LCD Leading Way in Rapidly Growing HDTV Market
Leading industry market research says LCD display shipments and HDTV subscription customers will double by 2012. The independent research data and adjustments in leading display manufacturer’s business strategies spell out LCD domination of the display market for the next four years.
According to the research, 17 million US homes will acquire high-def TV services by end of 2008. That brings the number of American households that subscribe to some type of HDTV services to 47 million.
According to the Pike & Fischer forecast the number of households that will subscribe to high-def content services will continue to expand to 103 million by 2012. At the same time, according to data from iSuppli, LCD display shipments will double by 2012 to nearly 194 million.
Despite free over-air broadcasts across the continental US, consumers maintain an appetite for premium content offered by cable and satellite providers. It’s a profitable business to be in, says the Pike & Fischer research, that puts revenues at about $2.6 billion in 2012.
An overwhelming majority of those HD-ready households are going to be using LCD technology instead of plasma. We’ve already seen Pioneer Elite completely abandon plasma panel manufacturing. In 2007 LG, the world’s number three plasma maker posted record losses from its display division.
According to Citigroup, LG’s display division is turning itself around and should prove profitable by end of 2008. Although the Korean company will continue to ship plasma HDTVs through 2008, part of LG’s strategy is to sacrifice additional investment in plasma technology while doubling shipments of LCD displays.
The problem is that TV reception varies considerably depending on the distance from your home to the broadcast tower, your elevation, and the local terrain around your home. For example, you might be on a hillside that blocks reception. Tall buildings and trees also can have an effect. So, a one size fits all type of answer for an antenna can be misleading. Too much depends on your own local situation.
For myself, I've had very good results with a Wineguard Squareshooter SS-1000 [solidsignal.com] antenna. It's small (about the same size as a satellite dish) and can mounted almost anywhere. I put mine in my attic and installed a rotor so I can pickup both Washington, DC and Baltimore signals.
Try to avoid using the powered or amplified antennas if you can. They can be trouble, but sometimes you need them.
Does anyone know of any trusty brands or models of antenna to pick up the aforementioned OTA very well?
A few of my friends use the $20 Phillips antenna you can get at Target. I'm using a Radio Shack model that was ~$30. Honestly the best results I've seen were just using a cheap fm antenna. The kind supplied with most recievers that has two wires you pin to the wall on one end and a push on coax attachment at the other end. Don't believe anyone who says you cant get a digital signal with those. I've used it and got ~35 channels, all digital. I just finally went for one with a signal boost because I'm in a basement apartment and would loose certain channels when the weather was bad. (BTW, I get the exact same channels with or without the powered 'hdtv' antenna)
The benefits of Off-Air antennas are compelling. There is only so much room on cable or satellite bandwidth in which to squeeze signal, so data is compressed to fit, resulting in a somewhat "soft" picture. An OTA signal is the gold standard in digital reception because it's almost completely uncompressed and also FREE.
I appreciate the info. As an opinionated HT writer I like the idea of promoting OTA any chance I get. I could have spun it into a pro-OTA rant.
I think a lot of people just assume they have to get Cable or Satellite just because they need an HDTV signal. A lot of articles that I've read that discuss ideas like the 'chain' of HDTV video signals will include an HD-ready digital or satellite receiver in the chain. That's not true as you pointed out.
Thanks and I'll be sure to keep that in mind.