A new study by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) indicates that 60.3 percent of consumers are aware of high-definition television on an unaided basis.
The survey of 1,474 U.S. adults, also showed that while aware of HDTV, many consumers are also confused about how HDTV is delivered to homes and the equipment that is needed to receive it.
The study found that approximately 49.8 percent of consumers didn't know how HDTV signals were delivered.
Of the remainder, 21.3 percent of the consumers surveyed said that to the best of their knowledge, HDTV signals are delivered to the home from a cable TV provider; 21.4 percent said by a satellite provider; and only 7 percent said by using an over-the-air antenna.
Awareness of the need for an HDTV receiver or a digital converter/set-top box is highest among those who have actually seen HDTV — 28.6 percent. Satellite (27.8 percent) and digital cable customers (26.3 percent) also have a better awareness of the need for new equipment than the general population (23.2 percent).
A majority of consumers (52.7 percent) believe that a high-definition television set costs under $2,000, and 11.6 percent say they are "very" or "somewhat likely" to buy an HDTV set in the next year.
Meanwhile, 81.3 percent say they are "very unlikely" or "somewhat unlikely" to buy an HDTV set in the next year.
In other findings: about half (49.3%) of the customers who are aware of HDTV have seen it displayed — the vast majority in a retail environment.
"Once people see HDTV, they have a better understanding of the product's features and benefits," the CTAM evaluation states. "While more than half (58.1%) of consumers who have seen HDTV find its better picture quality appealing, less than half (24.8%) who have not experienced HDTV find the attribute appealing."
How Are HDTV Signals Delivered?
Based on responses of 1,474 consumers surveyed
Digital Cable Customers