Study shows missed HDTV opportunity


New research from Frank N. Magid Associates shows that cable and satellite services have millions of subscribers with high definition television sets, but who are nonetheless not getting HDTV service. In some cases, the consumers aren’t even aware that their set has high-def capability.

Magid suggests that the services need to do a better job educating consumers as to just what they are missing.

The firm says that 35% of consumers say they own an HDTV set. Further, it notes, “…an additional group of households describes their primary TV set as plasma or LCD and widescreen, but not HD, suggesting that an additional 8% of households own an HDTV set but aren’t truly aware of it. This translates to 43%, or approximately 49 million households in the US that own an HDTV set.”

However, only 66% of HDTV owners report subscribing to HDTV service, giving the program platforms a rich 14M supply of households ripe for an upsell.

Magid posits that some consumers bought HDTV sets under the erroneous assumption that they had to if they wanted to be able to watch television after the DTV transition, and weren’t ever in the market for high-quality high-def programming.

“On the other hand, this reveals a major opportunity to increase programming subscriptions and to close the gap between set buyers and service adopters though improved marketing and education,” said Magid’s Jill Rosengard Hill. “Since marketing buzz has waned after the digital transition, HD is fading as a top-of-mind feature for some consumers.”