The Problem with TV

The following is a portion of my April 2006 Internet Telephony Magazine Publisher’s Outlook:

Most business magazines will tell you the phone companies will have a tough time unseating the cable companies when it comes to TV transmission. Here is why every one of those magazines and newspapers is wrong: HDTV selection stinks today. Apparently, I spent a fortune for a 60" HDTV so I could watch but a handful of channels on it.

Most of what I watch is not HDTV and I either can have a black square around what I view or choose to stretch the picture to fill the whole screen. Every actor gains 20 pounds if I use the latter approach, and I am sick and tired of paying more for a TV that, most of the time, makes my TV viewing experience worse.

The phone companies should supply 50 HD channels, or even more. If they did that, I would switch to IPTV tomorrow and never look back. I understand fully that, without HD content, this isn’t possible, but Hollywood and content providers need to realize that HDTV will be the next big thing for the industry. They need to start putting out the programming. There certainly is an audience for it. The question is, how much more will people pay for more HDTV programming. I would say $20–$25 per month – about $1 per HD channel per month – is painless if you get another 20–30 HD channels. Hopefully, this can be a profitable idea for the phone companies.

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