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Men and women want high-definition televisions for their holiday gift

Tech gadgets are increasingly becoming hot coveted items, as found by a Solutions Research Group. More than three-quarters of the 1,200 American men and women surveyed had at least one digital lifestyle products on their holiday season wish lists.

By far the most popular item on everyone’s tech list is a flat-screen high-definition television, making up 35 percent of mentions in the subgroup. Interestingly enough, those very same that put HDTVs on their lists may not use the technology to its full potential. Only 6 percent listed Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD players and only 2 percent intended to get HD boxes from their cable or satellite company.

Some of those HDTVs, however, maybe used for high-definition gaming. For men’s top 10 lists, the PlayStation 3 led all consoles at sixth spot, with both Xbox 360 and Wii taking ninth and tenth, respectively. When considering women’s wishlists, the Wii was the only games machine in the top 10, listed at eighth. With both genders combined, the Wii became the most desired console at eighth, just one spot ahead of the PS3.

Common wants for both men and women were HDTV, laptop computers, digital still cameras, digital video cameras, desktop computers, GPS car navigation systems, Nintendo Wii and cell phones.

Despite the broad appeal of its products, Apple did not show up on the overall top 10 list. The iPhone was specifically named for 15th place, with the MacBook at 11th. Women appeared to prefer Apple computers more than men, placing the MacBook at ninth place.

For more on the Digital Life America – Holiday 2007 Edition report, see the full news release (PDF).





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HD content
By Suomynona on 10/10/2007 3:09:32 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Only 6 percent listed Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD players and only 2 percent intended to get HD boxes from their cable or satellite company.


I don't understand this at all. Are people really uninformed enough to think that just having an HDTV will make what they're already watching (SDTV and DVDs) look better? If so, they're in for a nice, pixelated surprise.




RE: HD content
By Oregonian2 on 10/10/2007 3:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
My experience disagrees. Their DVDs will look a LOT better. Even our cheapie bedroom 32" Olevia HDTV connected to a Sony upconverting plain-DVD player looks a LOT better than even a high end 32" Sony XBR SD TV with a DVD player connected (our current family room TV). Content in a regular 2-layer DVD may not be to full HDTV capability, but it's more than will normally be visible on an SD set.

Note: the internal "upconverting" in the Olevia stinks. It's processing section is underpowered. Having the DVD player upconvert to the TV's native 720P (and using an HDMI connection) yields superior results.

Note2: The article is spot on. We're looking at Panasonic Plasmas for the family room in our Christmas shopping (58" 750 series if we can find anybody selling it locally). We'll upgrade our DirecTV then though. We do know about that. :-)


RE: HD content
By jkresh on 10/10/2007 3:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
its true that dvd's look better on hdtv's then standard deff (as a dvd's resolution is slightly higher then standard definition.) The issue for most new hdtv users is that unless there set (or cable box, or receiver) has a good scaler (and cheap ones generally don't) regular tv will look worse then it would on a standard set.


RE: HD content
By kinnoch on 10/10/2007 7:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
I recently got a Sony XBR2 at Magnolia Hi-Fi and I was pleased to see that they were showing off a lot of SD television. I didn't have a TV so I was interested in getting an HD TV that could handle SD Broadcasts well for now, and then over the next year or so handle all the HD upgrades I will get. Magnolia's SD presentations let me weed out the TV's that didn't upscale SD broadcasts well.


RE: HD content
By Odeen on 10/11/2007 2:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, no. Technically, the resolution of SD is 480 lines, 60 frames per second, interlaced. The resolution of NTSC (American) DVD's is 480 lines, 60 frames per second, interlaced. The reason that DVD's can look better on HD sets is that DVD's can be deinterlaced into 24 FPS or 30 FPS, matching original film or video capture and then displayed using progressive scan on an HDTV or EDTV set.


RE: HD content
By themadmilkman on 10/11/2007 2:43:58 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the resolution of DVDs is 720 x 480, assuming that they're widescreen. A normal 4:3 set that doesn't have some sort of squeeze mode will not be able to display that full amount of info in the right aspect ratio.

I believe that's what the GP post was getting at.


RE: HD content
By goku on 10/10/2007 8:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
"Sony upconverting plain-DVD player" that's why... And the big problem is, how many people really know about upconverting DVD players??


RE: HD content
By Spuke on 10/10/2007 8:49:57 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And the big problem is, how many people really know about upconverting DVD players??
About the same amount of people that know about HD DVD and Bluray.


RE: HD content
By Oregonian2 on 10/11/2007 2:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
Probably more. If you go to Costco and buy a DVD player, there's a reasonable chance it'll be an upconverting one unless you buy the $39 one. Upconversion is the new standard feature, I've noticed.

Also one thing I mentioned but didn't focus on is that the connection from the upconverting DVD player is HDMI. Just having the path from the DVD disc all the way to the actual display driver in the TV will be digital is a boost in quality. Skips entirely the D->A->cables->A->D step which I think is a weak link in even a regular DVD to HDTV set connection through traditional interfaces. As well as my thinking that traditional CRT based SD TV's not being able to resolve the full NTSC resolution anyway.


RE: HD content
By mathew7 on 10/12/2007 3:29:35 AM , Rating: 2
Digital cables are also analog, the difference is that the ADC/DAC converters work differently.
The pure digital connection is one of the falsely marketed things. Sure, with HDMI/DVI you will get the best picture quality, but only up to 5 meters (10 meters with quality cables). After that the degrading is exponential, because interference affects the low bits the same as high bits (player could send 0x35, receiver may get 0xF5...huge difference). Although analog connnections are affected by interference, the degradation is more linear, because the interference affects the signal level (like in previous case, player sends 0x35, receiver gets 0x48....big difference, but not as big as in previous case), but even in the serverely degraded (long) connection, you still can interpret the image. So for long cables, analog is the best.
It's just like the air conditioning vs. windows down: up to a speed windows down is best for fuel consumption.
PS: I'm not sure about the 5/10 meters distances. I know I have a 5 meter HDMI cable and it works good between my Geforce and HDTV. But it's a thick cable compared to what else I saw.


RE: HD content
By Oregonian2 on 10/15/2007 6:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Digital cables are also analog, the difference is that the ADC/DAC converters work differently.


Yes they are analog in the purest physical-layer networking sense. But in terms of ADC/DAC's and the image content, no they're are pure digital with the information encoded into 1's and 0's. The video is not converted between digital and analog to be put on the cable (and then back again in the TV). It's only analog in the sense that all digital signals are in reality analog even if the information being transferred isn't. I've been a mostly digital EE for thirty years, and I fuss with pico-seconds in my timing and am aware of the analog aspects in the controlled impedance and terminated transmission lines I use. It's analog transmission of digital signals in which video is encoded -- its not the analog transmission of video.

quote:
Sure, with HDMI/DVI you will get the best picture quality, but only up to 5 meters (10 meters with quality cables). After that the degrading is exponential, because interference affects the low bits the same as high bits (player could send 0x35, receiver may get 0xF5...huge difference).


Digital cabling works for the distances for which it was designed (although one certainly can buy cheap junk that doesn't meet spec). Personally, our longest HDMI cable is about 1.5 meters long.

In any case, should it be needed, FEC coding likely would eliminate any data errors even if there are analog ones.

"Digital" per se, can go long distances. Video is sent digitally to geosynchronous satellites and back (DirecTV, etc) for instance. No cable at all -- wireless. Just a matter of using the system designed for the task at hand. In the case of regular DVD players with built in upconverters (that this thread is about), I think putting the DVD player within reasonable high-quality HDMI cable distance of the set will be practical in the vast majority of cases.


RE: HD content
By JDub02 on 10/10/2007 4:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't understand this at all. Are people really uninformed enough to think that just having an HDTV will make what they're already watching (SDTV and DVDs) look better? If so, they're in for a nice, pixelated surprise.


I don't have BD/HDDVD or an HD from satellite or cable.

I do have xbox 360 games in high def and am pulling in about 6 HD channels over the air. Good enough for me. Why pay all that money for an expensive HD package when all I want to do is watch football games that are already broadcast in HD for free?


RE: HD content
By Suomynona on 10/10/2007 6:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
That's understandable, but most people in the US have cable, so I would expect them to get an HD cable box. At least where I live, it doesn't cost extra for HD cable, and in a lot of areas there isn't reliable HD OTA.


RE: HD content
By DragonMaster0 on 11/4/2007 9:16:56 AM , Rating: 2
They should make a survey to ask how many people know about HD-DVD or BluRay at all. I wouldn't be surprised to see stats <10%


iPod's Rank not surprising
By pnyffeler on 10/10/2007 3:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
Another news webpage sounded surprised when the iPod or iPhone didn't make the top 10.

However, (a) almost everybody already owns either an iPod or some type of MP3 player, and (b) everybody that was dying to get an iPhone already has one of those, too.




RE: iPod's Rank not surprising
By omnicronx on 10/10/2007 3:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
Thats because you are looking at it wrong. Not everyone buys an LCD or plasma because the video quality is better. I would have to say a lot, (close to half) of flatscreen purchases are for anesthetic reasons. People want a flatscreen that does not take up space, they can hang on the wall, and actually looks like it is part of the room, instead of a big ugly box coming out from the wall. When my dad bought a new TV, i had to talk him out of the cheaper TV that he thought looked anesthetically pleasing for the TV that had much better video quality.

Many people also can't even tell the difference between digital channels and normal SD channels either, as if you sit far enough back even i can barely tell the difference except for the blacks.

As for HD, many people just don't want to pay over and beyond their normal tv bills just for programs they already receive. I for one do not order HD channels, I get OTA HD receptions instead, in which i still get FOX,NBC,ABC which is basically all i wanted HD for in the first place.


RE: iPod's Rank not surprising
By Spuke on 10/10/2007 8:39:08 PM , Rating: 1
I disagree. Everyone I know has a MUCH more expensive cable or DirecTV package than me. Most every one has movies channels and all the sports fans have the sports packages. I am in the FAR minority with my one step above basic DTV package. Although, I am currently getting DTV HD installed as we speak. :)


RE: iPod's Rank not surprising
By omnicronx on 10/11/2007 8:15:29 AM , Rating: 2
Well its great that you disagree, but just because you and your friends have it do not mean everyone else does. Stats don't lie, and they show the vast majority of people with HDTV's do NOT have these packages, I was simply trying to justify why.


RE: iPod's Rank not surprising
By Murst on 10/11/2007 10:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stats don't lie, and they show the vast majority of people with HDTV's do NOT have these packages,

Not true.

Here's a summary of a CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) study done this year:

1. 56 percent of HDTV owners do not receive HD programming (vast majority?)

2. The percentage of U.S. households with an HDTV is likely to reach 36 percent by the end of the year

3. The vast majority of HDTV owners understand what programming they receive and do not

4. A primary reason consumers are buying HDTVs is not to watch TV programming but rather to improve their movie and gaming experience.

Source: http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv/us-households... (I also found many other sites with identical data, if you don't like this site in particular)


RE: iPod's Rank not surprising
By Golgatha on 10/12/2007 10:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
4. A primary reason consumers are buying HDTVs is not to watch TV programming but rather to improve their movie and gaming experience.

...and bingo was his name'o!

I couldn't care less about HDTV packages from satellite or cable. I want my games in 720p or better, a native DVI interface for my HTPC, 480p output for my DVD player, 480p output for the Nintendo Wii, OTA HD sports broadcasts (KC, MO has good OTA HD support), and next generation movies (will probably rent Blue-ray from Blockbuster or get Netflix).


RE: iPod's Rank not surprising
By themadmilkman on 10/11/2007 2:45:07 AM , Rating: 2
Who's to say they won't be big sellers anyway? Just because it's not on the top of people's list doesn't mean they won't sell well.


PS3
By BrownJohn on 10/10/2007 2:15:01 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, people actually want the PS3? Even with Halo 3 being released. I know I'll want one eventually, after I get a 360 and a wii and if they ever relase more than a couple quality games for it.




RE: PS3
By therealnickdanger on 10/10/2007 2:27:59 PM , Rating: 3
Everyone already owns a 360... :P


RE: PS3
By Mitch101 on 10/10/2007 2:46:37 PM , Rating: 2
I know a lot of people with PS2's and when our one buddy got his PS3 everyone was excited but now they all want 360's or Wii's. Even our buddy with the PS3 says if it werent for EA sports he would have sold it.

So the demand is probably a lot of people still on PS2 who arent aware that the PS3 doesnt have any great titles or those who feel Blue Ray is going to win the format war.

I also feel the PC lineup coming soon is looking sweet. (Bioshock, Quake Wars, UT3, and Crysis for me) I want a newer DX10 gen video card personally more than a newer console this year. Next year I might get a console then.


Not surprising...
By DEVGRU on 10/10/2007 2:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
While I don't own one, a few days ago the Nintendo Wii was the #1 requested gift on Amazon.com's Top 100 Wedding Gift Registry list! (Just before Tupperware, heh)

(Just fact-checked again now, and its dropped to #2, but it was #1 on Monday.)

Nothing says "I love you" more than whipping the Wii remote at your wife's head, 'accidently' of course. :)




RE: Not surprising...
By FITCamaro on 10/10/2007 3:03:27 PM , Rating: 3
I might whip a Wii at my wife's head, but it has nothing to do with a games console.

Sorry. Too tempting. :)


Who Gives... ?
By mmntech on 10/10/2007 7:47:52 PM , Rating: 3
Who gives $1000+ gifts for Christmas like HDTVs and laptops? Will they adopt me? I was lucky to get a $250 widescreen monitor for my birthday last year. Most expensive gift I've even gotten. lol.




RE: Who Gives... ?
By Spuke on 10/10/2007 8:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who gives $1000+ gifts for Christmas like HDTVs and laptops?
It happens quite a bit. I don't do that but my in laws do. My wife and I attended a b-day party once and, wow, do they lavish each other with gifts. My wife felt inadequate (I don't care). These are not rich people either but are upper middle class. I grew up pretty poor and until the last 10 years, I never knew that middle class people could live so good. We're truly blessed in this country.


People aren't using HDTV for HD content
By MrX8503 on 10/10/2007 3:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
"Only 6 percent listed Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD players and only 2 percent intended to get HD boxes from their cable or satellite company."

The sad fact is that most people who buy HDTV's don't even use it to its full potential. Most owners don't even view HD content on them. I think it has to do with the level of knowledge of HD that consumers have, which is minimal. Most consumers just know that they like something thin and flat, HD? Eh..whatever as long as it looks cool in my living room.




By Oregonian2 on 10/10/2007 3:11:55 PM , Rating: 2
There's more to it than that. Not using to FULL potential doesn't mean not using ANY of that which is better than a SD TV.

Just watching regular DVDs (being upconverted by the set or by an upconverting DVD player) looks a LOT better than it does on a SD TV.

HD also is broadcast over the air (and has to be theoretically at least digital of some sort before long).

Some other buyers just know that buying a "standard" SD CRT TV is kind of pointless nowdays so even if they're not going HD yet, no point in wasting money on a SD set that will need an adapter in the next year or two.


Its not that difficult?
By Soldier38 on 10/10/2007 10:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
These people frustrate the hell out of me. Just today I was in a familys nice house and they had a nice 52 in plasma on the wall and NO Hd box to go with it. What is the deal with people who can afford over $2000 for a nice tv and go to the trouble of mounting it on the wall and no HD. All you have to do is go to your cable office ask for the hd box. You dont need to have a guy come hook it up, or ask for more channels or pay much more. Comcast is like $10 more a month and you get like 15 free Hd channels. My God its a big difference over watching the same channels in SD. I dont want to even go back to watching analog Sd channels anymore. Wake up folks and get let that tv be viewed at its full potential!




RE: Its not that difficult?
By Murst on 10/11/2007 1:32:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think another huge problem is actual HD programming. I have the HD package from DTV, and I'm rather disapointed with the HD offerings so far. Sure, just recently they added some channels, but the weather channel in HD isn't what I'm really looking for.

Even channels that are supposed to be HD don't have all that much HD content. I think the only channel that I've always seen have HD content is HDNet, but there wasn't really anything interesting on that channel for me.

Yeah, I know it will get better with time, but it still doesn't change the fact that its not that great right now (kinda like my PS3 and the lack of games =p ).

Oh yeah, and another thing that kinda upsets me is that DTV charges extra for anything you want in HD. I guess paying $300 for Sunday Ticket isn't enough, cause they want $100 more for it to be in HD. And not all the stadiums broadcast in HD either (I've never seen a Browns game in HD when they played in Cleveland).

Oh well, /rant off


I've been doing it wrong
By kileil on 10/10/2007 4:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
You're telling me people crave really expensive things that they cant/wont buy for themselves? Really?

I guess I should stop filling the kids Xmas stockings with potatoes and lugnuts...




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