July 6, 2005
Winegard Exec: Education the Key to Successful DTV Transition
In his keynote address at the Satellite Expo 2005, Bob Howell--director of Winegard's Distribution Systems/Off-Air Antenna Business Group--emphasized the need to educate satellite installers and salesmen about the DTV conversion. "They need to know what equipment is needed, as well understand the local digital plan for their viewing area, so they can properly educate customers on what their expectations should be." He added, "We can't forget that the consumer drives the sales that keep us all in business and growing. And it's the consumer that will dictate the ultimate success level of this conversion and its benefits to us. I believe that if we all keep in mind what's best for the consumer, it will be a win-win for everybody."
He did not see the market for off-air antennas going away with increased local-into-local coverage from DBS operators. "There will always be a market for off-air antennas, because no matter how this transition unfolds, there's still going to be 30 or 40 million TV sets out there using an off-air antenna. Antennas are required to receive off-air DTV and HDTV signals from local OTA broadcasters. And the right HDTV antenna is no longer an accessory, it is a necessity. Getting the best off-air HD picture starts with the best antenna for the job."
Installation of off-air antennas provides satellite installers additional revenue opportunities and Howell recommended installers "keep up-to-speed" on off-air antenna installation. "With the emergence of this free OTA digital broadcast TV, satellite installers can seize this opportunity to exceed their customer's expectations and to increase the dollars in their pockets at the same time."
He urged installers to contact TV stations in their area and ask them for information on their digital transmissions. He also pointed installers to the CEA antenna locator Web site at antennaweb.org and CheckHD.com.
For more on Bob Howell's speech, see the Winegard news release Winegard's Bob Howell Emphasizes DTV Education and Bottom Line to Satellite Installers in Keynote Speech at Satellite Expo 2005.