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HD programming proves to be strong motivator, report says

Access to HDTV programming significantly affects viewing behavior, making users more selective about what they watch and more likely to plan viewing in advance, according to a new study from Knowledge Networks.

However, HDTV reception does not seem to make consumers more likely to watch commercials, according to the study. While viewers find HDTV ads more "relevant," they are just as likely to click away from them as regular ads.

The Knowledge Networks report, “How People Use HDTV,” part of The Home Technology Monitor, an ongoing source of data on ownership and use of media technologies, revealed that while 20 percent of homes now have an HDTV set, fewer than two-thirds (61 percent) of those homes have true HD reception.

Among those who receive HD signals:

  • One-third always check their HD channels first when channel surfing or checking for a program;
  • About half always make the effort to watch in HD if a program is simulcast in both SD and HD;
  • About 70 percent plan their viewing ahead of time, compared with little more than half of viewers in non-HD homes.

The survey also compared attitudes of HD and non-HD viewers toward advertising:

  • Overall ad avoidance is similar between viewers in HD and non-HD homes. About half of each group say their usual response to a commercial break is to change channels;
  • HD viewers are more likely to agree that ads in HD programs are relevant to their needs and interests (41 percent vs. 35 percent). HD viewers are less likely to say, however, that they are inclined to purchase from advertisers during HD programs than non-HD viewers are from advertisers on regular TV programs (23 percent vs. 37 percent).

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