Report on the Economic & Marketing Working Group
Chair, Don Braden, Executive Director CSUA
In November 1999, the Working Group set out its Mission as well five Objectives to support the Mission. Based upon this framework, the Working Group asked its two sub-committees to develop 12- month work plans. The Working Group's Mission and Objectives can be found on the CDTV Inc web site.
The Economic Sub-committee has prepared a Request for Proposal for an economic/business model with a targeted report delivery of July 2000. Based on surveys of the industry and an analysis of the data, this report will quantify many of the key variables required by CDTV and its other Working Groups in their analysis of various public policy issues. The goal is to have an agreed upon factual base on the overall business of DTV in Canada. This information can be linked to policy and regulatory issues in detailing the transition to DTV. On the issue of deployment indices, sources are being contacted including Canadian and United States manufacturing associations and the CBC's research organization.
The Marketing Sub-committee has recommended that Canada support North American standards in the DTV industry and oppose any proprietary specifications. The Sub- committee surveyed manufacturers in order to identify the key standards used by DTV. That survey identified several standards or specifications related to display device connectivity including component video, RGB, and IEEE-1394(Firewire). Other standards issues identified include Open Cable, cable ready boxes, 8VSB, and DTH interfaces. Monitoring of all these interfaces will continue.
The sub-committee has agreed to focus marketing over the next 12 months at the retailer community. The sub-committee continues to review retail feed back on the revised brochure which was developed by the sub-committee. To date the brochure has been in great demand by retailers. The sub-committee has reviewed a proposal for retailer certification and recommended to the Working Group that Board approval be sought. The sub-committee will also prepare an overall Communications Plan for CDTV with the assistance of several members' media relations staff.
The sub-committee has reviewed the need to prepare a glossary of terms and recommended that no action be taken, as the current brochure is adequate for the earlier adopter consumers. The sub-committee also reviewed the current "DTV ready" decal program used in the United States and recommended not to implement the program in Canada at this time as there are several controversies surrounding its use.
The Working Group has also requested that CDTV meet with Industry Canada on the issue of "DirecTv ready" set importation. The set manufacturer members of CDTV Inc. have agreed that they will take steps to ensure that sets sold in Canada will not have an integrated capability to access United States DTH services.