Thursday, August 14, 2008

BPN 1189 Dutch still satisfied with analogue TV

Presently I am exploring digital television. Having bought a wide screen television and having a wide screen PC, I accepted a package from UPC consisting of a faster internet connection up to 10Mb, unlimited use of the phone and digital television. In the digital television offer are a lot of channels, which I have never seen and for which I hardly have time to view them. Sometimes the picture is better than analogue television; but on the other hand there is always a channel, which does not have the proper pixel order and broken sound fragments. I am I impressed? No, not really. Looking at the cheaper Digitenne (DVB-T) of the incumbent telecom operator KPN, it looks like there is not much difference except the monthly fee. Besides, by October 2009 the apartment will be connected with Fiber to the Home (FTTH) and a new choice of a provider will have to be made. So far the incumbent telecom operator KPN is one of the parties offering three packages of triple play.

Just when I am exploring digital television, I got to read the results of a survey by KPMG and TNS NIPO on analogue and digital television among 1.100 Dutch respondents. The good news is that 60 per cent of the respondents are familiar with digital television. The bad news is that one in four Dutch households has moved to digital television. So our household is one of them, but it also means that there are three households which are still watching analogue television as they are not convinced of the advantages of digital television. Another practical objection for switching to digital television is that you get one media player and will have to buy another media set for any other television in the house.

The Dutch television consumer is happy with the quality of the pictures delivered and sees no reason to call the service desk of cable companies like UPC or Ziggo or run to the service shops to book the digital television immediately. Besides the satisfaction with the analogue view of the television, the price is too high and the extra advantages are not clear.

Of course the price factor is holding people back. UPC has attempted to get every subscriber on digital television by offering them a media player, regardless whether they asked for it or not. That campaign went down the drain. Now they have composed three marketing packages with offers you can not refuse. Still people are holding back and do not see the necessity not the extra pay. Of course they can also switch to KPN and pay roughly 7 euro for digital television instead of the 15 euro for UPC’s analogue television.

As digital television should be the portal to movies and Music services on demand, it also means that the operators are still not reaping the maximum benefits of digital television. Yet the Dutch will pay just 3 euro for films and movies. Just 11 per cent is willing to pay more to get an ad-free channel.

It is clear that the television operators are going to have a hard time to sell their digital service. People do not want to have the technical hassle, despite all the promise of the operators that it will be easy to connect. Most people know that FTTH is near and they will wait for that. Then they will have to make a principal choice of technology (FTTH or cable) and of operator.

Blog Posting Number: 1189

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