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HD Set Owners Need Help, Says CTAM

Last week's introduction of a DTV consumer education bill comes not a moment too soon for the cable and satellite industries.

Almost half (42%) of viewers with HD sets hooked up to cable (or satellite) service don't have the HD hardware--a CableCARD or set-top box--that allows them to see all those stunning pictures the set was made to recieve, according to a random survey of cable and satellite subs by the Washington-based Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing. 

In addition, 44% of the HD set owners who did not have the box or card didn't know they needed to have then when they bought the sets, and a majority, 61%, thought that an HD pictures was analagous to that of a DVD, which is only correct if the DVD is in HD.

CTAM is using the study to promote cable HD by suggesting consumers don't know what they're missing and cable is ready to fill in that information gap, preferably before the Super Bowl, when a lot of brand new big HD sets could wind up being underperformers on the big day.