Half Of The Population Unaware Of Digital TV Transition in 2009

Half Of The Population Unaware Of Digital TV Transition in 2009

According to the CTAM Pulse, a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted last month by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, forty-eight percent of U.S. households are aware of the planned digital TV transition, compared to just 29 percent from a survey taken in July 2005

After February 17, 2009, the nation's broadcast television stations will begin broadcasting exclusively in digital. Any consumer receiving broadcast TV over the air on an analog TV set must take some action for that TV to continue receiving programs from the local TV stations. Those options include:

  • Obtaining a digital-to-analog converter
  • Subscribing to cable TV or other multichannel video service
  • Replacing the analog set with one equipped with a digital TV tuner

Major findings of the CTAM survey show that:

  • Groups most familiar with the transition are subscribers to broadband services (45 percent), digital cable service (40 percent), and basic cable service (39 percent);
  • Seventeen percent of survey respondents - representing more than 19 million homes - don't have any televisions connected to a video service provider.
  • Forty-seven percent of respondents said they do not know when the digital transition will occur, and 26 percent believe it will take place sometime other than the designated year 2009.

Char Beales, President and CEO, CTAM, said "In the months ahead, cable companies will reassure their customers... analog sets will continue to display the new broadcast digital TV signals, ...(as well as)... aggressively communicating with all consumers to alert them to the transition... help them understand... how they can benefit from this further transition to digital television technology."

Of those who are aware of the DTV transition,

  • 38 percent said they'd learned about it from TV
  • 26 percent had read of it in the newspaper
  • 20 percent had heard about it from friends or family
  • Fifty percent of households that watch TV exclusively over the air said they don't know where to turn for information about the transition

25 percent of "connected" households - or 23.3 million homes - said they also have at least one or more "unconnected" sets in their homes:

  • 40 percent of them said they use those sets to watch broadcast TV programs only
  • 22 percent use them to watch DVDs
  • 16 percent use them for video games

The Complete CTAM Pulse report is available on the CTAM Web site here.

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