Television and the Cuban Switch

Echoing Arnie Berman at Cowen, Om asks a variant of a question today for which Mark Cuban got pilloried a month or so ago:

“In the past, consumers replaced their PC’s every 3 years and their televisions roughly every decade. Is this trend poised to reverse? Hint: Yes.”

I have taken to calling this hypothesis the “Cuban Switch”, echoing Nicholas Negroponte’s famous view about a flip-over from wired to wireless networks. In this variant, of course, the switch is from computers to TVs.

Anyone buy the Cuban Switch? I am surprisingly, at least to non-TV-watching me, sympathetic to the idea. Then again, looking at my own behavior, I have replaced two TVs in the last two years, while not replacing my main home desktop computer. But I’m not planning on replacing either TV again any time soon.

Related posts:

  1. Mark Cuban Discovers That Journalists Read Blogs
  2. Mark Cuban Gets Another Pulpit
  3. Mark Cuban & Differential Movie Pricing
  4. Mark Cuban Gets Razzed
  5. Mark Cuban Rips a Hole in Donald Trump

Comments

  1. mark cuban says:

    Until we give you a reason to switch. Right now TV is just TV to most people. That will change as features and capabilities are added.

  2. I find this really, really hard to believe. There is no Moore’s law at the root of television technology. I think the switch to high-def that has prompted so much TV buying is a once or twice in a generation shift, like color television. What we are buying more of, or replacing more quickly, actually, are a variety of special-purpose computers like Tivo or Apple TV. I don’t want that functionality built-in to my uber expensive video screen because then my cost to upgrade skyrockets. I am willing to shell out $200 or $300 every few years to add new capabilities and options.
    ps Pail, now we know you’ve have made the big time because MC himself is responding to your posts!

  3. I find this really, really hard to believe. There is no Moore’s law at the root of television technology. I think the switch to high-def that has prompted so much TV buying is a once or twice in a generation shift, like color television. What we are buying more of, or replacing more quickly, actually, are a variety of special-purpose computers like Tivo or Apple TV. I don’t want that functionality built-in to my uber expensive video screen because then my cost to upgrade skyrockets. I am willing to shell out $200 or $300 every few years to add new capabilities and options.
    ps Paul, now we know you’ve have made the big time because MC himself is responding to your posts!

  4. Richard Rodgers says:

    I can’t buy this either. For TVs to change, the underlying technology (i.e. the cameras with which shows and films are shot with) have to change. This technology just doesn’t move that quickly. I can see the supporting boxes changing more quickly, but not the TV itself.

  5. dutch says:

    i agree I think until moore’s law is repealed then pcs will still be cycled. gamers and enthusiasts actually look forward to doing it. It’s addictive. ;-) TV will cycle based on screen features size and resolution. the lcd is on a moore’s law trajectory, which will speed up the tv cycle.

  6. worth says:

    HD is nice, but have you been to one of those “4D” movies at Sea World and other amusement parks? They’re typically around 30 minutes, and the 3D effect (the 4th “D” is a water spritz or air puff, which is fine but not necessary) is so realistic and clear and stunning that it has to be seen to be believed. The depth and motion of rolling waves, a wasp coming at your face stinger-first, etc. – just constantly jumping up or back into your seat, and it’s very cool. Kinda makes HD seem, well…more clear than regular def? Not exactly in the same league as changing the viewer’s entire experience though, like new 3D technology is!

  7. Ravenor says:

    I think the PC replacement cycle for consumers is stretching out to 7 to 10 years. PC’s with current CPU’s and hard drives are more than adequate for basic uses. Only hard-core gamers and porn addicts are looking to get ever more processing and storage capacity, at the consumer level.
    On the other hand, I don’t see TV replacement cycles shortening up much. Since TVs have fewer moving parts and manufacturing quality control has improved so much over the last 30 years, breakdown is not likely to be much of a factor in a consumer buying a new TV. Besides, the TV is just a screen. Granted, people are buying bigger TV’s with the flat form factor, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily get rid of the old TV. Other changes in television in recent years have had to do with how programming is delivered to the signal-in jack on the back of the TV. Cable, dish, and TIVO all still go through that jack on the back of the TV. We’ll all wind up buying an HD TV eventually because non-HD broadcasts will be shut off, but that is a one-time factor.
    I suppose that just increasing the size of TVs might induce frequent buying for those that have to have the biggest on the block.

  8. Hari says:

    Nothing.