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Survey Says Consumers Not Redeeming TV Converter Box Coupons

16 Sep, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Plenty of converter box coupons are out there, allowing anyone with a TV still getting programs over the air to prepare for the February 2009 digital TV transition. Yet according to a DisplaySearch consumer survey, hardly anyone is using them.

A study of roughly 800 consumers found that only 6% have redeemed the converter box coupons. Of the respondents, a quarter had at least one TV receiving over-the-air programming, and 40% were receiving over-the-air programming exclusively.

DisplaySearch estimates there currently are 25 million TVs in the United States that need the converter boxes.

“While more than half of the consumers surveyed felt that the issues surrounding the end of analog broadcasting have been adequately communicated, it’s surprising to see such a small percentage of the converter box coupons redeemed to date,” said Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch’s director of North America TV market research. “This could be attributed to a lack of urgency on the part of consumers given that the analog cutoff date is still almost five months away, or they may be waiting to see if large price declines materialize for digital TVs during the holiday season.

“However, if a large number of consumers wait until the last minute, there could be problems satisfying the surge in demand for converter boxes all at once — ultimately leaving some in the dark.”

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