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Germany: Viewers Enamored, Confused over HD

See if this sounds familiar: German viewers voice a keen interest in "high definition television" and all that it might have to offer, but lack much knowledge of the technical requirements (and equipment) needed to enjoy HD at home.

A survey this summer by TNS Convergence Monitor has found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of German respondents said they have heard the term "HDTV" and think they basically know what it is. About 20 percent said they know more than most other Germans about HD because they went through the trouble of researching the technology themselves.

Meanwhile, today a full one-third of all German households (that penetration rate is about 50 percent higher than a year ago) own fairly new flat-screen sets — with TNS presuming most of than being HD.

But here's the rub: A mere 7 percent of those surveyed said they are prepared to "pay extra" for HD channels.

And see if this also sounds hauntingly familiar. TSN said "many [Germans] believe with the purchase of an LCD or plasma television set, they will be able to experience improved picture quality of HDTV – without knowing that, so far, hardly any television programs are screened in HD quality, or that an HD receiver is necessary for reception."

Broadcasters and HD set makers are crossing their fingers that broader knowledge of HD services will become far more apparent in time for the Winter Olympics next February.