The digital TV transition has already had positive affects for video service providers and consumer electronics vendors. Five percent of all people who previously received TV over the air have signed up with pay-TV service providers.
Meanwhile, 18 percent of respondents to a survey of over-the-air viewers said they had bought a digital converter to adapt a standard-definition set to receive digital signals, and 8 percent said they’d bought a digital or high-definition TV set specifically in preparation for the transition.
The survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks. Overall, the company said, the transition to digital television has directly impacted media technology in one out of four (26 percent) U.S. TV households during the past year. The percentages do not add up directly because of overlap in categories.
The data comes from the Spring 2009 Ownership and Trend Report produced as part of KN's The Home Technology Monitor. The report offers an overview of ownership of dozens of media-related devices and services, from DVRs to mobile Internet access; it also draws on KN's historical data to provide trending.
The new data was collected from February to April of this year.
Awareness of the transition has increased to 91 percent of all TV homes, up from 85 percent in 2008 and 45 percent in 2007. All subgroups – whether by householder age, race, ethnicity or reception type – report awareness over 90 percent.
Among the 18 percent of TV homes that bought a digital converter, most (80 percent) took advantage of the government coupon program. In homes that still have only broadcast reception, three times as many (53 percent) report that they bought a digital converter in the past year, and 93 percent of those used the coupon program.
The number of sets per home relying on regular broadcast reception averaged 0.48 in the new survey; this is almost two-thirds less compared with the spring 2006 survey, when the average was 1.32. Between their awareness of the transition and evidence of adaptation to this new broadcast standard, it is clear Americans have received the message about the transition.
At the same time, Knowledge Networks offered a taste of a report on HDTV it has due in July. The company has determined that one-third of those with high-definition TV reception always check their HD channels first when channel surfing or checking for a program.
How People Use HDTV 2009 will also indicate that those with HDTV reception are more selective about what they watch and are more likely to plan viewing in advance.