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03.16.2003
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Consumers need better knowledge of digital TVs



How much do you know about digital televisions? Pictured here is Panasonic's 42" HDTV plasma TV. This set features a 16:9 aspect ratio thereby duplicating the full screen effect of a movie theater. It is 3.5" deep and weighs 66 pounds.

As if television professionals don't find the entire digital broadcasting scene confusing enough, now some broadcasters are asking consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers to do a better job of explaining it all to consumers.

That's the plea Robert Sachs, president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), made at a recent conference of the Advanced Television Systems Committee.

According to Sachs, cable installers have found that half of those customers requesting HD service don't even own HD TV sets. There's also consumer confusion over whether large and flat panel displays are actually HD sets.

"A much better job of consumer education about DTV products needs to be done at the point of retail sale," he said. A start, he suggested, would be labels on television products that offer clear specs and capabilities.

For more information visit www.ncta.com.

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