TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ? - Hardware

This is a discussion on TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ? - Hardware ; Hi, I was researching the market for a Multi-Format (NTSC/PAL at least) Digital/Video Hybrid TV Tuner card that is supported by linux. There are many such available world wide. But the odd thing is that nearly in every case the ...

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  1. TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?

    Hi,

    I was researching the market for a Multi-Format (NTSC/PAL at least)
    Digital/Video Hybrid TV Tuner card that is supported by linux. There are
    many such available world wide. But the odd thing is that nearly in
    every case the most versatile cards are not available for sale in
    US markets. Take for instance Kworld DVB-T 310U (my choice) is available
    every where but in the US. Or for that matter the Avermedia TV-Tuner
    ExpressCards (not PCMCIA).

    I wonder why this is the case. Can someone illuminate the issue ?
    This situation has persisted for the past one year at least while
    I wait and wait for something to become available.

    sincerely
    B Thomas

  2. Re: TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?

    B Thomas wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I was researching the market for a Multi-Format (NTSC/PAL at least)
    > Digital/Video Hybrid TV Tuner card that is supported by linux. There are
    > many such available world wide. But the odd thing is that nearly in
    > every case the most versatile cards are not available for sale in
    > US markets. Take for instance Kworld DVB-T 310U (my choice) is available
    > every where but in the US. Or for that matter the Avermedia TV-Tuner
    > ExpressCards (not PCMCIA).
    >
    > I wonder why this is the case. Can someone illuminate the issue ?
    > This situation has persisted for the past one year at least while
    > I wait and wait for something to become available.
    >
    > sincerely
    > B Thomas


    The US is strictly NTSC only, there is no market PAL.
    I think that multisystem TV receivers don't sell well either.

    It's all market driven

    --
    regards faeychild
    (Registered GNU/Linux user #374302)

  3. Re: TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?

    On 10 Mar 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.os.linux.hardware, in article
    <45f3241c$0$28142$4c368faf@roadrunner.com>, B Thomas wrote:

    >I was researching the market for a Multi-Format (NTSC/PAL at least)
    >Digital/Video Hybrid TV Tuner card that is supported by linux. There are
    >many such available world wide. But the odd thing is that nearly in
    >every case the most versatile cards are not available for sale in
    >US markets.


    Well, yeah - I'm not even sure why the market exists in the first place
    as I get a much better picture on the TV set itself even though the
    programs are total crap.

    >I wonder why this is the case. Can someone illuminate the issue ?
    >This situation has persisted for the past one year at least while
    >I wait and wait for something to become available.


    Have a look at the broadcast standards. In the Americas (North _and_
    South), the only countries using PAL are Brazil (but they are
    broadcasting in Portuguese which I don't speak), Argentina, Paraguay and
    Uruguay (broadcasting in Spanish). There are some SECAM stations (St.
    Pierre et Miquelon, Guadeloupe, Martinque, and Guyaya in French) and
    what-ever you can pull off satellites aimed at countries where those
    other standards exist, but that's pretty few and far between in the
    Western Hemisphere.

    >This situation has persisted for the past one year at least while
    >I wait and wait for something to become available.


    Uh, the situation has persisted since the 1960s - what magic event do
    you think has given any reason to change this? Even ignoring digital
    broadcast formats, there are 14 different TV broadcast formats/standards
    in the world. As faeychild writes, there is virtually no market here,
    and thus no one wants to set up a distribution/sales function for
    something that won't even bring in enough money to pay for finding out
    what the customs regulations are. Import it yourself? Well, you can
    try, but I suspect the shipping and customs charges are going to be
    more than the price to the hardware - never mind the fun of trying to
    get repairs.

    Old guy

  4. Re: TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?

    You do have a point I'll admit that the market is small.
    However there is an market out there for a worldwide
    analog/digital hybrid for frequent travelers and geeks :-).
    The fact that multi-format cards are more popular in Europe
    and Asia maybe because a large majority of people there
    are multilingual.

    But I don't think the issue is how large the market is.
    There is not much of a price difference between a multi-format
    card and a region specific card suggesting that the additional
    cost of adding this technology is minimal. In the early
    days of CDs there were many CD formats. Now days they have
    standardized on a few but even so most modern CD drives
    can read all but the most arcane of formats. Hence the user
    hardly has to worry about such things. What I am getting
    at is the issue can not be the market size alone although that
    seems reasonable. I think the issue is more of market segmentation
    as we see with region codes and DVDs. But I doubt if this
    whole story either as unlike DVDs there are public television
    channels all over the world and all it takes to view those
    is to be within range and having the right hardware.

    b thomas

    On Sun, 11 Mar 2007 14:16:10 -0500, Moe Trin wrote:
    >>I was researching the market for a Multi-Format (NTSC/PAL at least)
    >>Digital/Video Hybrid TV Tuner card that is supported by linux. There are
    >>many such available world wide. But the odd thing is that nearly in
    >>every case the most versatile cards are not available for sale in
    >>US markets.



  5. Re: TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?


    On second thoughts consider this. No matter how small the market
    for a tv tuner is give similarly priced cards, one which is multiformat
    and one which is format specific, which one would you buy (even if
    the former was say 5-10 $ more ) ?

    Further take US alone why not have just one tv tuner that does ATSC ,
    DVB-S, DVB-S2 and DVB-C (If you are in europe replace ATSC by DVB-T) ?

    Once again this suggests it is not an issue of market size but more
    of and issue with maximization of profit by making the consumer
    buy multiple cards for multiple purposes rather than provide a single
    card for a marginally higher cost. This in turn suggest a cartel like
    situation in these markets (perhaps because of their size). I can
    only speculate and may be wrong. But in the absence of any data
    one explanation is as good as any other ? The only "data" I am sure
    of is that multi-format cards are common in Europe and Asia but not
    in the US. Perhaps there are legal restrictions too, again I don't
    know, which is why I asked.

    regards
    b thomas


  6. Re: TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?

    On 12 Mar 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.os.linux.hardware, in article
    <45f4af81$0$1432$4c368faf@roadrunner.com>, B Thomas wrote:

    >You do have a point I'll admit that the market is small.
    >However there is an market out there for a worldwide
    >analog/digital hybrid for frequent travelers and geeks :-).


    Most of them are buying the hardware overseas while they are there.

    >The fact that multi-format cards are more popular in Europe
    >and Asia maybe because a large majority of people there
    >are multilingual.


    How about the fact that near the borders of those countries, there
    is not much difficulty in receiving programs broadcast from some
    where else. I worked in Southeastern England (about 25 miles SE of
    London) in the 1980s, and had little difficulty seeing TV signals
    from Paris, Lille and Boulogne in France, and somewhere (Brugge?)
    in Belgium. There are plenty of places on the continent where you have
    similar options of seeing cross-border programming.

    As far as Asia is concerned, I think it's more that this is where
    most of the hardware is made. Business people may travel into
    areas with different broadcast standards, but not the average
    citizen. There is _much_ less of a 'cross-border' TV reception, so
    little or no need for the product.

    >But I don't think the issue is how large the market is.
    >There is not much of a price difference between a multi-format
    >card and a region specific card suggesting that the additional
    >cost of adding this technology is minimal.


    As I wrote - who is going to maintain/repair the stuff? It takes
    a whole different set of test equipment to generate the test
    signals. Also, look at where they are selling this stuff. A lot of
    people buy TVs in big box stores, and wouldn't have the first clue
    what this other technology is. Most people can't tell the difference
    between similar models offered by the same manufacturer, and are
    mainly interested in the size in inches, and how much it costs. The
    sales-critters have no idea either, and are only interested in selling
    the systems they have. "Difference between a model 29276B and a 29266C?
    I'm sorry, we don't stock that model. But I can offer the best price in
    town on this model... it's a 29281D, and the higher model number means
    it's better." Yeah, right.

    This feature would (marginally) increase the price, which means a big
    negative to the bean counters watching what the public is buying. "I
    can get the same 25 inch MGA at this other store for four dollars less."
    See that _ALL_ the time.

    >But I doubt if this whole story either as unlike DVDs there are public
    >television channels all over the world and all it takes to view those
    >is to be within range and having the right hardware.


    Uh, I'm just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Tell me where the nearest
    station is that's broadcasting PAL or SECAM. Your tape/DVD player?
    I don't bother buying tapes or CDs that are not in the right format.
    I was up at the Grand Canyon a couple of years ago, and in the Gifte
    Shoppes for the tourists, they were offering videos (you see this in
    any major tourist vista) - in tape and DVD, and these were in several
    specific formats and plainly labeled at the same (high) price. For
    some reason, I didn't bother buying any of those either, but that's
    another story for another time.

    In your other followup, you write:

    >Once again this suggests it is not an issue of market size but more
    >of and issue with maximization of profit by making the consumer
    >buy multiple cards for multiple purposes rather than provide a single
    >card for a marginally higher cost.


    No - most consumers don't buy multiple cards, because they can get one
    box that does all they want. The manufacturers would benefit by having
    one standard world wide - that's not going to happen. They could build
    one box that does all, but it will cost more, and nearly all people will
    want the cheaper one that doesn't have the extra features they're never
    going to use.

    >But in the absence of any data one explanation is as good as any other ?
    >The only "data" I am sure of is that multi-format cards are common in
    >Europe and Asia but not in the US. Perhaps there are legal restrictions
    >too, again I don't know, which is why I asked.


    "more common" does not mean universal - but they are more common in Europe
    because there is a need for them due to the proximity of countries with
    different standards. Asia is mainly European standard (PAL) or US standard
    but most systems sold are single (local) standard unless you are shopping
    stores catering to foreigners (factory outlets).

    Old guy

  7. Re: TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?

    In article ,
    Moe Trin wrote:
    >On 12 Mar 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.os.linux.hardware, in article
    ><45f4af81$0$1432$4c368faf@roadrunner.com>, B Thomas wrote:
    >>The fact that multi-format cards are more popular in Europe
    >>and Asia maybe because a large majority of people there
    >>are multilingual.

    >
    >How about the fact that near the borders of those countries, there
    >is not much difficulty in receiving programs broadcast from some
    >where else. I worked in Southeastern England (about 25 miles SE of
    >London) in the 1980s, and had little difficulty seeing TV signals
    >from Paris, Lille and Boulogne in France, and somewhere (Brugge?)
    >in Belgium. There are plenty of places on the continent where you have
    >similar options of seeing cross-border programming.
    >
    >As far as Asia is concerned, I think it's more that this is where
    >most of the hardware is made. Business people may travel into
    >areas with different broadcast standards, but not the average
    >citizen. There is _much_ less of a 'cross-border' TV reception, so
    >little or no need for the product.


    ....and here in the States, our neighbors (both of them, AFAIK) use NTSC, so
    there's no need for multi-system equipment if you want to watch Canadian or
    Mexican TV.

    Never mind that the vast majority of our population lives too far away from
    the border for foreign TV to be an option anyway. Rooftop antennas have
    all but disappeared, and rabbit ears have a hard enough time receiving local
    channels with acceptable quality.

    _/_
    / v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
    (IIGS( http://alfter.us/ Top-posting!
    \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?


  8. Re: TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?

    B Thomas wrote:

    > Once again this suggests it is not an issue of market size but more
    > of and issue with maximization of profit by making the consumer
    > buy multiple cards for multiple purposes rather than provide a single
    > card for a marginally higher cost. This in turn suggest a cartel like
    > situation in these markets (perhaps because of their size). I can
    > only speculate and may be wrong. But in the absence of any data
    > one explanation is as good as any other ? The only "data" I am sure
    > of is that multi-format cards are common in Europe and Asia but not
    > in the US. Perhaps there are legal restrictions too, again I don't
    > know, which is why I asked.


    I think you're missing the point....

    Linksys reduced the chipsets in their wireless APs from 8 MB flash and
    32 MB RAM to 2 MB flash and 8 MB RAM. I would guess that the cost
    savings amounted to perhaps $0.50 / unit on the manufacturing end. So
    why would they go through this, with all of the engineering and retooling?

    Because they sell millions of these units, and it pays off. Sure, they
    piss off a handful of customers who hack the APs and put OpenWrt on
    them, but we're a tiny minority.

    The average joe couldn't give a rat's ass, and the company saves
    millions in the end.

    Tuners are expensive and fragile. They break easily. To put more
    complex tuners on these cards in a market that doesn't need them is a
    losing proposition.

    Why do it in Europe? Because the individual markets are different and
    aren't big enough to warrant special hardware. You can't get the
    economy of scale. But in the US/Canada (and perhaps Mexico?) you have
    a large homogeneous market, with *NO* PAL/DVB-?/whatever transmitters.
    Why put the hardware on the board?

    I know; I ended up buying two digital decks to convert my PAL VHS tapes
    to NTSC. In Europe, you can get these like bagels; in the US only 2
    models are available, and the cheaper one costs > $500. Why? Because
    they know that those of us who needs will pay; and the market isn't there.

  9. Re: TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?

    On Mon, 12 Mar 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.os.linux.hardware, in article
    <88idndNVL9HfL2jYnZ2dnUVZ_revnZ2d@giganews.com>, Scott Alfter wrote:

    >...and here in the States, our neighbors (both of them, AFAIK) use NTSC, so
    >there's no need for multi-system equipment if you want to watch Canadian or
    >Mexican TV.


    It goes a lot further than that. In the Americas (North, Central and South)
    there are just four countries using PAL: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and
    Uruguay. There is a SECAM station _much_ closer - look just about 10 miles
    South of the island of Newfoundland (or about 800 miles East-northeast of
    Boston), and you'll find the tiny islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon (93
    square miles - about 7000 people) which is a dependent territory of France.
    Martinque and Guadalupe (in the Eastern Caribbean) and French Guiana (just
    North of Brazil) are the same status, and also have SECAM, as does Guyana
    (just East of Venezuela). Every other country uses NTSC.

    >Never mind that the vast majority of our population lives too far away from
    >the border for foreign TV to be an option anyway. Rooftop antennas have
    >all but disappeared, and rabbit ears have a hard enough time receiving local
    >channels with acceptable quality.


    If you have a LARGE satellite dish, you may be able to point it at the birds
    providing service to the French dependencies, or to those serving Brazil
    or Argentina. You need the big dish, because the transmitting antenna on
    the satellites isn't pointing at the US (why waste signal where there are
    no paying customers), and the signals are going to be 15 to 40 dB down from
    the levels in areas where they are trying to serve. You also need to tune
    your satellite receiver to those other satellite transmitters. Personally,
    it's not worth the effort, but that's opinion.

    Old guy


  10. Re: TV Tuners - Why poor choices in US Markets ?

    B Thomas wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I was researching the market for a Multi-Format (NTSC/PAL at least)
    > Digital/Video Hybrid TV Tuner card that is supported by linux. There are
    > many such available world wide. But the odd thing is that nearly in
    > every case the most versatile cards are not available for sale in
    > US markets. Take for instance Kworld DVB-T 310U (my choice) is available
    > every where but in the US. Or for that matter the Avermedia TV-Tuner
    > ExpressCards (not PCMCIA).
    >
    > I wonder why this is the case. Can someone illuminate the issue ?
    > This situation has persisted for the past one year at least while
    > I wait and wait for something to become available.


    I believe the primary market for a DVB capable device is a country
    that has DVB... US doesn't. Although bulky, I have a WinTV PVR USB2
    which works quite well (and has a hw mpeg2).

    Since most of the PMPs and such originate in countries (e.g. Korea)
    that have DVB sources... may not see a lot of this in the US.
    Just my opinion.

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