HDTV’s flying off store shelves…

Engadget reports record sales of HDTVs.

I’m not alone in seeing that HDTV is changing everything about home entertainment. This story is just beginning to be written.

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60 thoughts on “HDTV’s flying off store shelves…

  1. Color me odd, but I don’t see why any blogger would waste a single second with the boob tube. HDTV…big deal.

    The blogosphere is far more interesting. YouTube has plenty of visual motion entertainment, like Lisa Nova, Wonderdog Dave, Mr. Angry, Male Restroom Etiquette, etc. plus great music videos by Allen Ginsberg, Pavement, Stereolab, Merzbow, etc.

    There are very few things on TV worth watching, and movies are all the same:

    (1) man has gun
    (2) man meets girl
    (3) man shoots gun at other man
    (4) man romances girl

    THE END

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  2. Color me odd, but I don’t see why any blogger would waste a single second with the boob tube. HDTV…big deal.

    The blogosphere is far more interesting. YouTube has plenty of visual motion entertainment, like Lisa Nova, Wonderdog Dave, Mr. Angry, Male Restroom Etiquette, etc. plus great music videos by Allen Ginsberg, Pavement, Stereolab, Merzbow, etc.

    There are very few things on TV worth watching, and movies are all the same:

    (1) man has gun
    (2) man meets girl
    (3) man shoots gun at other man
    (4) man romances girl

    THE END

    Like

  3. I’m on the fence on picking up the Samsung 71″ HDTV this year. Gears of War was the final blow. I’m finally wiring my living room up with cable (massive structured wiring project), so I’ll be able to convert over to watching boxing on HDTV, too. Ultimately, when I get that, it’ll get me out of my office for watching TV, and I’ll need to get a Media Center PC to start recording boxing off TV. It’s a big chain reaction once you start going to High Def

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  4. I’m on the fence on picking up the Samsung 71″ HDTV this year. Gears of War was the final blow. I’m finally wiring my living room up with cable (massive structured wiring project), so I’ll be able to convert over to watching boxing on HDTV, too. Ultimately, when I get that, it’ll get me out of my office for watching TV, and I’ll need to get a Media Center PC to start recording boxing off TV. It’s a big chain reaction once you start going to High Def

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  5. The reason is because prices have dropped considerable for the basic (read: low quality) HDTV’s, as well as other models. Doesn’t take the geniuses at Endgadget to tell us that. This has been happening for a while now.

    Not sure how it is changing EVERYTHING, but you go on thinking that. I’m betting the majority of these consumers have no idea what they are buying and will ultimately be disappointed when they find out how few HDTV broadcast offerings there are for the money they paid. And I’m guessing the majority of them will be disappointed when they plug their standard DVD player into their HDTV.

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  6. The reason is because prices have dropped considerable for the basic (read: low quality) HDTV’s, as well as other models. Doesn’t take the geniuses at Endgadget to tell us that. This has been happening for a while now.

    Not sure how it is changing EVERYTHING, but you go on thinking that. I’m betting the majority of these consumers have no idea what they are buying and will ultimately be disappointed when they find out how few HDTV broadcast offerings there are for the money they paid. And I’m guessing the majority of them will be disappointed when they plug their standard DVD player into their HDTV.

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  7. People don’t realize the money hole buying one item can be. It starts with the TV, then goes on from there to a DVD player, then 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 sound, so your looking for speakers and a receiver. Next comes the cables to hook it all up.

    What gets to me is when people go out and buy an HD LCD TV and use the cheap DVD player and don’t bother getting HD from a cable or satellite provider. What’s the point?

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  8. People don’t realize the money hole buying one item can be. It starts with the TV, then goes on from there to a DVD player, then 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 sound, so your looking for speakers and a receiver. Next comes the cables to hook it all up.

    What gets to me is when people go out and buy an HD LCD TV and use the cheap DVD player and don’t bother getting HD from a cable or satellite provider. What’s the point?

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  9. Maybe I’m not understanding something, but I don’t see how HDTV is actually changing *anything* at all in home entertainment.

    Before HDTV… people watched TV, and movies from optical discs and magnetic discs, and played video games on the TVs.

    After HDTV… people will watch TV, movies from optical discs and magnetic discs, and will play video games on their TVs.

    I understand that higher-resolutions mean that content looks better on bigger screens, and bigger screens mean more emersive experiences. But, the problem is: it’s not that much of a big deal as far as most people will be concerned. Why? Read on…

    I’ve seen a lot of home HD installations, and IMHO, it’s not until you hit the $30K – $50K level, that you really get even close to “wow-factor” type experiences (96″ projected pictures and greater, good-quality sound and lighting systems). And, even more than that, I think the 16:9 HDTV format has real difficulty delivering a wow-factor at any picture size. Cinemascope (2.35:1) and higher ratio content is what can give a real wow-factor; but then, you’re into installations with motorised screens and anamorphic lenses (because letterboxing destroys the viewing experience).

    The point is: “wow-factor in-home viewing experiences” are simply beyond most people’s budgets…

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  10. Maybe I’m not understanding something, but I don’t see how HDTV is actually changing *anything* at all in home entertainment.

    Before HDTV… people watched TV, and movies from optical discs and magnetic discs, and played video games on the TVs.

    After HDTV… people will watch TV, movies from optical discs and magnetic discs, and will play video games on their TVs.

    I understand that higher-resolutions mean that content looks better on bigger screens, and bigger screens mean more emersive experiences. But, the problem is: it’s not that much of a big deal as far as most people will be concerned. Why? Read on…

    I’ve seen a lot of home HD installations, and IMHO, it’s not until you hit the $30K – $50K level, that you really get even close to “wow-factor” type experiences (96″ projected pictures and greater, good-quality sound and lighting systems). And, even more than that, I think the 16:9 HDTV format has real difficulty delivering a wow-factor at any picture size. Cinemascope (2.35:1) and higher ratio content is what can give a real wow-factor; but then, you’re into installations with motorised screens and anamorphic lenses (because letterboxing destroys the viewing experience).

    The point is: “wow-factor in-home viewing experiences” are simply beyond most people’s budgets…

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  11. Simon, If you look at the interactive features of HD-DVD at least, you can see that there’s certainly a step forward in technology – the fact that these players all have an ethernet connection offers some interesting possibilities.

    If you’ve ever seen an HD filmed movie in HD then you’ll know that the picture quality is breathtaking.

    Plus, the HD revolution is, at least, getting some of the big guns to advance in IPTV too – you’ve only got to look at Microsoft’s additon to the Xbox Live Video Marketplace (along with Apple’s plans) with downloadable rentable movies (in HD) and downloadable televison shows (in HD the day after they air in SD) to see that we are in a new era of television. Maybe it’s not just down to HD, but its certainly a factor in getting people to shake up television.

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  12. Simon, If you look at the interactive features of HD-DVD at least, you can see that there’s certainly a step forward in technology – the fact that these players all have an ethernet connection offers some interesting possibilities.

    If you’ve ever seen an HD filmed movie in HD then you’ll know that the picture quality is breathtaking.

    Plus, the HD revolution is, at least, getting some of the big guns to advance in IPTV too – you’ve only got to look at Microsoft’s additon to the Xbox Live Video Marketplace (along with Apple’s plans) with downloadable rentable movies (in HD) and downloadable televison shows (in HD the day after they air in SD) to see that we are in a new era of television. Maybe it’s not just down to HD, but its certainly a factor in getting people to shake up television.

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  13. Simon: if you have HDTV screens, most of the new ones can play computer screens MUCH better than TV. That changes everything about what you expect to have in your home.

    Also, these are NOT out of the range of many Americans and if they are today, they won’t be 18 months from now.

    >The point is: “wow-factor in-home viewing experiences” are simply beyond most people’s budgets…

    Um, you can get a good HDTV for about $1,500. That comes to a $40 per month payment. Taking a family of four to a movie costs more than that. So, are you saying that going to one movie a month is “simply beyond most people’s budgets?”

    Already the TV I bought has been replaced by a better, and cheaper, model. Watch for prices to continue to fall as sales ramp up (and they are ramping up extremely fast).

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  14. Simon: if you have HDTV screens, most of the new ones can play computer screens MUCH better than TV. That changes everything about what you expect to have in your home.

    Also, these are NOT out of the range of many Americans and if they are today, they won’t be 18 months from now.

    >The point is: “wow-factor in-home viewing experiences” are simply beyond most people’s budgets…

    Um, you can get a good HDTV for about $1,500. That comes to a $40 per month payment. Taking a family of four to a movie costs more than that. So, are you saying that going to one movie a month is “simply beyond most people’s budgets?”

    Already the TV I bought has been replaced by a better, and cheaper, model. Watch for prices to continue to fall as sales ramp up (and they are ramping up extremely fast).

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  15. Oh, and I can’t watch standard def TV anymore. It totally changes what you expect from TV. Everyone who’s gotten a TV tells me this, too. It’s not just me.

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  16. Oh, and I can’t watch standard def TV anymore. It totally changes what you expect from TV. Everyone who’s gotten a TV tells me this, too. It’s not just me.

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  17. “Um, you can get a good HDTV for about $1,500. That comes to a $40 per month payment. Taking a family of four to a movie costs more than that. So, are you saying that going to one movie a month is “simply beyond most people’s budgets?”

    There you go, again. Giving awful financial advice to people. Who are you to say they are not out of the range of many Americans? The question you fail to ask is how many families go the movies once a month in the first place vs waiting to rent? I pretty sure most normal people are content with renting movies and watching them on their non-HDTV’s today. So, your argument of going into debt to buy an HDTV is pretty stupid. Are you going to advise them to get the 3 year protection plan? I meaan if you are giving shady financial advice, why not go all the way?

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  18. “Um, you can get a good HDTV for about $1,500. That comes to a $40 per month payment. Taking a family of four to a movie costs more than that. So, are you saying that going to one movie a month is “simply beyond most people’s budgets?”

    There you go, again. Giving awful financial advice to people. Who are you to say they are not out of the range of many Americans? The question you fail to ask is how many families go the movies once a month in the first place vs waiting to rent? I pretty sure most normal people are content with renting movies and watching them on their non-HDTV’s today. So, your argument of going into debt to buy an HDTV is pretty stupid. Are you going to advise them to get the 3 year protection plan? I meaan if you are giving shady financial advice, why not go all the way?

    Like

  19. Robert,

    I’m not saying HDTVs aren’t nice TVs – they are. In fact, some of the latest models have really beautiful pictures when viewed with HD content. But they’re still just big TVs. Not really emersive… not much “wow factor”.

    If think LCD/plasma panels are good, I’d really recommend taking a look at a SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X video projector. I find it pretty difficult to enjoy home movies on anything else. I wish I could justify buying an anamorphic lens to put in front of it… but I can’t – the lens costs $12,000! But, I’ve had it demo’ed… and really… WOW!!!!

    Re: your point about not being able to watch standard definition TV anymore – I think I undertand where you might be coming from. Are you talking about mostly people in the US? That is, people used to NTSC TV pictures?

    If so, you know, I could say almost the opposite from talking to people in the UK who are used to PAL pictures. A large percentage of people in the UK can’t tell the difference between HD pictures and standard definition PAL pictures (most people don’t really have an eye for detail).

    And, if you add upscaled PAL DVD pictures into the mix – even people with an eye for detail have trouble telling the difference between standard def and high-def (unless you compare side-by-side).

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  20. Robert,

    I’m not saying HDTVs aren’t nice TVs – they are. In fact, some of the latest models have really beautiful pictures when viewed with HD content. But they’re still just big TVs. Not really emersive… not much “wow factor”.

    If think LCD/plasma panels are good, I’d really recommend taking a look at a SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X video projector. I find it pretty difficult to enjoy home movies on anything else. I wish I could justify buying an anamorphic lens to put in front of it… but I can’t – the lens costs $12,000! But, I’ve had it demo’ed… and really… WOW!!!!

    Re: your point about not being able to watch standard definition TV anymore – I think I undertand where you might be coming from. Are you talking about mostly people in the US? That is, people used to NTSC TV pictures?

    If so, you know, I could say almost the opposite from talking to people in the UK who are used to PAL pictures. A large percentage of people in the UK can’t tell the difference between HD pictures and standard definition PAL pictures (most people don’t really have an eye for detail).

    And, if you add upscaled PAL DVD pictures into the mix – even people with an eye for detail have trouble telling the difference between standard def and high-def (unless you compare side-by-side).

    Like

  21. >Are you talking about mostly people in the US?

    Yeah.

    Regarding PAL, I was just in the UK. Yeah, they are sharper, but cheaper/older TVs also have a horrible flicker.

    The problem over in the UK is prices are twice what they are in the states.

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  22. >Are you talking about mostly people in the US?

    Yeah.

    Regarding PAL, I was just in the UK. Yeah, they are sharper, but cheaper/older TVs also have a horrible flicker.

    The problem over in the UK is prices are twice what they are in the states.

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  23. Ah, you noticed that! Yes – manufacturers often seem to think the way to convert US Dollars to Great British Pounds is to have the same price – 1:1. And believe it or not, before on-line shopping became popular in the UK, the prices were even *worse*.

    I’m not sure that the market for TVs is that price-sensitive in the UK though. There’s a phenomenon here in the UK when it comes to TV sets. The lower the income of the household, the bigger and more expensive the TV. I guess the reason is one you’ve alluded to – that most housholds, including ones on low incomes, can *find* a few tens of dollars a month to keep up repayments (even if people want to argue about the word “afford”).

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  24. Ah, you noticed that! Yes – manufacturers often seem to think the way to convert US Dollars to Great British Pounds is to have the same price – 1:1. And believe it or not, before on-line shopping became popular in the UK, the prices were even *worse*.

    I’m not sure that the market for TVs is that price-sensitive in the UK though. There’s a phenomenon here in the UK when it comes to TV sets. The lower the income of the household, the bigger and more expensive the TV. I guess the reason is one you’ve alluded to – that most housholds, including ones on low incomes, can *find* a few tens of dollars a month to keep up repayments (even if people want to argue about the word “afford”).

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  25. Simon: another thing I’ve noticed? Your stores have about 1/16th the choices that we have in the states. Especially in the big screen sizes (50-inch and bigger).

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  26. Simon: another thing I’ve noticed? Your stores have about 1/16th the choices that we have in the states. Especially in the big screen sizes (50-inch and bigger).

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  27. Yes. About lack of choice in 50-inch and bigger screens – I think there’s a cultural difference between the US and UK in terms of what sizes of TV screen people want in their rooms. The sweetspots for HDTVs in the UK market are probably 32-inch, 37-inch and 42-inch panels for the living room. And 32-inch and smaller panels for the bedroom.

    As for choice: not sure why that is. The only thing is – everyone I know that’s bought an HDTV, bought it on-line. Maybe the stores just don’t want to/can’t compete.

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  28. Yes. About lack of choice in 50-inch and bigger screens – I think there’s a cultural difference between the US and UK in terms of what sizes of TV screen people want in their rooms. The sweetspots for HDTVs in the UK market are probably 32-inch, 37-inch and 42-inch panels for the living room. And 32-inch and smaller panels for the bedroom.

    As for choice: not sure why that is. The only thing is – everyone I know that’s bought an HDTV, bought it on-line. Maybe the stores just don’t want to/can’t compete.

    Like

  29. HDTV is fantastic. HDTV with a great home theatre surround sound system, hyper-fantastic. Full-bore $50K HT installations of the sort described by Simon save you from having to go out and deal with rude audiences and sticky floors in the Cinema. All true. Football is the killer app. Broadcasters are paying more attention to the surround sound mix of the crowd noise. yada yada yada.

    But HDTV changes nothing. That’s it’s job. To slow down and maybe reverse the changes that are pulling the audience away from television.

    There’s a new gravitational center pulling the audience to internet and mobile media. The internet delivers what is in effect a 2.0 release of the old Comedy Central program, Short Attention Span Theatre. (Scoble’s long-form interviews notwithstanding)

    Enter HDTV to bring more mass to the old mass media. It’s expensive, defensive counter move by the TV industry.

    HDTV is an unchanger. A new gravitational center to pull people back to couch-potato-doom. Sit down. Tune in. Zone out. fall asleep.

    It’s a temporary reprieve.

    Here’s a snapshot: game consoles draw the audience away from watching TV. TV goes HD, pulling the audience back. Consoles go HD and TV loses again.

    People use HDTVs as computer monitors… and TV loses again.

    Eventually, bandwidth catches up and the new IP media experiences go HD.

    Then we’ll see change.

    But until then, TV gets some breathing room. And the audience gets new reasons to return to the couch.

    Like

  30. HDTV is fantastic. HDTV with a great home theatre surround sound system, hyper-fantastic. Full-bore $50K HT installations of the sort described by Simon save you from having to go out and deal with rude audiences and sticky floors in the Cinema. All true. Football is the killer app. Broadcasters are paying more attention to the surround sound mix of the crowd noise. yada yada yada.

    But HDTV changes nothing. That’s it’s job. To slow down and maybe reverse the changes that are pulling the audience away from television.

    There’s a new gravitational center pulling the audience to internet and mobile media. The internet delivers what is in effect a 2.0 release of the old Comedy Central program, Short Attention Span Theatre. (Scoble’s long-form interviews notwithstanding)

    Enter HDTV to bring more mass to the old mass media. It’s expensive, defensive counter move by the TV industry.

    HDTV is an unchanger. A new gravitational center to pull people back to couch-potato-doom. Sit down. Tune in. Zone out. fall asleep.

    It’s a temporary reprieve.

    Here’s a snapshot: game consoles draw the audience away from watching TV. TV goes HD, pulling the audience back. Consoles go HD and TV loses again.

    People use HDTVs as computer monitors… and TV loses again.

    Eventually, bandwidth catches up and the new IP media experiences go HD.

    Then we’ll see change.

    But until then, TV gets some breathing room. And the audience gets new reasons to return to the couch.

    Like

  31. I was hoping someone would add this reality check after reading, but not commenting yesterday. The projection is that 15 percent of U.S. television owners with have HDTV by the end of next year. That is not exactly “flying off store shelves.”

    The most important thing being lost with people like Scoble’s reliance on blogs is the different between fact and opinon. Believing that the HD era has arrived is not the same as factual data saying so.

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  32. I was hoping someone would add this reality check after reading, but not commenting yesterday. The projection is that 15 percent of U.S. television owners with have HDTV by the end of next year. That is not exactly “flying off store shelves.”

    The most important thing being lost with people like Scoble’s reliance on blogs is the different between fact and opinon. Believing that the HD era has arrived is not the same as factual data saying so.

    Like

  33. i have an HD tv and i really love it but here is where the problems come in at. i just bought another tv lcd this time and in order to watch picture perfect television i have to get another reciever from comcast so here’s another bill while it states built in tuner. what deal has the major companys played in these climbing bill factors with comcast and if you have satellite dont even ask 350 for each reciever

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  34. i have an HD tv and i really love it but here is where the problems come in at. i just bought another tv lcd this time and in order to watch picture perfect television i have to get another reciever from comcast so here’s another bill while it states built in tuner. what deal has the major companys played in these climbing bill factors with comcast and if you have satellite dont even ask 350 for each reciever

    Like

  35. HDTV prices are falling for sure, but it doesn’t solve the content problem. Content is still king.

    It doesn’t matter how great an XBOX 360 game looks if it is a crappy game. Playing or watching better looking crap is still playing or watching crap.

    In this respect I don’t see much changing so far. Sure Dish has a lot HD programming but most of it I could care less about.

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  36. HDTV prices are falling for sure, but it doesn’t solve the content problem. Content is still king.

    It doesn’t matter how great an XBOX 360 game looks if it is a crappy game. Playing or watching better looking crap is still playing or watching crap.

    In this respect I don’t see much changing so far. Sure Dish has a lot HD programming but most of it I could care less about.

    Like

  37. @22. The low percent of homes that have HDTV doesn’t invalidate the high percent of new sales that are HDTV flat panels. They are flying off the shelves. It’s just that people don’t replace TVs every year. Yes, prices are falling, but they’re not cheap. (In my experience, when friends finally do take the plunge and set up a new HDTV, their first question is, “why did I wait so long?”)

    @24. DVR to the rescue on content. It’s a great content concentrator. (For this crowd, think of DVR sort of like podcasting. You can “subscribe” to shows, and they collect on your hard drive).

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  38. @22. The low percent of homes that have HDTV doesn’t invalidate the high percent of new sales that are HDTV flat panels. They are flying off the shelves. It’s just that people don’t replace TVs every year. Yes, prices are falling, but they’re not cheap. (In my experience, when friends finally do take the plunge and set up a new HDTV, their first question is, “why did I wait so long?”)

    @24. DVR to the rescue on content. It’s a great content concentrator. (For this crowd, think of DVR sort of like podcasting. You can “subscribe” to shows, and they collect on your hard drive).

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  39. I think consoles are a major pusher. TV is alright but I know that since the 360 has come out, a lot of my friends have gone out and bought HDTVs just so they can play the 360 in full resolution.

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  40. I think consoles are a major pusher. TV is alright but I know that since the 360 has come out, a lot of my friends have gone out and bought HDTVs just so they can play the 360 in full resolution.

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  41. I am going to buy my full entertainment system for X-Mas. 1080p plasma, 5.1 sound system, and the playstation 3 for the games and Blue Ray dvd player. And a bag of chips and cookies cause I am not moving cause I am going to enjoy it. Might as well upgrade now before the TV station stop running analog.

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  42. I am going to buy my full entertainment system for X-Mas. 1080p plasma, 5.1 sound system, and the playstation 3 for the games and Blue Ray dvd player. And a bag of chips and cookies cause I am not moving cause I am going to enjoy it. Might as well upgrade now before the TV station stop running analog.

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  43. As I said before, the data does not support the claim the HDTV era has begun.

    According to a recent survey by Frank N. Magid Associates, the number of people buying these sets who are looking forward to watching television shows in hi-def format has actually declined, to 47 percent from 63 percent two years ago. And while nearly half of current owners of HDTV sets said that their main reason for buying one was to watch programs in HD, only 25 percent of those now shopping for the sets feel that way.

    Read the rest at the NYT:

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  44. As I said before, the data does not support the claim the HDTV era has begun.

    According to a recent survey by Frank N. Magid Associates, the number of people buying these sets who are looking forward to watching television shows in hi-def format has actually declined, to 47 percent from 63 percent two years ago. And while nearly half of current owners of HDTV sets said that their main reason for buying one was to watch programs in HD, only 25 percent of those now shopping for the sets feel that way.

    Read the rest at the NYT:

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  45. @26. Purely anecdotal. Do you have actual data to back that up? The percentage of console buyers when compared to the percentage of TV buyers is probably rather low. So, I rather doubt there is any solid data to support your claim….other than your friends.

    Agree with @24 that content is king. HDTV doesn’t do much if the things one likes to watch on aren’t broadcast in HD.

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  46. @26. Purely anecdotal. Do you have actual data to back that up? The percentage of console buyers when compared to the percentage of TV buyers is probably rather low. So, I rather doubt there is any solid data to support your claim….other than your friends.

    Agree with @24 that content is king. HDTV doesn’t do much if the things one likes to watch on aren’t broadcast in HD.

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  47. I have to agree with you on HD. In my mind, the single most effective way to judge the importance of new technology is how fast it converts my wife Aileen. It worked with TiVo, and it worked with HDTV. Once she saw it, it only took a day or two to make her a believer. Now I use VGA connector on the Xbox 360 to upconvert DVDs to 1080p. For the time being, no need to take the plunge on Blu-ray or HD-DVD. That will be next month 🙂

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  48. I have to agree with you on HD. In my mind, the single most effective way to judge the importance of new technology is how fast it converts my wife Aileen. It worked with TiVo, and it worked with HDTV. Once she saw it, it only took a day or two to make her a believer. Now I use VGA connector on the Xbox 360 to upconvert DVDs to 1080p. For the time being, no need to take the plunge on Blu-ray or HD-DVD. That will be next month 🙂

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