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>>> OK, Tivo... Please explain the holdup with an HDTV Tivo <<<

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majortom is offline Old Post 08-01-2002 10:13 AM
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majortom
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Registered: Apr 2002
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Posts: 78

Re: forget HDTV, the next SA tivo needs...

quote:
Originally posted by dolfer
- 2 tuners (to record 2 shows simultaneously)
- Dolby 5.1 support
- *Front* mounted USB/FireWire ports



How do you plan to support Dolby Digital on a box that gets its input from analog TV? Trying to sync an AC-3 stream output by a digital cable box with video being compressed by a different chip is a non-trivial problem.

/carmi

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Dajad is offline Old Post 08-02-2002 01:27 AM
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Dajad
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Registered: Oct 1999
Location: Toronto
Posts: 953

quote:
Originally posted by VitaMan

So, we're back to the horse and the cart. HDTV and even DTV is not really here enough, I think, to justify an HDTiVo. Until a person can record most or all of their stuff in digital, any HD-capable TiVo would really be 2 seperate TiVo's in one - an analog TiVo for normal TV, and a 2nd set of circuits and tuner for the digital broadcasts.

Then, your price goes way up. The average joe is not going to understand the high price tag compared to an SA or DirecTiVo, so it will flounder in the retail market.

TiVo, as a company, can't afford to make and market something for a small group of people, at least until the standards are such that they won't have to drastically redesign it in a couple more years.




I respectfully disagree with most of your post (not quoted) for the reasons I've already expressed in this thread. However, I do want to coment on the part I'm quoting

We will be experiencing a hybrid television market for a LONG time. There will be NO instantaneous switch from analogue to digital. THUS, during that time, there WILL be a need for hybrid devices. This isn't some temporary thing that isn't worth spending money on. THIS WILL BE TIVO'S MARKET for the next 10 year! This will NOT be just for a small group of people. This will be for a ramp up from the few today to the entire U.S. (and global) TV marketplace over the next 10 years.

TiVo has to do it, there are enough customers out there for TiVo to do it profitably now.

...Dale

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Dajad is offline Old Post 08-02-2002 02:11 AM
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Dajad
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Re: BACK UP THE BUS!!!!!

This thread is so chock-a-bloc full of misinformation. it needs to be responded to point by point

quote:
Originally posted by MRBECK
WAIT A MINUTE!!! HOLD ON!!! Did anyone see the USA Today article last week??? I work in network professional television.... HDTV is dying.... dying.... we screwed it up (as usual).... in fact Digital Television (DTV) MAY (I say MAY) make it, but it's going to be a CLUSTER%#@& that will make the conversion from B&W to color tv look orderly!!!



Can you post a link to this article ... I haven't seen it. What makes USA Today the God of DTV. I'm certain it doesn't say much of what you are claiming in your error-filled post.

DTV is never and will never be dead. Congress & the FCC want back the analogue spectrum for auction off for other uses. There is NO movement afoot in Congress to change this ... quite the contrary ... Congress has been threatened to mandate a faster move to DTV in the last 6 months ... not the opposite as you imply.


quote:
Originally posted by MRBECK
First off, (as reported correctly here), cable IS NOT required to carry HD or even DTV, and if they do they are currently allowed to convert it to just about ANYTHING THEY WANT before they send it to your home!
[/B]

As I already corrected, this earlier statement was WRONG when first put here and is still wrong. Cable companies are ABSOLUTELY mandated to carry the digital system once the local broadcaster switches off its analogue signal.

The more accurate statement is that currently the cable co's are not mandated to carry BOTH analogue and digital signals for the SAME locale broadcaster. My guess is that the FCC or Congress will mandate this if the cableco's don't do it voluntarily. However, I believe that most CableCo's will ultimately voluntarily carry both signals for a period of time (say 2 years) and give their customers a heads up that the analouge signal will disappear at the end of the transition. This will likely occur with an offer by the cableco's to rent the customer a conversion box from digital to analogue for those customers that choose not to upgrade to a digital set during the transition.

quote:
Originally posted by MRBECK

ONE channel of HDTV takes up the bandwidth of FIVE channels on an analog cable system (which is more than 75% of the cable systems in the US currently). [/B]


As others have already posted this is complete B.S. One digital channel takes up EXACTLY the same as one analogue channel.

rbird stated that a new HDTV channel necessarily takes away from the digital tier of a cable offering. This is not necessarily true. It depends on how the cableco wanted to do it. A cable company could choose to pull the 6 Mhz from anywhere in its line-up. It's true that if they choose to pull away DTV stations that they would/could need to pull away up to 6 digital stations. However, this is not, ultimately, likely to be the case. To replace an existing network analogue signal to a digital signal requires ZERO extra bandwidth. The question is how will they move from here to there. They will likely remove some of the less poplular analogue stations to implement simultaneous digital carriage of the local analogue network stations during the transition period.


quote:
Originally posted by MRBECK
Secondly, as USA Today pointed out, stations anywhere but the LARGE markets can't even deal with the FCC's newest lunacy order to go digital! WHAT DIGITAL??? [/B]


This is no FCC Lunacy. This is the FCC fullfilling its congressional mandate. As of last week there were some 433 commercial stations that had made the conversion out of some 1,100 to 1,200 stations. Some 600 stations obtained a waiver to bring their stations into digital by the end of the year (or Feb, I forget witch). It is expected that the vast majority of them will have finisthed their conversion by then with perhaps 100 or so straggler stations. THUS, while the number of compliant stations as of this date is still less than half, by the end of the year (or Feb) some 85 to 90% of stations will be broadcasting digitally.

quote:
Originally posted by MRBECK
We have at least 2 (and really 3) formats between the networks, and what about the nets who have yet to choose (WB,etc)???
[/B]


We have way more than 2 or 3 formats. We hve an unlimited number of formats as the ultimate compromise that was reached was that there are no mandated formats. However, there are 3 or 4 that are coming out to be standard. The format is irrelevant to ultimate implementation. All digital TVs will support all the standards.

quote:
Originally posted by MRBECK

And as the article pointed out, the cost of DTV transmission for these stations is $2-$3mil.... FOR A STATION THAT HAS $350k PER YEAR CASHFLOW AND IS WORTH LESS THAN $1MIL TOTAL??? Again, as the article pointed out, what's the station to do?? The upgrade is worth MORE THAN THE STATION.... AND WE AREN'T EVEN TALKING ABOUT THE PRODUCTION GEAR!!!
[/B]


Again, more incorrect info. Firstly, the stations were given a 10 year warning that this was coming. All but 100 or so have arranged for the funding already - particularly with the FCC changing its original high-power mandate to a lower cost intial lower-power DTV implementation meeting the regs.

While the original HDTV broadcasting equipment was higher cost, in the last year or so the broadcasting infrastructure equipment costs have decreased drastically to a fraction of their original cost.

One of the reasons to obtain a waiver to not implement DTV was if a station couldn't get the funding. The vast majority of stations have indicated to the FCC that they have or will have the funding this year.

You are also NOT pointing out that each station was given and extra extremely valuable 6 Mhz spectrum for the second DTV channel.

There's no need to talk about production cost becasue the vast majoirty of stations do not produce anything other than their local news shows. The content (and production costs) are paid by the networks and the syndicators - not the stations. Production cost upgrades for television news are relatively small in the grand sceme of things.

Yes, a few stations still won't be able to afford it but the vast majority can afford it and are implementing it as we speak.

Most assuredly HDTV is NOT going away ... yes, the inevitable hurdles exist but they are being worked out ... SLOWLY yes, but they are being worked out.

...Dale

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cwerdna is offline Old Post 08-09-2002 01:47 PM
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cwerdna
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Post some HDTV stats

(resurfacing a slightly old thread)
On Moneyline today, they talked about the FCC decision today and also gave some stats on HDTV. They said that the "HDTV growth curve still looks flatline" and that there are 3.2 million fully equipped HDTV sets in the US out of 158 TVs in the whole US.

So it all goes back to ROI. If Tivo has only 420K subscribers out of 158 million, how many do you think they could seriously get if w/the HD audience. 420K/158 million comes out to 0.26%. Let's be generous and assume 1% of HDTV owners will buy HD Tivos. That means 32K subscribers.... doesn't sound like that good an idea right now (besides all the other issues people pointed out). I saw one poster saying that Tivo's already developed it and shown a beta awhile back. While I don't know the details of the beta, I work in software and I'll tell you there's a BIG difference between a beta and something that's of release quality.

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MRBECK is offline Old Post 08-09-2002 08:30 PM
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MRBECK
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You might find this...

interesting, in view of yesterday's FCC decision.

http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/sto...2876908,00.html

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feldon23 is offline Old Post 08-09-2002 10:28 PM
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I honestly have to say that digital tuners in TVs is starting to sound like a bad idea. But the reason it's being done is because cable companies haven't been rolling out HDTV and because satellite HDTV receivers with OTA capability are a ridiculous $500.

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mishagray is offline Old Post 08-09-2002 10:41 PM
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mishagray
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quote:
Originally posted by feldon23
I honestly have to say that digital tuners in TVs is starting to sound like a bad idea. But the reason it's being done is because cable companies haven't been rolling out HDTV and because satellite HDTV receivers with OTA capability are a ridiculous $500.


They cost $500 because they can afford to CHARGE $500. Not because it costs that much to manufacture. Most of the costs are really the R&D investment that was spent in developing the hardware and software - not the actual hardware costs themselves!

And since the tuners will be in ALL they TVs, the costs will drop dramatically with mass production. Even the 36'' rule by 2004 will probably only increase the cost of a 36' by about $50. (in 2004).

Zenieth is one of the companies that broke with the CEA and sided with the FCC. They claim that by 2006, a digital tuner will add about $19 dollars to the price of the TV. This makes sense to me. Its really just silicon and logic. There is already very cheap chips on the market today that can perform all the DTV tuner functions and more. Its just a matter to get them integrated into the TVs.

Not sure why the CEA is complaining that much, because if the analog signals are turned off in 2006, then the CEA will probably experience the largest TV sales surge in american history. Not something that I would want to delay myself!

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mschwab is offline Old Post 08-09-2002 11:08 PM
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mschwab
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Forcing me to buy a digital tuner in my TV sounds like a bad idea to me, since I'll never be able to receive ANY OTA signals where I live in the mountains, analog or digital.

But the article above brings up an interesting question: When the TVs all have analog&digital tuners, will we be able to buy cheaper MONITORS that have the same display with NO tuners?

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Action is offline Old Post 08-10-2002 12:14 AM
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Action
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TiVo should have something that will accept OTA digital signals. Digital content will likely revitalize local broadcaster's link to their customers, I know that it will be the only reason that I would be watching their feed. The quality of OTA digital PQ will blow away what will likely be available via cable or satellite (assuming that you can get decent OTA digital reception, which is another story entirely). I for one will consider the purchase of a digital set and tuner once my local has made the swith to either 480p or 1080i (too bad only ABC to date is 720P).

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corddogs is offline Old Post 08-10-2002 01:32 AM
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corddogs
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quote:
Originally posted by DLiquid
Well, one thing is for sure, there's no lack of demand for an HD TiVo on these forums. This topic seems to come up more and more frequently.

The fact is, there will soon (within a year, IMO) be HD PVRs on the market. From the current state of things, it doesn't appear that TiVo will be one of them. That's why we TiVo/HDTV people are so passionate about this issue, since this means we might have to abandon TiVo.
....
"Dish Network is planning a late 2002 introduction of a new model 921 STB that combines a HDTV receiver for both over-the-air broadcasts and Dish satellite programming with a HDTV capable personal video recorder (PVR). The PVR is reported to incorporate a 160 GB hard drive that will provide for somewhere between 10 and 20 hours of HDTV recording capacity. This unit will also include provisions for web browsing. It will include a DVI/HDCP digital video interface in addition to the standard analog monitor interfaces."
...


Great post.

I think the real problem is all the uncertainty surrounding interface and copy protection standards. Best bet is that DVI/HDCP will win as the way to connect set-top boxes to the display device.

From Satellite & Cable Announced Support for DVI "DISH Network is already working to incorporate a DVI with high bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) in our next-generation HDTV set-top box," said Dave Kummer, senior vice president of Engineering at EchoStar....

Kummer adds, "DVI with HDCP will be a key component to expanding DISH Network HDTV programming and equipment offerings that allow for digital video recording (DVR) and web browsing functionality by providing uncompressed video data to the television monitor. If the connection from the set-top to the TV were limited to only 1394CP (5C), these functions would be much more difficult to achieve."

DISH Network does recommend the use of 1394CP (5C) as the interface between recordable high definition devices while DVI/HDCP should become the standard for connection to the display device.


If DirecTV and TiVo can't bring themselves to go the HDTV route, I suppose I'll switch to Dish and their PVR. I hope I won't have to. What I won't like is the control "Hollywood" will have over what I can do with what's broadcast. Most likely, each program could be blocked from being recorded at all, or it could be recorded but played back only once, etc. In business terms, they will probably allow time-shifting as long as the technology prevents most people from making Hi-def copies to their blue-laser HDTV DVD burners of the future (or uploading to the Internet).

All this makes me want to wait to buy my 16:9 HD RPTV, but sadly my 4:3 has just broken and I've got to buy something. Whatever I get will at least have a DVI/HDCP input, and if I can afford it, I may go for the Hitachi XWX series that have both DVI/HDCP and 1394CP inputs.

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MRBECK is offline Old Post 08-10-2002 02:26 AM
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MRBECK
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What's REALLY driving this???

This is a little older, but might be on point as to what's really driving this Digital/HDTV push with the FCC and Congress....

http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1106-804320.html


I'd say it looks a lot like government greed... (but why should we be surprised??)

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MRBECK is offline Old Post 08-10-2002 02:31 AM
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MRBECK
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Here's the article...

A few here posted that they did not see the USA Today article I spoke of in my original post. Here is the link...

http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/...-digital-tv.htm

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MRBECK is offline Old Post 08-10-2002 02:38 AM
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MRBECK
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and yet another county heard from...

dated TODAY....

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/t...-reaction_x.htm

I thought that the point (in the above article) that digital DOES NOT necessarily mean HDTV was kind of interesting....

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Dajad is offline Old Post 08-12-2002 03:06 AM
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Dajad
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Re: What's REALLY driving this???

quote:
Originally posted by MRBECK
This is a little older, but might be on point as to what's really driving this Digital/HDTV push with the FCC and Congress....

http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1106-804320.html


I'd say it looks a lot like government greed... (but why should we be surprised??)



No "might" about it ... this (and the desire to get a better TV experience out to its citizens) is precisely what is driving this. How this can be characterized as government "greed" I don't understand. As part of the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, Congress was mandated to balance its budget and the acution funds were expected to be part of future budget balancing revenue.

Another important reason is that more spectrum is needed for emergency response frequencies and for new 3G cell phone frequencies. The need for emergency response frequencies has become more accute post 911.

...Dale

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majortom is offline Old Post 08-12-2002 06:10 AM
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majortom
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Re: some HDTV stats

quote:
Originally posted by cwerdna
If Tivo has only 420K subscribers out of 158 million, how many do you think they could seriously get if w/the HD audience. 420K/158 million comes out to 0.26%. Let's be generous and assume 1% of HDTV owners will buy HD Tivos. That means 32K subscribers.... doesn't sound like that good an idea right now (besides all the other issues people pointed out).


This would only be true if both TiVo owners and HD-capable display owners were both randomly distributed among the population, something that is clearly not true.

HDTV owners currently have no readily available recording solution. An OTA only TiVo would find a large audience of product starved HDTV owners who (given that they have already spents thousands on a set) are disproportioniately upper income and more interested in toys/gadgets.


quote:
I saw one poster saying that Tivo's already developed it and shown a beta awhile back. While I don't know the details of the beta, I work in software and I'll tell you there's a BIG difference between a beta and something that's of release quality.


This is not substantially a software issue. A basic system would only need a driver for an ATSC tuner and a higher bandwith MPEG decoder.

They may also choose to re-render various of their screens, but very little of their code needs to change. There may be hardware issues that need to be resolved, but overall, this is not a cutting edge project.

/carmi

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Syzygy is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 01:03 AM
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quote:
VitaMan said:
Until a person can record most or all of their stuff in digital, any HD-capable TiVo would really be 2 seperate TiVo's in one - an analog TiVo for normal TV, and a 2nd set of circuits and tuner for the digital broadcasts.
I'd buy a HD-only TiVo. I already have a TiVo for SD material.

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Dale Sorel is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 01:31 AM
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Dale Sorel
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quote:
Originally posted by Syzygy
I'd buy a HD-only TiVo.


OK, you and all three of your best buddies

You gotta understand, the money isn't in catering to the elitist. You've got to try to get your box in everybody's living room.

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Dajad is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 02:03 AM
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I'm with Syzygy ... there are some 2,000,000 HDTV users right now with zero ability to record their shows (on a TiVo, VCR or anything). That's 4x TiVo's current market. These eare wealthy individuals looking for a solution to a very present problem. This is NOT a marginal market for TiVo. This is a vain of gold for TiVo.

...Dale

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Rich Peterson is offline Old Post 08-14-2002 03:39 AM
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Rich Peterson
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quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Rich Peterson

The number of households that do not have cable or satellite is around 16%, but of the 84% who do, many of them also have some sets that use OTA. The latest industry numbers I have seen put the number of households with at least 1 TV receiving OTA signals at over 30%. OTA is not dead yet.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Dajad

Rich, I don't know where you get your 30% statistic. I know many many people in life and I don't know a single person who uses OTA period!!!! Perhaps, as a city dweller, I'm not seeing the forest for the trees (err, maybe not the best analogy in this case - ) but 30% usage of OTA sounds EXTREMELY high. Perhaps 30% occassionaly use OTA, but this would certainly NOT be a statistic that TiVo can build a business model on. What's relevant to them (for commercial reasons) are the significant numbers of people that are likely to buy their product - and analogue OTA people are not going to be a very significant portion of the overall consumer population


Way back in this thread I said that 30% of TVs still rely on over-the-air and a follow-up post questioned my statistics. Here is proof directly from the FCC at this site where chairman Powell says:

"There are approximately 81 million television sets in the U. S. (over 30% of the total) that are not connected to any subscription video service and rely solely on free, over- the-air broadcasting. Of those sets that rely on over- the- air service, about 46.5 million are in broadcast- only homes and 34.5 million are in homes that subscribe to a multichannel video programming service. Thus, over- the-air tuners affect tens of millions of consumers. "

Again, I believe an HDTV Tivo must have a digital over-the-air receiver.

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Dajad is offline Old Post 08-14-2002 08:32 PM
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Dajad
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OK, well that's a silly statistic.

What it's saying is that 15% of U.S. homes that have satellite and/or cable also have a TV out in the garage, by the pool or in the kitchen that isn't plugged into the cable/satellite feed.

This, to me, is a meaningless statistic in the context of the discussion in this thread. In these homes, the primary TV in the family room is plugged into cable/satellite. While they may watch a show while changing the oil out in the car, these TV's are by no means relevant in the HDTV OTA debate. These families won't care or worry whether they receive digital signals on their supplemental TVs. Their main TV that IS connected to the cable/satellite feed is the relevant TV in the context of this HDTV conversation.

So, I still stick with the 15% figure and this article confirms that only 15%ish of U.S. Television users rely on OTA as their primary mode of receiving television.

...Dale

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