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DTV Drives Technology Purchases in One of Four Households

MENLO PARK, CALIF.: The DTV transition had a direct impact on media technology in 26 percent of U.S. TV households over the past year, according to market research from Knowledge Networks. Of nearly 2,500 households polled between February and April of this year, 18 percent said they’d bought a digital converter box; 8 percent bought a digital TV, either standard- or hi-def. Five percent started subscribing to cable or satellite TV. Factoring overlap, KN said the net value is around 26 percent.

KN said that among those homes that bought a converter box in preparation for the transition, 80 percent took advantage of the government’s $40 coupon program. In homes relying exclusively on broadcast TV, the converter purchase rate was 53 percent (versus 18 overall). Among those homes, 93 percent used the coupon program.

The number of sets per home relying on over-the-air reception averaged 0.48, nearly two-thirds less than in spring of 2006, when KN conducted a similar survey. The average then was 1.32.

KN said one of its upcoming reports will show that one-third of households with high-definition TV reception always check HD channels first when surfing or checking for a program. The report will also indicate that those with HDTV reception are more selective about what they watch and more likely to plan viewing in advance.