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TV Tech: The Biggest Flop of 2011?
tvpredictions.com ^ | August 14, 2011 | Phillip Swann

Posted on 08/15/2011 3:36:00 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave

Washington, D.C. (August 14, 2011) -- In a year in which the economy has taken a number of dips, it's not surprising that it's been a rough seven months for the TV technology sector. For instance:

* Sales of 3D TVs (and 3D theatrical movies) have actually declined from their anemic first year numbers;

* Cable and satellite TV services have lost subscribers in record numbers;

* The number of retail video stores has shrunk further despite Dish Network's rescue of one-time industry giant Blockbuster Video.

* Noting stagnant TV sales and other problems, CE giant Best Buy has reported declining profits for two straight financial quarters.

Yeah, it's been a bad year so far for a lot of folks. Lots of failures; lots of flops.

But in my humble opinion, the biggest flop of 2011 has been DIRECTV's $30 Video on Demand service, called Home Premiere.

The controversial service charges $30 per viewing of movies made available 60 days after their theatrical release and at least one month before their DVD or Blu-ray launch. Prior to Home Premiere's launch on DIRECTV, several Hollywood studios suggested it could be a game changer, eventually leading to moviegoers being able to watch new films at home on the same day they are released in theaters.

Industry publications and the mainstream media echoed this theme, quoting theater owners who threatened to pull certain movies from their theaters if the studios didn't back down. And the hysteria rose when reports surfaced that Comcast and online VOD service Vudu, owned by Wal-Mart, were getting ready to launch Home Premiere soon after DIRECTV's debut.

But nearly five months later, Comcast and Vudu have yet to add Home Premiere to their VOD lineups -- and DIRECTV often doesn't even list a Home Premiere selection in its VOD menu. And when the satcaster does offer a $30 VOD movie, it doesn't even promote it on its VOD Home Page.

Clearly, DIRECTV subscribers have decided that $30 is too much to watch any film, much less one that will be released on Blu-ray or $4.99 VOD in just a month. And it's equally clear that DIRECTV has decided that $30 VOD is a loser, or else the satcaster would be trying to promote it rather than all-but-burying it.

Of course, this is not very surprising. I predicted last spring that the concept was doomed because of the exorbitant price tag. (And I should note that other industry observers forecast the same.)

But if you could time tunnel back to the spring and listen to the many industry "experts" who said this would be the beginning of the end of the movie theater, well, you would be reminded how often a new product is over-hyped.

My new prediction is that the studios and DIRECTV will take a breather this fall and bring back Home Premiere in 2012 with a new price tag ($20) and a new window (30 days after a movie's theatrical debut). The buy rates will rise a bit, but trust me, it will have little impact still on theatrical sales.

Until the studios decide to go all in -- and offer movies at home on the same day as their theatrical debut (and close to the same price) -- Home Premiere will flop.

And in 2011, it's the industry's biggest flop of all.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: hdtv

1 posted on 08/15/2011 3:36:10 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
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To: ADemocratNoMore; advertising guy; aft_lizard; AJMaXx; Alice in Wonderland; american colleen; ...
Pinging the HDTV list..

HDTV pings!

2 posted on 08/15/2011 3:37:36 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
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To: Las Vegas Dave
The controversial service charges $30 per viewing of movies made available 60 days after their theatrical release and at least one month before their DVD or Blu-ray launch. Prior to Home Premiere's launch on DIRECTV, several Hollywood studios suggested it could be a game changer, eventually leading to moviegoers being able to watch new films at home on the same day they are released in theaters.

What good is it, if the movies suck?

3 posted on 08/15/2011 3:37:55 PM PDT by dfwgator
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46 Days And FR Is Still Short Of Its Goal

Name Another Site Where You Can Get As Much Information

Can't Think Of One?

Then Why Don't You Donate

4 posted on 08/15/2011 3:47:28 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I could give them all lots of advice.

Cable and satellite subcriptions are dropping because there is programming on the internet. Some people see it as redundant to have both cable TV and internet, just as some people have given up on landline phones since they mostly use a cellular phone.

And cable / satellite TV is dropping because there is so much inane programming on nowadays. Channel after channel of stupid reality shows, full of people swearing and acting like idiots is not the entertainment many people want to see.

Video stores are losing tons of business because of on-line movies and other video on demand. There are numerous web sites out there. Again, it’s redundant to go to the video store if you can get it cheaper on-line.

And, those of us who work for a living have a limit on total “screen time”, whether it’s TV, movies, or internet. You have to choose how you spend your time, and if people find they aren’t watching TV very much, it’s clear they decide to get rid of cable TV.

But my pet peeve is the programming nowadays. How many times can you watch shows with Snooki and her crasser imitators, and their boyfriends, doing one bizarre thing after another?????


5 posted on 08/15/2011 3:47:41 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: dfwgator

To pay that much and sit through a dud, would not be fun. Bad enough when done in a theater. at considerably less money, and probably far better sound than one gets VOD. Unless you have a killer sound system. In the home arena it is hard to keep up with the digital sound changes that seem to come yearly.


6 posted on 08/15/2011 3:50:35 PM PDT by wita
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To: Dilbert San Diego

I got rid of tv....I think two years ago. Can’t remember how long it’s been. I have a roku player for streaming netflix. I use that maybe once a week.


7 posted on 08/15/2011 3:57:51 PM PDT by Huck (Here's the bad news--Gov. Perry is the best we've got.)
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To: Dilbert San Diego
But my pet peeve is the programming nowadays.

I agree, but couldn't live without the live sports.

Live sports in HD on a high quality big screen tv is just awesome IMHO.

Well worth the money.

8 posted on 08/15/2011 4:02:23 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: Las Vegas Dave

That’s EZ. 3D.


9 posted on 08/15/2011 4:09:24 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Even Herbert Hoover kept a AAA bond rating.)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

How about a zero price, thru your local library and inter-library loan system. I watch the DVDs on my laptop computer.


10 posted on 08/15/2011 4:09:30 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Las Vegas Dave
Sales of 3D TVs (and 3D theatrical movies) have actually declined from their anemic first year numbers;

Who didn't see this coming except TV manufacturers? Expecting consumers to discard the perfectly good HDTV units they got just a few years ago in order to get new units which require headsets in order to get some visual effects which add nothing to the viewing experience is a decision that Samsung, Sony, etc., deserve to get burned badly on.

Want to add value to a TV? Hook up an HTPC - either homebrew or something cheap from Dell, Lenovo, etc. and enjoy all the viewing options from all over the world out there on the Internet. The MBAs making TV manufacturing decisions apparently can't get their minds around the concept of providing equivalent functionality in an easy to use package themselves.
11 posted on 08/15/2011 4:25:05 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: Huck

And in a world in which youtube.com and sites like it have clips of shows which you hear people talking about, you can see and hear it on demand, without having to have cable or satellite TV.

For example, if you were eager to see the time that Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walked out on Bill O’Reilly on “The View”, that’s readily available on-line. Ditto the time Whoopi said “rape rape” about the Roman Polanski case.

Or if you want to see the episode of “I Love Lucy” in which Lucy and Ethel worked in the candy factory and ate too much candy, you can find that somewhere on-line.

As technology changes, the ways in which we all get information and entertainment will keep changing too.


12 posted on 08/15/2011 4:30:38 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

And to show how some people fall behind on keeping up with technology, I must confess that I have no idea what an HTPC is, or what the homebrew attachment would do.


13 posted on 08/15/2011 4:33:13 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

I can’t see the need for 3D, either in my TV or most movies at the theater.

I mean, how “sexy” is it to go on a date with a beautiful woman, who took hours to look this good, only to put on those dorky glasses? And quite frankly, would I want to be seen dead in those glasses when trying to impress her?


14 posted on 08/15/2011 4:33:39 PM PDT by TWohlford
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To: Dilbert San Diego

That’s a good point too. Youtube has become the repository of everything.


15 posted on 08/15/2011 4:48:48 PM PDT by Huck (Here's the bad news--Gov. Perry is the best we've got.)
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To: nascarnation
couldn't live without the live sports

I thought that once, too, but the players drove me away. On Sundays and Monday nights, etc., I have all that old NFL time to do things I really want or need to do. And to think I used to have NFL season tickets some years ago! I don't even watch college anymore, so I have my Saturdays back, too.

16 posted on 08/15/2011 4:57:17 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Internet downloading is a huge game changer, and cable/sattelite companies know they have peaked.

Today, for example; on my business trip I watched downloads on my iPad in HD. Then discovered that I could have been using free internet offered on the plane.


17 posted on 08/15/2011 5:06:32 PM PDT by cicero2k
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To: nascarnation

Just got my first television in eight years last month...you are CORRECT! Watching football in HD is GREAT!


18 posted on 08/15/2011 5:29:22 PM PDT by rlmorel ("When marching down the same road, one doesn't need 'marching orders' to reach the same destination")
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To: Dilbert San Diego

Heh, funny you say that. Once I got my television installed, I started fiddling around with the built in web browser, and came across an old “I Love Lucy” episode “Lucy Tells The Truth”...it was hilarious, yet sad.

When I compared it to what is on today...pathetic. Reality shows...ugh.


19 posted on 08/15/2011 5:32:34 PM PDT by rlmorel ("When marching down the same road, one doesn't need 'marching orders' to reach the same destination")
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Watching 3D TV makes you sick. Why would someone actually buy one on purpose?


20 posted on 08/15/2011 7:00:56 PM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: Las Vegas Dave
I think in a few years, when 3840 x 2160 super HDTV makes its debut, you will see a resurgence in new buying TV's again.

Unlike 3-D TV, 3840 x 2160 TV's don't need special viewing glasses, and people who've seen it say that the resolution is so sharp that it looks like seeing a moving version of a picture taken by a medium-format still camera. The only problem: how do you deliver such extreme quality video to the TV? It may require higher-density Blu-ray discs (or going to holographic-storage optical discs) and video delivered by satellite or optical-fiber cable TV connections.

21 posted on 08/15/2011 8:03:14 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: Dilbert San Diego
And to show how some people fall behind on keeping up with technology, I must confess that I have no idea what an HTPC is, or what the homebrew attachment would do.

HTPC = Home Theater PC. Build your own to satisfy your specs or buy something like this or this or this or even this, hook it up to your HDTV and set it up to download programming for you to view at your leisure, stream video from not only Netflix and Hulu but hundreds of news and entertainment sites around the world, time-shift OTA programming, anything you can imagine doing with a video signal and a computer.
22 posted on 08/15/2011 8:19:01 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

Reference bump ... ;-)


23 posted on 08/16/2011 1:07:55 AM PDT by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

I use Veetle as a player to watch movies that are curently in the theatres or rental. There are sports channels, but the selection is poor.

Does anyone have any alternatives?


24 posted on 08/16/2011 4:48:47 AM PDT by Dacula (I reject Satan and Obama)
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To: Las Vegas Dave; jenbean

Can you add my wife, Jenbean, to the list? She works for Direct TV. Thanks!


25 posted on 08/16/2011 5:29:18 AM PDT by DCBryan1 (Forget the Lawyers....first kill the journalists! - Die Ritter, die sagen, nee)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

But when the internet provider stands to lose revenue because they also sell satellite or cable, they start to degrade the internet service as a marketing scheme. Even VoIP suffers because the phone company wants you to pay for phone service OR ELSE.

Our entire towns DSL service has been suffering for two months because CenturyLink won’t fix it. They take our monies for upgrades to 10 or 15 mbit and then consistently deliver less than 1 mbit.


26 posted on 08/16/2011 6:35:40 AM PDT by George from New England
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To: nascarnation

Same here. I am a baseball and football fan, and I can’t see any other way of getting sports programming other than cable or satellite. I am fed up, though, with Fox and others showing obnoxious previews for their disgusting shows during sports programs. Lots of kids watch the World Series, for example, and Fox shows previews that are really suggestive. It makes me angry. Children are exposed to so much smut these days.


27 posted on 08/16/2011 2:38:40 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX ( The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else. ~)
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