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Study: Digital TV Transition Awareness Up, Consumer Response Slow

12 Aug, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

About 70% of households that get their television broadcasts via antennae said they know about the mandatory transition to digital broadcasts Feb. 17, 2009. But just 38% who redeemed government-issued discount coupons for a digital converter box have installed the device, according to a new study.

About 10 million to 15 million households in the United States reportedly receive TV broadcasts predominantly via antennae.

The May/June survey of 1,439 households in rural Pennsylvania by the Association of Public Television Stations found that 62% of affected homes said they would purchase a converter box, compared to 28% in 2006.

Among households surveyed, just 9.2% said they had requested the $40 coupons, and just 54.2% said they had redeemed them.

With six months remaining before the transition, increasing numbers of affected households (82%) said they would not switch to cable, satellite or telecommunications service to receive digital TV, compared to 71% in 2006.

Separately, Best Buy said it will use the Minnesota Broadcasters Association production of a non-branded 30-minute TV show, “DTV Simplified,” aimed at informing consumers about the pending digital transition.

The magazine-format program features an overview of the transition, review of converter box installation, real world digital TV stories, a history of TV and frequently asked questions.

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