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Today’s Show:

HT Guys Predictions 2012

2011 was in some ways a wild year for HDTV and home theater, but in many other ways, fairly uneventful. We didn’t fare so well in our 2011 predictions, so we’re back this year with a vengeance. A lot of thought, research and soul searching went into these and we’re really hoping for a better than 50% score this year. Without further ado, the HT Guys HDTV and home theater predictions for 2012.

Prediction #1: The world will not end in 2012.

Braden’s Predictions

Wal-mart and Vudu will make a big play
Wal-mart has a ton of money, a gazillion customers and the highest quality streaming service available today. They are going to use that clout to make a big play in the new release streaming market this year. This could go one of two ways, either they will push into the realm of Ultraviolet and give away streaming versions of movies if you buy the disc at the store or online, or they will finally introduce a subscription service for new releases. Either way, they will shake things up a bit.

Netflix will remain fairly quiet
Trying to bounce back from a dismal 2011, Netflix will try to quietly rebuild the brand that once was.  No more crazy announcements of billions of dollars spent on pointless content, no more doubling prices over night, and especially no more Qwikster, we’re one service, no we’re two services, no we’re one service again goofiness.  Netflix will spend 2012 trying to erase 2011 from our memory by staying out of the spotlight and just doing business.  This means announcements like new releases or a live TV service in 2012.

The 3D market will evolve significantly

Realizing that consumers simply don’t care about Active 3D technology, manufacturers will try to reinvent the 3D TV market in 2012.  Many manufacturers will switch to passive technology and give away glasses by the truckload.  Several companies will attempt to release glasses-free 3D at prices consumers would actually consider.  Active 3D will start to fade away, like the CRT and DLP TVs of yesteryear.  Consumer priced Passive 3D projectors will come to market that either don’t require a special screen, or the special screens will be available from all the standard screen companies for the same prices as the standard screens today.

Still no live TV via streaming

Despite the fact that Google, Apple, Dish, Verizon, {insert company name here} are talking about making all your favorite broadcast TV networks available for a fraction of the cost over your home Internet connection, it won’t happen this year.  The Broadcasters and established distributors are still too powerful.  We’d be elated if it did happen, but 2012 is still a bit too soon for this.  Sure you may see pockets of “test cities” but for the vast majority of us, we’ll still need Cable or Satellite.

Ara’s Predictions

Apple will stop calling the AppleTV a hobby
Its a safe bet that a new AppleTV set top box will be introduced this year. Odds are that it will support 1080p and will have the same chip that’s in the iPhone 4S. What I claim that will set the AppleTV 3 apart is apps. My prediction is that Apple will open up the platform to application developers and that’s when the platform will really thrive. While you can do many of these things on a Roku its the iTunes eco-system that sets iThings apart from other devices.

Video On Demand Systems from Cable Companies will significantly hurt Netflix’s business
We’ve all seen VOD offerings on every cable or satellite service. This year they will have more and better titles sooner than they do today. I am predicting that some companies will offer subscription services similar to Netflix with titles that Netflix can’t obtain. The fact that the service fees will be rolled into the monthly fee will make it simple for subscribers to say yes. Consumers will continue to drop Netflix in droves which will cause a major management shakeup.

Forget about 3D, 4K is where its at

Its pretty clear that 3D did not spur the higher margin TV sales that manufacturers were hoping for. As a result, manufacturers are looking for a new technology that will separate consumers from their money. A 4K TV could just be that technology. At last year’s CES we saw a 4K TV that looked quite good with 1080p content being fed to it. I am predicting that we will see a 50 inch 4K set on sale for $2,500 or less. And with this TV hitting the streets video scaler companies will rejoice. They now have a reason to sell you hardware that will scale and process 1080p video into glorious 4K video!

A Studio will stop selling Stand alone DVDs

With Blu-ray players below $100 for more than a year now market penetration of the players is at about 25%. That number will hit 75% in about three years (side prediction). To make that happen faster look for at least one studio (probably Sony) to offer a combo Blu-ray/DVD package as the only option for a new release movie. The thought here is that some will spend the $75 or so to buy a Blu-ray player and watch the same movie in glorious HD.


Download Episode #511

Posted by The HT Guys, December 29, 2011 11:18 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.