Shapiro takes whack at Forrester - Broadcasting & Cable

Shapiro takes whack at Forrester

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Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro last week unloaded on
analysts at Forrester Research, whose harsh critique of digital TV coincided
with the CEA's March 10 HDTV Summit.

"That someone's out there getting paid to dampen enthusiasm for HDTV [high-definition TV] and use
our conferences to release the result is something I have great difficulty
with," he told summit attendees last week.

Forrester concluded that HDTV is unprofitable for stations, networks and
cable operators and said cable should charge extra for an HDTV tier and pay
broadcasters for rights to their HD programming.

Particularly galling to Shapiro was Forrester's indictment of HD sets
33 inches and smaller, which it said offer "marginal improvements" over analog
because manufacturers "cut corners" on wide-screen formats.

History has proven Forrester wrong on other tech shifts and it will on HDTV,
Shapiro countered. "That people pay for this research is kind of shocking," he
added.

Forrester TV analyst Josh Bernoff stood by his conclusions.

"People should accept the reality that HDTV will remain a niche product for
the foreseeable future," he told Broadcasting & Cable. "Let anyone
who wants HD pay a reasonable amount and get some revenue into the
equation."

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