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HDTV acceptance grows among consumers

Nearly half of all consumers plan to make their next television purchase a high-definition television set, according to a Consumer Electronics Association survey.

The survey results reinforce the CEA's market research projection that the total DTV unit shipments will surpass analog television sales for the first time in 2005. This projection is based on the digital tuner mandate issued by the FCC. The first time digital television dollar sales surpassed analog television was in 2003.

Awareness of DTV terminology has grown substantially in the past 18 months. The survey also found:

  • Nine of 10 adults are now aware of at least one term used to refer to high-definition television, such as "digital television" or "HDTV;"
  • Seventy-six percent of U.S. adults say they are familiar with details about the new TV sets;
  • Twenty-two percent are not familiar with HDTV, down from 42 percent in 2003;
  • Eighty-four percent of consumers have seen an HDTV somewhere in the last 12 months.

The CEA survey also examined consumers' reaction to the eventual analog cut-off. The survey asked consumers receiving over-the-air television, in part or in whole, via the antenna on their primary TV what they would do if they could no longer receive these signals with their antenna.

The study found:

  • Fifty-two percent said they might buy a digital to analog set-top box converter, up from 46 percent in 2003;
  • Sixty-six percent said they might subscribe to cable or satellite, up from 57 percent in 2003.

The survey also found that 53 percent feel positive about the analog-to-digital transition, up from 51 percent in 2003.

Of the 12 percent of survey respondents in homes that exclusively receive OTA television, 48 percent said they might buy a set-top converter and 56 percent would subscribe to cable of satellite. Twenty-one percent said they are likely to “do nothing.”

CEA polled a random national sample of 1009 U.S. adults between Feb. 25 and March 1. The margin of sampling error for aggregate results is +/- 3.1 percent.

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