Centris Defends Its Study on Potential DTV-Reception Issues

Market-research company Centris Thursday defended its recent study that suggested that there could be upward of 9 million households with digital-TV-reception problems after the transition to digital.

In response, the Association for Maximum Service Television said the study was flawed, adding, “Consumers should not be misled by 'proprietary analysis' asserting that they must purchase antennas that are more expensive or shift to pay cable, satellite or telecom video services."

Centris countered in a statement Thursday that it stuck by its findings that 9.2 million households could have reception issues, adding that the number was probably even conservative.

"Centris has no vested interest in any one constituency or any particular piece of technology," the company said, "and has not recommended that consumers purchase any additional equipment or technology unless it is needed." Centris did advocate that consumers be "forewarned" about the potential for reception problems and the possible need to upgrade antennas.

"If consumers are not educated about such problems, they may incorrectly conclude that reception problems are due to flaws in converter boxes and might then proceed to return their converter boxes to retailers," the company said. "That would be an unfortunate consequence and one that may be preventable."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.