Consumers Will Wait to Act On DTV
Jun 20, 2008
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In a recent survey, retailer Best Buy found that while nearly nine in ten (88%) consumers are aware of the digital broadcast transition (DTV), Americans are still confused about why the transition is happening and what really needs to be done to prepare.

The retailer surveyed consumers nationwide on their level of understanding and awareness of the federally mandated transition to digital television. The survey found that nearly half (45%) of those who haven’t already prepared for the transition are going to wait until after the digital deadline to take action, meaning many Americans could see an interruption in television programming or will find themselves making a last minute scramble to get DTV-ready.

Although the majority of consumers (60%) know that February 17, 2009 is the DTV transition date, more than half (54%) do not understand why the transition is happening. The government decided to mandate the switch to digital broadcasting for all full power stations to free up portions of the broadcast spectrum for other important services, such as public and safety services (police and fire departments, emergency rescue), and advanced wireless services.

Other statistics from the survey include:

  • Nearly a third (31%) of TV owners don’t know what type of TV they have - analog or digital.

  • The majority of consumers who will prepare, plan to subscribe to cable or satellite (43%).

  • Of the households who have done nothing to prepare for the transition, one in five (21%) believe they simply can not afford to, while those with an analog TV incorrectly believe the cost of the converter box is $56, after the $40 coupon.

  • About one in five (18%) of consumers with an analog TV believe nothing will happen after the DTV transition, and that their analog televisions will look similar to how they look now.


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