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Satellite Expo 2005 Keynote Speech


Contact: Michael Sherman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel. 319-754-0604
Cell Phone: 901-351-9861


Detailing Key DTV Conversion Issues,
Their Impact On The Industry And Consumer
And Revenue Opportunities For Installers

Memphis, Tennessee, June 25, 2005 — In addressing retailers, manufacturers, installers, technicians and satellite industry executives at the opening breakfast at Satellite Expo 2005, Bob Howell, Director, Distribution Systems/Off-Air Antenna Business Group for the Winegard Company, in delivering the Keynote speech, commented on the new draft legislation of the Digital Television Transition Act of 2005, due out at the end of this month. Howell said “while the later date may affect the consumer’s sense of urgency, possibly effecting sales levels for manufacturers and retailers of set top boxes and digital TV’s in the short term, I think the extra time will ultimately have a positive result. It gives everyone more time to get their plans straight and it gives us more time to educate everyone about DTV and HDTV, which, in my opinion, will ultimately accelerate interest and sales.”

Pointing out that there’s was a lot of money at stake for everyone, he also particularly emphasized the need for educating satellite installers and the ever-changing sales force in electronic retailers on the DTV conversion, saying “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.

The truly huge impact the conversion to DTV will eventually have on the TV consumer, how they receive TV programming and the continued and increased need for education, was one of the main themes of his speech. In it, Howell said “the key to our success with the transition to DTV, for all of us, is education. Anything and everything we can do to educate everyone within the industry and particularly the consumer is worth the investment. The more educated the consumer becomes in order to make the right choices and decisions about receiving a digital signal, the quicker consumers will adopt the digital TV transition and the more sales will be generated.”

Commenting on the advent of local-to-local satellite service to the consumer and its impact the number of homes with Off-Air antennas, Howell said “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 over-the-air 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.”

Off-Air reception of local DTV/HDTV broadcasts is not only a natural supplement to satellite reception, particularly HDTV, it presents additional revenue opportunities to satellite installers, which is why Howell recommended satellite installer professionals keep up-to-speed on Off-Air antenna installation. “With the emergence of this free over-the-air digital broadcast TV” Howell said, “satellite installers can seize this opportunity to exceed their customer’s expectations and to increase the dollars in their pockets at the same time.”

“The needs of the consumer must be paramount to everyone”, Howell said, “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. Once TV consumers get the HD bug, they’re going to want all the HDTV they can get.”

Installers were urged to contact their local broadcast stations in their viewing area and ask them for their digital plan and to log on to the CEA’s’s antenna locator site. He also suggested they access as another site providing digital/HDTV-programming information for local viewing areas. He said “by doing so, installers can access the knowledge base to properly explain to the customer what’s going on in their area relative to digital broadcast stations and what they can deliver and what antenna to sell them, providing the customer with a realistic expectation for their HDTV experience.” He further urged his audience to attend as many of the 34 different educational forums and training classes as they could in furtherance of their education.

At the end of the show, Howell said, “I was pleased with the attendance and to see SkyRETAILER’s special edition on Satellite Expo 2005 pronounce its opening day ‘a Hit’ and particularly echoing my comments about education being the key to making the conversion a success.

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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Bob Howell, please call Michael Sherman at 319-754-0604 or send an email to, or visit

About Winegard:

The Winegard Company is widely considered an innovator and pioneer in product design, performance and assembly and has consistently adapted to meet the challenges of the ever-changing electronics market. It remains committed to continuous improvement in the quality, cost and delivery of its products and services to effectively meet all of its customer’s needs and currently designs and manufactures more than 1,000 different products in four product lines distributed in all states and worldwide, including:
• Satellite Antennas and Mounts: Residential antennas ranging in size from 46 cm to 1 meter.
• Mobile Television Reception Products: RV, Trucking, and Marine applications. Satellite systems ranging from manual crank-up models to automatic satellite tracking systems with GPS/DVB. Off-air antennas including bi-directional and omni-directional VHF/UHF/FM antennas. Ground Antenna Mounts and Accessories.
• Off-Air Antennas: From DC to 5.8 gigs AM/FM/VHF/UHF Antenna Systems, Distribution and Pre-Amplifiers, Power Supplies and Accessories
• Telemetry: Medical and Data Antenna Systems, Distribution Amplifiers, Power Supplies and Accessories.
• Two-way Fixed/Transportable Mobile Satellite Internet Systems: offers real-time IP, video, voice, audio and data communications virtually anywhere, anytime.

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