what HDTV was.
    In December 2004, I bought a third flat panel replacing the the first TV with an HDTV 1080i, because I wanted a true HDTV picture. I did not like the EDTV picture.

    My experience as an early adopter of HDTV is that the first 12 to 18 months, I
    was still watching SD 480i programming. But after 18 months, about August 2005,
    I stopped watching SD programming altogether.

    So what Paulman182 says is true. SD is still watched for a new adopter of HDTV.
    Especially if you have kids. I have five kids and I know their habits. Disney channel and cartoon network is not HD. The Simpsons are not HD. The kids really do not care if the Simpsons are in HD. However, after 3 years of HD, my 14 year old
    son orders Movies on Demand from the cable company only in HD!!!

    The issue here is new network prime time programming (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC).
    If this programming is not in HD, a very significant more affluent portion of the
    audience is not tuning in. CBS decided only to do three NFL games a week in
    HD. I would not watch any of those SD games. I am an Eagles fan and the
    Eagles pre season games were in SD on ABC local out of Philadelphia. The picture
    was horrible to an HD observer and I have not watched one preseason game for
    two years. If an Eagles regular season game comes up in SD, I am not watching.
    Has not happened yet this year (most of the games are on FOX).
     
  14. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Keep in mind too... for the NFL fan, for instance... if you want Sunday Night Football then you watch it no matter what. Not like you can flip over to watch another primetime game at that time... so NFL fans are going to watch no matter what.

    Me, I'll watch HD over SD in that case... but I'd watch SD over nothing at all if I didn't have an HD set... So, how many viewers would the Sunday Night game lose if it weren't in HD? No one knows for sure... but I bet it wouldn't be a major hit, since the NFL is the #1 sport in the US.

    Some of my favorite shows I watch now are on SciFi which is not HD... and I watch them because I like them. I don't watch Survivor, and wouldn't even if it were in super-HD so real that you could touch the people on the screen and smell the sweat. Sorry, just not interested in that program.

    Faced with the choice of a good HD show vs a good SD show? I watch the HD show live, and record the SD show to watch later... I will always make that choice between two good programs.

    As far as the top ranked programs and being in HD... I'm sure that is pure coincidence. You'd have to take away the opportunity to watch CSI in HD for everyone and see how many people still watch to really know.
     
  15. TNGTony

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    I'm going to give up on this thread because it is like arguing religion. There are business decisions in place that I tried to explain. But my explanationas are refuted with what turns out to be irrelevant information and personal views.

    Look, I understand that those with the latest and greatest TVs on the market (and actually have them hooked up to get HD which is a small percentage) cannot comprehend how the great unwashed do not care about the HD/SD battle.

    Yes, the top rated TV shows are HD however many of the longer running series were top rated before they went to HD. Top-rated is not the effect of being HD, it is the effect of being a quality production. HD is the effect of a quality production.

    Eventually, as the techology gets cheaper, I'm certain that everything will be HD, but just like for the color transition, it will take time.

    BTW, my bedroom TV just died, so I will be buying my first HD set within the next week or so. :)

    See ya
    Tony
     
  16. Hound

    Hound Icon

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    HDME and TNGTony,

    Again you guys are missing the point. Once an HD subscriber like me gets so used
    to HD, after almost three years, and has plenty of HD content available, I stop
    watching new SD programming and find other usefull things to do with my life
    instead of watching TV.

    I am an NFL fan and like sunday night football. So I record desperate housewives,
    brothers and sisters and whatever HBO has on sunday night in HD (nothing
    currently). But if the NFL was not on in HD on sunday night, I would no longer
    tune in to the NFL. Just like I have not watched an Eagles pre season game for
    two years now. Will not start watching the pre season games until they are in
    HD.
     
  17. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    Aha! Another HD snob, er, connoisseur! :p
     
  18. TNGTony

    TNGTony Hall Of Fame

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    No hound... you are missing MY point. YOU ARE AN EXCEPTION. Statistically, you DO NOT COUNT! This is not my feeling, this is the networks' view. That view will change with time, but that is that! Once you get that point whether you agree or not, life will be much easier!

    I am done with the thread

    See ya
    Tony
     
  19. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Exactly... I agree with Hound in some ways... in that I choose HD over SD in many cases... However, I am still part of the minority of HD viewers out there... so none of us make that big of a difference to the networks yet.... we are the first of eventually many... but until we approach 50% of the market, we just aren't that important.
     
  20. Hound

    Hound Icon

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    Tony,

    I am just like anyone else who has had HD for 33 months. You have not had HD
    and you are offering your opinion based on speculation. I am just stating the facts.
    Just like the 30 families or so that I know with HD and have HD hooked up correctly. I am not extrapolating that because someone did not have HD hooked up right, so 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 out of every 10 HD owners do not have it hooked up correctly. If you have never had HD, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    The top rated tv shows being top rated before HD has nothing to do with this issue. When the top rated shows were not in HD, no one had HD. The issue today
    is whether new programming in SD will be watched by subscribers who have
    become accustomed to watching in HD. And I am telling you from my experience
    and the experience of many people that I know with HD, new programming in SD is
    not going to be watched by many HD families. You have no experience watching HD and no basis to give an opinion.
     

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