Many HDTV buyers continue to take a pass on high-def programming

Results of a new survey from Frank N. Magid Associates finds that 41 percent of U.S. households buying HDTVs within the past year haven’t subscribed to HD cable or satellite programming

Fewer first-time HDTV set buyers are arranging for HD program service from cable and satellite providers than ever, according to a recent study of HDTV owners by Frank N. Magid Associates.

Among the 12 percent of U.S. households that purchased a new HDTV in the past year, 41 percent have not yet arranged for HD program service from a cable or satellite provider, compared to as many as 80 percent with HD service among those who have owned their sets for several years.

The research organization foresees a spike in demand for HD service following analog TV shutoff in February 2009 when HDTV owners understand that the digital transition pertains to local TV broadcasters and not cable delivery of programming, said Jill Rosengard Hill, Magid senior VP.

The Magid survey also found:

  • 43 percent of HDTV buyers within the past year haven’t explored HD service from any provider.
  • 39 percent of these recent HDTV buyers have looked into cable HD service, and 19 percent have examined satellite HD delivery.
  • 16 percent of recent HDTV buyers said they may sign up for satellite HD programming; 22 percent said they might subscribe to cable HD programming.

When asked why they decided to avoid subscribing to an HD programming service, the survey found:

  • 41 percent don’t believe the service is worth the fees.
  • 30 percent don’t have it in their budget after acquiring the set.
  • 18 percent cite a lack of enough HD channels to make it worth their effort.

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