Consumer awareness of DTV transition at 79 percent

Consumer awareness of the federally mandated transition to digital television (DTV) has grown substantially over the past year, reaching 79 percent, said the NAB last week.

A survey, conducted in January, includes a national sample of television households including those that rely solely on over-the-air television signals. Seventy-nine percent of respondents reported that they have “seen, read or heard something about the Feb. 17, 2009, transition to digital television,” the NAB said.

Awareness was even greater among exclusively over-the-air households, where 83 percent of respondents reported they are aware of the transition. Overall, consumer awareness has more than doubled since January 2007 when an NAB survey asking the same question found that only 38 percent of consumers were aware of the transition.

“This is a big step toward our goal of reaching every American with information about the DTV transition,” said David K. Rehr, president and CEO of NAB. “The first phase of our consumer education campaign has been highly successful, and our next phase will focus on helping consumers learn more about the steps they need to take to receive a digital signal before February 17, 2009.”

During the next phase of the consumer education campaign, broadcasters will focus on helping consumers learn more about the converter box coupon program and other options they have to upgrade to digital through on-air advertisements, a 30-minute educational television program about DTV, and several other multifaceted, multiplatform initiatives.