MSOs, Scientific-Atlanta to Offer 'HD Education'

Citing recent data from Forrester Research that while HD sets will sit (or hang) in approximately 16 million U.S. homes by the end of 2005, only about seven million of those households (almost 44 percent) will actually watch HD programming from their video service provider, whether it is cable or DBS. It's not a new phenomenon, but it probably says a lot about the popularity of watching DVD movies on HD monitors, and the trend persists as 2006 fast-approaches.

The direct implication is that many consumers are buying HD units but are not taking the additional steps required to receive HD services, and it's got a lot of MSOs worried, especially since a lot of consumers may fully realize what they're missing.

Add to the mix a new study (commissioned by Scientific-Atlanta) that shows 49 percent of HD owners surveyed "are not taking full advantage" of their HD sets ("full advantage" defined by Scientific-Atlanta as "receiving HD channels and having special equipment to watch HD programming").

Therefore, Scientific-Atlanta said in a statement it is teaming with the cable industry to help educate consumers on what it calls the "true-def of hi-def." It fed two HD presentations on satellite this week to MSOs that are free to share them with their subs, if they wish. Scientific-Atlanta's HD Web site ( also provides potential HD consumers with a variety of options for expanded HD services, which could involve STB's made by Scientific-Atlanta, and increased billings, of course, for cable's HD tiers. Some HD-set owners, they think, may not fully appreciate what they are missing.