Arlington, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) said they will work together on educational outreach programs to enlighten consumers about the approaching transition to digital television.
Details of the venture were still being determined, but the associations said it “likely will include: public service announcements, enhanced retailer sales force education, outreach via on demand services, bilingual education and comprehensive cable customer communication.”
This will come in addition to the outreach effort that both associations have already offered through Web sites, publications and other initiatives.
“All industries involved have a responsibility to educate consumers about this exciting new era in television,” Gary Shapiro, CEA president/CEO, said. “To this end, we will combine our award-winning experience in DTV consumer education with cable’s creativity and broad reach to help ensure consumers have easy access to quality information about this transition.”
“It is clear that there is a general lack of awareness of the impending transition to all-digital broadcasting, and the implications for TV viewers,” said NCTA president/CEO Kyle McSlarrow. “The goal of this comprehensive campaign is to utilize the shared resources of these industries to educate consumers about this significant transition.”
The associations said they will also seek to work with local government and community officials to conduct constituent outreach. This joint campaign will supplement the vast efforts already underway by the individual associations.
Shapiro and McSlarrow also called upon other industries and relevant government agencies to join in the effort.
“DTV education must become a national priority,” said Shapiro. “While millions of consumers have made the transition seamlessly, hundreds of millions more have questions or are completely unaware. We invite industry associations, government agencies, organizations representing key constituencies and all others who can help get the word out to join in our effort.”
The associations will also continue to provide point-of-sale educational materials and overall HDTV promotion and DTV transition education.
CEA currently operates four websites that promote the DTV transition through consumer and dealer education. The Web sites include www.antennaweb.org, www.myceknowhow.com, www.CEAconnectionsguide.com and www.ce.org/hdtv.
Also offered are retail training and education through CEknowhow.com — CEA’s online retailer certification training program — and downloadable and reproducible tip sheets, brochures and point-of-purchase materials.
Meanwhile, NCTA member companies offer HDTV services that pass 96 million homes, representing nearly 90 percent of all TV households. Nearly two dozen cable networks now provide HD programming on a full-time or part-time basis — in a variety of genres including news, sports, movies, general interest and more.