APTS study finds OTA households slow to transition to DTV

The 22 million U.S. households that rely on over-the-air television will move slowly to adopt digital TV sets or subscribe to cable or satellite services if it’s left up to them, according to a new study from the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS).

The study states that the government “grossly under-funded consumer education” when it mandated the end of analog transmission, said APTS president and CEO John Lawson. Lawson called for a Y2K-level effort to make sure people know their analog sets won’t work without a converter box in 21 months.

The association’s research also has found that OTA households have resisted subscription campaigns by cable and satellite companies. The number of OTA households has virtually remained unchanged since 2004 at 22.6 million, compared with 22.5 million in the first quarter of 2007.

As the nation prepares for the transition from analog to digital-only signals, consumers are generally unaware of the nature of the transition and do not fully know what the direct impact on their ability to watch TV will be, the study concluded. An earlier APTS report found 61 percent of over-the-air households had no idea the DTV transition was taking place.

For more information, visit: www.apts.org.