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CEA: More Consumers Know About DTV Transition

Arlington, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reported consumer awareness of the digital television (DTV) transition is growing.

Despite continued grumbling by Congress about the effort, CEA reported that DTV transition awareness has grown 12 percentage points, to 86 percent, since the first of the year.

This growth can be attributed to the ongoing joint educational efforts of government and private sector entities, CEA said.

The trade group also released new survey results today that predicted the continued success of the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA)’s converter-box coupon program. With five months remaining before the transition date, almost one-third (32 percent) of households using an antenna on at least one television have already applied for their converter-box coupon. Another 37 percent of antenna households plan to request their coupon within the year, while 21 percent don’t plan to request a coupon at all.

This data suggested that antenna households will request an additional 14 million converter-box coupons in the coming months, well within the available number of coupons remaining in NTIA’s program, CEA said.

CEA’s survey also shows a high level of consumer satisfaction with the coupon and converter-box experiences. Ninety percent of consumers rated the ease of requesting a coupon online at the DTV transition Web site as either good or excellent.

Additionally, 81 percent of consumers gave a good or excellent rating to the ease of finding a store that sold a converter box. Of those consumers who have purchased their converter box, more than 75 percent have already set it up and utilized either the instruction manual (38 percent) or a family or friend (42 percent) to assist, CEA noted.

Earlier this month, the AARP Bulletin also commented on the ease of converter-box installation, stating, ‘The boxes are not hard to install, with color-coded cables that correspond to those on newer TV sets. If you need help, get guidance from the store where you bought the box.”

The deadline for the DTV transition is Feb. 17, 2009.