[LINK] Is the PVR dead?

Fernando Cassia fcassia at gmail.com
Mon Oct 10 13:23:25 AEDT 2011

On Sun, Oct 9, 2011 at 22:15, Tom Koltai <tomk at unwired.com.au> wrote:
> In the emerging countries, interesting technology quantum leaps are
> occurring, ensuring a total bypass of FTA Broadcast NEWS services.

I won´t say you´re wrong, I´ll just give my perspective from this side
of the globe.

Well, I come from one of those so-called emerging countries, and I can
tell you that FTA is big down here. After the new media law was passed
sharing the spectrum 1/3 to the private sector, 1/3 to the public
universities, etc and 1/3 to NGOs, and its the push towards digital TV
of the airwaves, the number of FTA stations jumped from 5 analog
channels in my city to about 20 which can be viewed without a cable tv
subscription, for fee. That is prompting many people to drop their
basic analog cable TV and just get FTA digital TV. Of course, CATV
operators are fightign back and aiming for the top of the crop: HD
content and pay-per-view channels. But I doubt that´d be as succesfull
as the operators think.

Argentina had one of the highest cable tv penetration rates in the
region (52% of households had CATV service)**. Now Cable has got a
challenger in the form of FTA, which, thanks to the chosen ISDB-T
standard, can even be tuned "on the move" by phones that come with a
tuner chip. Mobile TV tuner service is not related to the phone
networks, so a mobile with ISDB-T tuner can be used as a movile TV
even with no GSM SIM installed and no active phone service.

Plus, the country is extending the FTA digital tv platform to remote
areas over satellite. So satellite viewers will be able to see the
same content as FTA users with a TV with built-in ISDB-T UHF tuner or
external STB.


I agree that "broascast news" is less and less relevant with the
availability of the internet, but those "old dinosaurs", together with
print newspapers, still mark the public debate agenda.

Of course techies and the "hyper connected" like you and I get our
news from multiple sources, mostly from the net, but that´s not the
average citizen, at least not down here at the other side of the
globe. Even people with internet access use it to log-in to the web
site of their traditional newspaper of choice... so the news source
didn´t really change, just the access medium.

With respect to the death of the TV, the latest LCD TVs from Samsung
and Sony are what the firms call "Smart TVs" meaning they feature an
ethernet port and can play back content from Youtube, etc.

So don´t count the TV out, yet. The TV will always be "the big screen
in front of the couch where you can sit and relax after dinner while
flipping content to see if you catch anything unexpected and

Just my $0.02
from Buenos Aires, Argentina
** http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-192311256.html

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