Quiz Tries Make You DTV Whiz

December 31, 2007

NTIA has made a simple online quiz, a tool that tries to help you find out if you are affected by the DTV transition or not. You can find it here.

It is simply asking you a few questions to find out how you receive TV today and if you have a digital TV set or not.

In my mind it is a too simple quiz. Most people don’t know how they receive TV. Why think about that when it has worked well for years, most people tend to think.

There is one more question you can ask yourself: How do I live?

If you live in an apartment you most of the time have cable TV. And if you are living in your own house you may have a roof top antenna. If you are uncertain, put your coat on and check. If you have one, and it is connected to a TV set – Then that set is affected by the transition. You will need a converter box. Today Chicago Tribune puts the converter box coupons program as if the government is giving away converter boxes for free. But the truth is that the coupons won’t cover the whole cost of a box. It is unclear how much a box really will cost and probably we will see a price crunch during 2008. So it will be a question of timing when people will buy boxes – to make the most worth of a coupon.

However, the transition is in February 2009. In many states there will still be a heavy winter at that point. So, try to get in action before the winter comes to your town and get a converter box during the fall in 2008. If you have an old antenna that needs to be replaced you want to do that before the roof is covered in snow and ice.

Anders Bjers


Update DTV Brief

December 29, 2007

Most of the time I only write and comment about news and the progress of the DTV transition in the U.S and little about else. I just want to say that this blog has gained traffic the past two months like I never expected. I guess it is due to the increase in information, TV ads, articles and DTV campaigns. There is a spreading knowledge and insight that the transition is a huge operation and event that will make a significant impact on many households in the U.S. Also consumers are getting more aware for each day that the transition will take place. I have not yet seen the real debate about why this transition is taking place and who it will effect in a national or more public aspect That will come I believe during 2008.

Communicating a transition is a complex task but one of the most thrilling. To reach a goal: to make the transition smooth for everyone. After all I believe consumers will be satisfied. The picture will be magnificent, that combined with multicasting and new services that many haven’t experienced before.

Last week I were in a video conference with splendid people at FCC. I won’t reveal anything about the content but I note that there are many aspects of a transition that we experienced in Sweden that hasn’t yet been considered among stakeholders. There are many bits and peaces that are needed to make things smoother for consumers, retailers and other directly involved stakeholders. We actually made some innovations to bring information out in ways that made a great difference.

I also want to thank each and everyone who spends time on this blog and I hope you find the information, insights or links that help you out. Please don’t hesitate to make your comments heard here or contact me if you have professional matters to discuss.

With that I wish you a Happy New Year!

Best / Anders Bjers

Fifty Percent Of U.S Households Owns A Digital TV Set Today

December 29, 2007

Today there are reports that 50 % of the households owns a digital TV and a new survey suggests that 38 percent watch TV online. But, much is left in the air. Are the digital TV sets connected to a digital signal? And what are people watching online? And when and who is watching? Surveys are good but more clarification is needed.

The use of digital TV sets increases in the U.S. Darren Murph at EngadgetHD writes that half of US households now owns a digital TV according to statistics in a pressrelease from CEA, the Consumer Electronics Association. They (CEA) also predicts that 32 million TV sets will be sold in 2008. And 79% of them will be a HDTV set. This, in part, because of the upcoming transition. Marketing campaigns will be tremendous during next year to make consumers switch to a digital TV set or a converter box. However, owning a digital TV set is one thing. Neither the article or CEA reveals how many of the digital TV sets are actually receiving TV shows in digital quality, with a digital signal. That is crucial information that is missing out.

In march 2007, 28 percent of the households were owners of at least one HDTV set.

2008 will surely be a hot DTV year. With converter boxes entering the market, more campaigns launched and consumers being aroused to the fact that they ave to spend money to be able to watch television. All this along with a presidential election and online TV will gain momentum just as viewing TV on your cell phone or Ipod. A new survey suggests that 38% now watch TV online. The survey is made by Deloitte & Touche writes Hollywood Reporter (Reuters).

Buckle up for a tense ride. The media landscape is shifting into new forms. Just as consumer behaviors.

Anders Bjers