APTS Survey Shows Americans Not Leaping to DTV

According to a new survey commissioned by the Association of Public Television Stations, it found that left to their own devices 22 million American households that rely on free, over-the-air television will move slowly to adopt digital TV sets or subscribe to cable or satellite services.

APTS said the study showed the population of over the air households has virtually remained unchanged since 2004 at 22.6 million, compared to 22.5 million in the first quarter of 2007.

"Public broadcasters have long supported a successful DTV transition. However, our study confirms that the government grossly underfunded consumer education when it mandated the end of television as most people know it by February 2009," APTS President and CEO John Lawson said. "We need a Y2K-level effort to ensure people are aware ..."

APTS is spearheading a coalition of trade and interest groups to compete for the $5 million Congress set aside for consumer education.

Survey results are based on about 36,000 telephone interviews of American television viewers conducted by research firm Centris in Fort Washington, Pa. The survey noted that of the 22 million U.S. households that get their TV over the air, 7 percent own a digital TV, compared to 23 percent who subscribe to cable or satellite.